Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Christmas Gift for Rose is Very Special!

A Christmas Gift for Rose
Tricia Goyer




Book Summary: Award-winning author Tricia Goyer writes a heartwarming novel of faith and family in her first Christmas novella. Born in the midst of the hardships of The Great Depression, Rose grew up in Berlin, Ohio, in the arms of a loving Amish family. But she is overwhelmed by self-doubt when she learns the truth of her birth. She was born Englisch and abandoned when her family moved West in search of work. Was she meant to be Amish, or would she have been better off growing up with her own kind---Englischers? And was her intended's gift of discovering her birth family given out of love or fear? Inspired by a true story, A Christmas Gift for Rose is a heartwarming novella of sacrifice and deep love.

Review: This was a sweet and wonderfully written story about family, faith and love. A love that transcends our earthly relationships and shine on the love of God. It was inspiring and gave me much to ponder. Rose and her Amish parents were so well written that I felt like the room cam alive with them and their home. The landscape and events were so vivid that it was very real. Rose’s struggle and those of the other characters was very moving. It celebrating the true spirit of Christmas self sacrificial love.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Zondervan Fiction for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Firewall was an Intense Thriller

Firewall
DiAnn Mills




Book Summary: After a whirlwind romance, Taryn Young is preparing to board a plane at Houston International Airport, bound for a dream honeymoon, when a bomb decimates the terminal. Injured but still alive, she awakens to discover her husband is missing and they’re both considered prime suspects in the attack. Further, the FBI is convinced her husband isn’t who he appears to be. Agent Grayson Hall’s number-one priority is to catch those responsible for the day’s act of terror. All evidence is pointing to Taryn and her new husband. But his instinct tells him her pleas of innocence are genuine. Is her naivetĂ© just for show, or could she truly be another victim of a master scheme, possibly linked to the software she recently developed for her company? With both their lives and reputations on the line, and the media outcry for justice increasing with each passing minute, Taryn and Grayson have no choice but to trust one another . . . and pray they can uncover the truth before they become two more casualties.

Review: From the moment I started the book right through the very end it was non-stop! The action and story was moving so fast that I was on pins and needles for the majority of the time. I had to put the book down just to calm my pounding heart. The twists and turns were fantastic! It was as if the bad guys always knew where she was and there were so many of them that I was just daunting at times. Taryn was a multifaceted character with lots of personality and easy to like and empathize with. She was exceedingly smart, surprising in the things she did and well written. This is the first book by DiAnn Mills that I have read and I will be looking forward to reading many more.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Tyndale House Publishing for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Inn at Last Chance was Unique

Inn at Last Chance
Hope Ramsey




Book Summary: Jenny Carpenter is the unrivaled pie-baking champion of Last Chance, South Carolina's annual Watermelon Festival and the town's unofficial spinster. With her dream of marriage and children on hold, she focuses on another dream, turning the local haunted house into a charming bed-and-breakfast. But her plans go off course when the home's former owner shows up on her doorstep on a dark and stormy night . . . Mega-bestselling horror writer Gabriel Raintree is as mysterious and tortured as his heroes. His family's long-deserted mansion is just the inspiration he needs to finish his latest twisted tale, or so he thinks until he learns it's been sold. The new innkeeper proves to be as determined as she is kind, and soon Gabriel finds himself a paying guest in his own home. As Jenny and Gabe bring new passion to the old house, can she convince him to leave the ghosts of his past behind-and make Last Chance their first choice for a future together?

Review: I am torn on this book. There were some things I did like and some things I did not like. Jenny and Gabe were as different as night and day. Ms. Ramsey almost succeeded in making Gabe so dour that I did not like the entire fighting and strife that was the first 25% of the book. I almost stopped reading it. I liked parts of the middle when things were moving along with the inn and the dog. I could have done without the ghost. I liked the secondary characters of Zeph, Nita, Sheriff Rhodes, and Maryanne. They helped the book along tremendously. I loved the setting of Last Chance, SC to be fun the description were well written and painted vivid pictures of all the settings. Overall the book was not as much my style of reading that I thought it would be. I do think the author is a talented writer. Her use of words and description were vivid and well done. Her storyline was consistent and well developed.

