Sunday, June 21, 2015

Review: Desperate Measures by Sandra Orchard

This was an amazing and awesome read.  The suspense started from page one and did not let up.  The writing was excellent and the characters really walked off the page.  Speaking of characters, I really liked Tom.  He was such a stand up guy and was so in love with Kate.  Kate has a really hard time trusting and sometimes it was a frustrating part of her character.  Especially since Tom was the one she tried the hardest not to trust.  However, when it was all said and done he was the only one she knew she could trust.  This is a third in the series and the first one I have read, both by author Sandra Orchard and in the Port Aster series.  Ms. Orchard’s writing was such that I was able to read the last book in the series and not be lost.  With that being said though, I am going to go back to read the first two and see what I have missed and I would like to see from the beginning the characters development and how the relationships evolved.  I thank Revell Publishing for sending me a copy for an honest review.  The opinions are my own and I look forward to reading more by Sandra Orchard.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Review: Man Quest by Mike McCormick

Man Quest is a workbook experience for a father and his son to do together over a period of time.  Broken down into six guideposts, lessons are taught and questions are asked of both father and son.  Peppered with scriptural verses, this workbook experience really delves into deep thoughts and shows the Biblical viewpoint versus the world’s viewpoint of a man, who he is and his purpose.  At the end of each guidepost there is a recommended movie for a father and son to watch and discuss together.  After going through the lessons and exercises there are tips on how to plan a weekend excursion and a sample schedule of activities for father and son to experience together and alone.   I think this is a great exercise for a father to become closer to his son and to teach and guide him.  The author states at the beginning that this is his love letter to his sons and the reasons why he was moved to develop and write this.   The following are the six guideposts which are taught in Man Quest: Accept responsibility, Lead courageously, Pretend about nothing, Journey with God, Protect your heart, and engage in deep and meaningful relationships.  I really enjoyed the six rugged truths the author includes at the end, they are great points for everyone.   I received an e-copy for an honest review from The Book Club Network, Inc. (TBCN) and the opinions are my own.

I wanted to point out that this book is available in e-book and print as well.

Review: From the Start by Melissa Tagg

Have you ever felt like all the windows and doors are shut in your life and you just don’t know where to go or what to do next?  In From the Start that is what our two main characters are facing.  Colton Greene is a former NFL player, retired much too early due to an injury and Kate Walker is romantic screenplay writer who doesn’t believe in romance anymore. Both have come to Kate’s hometown to help out her family after a tornado brings disaster.   Now Kate had not met Colton before and the scene when they first meet had me laughing to the point of tears.  This is a story of life’s ups and downs, disappointments, illness, and natural disasters.  But ultimately hope and purpose.  Can these two navigate all the craziness of life to a happily ever after?  This was a wholesome romance that touched on some deeper issues like cancer and foster care.  I received a copy for an honest review from The Book Club Network, Inc. (TBCN) and the opinions are my own.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Review: Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor by Melanie Dobson

Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor

Melanie Dobson has written a very thoughtful, heartbreaking and at times heart-wrenching novel.   This is a family drama that affects several generations of women and the men that they love.  Told from multiple points of view, we have 45 year old Heather, who after the death of her father needs to go back to the family home in England and get it ready for sale.  Burdened by secrets of her own, she and her daughter Ella begin going through the home and its contents.  Heather uncovers her late older sister Libby’s book of drawings of butterflies.  As her parents never really shared any information with her concerning her sister and her death, only that she was sick, Heather decides to learn more about the sibling she never knew.  We the reader, like Heather, are then pulled into a story of secrets, lies, forbidden love, family sin, sickness, and even murder.  As Heather is learning all this, she then realizes that even her secrets are just too costly to keep.  This was a riveting read with a Gothic feel and I enjoyed Ms. Dobson’s way of telling the story in both the past and the present, always keeping us on our toes with wanting to find out how each story will resolve itself.  Bravo.  I look forward to more of her books.  I received a copy of this book for an honest review from the author and the publisher, Howard Books, and the opinions are my own.

Review: Once Upon a Summertime by Melody Carlson

Once Upon a Summertime is a sweet lighthearted romance about a young woman who has worked hard to get where she is in her career and yet has unfulfilled dreams while still living in her hometown.  When a chance of a lifetime presents itself to Anna for an opportunity to work in a brand new boutique hotel in New York City, she decides to go for it.  This is her journey to not only her dream job, but also to true love as well.  She experiences bumps along the road as she learns to navigate the busy streets of the big city as well as the desires of her heart.  This was an easy read and a cute romance with a guy that seems just too perfect in Anna’s eyes.  With summertime upon us and vacations starting up, I did enjoy learning through Anna’s responsibilities as a manager about the hospitality aspect of hotels.  Especially the difference between a hotel that is a budget one and focused on only the basics versus one that wants to make your stay an experience itself.  I received this book for an honest review from Revell Publishing and the opinions are my own.  

