Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Review: Until the Dawn by Elizabeth Camden

Elizabeth Camden is one of my favorite authors and Until the Dawn was such an interesting story that takes place in 1898.  There were a few main characters: Sophie Van Riijn-our bright, joyful heroine, Quentin Vandermark the heir of the home and a very moody, sometimes cruel, wounded gentleman, Pieter the very scared and lonely son of Quentin.  The bodyguards, Quentin’s eccentric grandfather Nickolaas, Sophie’s father, Marten her former fiancĂ©, and the house itself were a few of the other characters.  This story had an air of mysteriousness surrounding it.  I found it intriguing how some people viewed the home and the land as cursed and others as an Eden.  We have archeology, biology, and meteorology represented in the story.  And all play an important role.  Not to mention the budding romance, the twists and turns throughout and all these elements added up to a very fresh, unique, and satisfying read.  I found this one hard to put down as there were lessons to learn and mysteries to solve.   On a side note my mouth was watering at the descriptions of Sophie’s cooking.   I received a copy of this book for an honest review from Bethany House Publishers and the opinions are my own.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Review: A Bride at Last by Melissa Jagears

A Bride at Last by Melissa Jagears is a book that had me emotionally spent.  We have a story of two wounded individuals that are really trying to survive life the best way that they can and sometimes they make some really bad decisions.  Silas Jonesy has not only been abandoned by his mail order bride, but he also grew up as an orphan.  When he finally locates his bride after 8 years, she has died but he finds out she was keeping something from him.   Enter schoolteacher Kate Dawson who lost her parents at a young age and then was abused by relatives, who has taken the now motherless Anthony into her care.   However, at the risk of losing her job because of a town that does not care for a little boy, she must now fight for Anthony not only against Silas but another man who also claims Anthony is his son.

Both of these characters don’t necessarily make the best choices, and understandably they are trying to protect themselves, but also frustrating as they end up making bigger problems.  We are also treated to two very different towns: one that cares and one that doesn’t.  This story brings back characters in the previous books but it can be read as a standalone.  I think the biggest lesson I grasped from this novel was to take care of your responsibilities and to always keep your promises.

I received this book for an honest review from The Book Club Network, Inc. and the opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Review: Twelve Days in December by Michele Paige Holmes

Twelve Days in December by author Michele Paige Holmes is the latest in her Hearthfire Romance series.  This one is a novella but it is every bit of a fulfilling story as the earlier novels.  This deals with two characters we meet in Marrying Christopher and what happened to them at the end of that story. Thrust into a marriage of convenience for different reasons but for both of their sakes, we get to watch William and Charlotte fall in love with each other.  William decides to take twelve days in December to spend with Charlotte and her son and those days draw him closer to his new family.  Both William and Charlotte will need to open their wounded hearts and give love another chance to become a true family.  This is a delightful, romantic, and quick read for the busy holiday month and puts you in the Christmas Spirit.  This is a clean read and can be read as a standalone novella if you have not read the previous novels.  Ms. Holmes is an author that I look forward to reading more of and I hope more of in her Hearthfire Romance series.  I received an e-copy for an honest review from I Am a Reader and the opinions are my own. 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Review: Power of the Matchmaker

The Power of the Matchmaker is a novella prequel for a series of books, written by different authors that will release once a month next year.  What all of these books will have in common is the Matchmaker and this is her story.  This felt very much like a fairy tale, a young woman and man in love then a mistake is made and the young woman fleas.  I was with Mae Li’s every step as she faces heartbreak and leaves to find a better life.  She definitely goes through some harrowing trials until she meets a strange old woman.  I look forward to seeing how these trials have shaped her character and her matchmaking abilities in the future books.  

I am excited about this series and to be reading some favorite authors and discovering new ones.  I received an e-copy of this book from I Am a Reader and the opinions are my own.

*This is a clean read.

 Don't they look great?!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Review and Author Guest Post: The Travel Adventures of PJ Mouse Series by author Gwyneth Jane Page

The Travel Adventures of PJ Mouse in Canada is the first book in a series about a little stuffed mouse named PJ.  He is found by a little girl and her mother during a rainstorm under a park bench.  As he becomes part of the family they decide to take him on their summer travels through Canada.  There was 6 travel stops and I learned a little bit more about Canada that I did not know before.  By the end of this beautifully illustrated book, I was ready to hop in a fifth wheel with my family and visit the glacier, the salt water lake for a swim, Niagara Falls (I have been there), Quebec City, Prince Edward Island, and Butchart Gardens.  Plus on all of these adventures, PJ mouse does seem to find himself in curious situations. 

The illustrations, which are drawn by the author’s daughter, are not only well done, but are cute and simple and are appealing to children.  I enjoyed this book and traveling with PJ and learning a little bit more about a neighboring country.  I received this book for an honest review from iRead Book Tours, and the opinions are my own.