I would like to thank Net Galley and Forever (Grand Central Publishing) for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Hopeful: Return to Sugarcreek, Book One was Powerful

Hopefu: Return to Sugarcreek, Book One
Shelley Shepard Gray




Book Summary: In the Amish town of Sugarcreek, love comes in many forms. But will it come at all for Miriam? Miriam Zehr has worked at the Sugarcreek Inn longer than she cares to admit. The restaurant is a favorite of town residents as well as the many tourists who come to taste the famous Amish fare. Though she always tries to have a smile for every customer, deep down Miriam knows something's missing: a family of her own. Miriam has never felt particularly beautiful, especially because she's always been a bit heavier than other girls her age. When Junior, the man she's pined for all her life, suddenly seeks her out, she's thrilled to be noticed . . . until she realizes he's only asking her to help get the attention of Mary Kathryn Hershberger, her pretty friend. If Miriam helps Junior court Mary Kathryn, she'll get to spend a lot of time with him, but she might lose him in the process. Are these few stolen moments worth a lifetime of sacrifice? Is Miriam right to even hope for the life she dreams of?

Review: I really loved this story line. I found Miriam and Junior to be well written and believable characters that you could be empathetic to while rooting for Miriam to have her hero at the end no matter what happened. I found the plot and the other characters to be just as enjoyable. I could not believe how quick it was to read. There were no surprised yet it was a great book. I believe that the strong characters and a well written story to be the key to this book Shelley Shepard Gray did an amazing job writing this story! Every book she writes just seems to get better and better.
I would like to thank Edelweiss -Above the Treeline and Avon Inspire for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Plain Faith is Awesome!!

Plain Faith
Irene Eash, Ora-Jay Eash, & Tricia Goyer




Book Summary: This is the true story of Ora-Jay and Irene Eash, Amish farmers from northwest Montana whose lives changed in an instant when a semi-truck struck the family buggy, killing their two young daughters. After the accident, the couple turned to their Amish community for comfort, but they remained haunted by the thought that they might not see their girls again in heaven. Would their deeds be good enough? Eventually Ora-Jay and Irene learned that grace---not works---was enough to ensure their place in eternity. But with that knowledge came the realization that they could no longer live in an Amish community that didn’t share this precious belief. Could they sever their connection to the Amish family they loved? This is the story of their journey to the hope that is heaven, a hope stronger than the loss of children, family, and a way of life. Fans of Amish fiction will appreciate such a real-life look into the Amish community, co-written by bestselling author Tricia Goyer, and readers of all kinds will resonate with this tale of courage, resilience, and the redemption found in the grace of Jesus.

Review: This is a well written book about an amazingly tender, sad, joyful and tragic story. I loved the switching back and forth between Ora-Jay and Irene. Trisha Goyer did a remarkable job of keeping their voices while working with them to write this book. I loved their honesty in telling of their leaving the Amish life. It was beautiful and tragic insight into the Amish life. I came to respect their love and care for their families and friends. It truly painted a fair and loving account of their community and the difficulty leaving that way of life. I have read other books about leaving the Amish life which demonstrated the challenges of leaving along with being under the ban, but this story was mature and more tragic because they were leaving for a greater life and desperately wanted their family and friends to enter into this greater life. I enjoyed everything about these people and found them to be open and honest. It seems to me it would be a privilege to know them!

I would like to thank Net Galley and Zondervan Non-Fiction for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Seagrass Pier is Thrilling!!!

Seagrass Pier
Colleen Coble




Book Summary: In a secluded corner of Hope Beach, one woman must decipher a stranger’s memories . . . before they cost her everything. Elin Summerall was one of the lucky ones. Not only did she get a heart transplant, but the donor was a perfect fit. A miraculously perfect fit. But when Elin begins having violent flashbacks—and vivid dreams of being strangled—she realizes that she has been the recipient of more than just a new heart . . . Elin is remembering her donor’s murder. Her strange affliction has attracted some unwanted attention: from the press, from the authorities . . . and from the killer himself. Now, living alone with her young daughter and aging mother, Elin is being stalked—by a man she’s only met in her nightmares. The police are dubious of her story, but one off-duty FBI agent is eager to help her: Agent Marc Everton, the father of Elin’s daughter. Of course, he doesn’t know about that. Yet. Now, in a remote cottage on Hope Island, Elin and Marc must probe the secrets buried in her borrowed heart. And there’s no time to waste. One man is desperate to silence her—before she remembers too much.