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Review: Together With You by Victoria Bylin

Together With You by Victoria Bylin is such a beautiful and well told story.  First off I think the cover is stunning and one of my favorites.  Second the author wrote about a birth defect called Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder in a very educational and emotional way, especially when a small part of the story was told through Penny’s eyes (the little girl who has that birth defect in the story).  I thank the author for the notes at the back on how she personally came across a child with the disorder. The love story was between the nanny and her boss and I felt the romance was done well and showed how and why each struggled with their feelings.  There were a few unexpected twists that took place that shocked me and had me riveted to this book.  I especially enjoyed how this book was not preachy, yet it did have the Gospel message and it was told in a very relevant way.  And yes, it can be that simple and profound.  I highly recommend this one and I look forward to more of Ms. Bylin’s stories.  I received this book for an honest review from The Book Club Network, Inc. (TCBN) and the opinions are my own.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Review: After a Fashion by Jen Turano

If you need a cute rom-com story I think Jen Turano is the go to author for that.  In her book After a Fashion, she had me laughing out loud and reading with pleasure about the antics of the characters and the ridiculous circumstances they found themselves in.  This story is a little bit of My Fair Lady with a touch of Sleeping Beauty and a dash of The Importance of Being Earnest- you will just have to read the book to know what I mean.  This was a hard to put down book for me due to its whimsical nature and the thread of danger and deceit that was just lurking in the background. Capturing my attention from the very first page, including a surprising twist I did not see coming, this book is a favorite for 2015.  I look forward to the next book in this series after the very cute epilogue.  I received a copy for an honest review from The Book Club Network, Inc. (TBCN) and the opinions are my own.

Review: The Art of Losing Yourself by Katie Ganshert

Very close to a true to life story, The Art of Losing Yourself by Katie Ganshert is a story of broken people living in a broken world.  Alternating between two half –sisters, one of whom is Carmen, a married meteorologist, and the other is Gracie, who is a senior in high school.  Sharing the same alcoholic mother, both have already started out with issues.  Carmen is dealing with infertility and her marriage is suffering for it. She has started to hit rock bottom stemming from a couple of melt downs.  Gracie, sarcastic and dealing with abandonment issues, decides to move in with her sister and her sister’s husband.  In the midst of losing hope, both sisters find solace in fixing up the old family motel.  We also get to see both sisters’ views of faith and God, and the realization that Christianity is not a magic fix.  We are not promised a problem free life; however, we are promised help.   This story really deals with the brokenness of life and coming to the point to be content no matter what the circumstance is.  And that maybe through it all we will see that God’s hand was in everything.  This is a lesson I hope to long remember.
FTC disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

About the Author

Christy Award finalist, Katie Ganshert is the author of Wildflowers from Winter and Wishing on Willows. She lives in Iowa with her handsome husband, their dinosaur-loving son, and their goofy black lab, Bubba. When she’s not busy writing or playing or reading or snuggling, she is obsessing over the paperwork and the waiting that comes with adoption, which she and her husband hope to complete sometime before they are fifty.

Review: Love's Rescue by Christine Johnson

Love’s Rescue by Christine Johnson takes place in the Key West during 1850.  This is a story of a young woman, Elizabeth, coming home after her mother has passed away to help take care of her father and crippled brother.  Leaving her home four years earlier after the devastation of a hurricane and her brother’s accident, she left with her parents’ wishes to find a suitable spouse.  However, her heart was already involved with a wrecker by the name of Rourke O’Malley.   Returning to the Key’s with her older Aunt and still unmarried, she does not receive the homecoming she was hoping for.  Her family, still intent to see her married to a gentleman of their choosing, Elizabeth fights her deepest feelings for Rourke even though she knows it is useless to give up on him.  Facing an unhappy future, Elizabeth discovers family secrets that turn her world upside down, and she realizes she may not have known her mother and father well at all.   Infused with family secrets, history, adventure on the high seas, issues with slavery, and romance, this story has a beautiful message of what love is and what love can sacrifice and forgive.   I received a copy for an honest review from Revell Publishing and the opinions are my own.  

My Thoughts and More on Mabel and the Little Green Men by Susan Kimmel Wright

  About the Book Book: Mabel and the Little Green Men Author:  Susan Kimmel Wright Genre: Cozy Mystery Release date: October 5, 2023 The la...