In the Travel Adventures of PJ Mouse in Queensland, we hop on a plane with PJ and his family and head for his second adventure.  This time we went to Queensland, Australia.  I have always wanted to visit Australia so this was a fun little story book to read to my son about the different things PJ mouse was able to do in that far off country.  In this second story, PJ seems much more at home with his family and really excited to try out all the new and fun things.  As in the first, we learned a little bit more about a country and what it has to offer if we are able to visit there one day.    Our favorite chapter was the one where PJ goes to the amusement park and rides the Tower of Terror.  My little guy could relate to that. 

Again, the lovely illustrations were done by the author’s daughter in the sweet, simple style of the first book and PJ again found himself in interesting situations.  I look forward to more PJ Mouse and his adventures while traveling with his family.  I received a copy of the book for an honest review from iRead Book Tours and the opinions are my own.

What Makes My Books Different by Gwyneth Jane Page

My books are different in a number of ways.

1. Each book is about a different country and each chapter is about a different place. Along with the books, kids can get PJ's passport and stickers to track the trips as they learn about each place. There is a sticker to go with each chapter that they can put in the sticker book (passport) once they have read the chapter, like getting a stamp in your passport.

2. Kids can get their own PJ Mouse. This then makes the books about their stuffed animal and helps engage them in the reading/learning process.

3. While the books are a story about a fictional character they also provide factual information about places and have maps at the front and back of each book so kids can learn about the world. I also try to encourage kids to overcome their fears through the stories. Finally, I add an element of awareness of some of our endangered species and places. So while the books are fun and entertaining, they contain many lessons and messages as well.

4. I have returned to a more classic style of writing and artwork. While there is artwork on every page to help capture kids imaginations I also have plenty for them to read and I have left the big words in. Most kid's books seem to either be picture books with just a line or two on a page, or novels with all words and no pictures. I believe kids need to read from a young age, not just have pictures to look at, and I believe that older kids still like pictures in books. Thus, my books have ended up having a very broad age range, anywhere from two years old up to twelve years old.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Review: The Salt Covenants by Sylvia Bambola

Every once in a while on my reading journey, an author is able to grab my attention with their superb writing skills and completely immerse me in that time and place.  That was how The Salt Covenants by Sylvia Bambola was for me.  This was the first novel I have read by Ms. Bambola and her attention to historical detail was incredible.  This was a story about a young Jewish woman who is a true converso to the Christian faith and her life and journey to the New World, sailing with none other than Christopher Columbus on his second voyage.  After a devastating loss and the Spanish Inquisition looming, her family fears for her life and so as an obedient daughter she must leave her home country for a strange land with a husband she does not love, nor does he love her.  Her trials and tribulations are softened with the friendship and comradery she finds in the only two other women on this voyage to a new settlement. 
This is a violent and gritty book especially dealing with the inhumane treatment of not just the Jewish people and the Inquisition, but also the Spainards treatment of the Taino Native Amercan tribe.  Through all of this however, Isabel finds comfort in the love of the one true God and His Son.  Not at all preachy, this story shows faith being lived out in an oftentimes cold, indifferent, and cruel world.  This story is packed with truths, faithfulness, and true love for God, friends, family, and husband.  I received a copy for an honest review from the author through The Book Club Network, Inc. and the opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Review: Autumn Masqerade by Josi S. Kilpack, Donna Hatch, and Nancy Campbell Allen

Autumn Masquerade is a regency set of three novellas by three very talented ladies.  If you are familiar and enjoy the Timeless Romance Anthology collections you will be quite pleased with these longer regency novellas. 

Josi S. Kilpack is a new author to me and her story starts off the collection.  In her story, A Merry Dance, Lila is in love with her cousin Neville and longs for his return at the masquerade dance.  However, her uncle has other plans for her when she overhears him hoping to set her up with a military veteran by the name of Mortimer Luthford.  Determined not to like him she goes to extreme, often times hilarious measures to make him not interested in her.  I laughed and cringed at some of her antics and really hoped the best for her in finding her true love.

The next story, Unmasking the Duke, is written by author Donna Hatch who I have had the pleasure of reading her works before.  Taking a very shy young woman, Hannah Palmer, and dressing her up as Aphrodite at the masked ball helps her to come out of her shell and be a bit bolder.  However, what happens when the one whose eye she catches is the one she can’t stand?  I was engrossed in this story wondering which one, the stubborn pride or the stolen kisses, would come out as the victor in the end.  This one is lighthearted, with some angst mixed in, trimmed with a lovely romantic story that I have come to expect from Ms. Hatch.