Review: I love Colleen Coble books and this one is another winner. It is a great standalone book with some of the previous characters showing up from the other Hope Beach books. I loved the secondary mystery and was a little sad this was not played out a little more, but was just as exciting. I loved the mystery and was putting the pieces together as Marc and Elin were. They made a fun couple to read about and the entire book was filled with an enjoyable storyline and great characters. They were introduced slowly and blossomed the storyline even greater. Since I began reading Colleen Coble’s books the one quality that has never changed is the spine chilling fun that her mysteries pack in them.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Thomas Nelson Publishing for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Death Takes a Ride and it was a Wild Ride!!

Death Takes a Ride
Lorena McCourtney




Book Summary: Cate Kinkaid arrives at H&B Classic Auto Restorations to give a friend a ride. But, as usual, trouble finds Kate even there--this time in the form of one dead man, one wounded man, and what appears to be a pretty obvious case of self-defense. Owner Matt Halliday wants to hire her, but not for this case. Instead, Cate is charged with finding a man who owns a particular motorcycle Matt would like to buy. As her search progresses, she begins to suspect that the shooting in Matt's office may not have been as cut-and-dried as it appeared.

Review: I loved this book! It is a great series and at the same time a standalone book. Easy to read and a brisk storyline make for a suspenseful mystery! I did figure out the who and the why but it was so much fun to see it all come together that I could not put it down. I loved Cate and Mitch - they make a great team. I am hopeful for more stories but if this was the last in the series I can see them working together to track down hackers and other suspects. This was my first book of the series and I can not wait to read the other ones. I was predisposed to like this series when I started it because of Ms. McCourtney’s other books but to me this book was culmination of series she wrote. The suspects were realistic and memorable. Well written overall and believable. This PI was what you would really expect - rote work, occasional excitement and stumbling on things no one wants to be part of. These are all the elements wonderfully blended to make the story seamlessly written. Candy, Lily, Andy, Matt and Shirley were realistic people caught up in life. I really liked the parts with Candy and Cate together. They made a funny duo, it is the humor of these things that were tastefully blended throughout the story that made the entire book five stars!


I would like to thank Net Galley and Revell for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Julotta is an Early Christmas Present

Julotta
Tracie Peterson




Book Summary: Esteemed author Tracie Peterson brings to life the Swedish community of Lindsborg, Kansas, in 1887. Sigrid Larsson may be resigned to spinsterhood, but she is not ready to sell the family homestead and move in with well-meaning relatives. When a dashing young man from the railroad approaches her, followed soon after by her neighbor, Erik Lindquist, Sigrid is thrown into confusion. On whose arm will she attend the Julotta, a Christmas morning worship service?

Review: This was the first book I ever read by Tracie Peterson. It a book that made me laugh, cry and read read. I loved the Sigrid who is a spinster with the best and worst of problems to solve during the holiday season - 2 suitors. It is full of cultural details and historic details. I loved the learning about the customs and the characters were very realistic. It is a quick read filled with the spirit of Christmas and Christ.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Unshaken is the Woman of Faith

Unshaken: Ruth (Lineage of Grace #3)
Francine Rivers




Book Summary: A beautiful retelling of the story of Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz. Ruth gave up everything, expected nothing, and God honored her. Readers will be encouraged by the truth that God will faithfully provide for His children even when all hope seems lost.

Review: My favorite of the series. It is a magnificent retelling of the story of Ruth & Boaz. Ms. Rivers does a reverent writing of this story with details that are fiction but believable. She honors the scriptures but set up this retelling with scripture and historic details that go together beautifully. I loved the entire series but this novella was my favorite.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Murder at the Mikado was Full of Suspense!!

Murder at the Mikado
Julianna Deering




Book Summary: British High Style Meets Old-Fashioned Detective Work in This Witty Series. Just as Drew Farthering thinks his life has found smooth waters, Fleur Landis, an old flame, reappears in his life. She's married now, no longer an actress, and he expects she'll soon disappear--until she comes to him in dire need. The lead actor in her old troupe's production of The Mikado has been murdered, and Fleur is the police's number one suspect. Drew would love nothing more than to just focus on his fiancé, Madeline, and their upcoming wedding, but he can't leave Fleur in the lurch--even if she did break his heart once. As Drew, Nick, and Madeline dive into the murder, they discover more going on behind the scenes of the theater troupe than could ever have been imagined. Nearly everyone had a motive, and alibis are few and far between. It's Drew's most complicated case yet.

Review: I really liked the third book in the Drew Farthing series. I found Madeline more human and less standoffish. She was exactly what a heroine should be. The mystery was great and realistic. I found Drew to be the main constant who was fun to read and a strong character along with Nick. The secondary characters were realistic and brought out the solid storyline that I heard Ms. Deering wrote. I enjoyed the mystery and went back and forth in my mind as to who did it and concluded who I thought it was, although many things were thrown into the pot to keep me questioning my conclusions. This made the ending quite suspenseful. I found Fleur to be well written with her wishy-washy ways toward men and other! I am hopeful for a book four to tie up some loose ends!

I would like to thank Net Galley and Bethany House Publishing for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Let Me Be A Woman in an Unisex World

Let Me Be A Woman
Elisabeth Elliot




Book Summary: The author combines her observations and experiences in a number of essays on male-female relationships. In these days of conflicting demands and cultural pressures, what kind of woman do you wish to be? How should you respond? What should you think? Elisabeth Elliot is one of Christiandom's most able and articulate writers. In this profound and moving book she presents her unique perspective. Now married a third time after losing two husbands through death, she offers golden insights which apply to the single, the married, and the widowed.These notes on womanhood, written to her daughter Valerie a few weeks before Val's marriage, are a gift of lasting worth for all Christian women.

Review: This is a fantastic book for any woman to read. I loved the humble and godly advice and wisdom that Ms. Elliot possess. She is a favorite of mine. I love how she breaks down the culture and the call on a woman who belongs to Christ. This is must read for me yearly. I need the guidance of woman who have walked the hard steps of this world and kept on going with Christ’s help and guidance. I believe this book is just as relevant today as it was when she first wrote it. Books like this are disappearing from the Woman’s section of Christian bookstores.

Friday, July 4, 2014

A Match of Wits and Love

A Match of Wits
Jen Turano




Book Summary: After his departure from New York two years ago to meet up with his almost-fiance, Zayne Beckett is the last person Agatha Watson wanted to stumble upon in her travels as a reporter with the New York Tribune. Quite pathetically bedraggled, he clearly needs to be taken in hand and sent back East to his family. Although she no longer has feelings for him, Agatha realizes, by hook or by crook, she'll have to be the one to get the obstinate man home. Zayne has no desire to be taken anywhere and is prepared to drag his heels all the way home. . . until he finds himself slipping back into the familiar banter of his former friendship with Agatha. Once they arrive in New York, Zayne realizes Agatha's determined nose for news has earned her a few enemies, and he hopes to repay her help with some help of his own. When she rebuffs all his attempt to prove himself a knight in shining armor, the lengths to which they'll go to win this battle of wills lead to some memorable antics. Everyone else may think them a match, but nothing could be further from the truth--until Agatha finds herself in real trouble. Have these two stubborn, too-smart-for-their-own-good people been meant for each other all along?

Review: This was a fun story with strong characters. They were the same as they started out as in Change of Fortune. It was a fun storyline! There were great twists and turns that made the story great. Going from Colorado back to New York provided a great change of scenery and a great first meeting after two years apart. Drusilla and Francis brought added humor and interesting secondary characters to the story. The madcap adventure that Agatha takes everyone on whether she tries to or not is always fun. The plot was solid and all the characters were believable and realistic. This story was just as exciting as when the series started. Easily to read whether within the series or as a standalone.

I would like to thank Net Galley and Bethany House Publishing for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.