What’s in a Name by new to me author Nancy Campbell Allen was my favorite of the three.  Dealing with identical twin sisters Persephone and Penelope Timely, who couldn’t be more different, they switch places so the older, favorite twin can be with her one true love (a lowly doctor), while the younger sister accidentally falls in love with the Duke she has been corresponding with as her sister.  A delightfully, romantic, and swoon worthy story follows as the Duke comes to the masquerade ball held at his estate eager to make the acquaintance of the young lady he has fallen for. This was storytelling with a twist.

I am pleased with all these clean reads and look forward to more in these collections and the other books written by these authors.  I do hope they release this book in paperback as well.  I received an e-copy for an honest review from I Am a Reader, and the opinions are my own.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Review: The Shock of Night by Patrick W. Carr

The Shock of Night is the first book I have read by Patrick Carr, and what a fantasy it was.  Clocking in at 455 pages, you have a very intricate world of politics, nobles, and religious factions.  Throw in a murder mystery and the king’s reeve (detective), Willet Dura, with some secrets of his own that are even unknown to him; an invading army; and you have a tale that will keep you up all hours of the night just to unravel all the knotty threads.  Not knowing who to trust, Willet, with his new found gift searches his city for answers to why a priest and his body guard were so brutally murdered?   What did they know?  Not only that, but as the bodies start stacking up, Willet is in a race against time to prove that he is not a mad man himself, and to unlock the secrets of his own mind of how and why did he survive the evil Darkwater ten years previous, and is all of this connected.

I have not read a lot of fantasies as they always seem to confuse me at first until I become immersed in their world and this story was no exception.  This is a darker, more violent tale that includes friendship and a hint of romance, which I wish there was more of.  I did enjoy reading out of my usual genre and I look forward to the next installment.  I received a copy for an honest review from Bethany House Publishers and The Book Club Network, Inc. and the opinions are my own.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Review: Every Girl Gets Confused by Janice Thompson

Welcome back to the Fisher family and friends.  It was great to go back and see what was going on in this really funny yet great family and their town in Fairfield, Texas.   Everyone is adjusting to the changes since the last book where everyone decided it was time to step out of their comfort zone.  Katie has learned many lessons since she and Casey broke up and now she and the famous basketball star Brady James are dating.  There is a lot going on in this book, we catch up with all the characters for Katie’s grandmother, Queenie’s, wedding and for the holidays.  However, not all is right just yet in Katie’s world.  Brady has just been dealt some devastating news, and while she tries to stand by her man, he is pulling away.  Not only that, but Casey is back in Fairfield and missing her.  Katie has really matured in this second book by applying the lessons she learned to her life and with this new situation with Brady and dealing with some rather testy brides in the bridal shop.  How will this end?  Who wins Katie’s heart?  You will have to read the book to find out.  With a quirky cast of characters and Doris Day notes at the beginning of each chapter this was a lighthearted fun read.  I look forward to the next in Brides with Style series.  My thanks to Revell Publishing for providing me with a copy of this book for my honest review.  All of the opinions are my own.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Black Friday Book Sale!


It's that time of year. The time for buying presents, making wish lists, and planning New Year's Resolutions. If any of those activities involve books for you, Indie Christian Authors has a perfect event for you.

From Nov 27 (that's today!) through Nov 30th, more than 70 independent Christian books are on sale. You can find free shipping, $0.99 ebooks, package deals, and more! And if your budget is depleted from Christmas shopping, they've got you covered with some freebies!

Think 70 books is overwhelming? Narrow it down and find the perfect books for you or someone on your Christmas list by using this quiz to generate a customized book list.

What awesome reads of 2015 are you grateful for? What books are you looking forward to reading in 2016?

A note on the Ebooks Only page. All books are listed as “Sold Out.” This only refers to paperback copies of these titles. Please click onto the product pages to find descriptions and links to discounted or free ebooks.

Acknowledgements: Thanks to Leah E. Good for her work organizing this sale, Gloria Repp for completing the time consuming job of uploading book info to the sale website, and Hannah Mills for her fantastic design work on the website graphics. Hannah can be contacted at hmills(at)omorecollege(dot)edu for more information about her design services.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Review: Hearts Made Whole by Jody Hedlund

Hearts Made Whole

Jody Hedlund can always be counted on to write riveting reads, and Hearts Made Whole is no exception.  Taking the two love interests both with unimaginable personal lost and throw in the hero battling opium and alcohol and you have a heart wrenching tale.   Taking place soon after the Civil War, Caroline Taylor has become the keeper of the Windmill Point Lighthouse in Michigan due to the unforeseen sudden death of her father.  Now she must be the sole provider for her younger two sisters and two brothers.  However, Caroline lives in a world before women’s rights and is told she will be replaced by a returning war veteran by the name of Ryan Chambers.  Ryan is not a whole man and lives with the disfigurement the war brought on not only physically but emotionally and spiritually as well.  Seeing that his addictions are crippling him to the point that he cannot perform his light keeper duties, he and Caroline make a pact.  Basically for her to become his assistant and she and her family will remain living at the lighthouse cottage.

There is an evil however that stalks Caroline and wants her out of the lighthouse for good no matter what the cost.   As Ryan and Caroline begin to fall in love with each other they are buffeted by storms on all sides.  Just when you think they are so close to their well-deserved HEA, Ms. Hedlund throws in a plot twist that literally felt like it bruised my heart.  Oh! The angst of it all!  Read this book if you must know.  I so look forward to the next in the Beacons of Hope series.

I received a copy for an honest review from The Book Club Network, Inc. and the opinions are my own.

Review: A Splash of Substance by Elizabeth Maddrey

A Splash of Substance

A Splash of Substance is my first read by author Elizabeth Maddrey and she told a very interesting tale.  Interwoven with civic duty and living a sustainable lifestyle was a love story of two young adults who are looking to live the best that they can.  And though neither expects to make a huge impact, what changes they can make for the better in their personal lives they hope will be a benefit to others.  I really liked Paige Jackson and Jackson Trent (clever concerning the names) and really rooted for them through the whole book.  We do get both sides of their story making their whole romance well rounded.  Jackson was my favorite, and though I liked Paige, she was a bit of an icy character and very, very stubborn.  Jackson had his work cut out for him.   Not only did I learn some lessons about living with the goal of sustainability but Ms. Maddrey gives us a peak into the behind the scenes workings of a political candidate and her campaign.  All in all, this story was well done and very interesting.  I received a copy of this book for an honest review from The Book Club Network, Inc. and the opinions are my own.

Stay tuned as this is just the first in her series Taste of Romance and I will be reviewing the next two soon.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Review: A Reason to Stay by Kellie Coates Gilbert

I have really been enjoying Kellie Coates Gilbert’s Texas Gold series of books and A Reason to Stay is my favorite right now.  This was such a beautiful yet terrifying story.  Beautiful due to love: a husband’s, a family’s, a sister’s, and the heart of a mother.  Terrifying because of man’s inhumanity to man.  First and foremost this novel is a book about marriage.  How sometimes it is really hard to let go and compromise instead of just seeing a lawyer and seemingly taking the easy way out.  Marriage is worth sticking together.  There were faults on both sides of this couple’s lives just as there always is.  Faith was maybe to career oriented and Geary didn’t set up boundaries with his family.   I was cheering for this couple all the way through and wanted them to stick together and when tragedy struck them, well I cheered for them all the more.  This was a poignant story of family, marriage, regrets, forgiveness, and second chances all for the sake of love, true love.  I received a copy for an honest review from Revell Publishing and the opinions are my own.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Review: The Caterpillar Cowboy by Russ Lanier, Illustrated by Whitney Lanier

The Caterpillar Cowboy is a children’s story about a caterpillar who dreamed of being the best cowboy ever.  He would sit up in his apple tree and watch the cowboys as they passed under and dream his dream.  Seeking wisdom from an owl and telling his friends that one day he would soar with the cowboys, who then in turn told him he would always just be a plain little caterpillar.  However, due to some zany circumstances this little guy becomes a cowboy and not in the way you might think.  With bright colorful illustrations that capture the action, this is a very adorable book.  I received a copy for an honest review from The Book Club Network, Inc. and the opinions are my own.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Review: Close as a Breath by Callie Grant

Close as a Breath is another addition to the Graham Blanchard series of books.  In this one we have a very curious little girl asking her daddy many questions about nature; ‘Is the air there? And why do leaves change color?’ etc. Focusing on the Romans 1:20 verse, this is a very simple yet profound way to teach a child that though we cannot see God’s face, we can see his power in nature.  Yet, He is very close to us.  Added to this wonderful message is the beautiful artwork and the love and patience the daddy clearly shows his little girl.  I highly recommend all of the Graham Blanchard books.  I received a copy for an honest review from the The Book Club Network, Inc. and the opinions are my own.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Review: The Jesus Training Manual by Richard Mull

In his book, The Jesus Training Manual, Richard Mull talks about his personal testimony and what he learned about while studying scripture and time spent in fasting and prayer.  I was interested in this book, as he was asking some of the same questions that I have often asked; why don’t we see more of the miracles, signs, and wonders that happened in Jesus’ and His disciples times here on earth?  I have been told a few reasons for that, which Mr. Mull also tackles and discusses in the book.  And while I may not have agreed 100% with everything he said he really did give me food for thought.  This is his personal story when he decided to look outside the box that he had put God into.  It is a well-organized book backed with many scriptures and also includes study questions at the end of chapters that would benefit a study group.  I received a copy for an honest review from the The Book Club Network, Inc. and the opinions are my own.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Review: Vendetta by Lisa Harris

Vendetta, I believe, is the best Lisa Harris book I have read so far.  I have always enjoyed her books, but this particular story just sucked me in and would not let me go till I got to the conclusion of this tension filled story.  Wow.  First off, this is a great warning to parents to really monitor what your kids are doing on the internet.  Especially with the popular social sites and their own cell phones; there was some really eye opening and scary stuff happening along those lines.  Nikki Boyd, a member of the Tennessee Missing Person Task Force, is called in to investigate a missing person’s case involving a young girl.  However, this case begins to take a personal turn and brings up questions of what happened to Nikki’s own sister who disappeared ten years ago.   This story takes the reader through many emotions and the biggest ones is fear and what ifs.  I look forward to the next in the series as there was the beginnings of a romance that looks like we the reader get to watch slowly develop.  I have a feeling it will be swoon worthy.  I am really looking forward to seeing where Ms. Harris takes Nikki and her team especially after reading the sneak peek to the second in the series.   I received a copy for an honest review from Revell and the opinions are my own.  

Review: Mud Puddle Hunting Day by Callie Grant

Mud Puddle Hunting Day is another cute addition to the Graham Blanchard line of books.  This is about a little girl who goes out on a wet day with joy in her heart as she is looking forward to going mud puddle hunting.  As she goes about her hunt she notices nature, animals, and the bugs along the way and even how her steps sound.  She is observing everything so that she might find the treasure.  This again is a beautifully illustrated and very sturdy hard book a young child would enjoy.  I received a copy for an honest review from The Book Club Network, Inc. and the opinions are my own.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Review: Love Everlasting by Tracie Peterson

Love Everlasting is the third book in Tracie Peterson’s series of the Brides of Seattle.  This is actually the first book I have read in this series and it stood alone well.  I was drawn first to this story simply because of the lovely cover.  Abrianna is looking at something that we cannot see and I found this to be very true of her character in the story as well, as her mind was always coming up with ideas or ways to fix problems.  She has fallen in love with her very best friend Wade and everyone expects them to marry soon.  However Abrianna is very concerned and questions if she and Wade should marry at all or would marriage ruin their friendship.  The first half of this book was a little bit slow as nothing seemed to happen but Abrianna’s going back and forth on her upcoming marriage.  But about half-way through, the story picked up at a rapid pace and took a very dangerous turn for Abrianna and all of those she holds dear.   She is now trapped in a compromise that risks the very lives of her family and friends and at the hands of a very evil man.   I was quickly turning the pages just to see how everything would work out in the end.  My favorite Tracy Peterson stories are her older ones and I felt this was reminiscent of those.  I received a copy for an honest review from Bethany House Publishers and the opinions are my own.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Review: The Greenfield Legacy by Meredith Resce, Paula Vince, Amanda Deed, and Rose Dee

The Greenfield Legacy is a family drama set in Australia taking place over three generations and written by four talented authors from down under.  This was not a set of novellas, but a continuous story of four women brought together by one woman that all share a special connection.  This was a very heartrending read at times and really dealt with unresolved issues, unforgiveness, and what happens when families try to keep secrets and let bitterness rule the day.   Not only does it deal with the women, but also the men that they love.  This story does not focus so much on romantic love, but having the freedom to love your family when you let go of the past hurt and regrets. Really, this is a very thought provoking book with many lessons that can be learned and applied to our own lives.  I received a copy for an honest review from The Book Club Network, Inc. and the opinions are my own.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Review: The Imposter by Suzanne Woods Fisher

I do not tend to read a lot of Amish fiction, just because it does not really appeal to me.  There have been a few that I have really enjoyed and Ms. Fisher’s historical, Anna’s Crossing, was the first one I have read of hers and really enjoyed it.  So I decided that I would try out one of her contemporary ones and started with her new series, The Bishop’s Family and the first book The Imposter.  I was not disappointed.  Suzanne Woods Fisher has a way with her words that keeps me interested in a story even when it is not a genre I enjoy that much.  I became very much a part of this family, the father and his six children, seeing them through their ups and downs since their mother was killed.  All of these characters were so unique.  My heart broke with Katrina as she lost whom she thought was the love of her life and faces some challenges that will change her down the road.   I felt the great weight that David carried not only for the church, but especially for his dear children as he tried to raise them up in the absence of his beloved wife.  And I chuckled and cringed many times at the situations Jesse, the 16 year old son, found himself in.  I loved his use of words and found his character so amusing that I think he might be my favorite.  There were a couple of slow budding romances that was a treat to see unfold.  If you are not sure about Amish fiction, like I was, don’t hesitate with Ms. Fisher’s stories.  I have only read two so far but I look forward to more of her lovely writing.  I received a copy for an honest review from Revell Publishing and the opinions are my own.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Review: Chased by God..and Stalked by Death by Susan Goffard

Chased by God and Stalked by Death was a title that caught my attention.  This is the true life adventures of Susan Goffard and her family.  This was an action filled story that had me biting my nails and wondering how she was going to get out of some of the very unsafe situations she found herself in.  Whether it was due to her own naivety or nature itself, her story read like a fast paced fiction novel that everyone wouldn’t believe could happen in real life.  I really enjoyed her story and testimony and through her tale she pointed out that aren’t we all chased by a loving God who saves us many times from unsafe situations while death stalks our every move.  I recommend picking this one up.  I received a copy for an honest review from The Book Club Network, Inc. and the opinions are my own.

Review: The Methuselah Project by Rick Barry

The Methuselah Project by Rick Barry was a really fun read.  Reminiscent of Captain America, it’s about a World War II soldier, Roger Greene, who is captured by Nazis and made at least partially immortal, and Kathleen Mueller, who unwittingly works for the organization that keeps him prisoner. Roger Greene must somehow survive being a lab rat and a prisoner of the Nazis- and then face assimilation into the modern world with an evil organization trying to silence him. Meanwhile Kathleen trains and waits for the perfect guy to walk into her life.  And when he does, neither of them is prepared for the assassins and danger they face.  A thoroughly exciting and romantic read and I hope to see many more such unique books in the Christian market.  I received a copy for an honest review from The Book Club Network, Inc. and the opinions are my own.

Reviewed by Jes Drew

Review: A Simple Act of Betrayal by Ren Brim

I rarely come across a book that I will keep reading where I really can’t stand the main character.  However, with A Simple Act of Betrayal, I did simply because I could tell the author really put her heart into her book and the story was intriguing and kept me reading.  David was a jerk and a womanizer and I didn’t like how everything was handed to him on a silver platter.  I did not particularly like his friends either but they added humor to sometimes a really intense situation.  By about the middle of the book my dislike actually turned to pity and I saw David for the lost soul he really was.  As I continued reading I really hoped for redemption for him and that he would change into a better person.  Throughout the story I waited for the big reveal of the betrayer and I was quite surprised at who it ended up being.

There was a lot of head hopping in the storyline and a lot of flashbacks that would happen abruptly that at times confused me as to which viewpoint we were getting.

Content warning: I do believe this is meant to be an inspirational story with fallen people living in a fallen world, however there was some content that was included that surprised me and may not be for everybody: crass talk, sexual and sensual undertones, and a bit of language and violence.

I received a copy of this book from The Book Club Network, Inc. and the opinions are my own.  

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Review: Renaissance Faire (Dall and Emily 1) by Jane Stain

This was a really cute time travel romance between Emily, a college girl, and Dall, a time traveling highlander.  Meeting at the Renaissance Faire, they spend the Faire weekends working and getting to know each other.  Emily has her suspicions about Dall being a time traveler unfortunately a certain group of people surround him at all times making it difficult to ask him.  Finally, being let in the group and getting the answers she seeks, Emily is swept back to Scotland in the past with Dall, only with a twist.  This was a lighthearted read with plenty of romance and plenty of mysteriousness to keep me turning my Kindle pages.  I look forward to the next book and so continue Dall and Emily’s story.  If you enjoy going to Medieval and or Renaissance Fairs like me, you will enjoy this book.  I received an e-copy for review from I Am A Reader Not A Writer, and the opinions are my own.

Content:  This is a clean read.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Review: Kill and Run by Lauren Carr

Kill and Run was an explosive first read by Lauren Carr.  This is a new series but with characters that others have met in her previous series.  This book deals with the Thornton clan especially with husband and wife teams Joshua and Cameron and Murphy (Joshua’s son) and Jessica.   I really liked this blended family who stuck together and supported one another even though some of them were carrying some hefty baggage.  Starting with a glimpse of how Cameron’s first husband was killed this story took off and did not let up in the action or the intrigue department.  As seeming unrelated circumstances occur, our characters are thrown together in overwhelming life and death situations.  I was quickly turning the pages to see how this story would play out and if this family would survive the killer’s intentions that seemed unstoppable.  I really, really liked this family and the passion, protectiveness, and love they had for each other.  I enjoyed the pets, even Monique the tarantula, but my favorite was the TV watching dog.   Ms. Carr has even provided a cast of characters in the beginning to keep everybody straight however, you will quickly catch on.
Content warning:  There is a lot of violence, some sex talk/sensual scenes between the married couples, some language, and the topic of rape plays a big part in this story.  None of these issues are portrayed graphically.

I received this book for an honest review from I Read Book Tours and the opinions are my own.

Author's Bio:

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, which takes place in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. Open Season for Murder is the tenth installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series.

In addition to her series set on Deep Creek Lake, Lauren Carr has also written the Lovers in Crime Mysteries, which features prosecutor Joshua Thornton with homicide detective Cameron Gates, who were introduced in Shades of Murder, the third book in the Mac Faraday Mysteries. They also make an appearance in The Lady Who Cried Murder.

Three Days to Forever introduced Lauren Carr’s latest series detectives, Murphy Thornton and Jessica Faraday in the Thorny Rose Mysteries. Look for Kill and Run, the first installment in this series, to be released September 1, 2015.

The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, editor, cover and layout designer, and marketing agent for independent authors. Visit Acorn Book Services’ website for more information.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She also passes on what she has learned in her years of writing and publishing by conducting workshops and teaching in community education classes.

She lives with her husband, son, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with the author:   Website  ~  Twitter  ~   Facebook

Monday, September 28, 2015

Review: The Lost Heiress by Roseanna M. White

The Lost Heiress

The Lost Heiress is a novel about a young woman by the name of Brook Eden who is looking for her place in the world.  Starting in the year 1910, Brook who has been living in Monoco, has just been informed by her very best friend, Justin Wildon, that he may have found her birth family.  Leaving all she knows she travels to North Yorkshire, England to meet her possible birth father.  This story is full of intrigue, mystery, familial love, romance, and of course misunderstandings and danger.  With a list of characters in the beginning I at first felt intimidated but that did not last long.  Each of these secondary characters brought their own and added such a wonderful dimension to the story.  I really liked Brook’s character: she was sunny, happy, and quite adventurous.   Her character did go through a lot and she did change in some respects, but I am glad that the core of who Brook was remained.  This was a riveting read and I enjoyed the moving romance and the very strong family bonds with a mystery that seemed behind everyone’s motives.  I so look forward to continuing this series especially after getting to know the hero of the next book.  I enjoyed reading the dedication of this novel and the author notes on how this story came to be.  I received a copy for an honest review from Bethany House Publishers and the opinions are my own.

Review: Last Chance Hero by Cathleen Armstrong

I enjoyed going back for a visit to Last Chance, New Mexico in Cathleen Armstrong’s latest, Last Chance Hero.  Getting to see and get caught up with the lives of previous characters was like coming home for a visit and I do think this is my favorite of the series.   We have two lives intersecting once again in Last Chance- the first being a home grown NFL football hero coming back to coach the high school team- and the second being a brand new doctor who has plans on opening her practice right on Main Street.   Andy Ryan is welcomed back with open arms but with high expectations of producing a winning team.  Dr. Jessica MacLeod is welcomed to Last Chance, but everyone is already set in their ways and not too interested in changing doctors.  Both have an uphill battle.  There is a thread of romance that does not overwhelm the story at all, and was very enjoyable to see unfold.   I wish we could have had more of Jess and Andy and their romance however, this book, heartfelt and poignant, did end on a very sweet note.  I hope this is not the last of Last Chance.   I look forward to more of Ms. Armstrong’s stories.  I received a copy for an honest review from Revell Publishing and as always the opinions are my own.  

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Review: A Noble Masquerade by Kristi Ann Hunter

A Noble Masquerade written by Kristi Ann Hunter was a very interesting story, but most of all I liked the writing style.  I am a huge fan of Jen Turano and when I heard that Hunter’s writing style was similar to Turano’s I knew I just had to read this book.  I can assure you I was not disappointed Hunter had the dramatic, humorous flare of Turano but also a way of writing that was decidedly her own.  I enjoyed the story and the plot line greatly and found myself on the edge of my seat- unable to put the book down- on more than one occasion.  The story starts off when Miranda, the heroine, is eight years old and begins writing for journalistic purposes to her brother’s friend, the Duke of Marshington, a man she has never met and certainly has no intention of ever mailing those letters to.  It picks up when Marlow, Miranda’s brother’s new valet mails one of her letters to the Duke of Marshington… can I just say oh, boy...  Even though I knew that it was going to happen from what I read on the back of the book I was still horrified that it happened.  The book picks up even more when… and then… and oh I was holding my breath when- well I suppose I’ll just let you read it and find out for yourself what a decidedly captivating book A Noble Masquerade is.  I received a copy for an honest review from The Book Club Network, Inc. and the opinions are my own.

Reviewed by Nicky

Review: The Mistress of Tall Acre by Laura Frantz

The Mistress of Tall Acre is another of Laura Frantz’s books that just shows what an excellent storyteller she is.  I went into this book not really knowing the premise and was rewarded with such a richly layered story.   Thankfully, I can read one of her books and know there will be a HEA, however to get there is quite a journey that can put the characters and the readers through a gauntlet of emotions.  This one was no exception and had me flipping through the pages, desperately trying not to peek at the end, to see the final resolution.  Taking place right after the Revolutionary War, this is a story of heartbreak, love, pain, and one that is hopeful.  I would even say there is a bit of a gothic feel to this tale as it is shrouded in mystery and secrets and an underlying feeling of malice.  Her characters are phenomenal yet flawed and the romance is not to be missed.   Go ahead and pick this one up and read the story of General Seamus Ogilvy and Sophie Menzies, you won’t be disappointed.  My thanks to Revell Publishing for providing me with a copy for an honest review and as always the opinions are my own.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Review: Double Cross by Diann Mills

Double Cross by Diann Mills was an action packed thriller that I was not sure the good guys would win or who could be trusted.  A scam that targets wealthy patients with dementia has targeted the wrong grandfather when they went after Houston Police officer Daniel Hilton’s grandpa.  While trying to protect his grandparents, Daniel takes this case to the FBI where he meets agent Laurel Everton who is investigating similar cases.  With a race against time and suspicious deaths of the elderly who were scammed adding up, Daniel and Laurel have to add mastermind criminal Morton Wilmington, whom Laurel had put in prison, to their team.  Morton, claiming that he is a changed man, does not have the trust of either Daniel or Laurel especially when evidence appears to point to him as part of the scheme.  This book was non-stop as this trio with plenty of past baggage, have to figure out who is the real criminal and mastermind especially when they become targets themselves.  Not only that, but Daniel’s spunky grandmother, Abby, is not going to just sit around and do nothing.  Packing her own weapon and doing her own investigating, Abby is ready to put an end to this schemer as well.  I really liked this second book in this series, not only a pulse pounding story but it also dealt with issues of unforgiveness and second chances.  I received a copy for an honest review from The Book Club Network, Inc. and the opinions are my own.

Review: All of Me That You Can't See

All of Me That You Can’t See by Callie Grant is my favorite of all the Graham Blanchard books.  The little boy on the cover is so adorable and looks like my little guy.  I really just enjoyed the simple yet profound and meaningful message this book delivers.  This story lesson is based on Mark 12:30, the little boy is learning about how his heart, mind, strength, and soul, all things that we can’t see but grow along with the body he can see.  The lovely illustrations go along with the text to show how these very important parts of us grow.  I look forward to more in this line of books.  I received a copy for an honest review from The Book Club Network, Inc. and the opinions are my own.

Review: Nickerbacher the Funniest Dragon by Terry John Barto

Nickerbacher the Funniest Dragon is a storybook about a dragon guarding a princess who would really like to be a comedian instead.  Filled with lovely illustrations and cleverly written dialog between the dragon, prince, and princess this tale focuses on the dragon for a change.  Family love and pursuing your dreams are also very important lessons taught throughout as well.  So with a happily ever after for a dragon, this is a fairytale young children will most likely enjoy.  I received a copy for an honest review from The Book Club Network, Inc. and the opinions are my own.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Review: Luther and Katharina by Jody Hedlund

I have not read all of author Jody Hedlund’s books yet, but out of the ones I have read Luther and Katharina is my favorite right now.  She tells the story of Martin Luther and Katharina von Bora’s romance in a compelling, powerful way amidst the backdrop of church persecution and a peasant uprising.  The time of the reformation was a very corrupt time and at times it was hard to read about the gruesome tortures supposed men of God did to those in their care.  As Luther deals with attempted assassinations on his life and helping those running away from the convents while spreading the truths of the Gospel, he also deals with illness and melancholy that Katharina seems to be able to soothe.  I have long been fascinated by this hero of the faith and of his wife of more than twenty years who supported and stood by him through poverty and persecution.  Ms. Hedlund makes both of these characters; their dangers, faults, passions, and ultimately their love come to life.  And they both had faults and sometimes too quick of tempers.  As always, I enjoyed the author’s notes in the back and learning new history lessons is just another bonus of this story.   This is definitely for the keeper shelf to savor again for another day. 
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.   All opinions are my own.  

Monday, August 31, 2015

Review: Until the Harvest by Sarah Loudin Thomas

Until the Harvest is the continuing story to Sarah Loudin Thomas’s first book Miracle in a Dry Season.  You do not need to read the first to enjoy this companion novel however I was glad I did as I had a much deeper connection with the town and the Phillip’s family.  Starting off with a bit of a shocker, I was not sure how this story could redeem itself.  But in Ms. Thomas’s very capable hands I was able to close the book at the very last page with a deep sigh of satisfaction.  This story deals with grief and the consequences of our actions especially when we did not make the right choices.  It is a coming of age story, and I must point out that the two matriarchs, Perla and Emily Phillip’s, handled some of the situations in this book in a fantastic loving manner.  This is not an instant love story, but shows the growth and maturing of the characters.  I also really liked the definition of family, especially when yours has written you off.  Just like the first, this one has a touch of supernatural which was very interesting to watch and the explanation for it was pure and simple.  I received this book for an honest review from The Book Club Network, Inc. and the opinions are my own.