Monday, July 28, 2014

Sidetracked

Title:  Sidetracked
Author:  Brandilyn Collins
Pages:  301
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Challow Press in partnership with Christian Writers Guild Publishing
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book from the author via www.bookfun.org
Brandilyn Collins does it again!  She has mastered the suspense genre and shows her expertise in Sidetracked.  With the clever use of flashback, readers get the history and background of Delanie Miller, the main character in the book.  She has settled in the small town of Redbud, Kentucky.  She longs for a man to love, marry and have a family with and seems to have found that man.  She is going home from a good friend’s wedding shower, when she discovers a dead body.  From this point on, she agonizes over whether to get involved in solving the crime or not.  If she becomes known to more than the people of her small town, the chances of her past being exposed increase exponentially.  Is she ready to give up the life she has carved out for herself?  Will her boyfriend understand her lying about her past?  Can she face getting involved with the police again?  Can she let an innocent person suffer for a crime he didn’t commit?
As the investigation and plot progress, Delanie’s past is put before readers as well as her present.  Readers relive the frustration, anger, unbelief at the lack of justice and bitterness she has experienced as well as deep depression.  Now, forced to face her past instead of burying it deep within puts extreme strain on Delanie’s mind and heart.  She reaches for the only One who can see her through this seemingly impossible situation.  She had turned away from God in bitterness in her past, but her soul eventually cried out for Him.  She began praying and trusting Him again and her life slowly improved.  Can she continue to trust Him with her life or will she again succumb to bitterness at the injustices she has suffered?
This is another great suspense-filled mystery by Brandilyn Collins.  The characters are easy to relate to and their life situations believable.  I loved the eccentric people Delanie collected to be the family she missed out on in the past.  I didn’t give too many details about the story because it would ruin the impact of reading it for yourself.  Don’t miss this great, attention-keeping novel!  I can’t wait for the next one!
My rating is 5 stars.
Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/Sidetracked-Jerry-Jenkins-Select-Books/dp/0578137062/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1404334978&sr=1-1&keywords=sidetracked+by+brandilyn+collins
Note: The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Stain of Guilt

Title:  Stain of Guilt (Hidden Faces #2)
Author:  Brandilyn Collins
Pages:  353
Year:  2004
Publisher:  Zondervan
After reading the first book in this series and finding it just so-so, I was hesitant to continue reading the series, but I’m so glad I did.  This second book takes place soon after book one, Brink of Death.  Annie has continued with her training to be a forensic artist by taking classes.
Annie Kingston is hired to draw a sketch of an alleged murder, who has been on the run for 20 years.  Her drawing will appear on a famous television show that hunts down wanted criminals.  In order to draw an accurate, age-accelerated image, Annie interviews people who worked the crime scene of the murders as well as family members of the victims and criminal.  While “getting inside the head” of this evil man in preparation for drawing him, Annie is also dealing with a delinquent teenage son.  Her son is involved with drugs and hanging out with the wrong crowd.  Annie also is dodging making a commitment to the Lord.  In the last book, she promised she would seek Him.  She has started going to church, taking her children, but won’t make the move to make Him Lord of her life.  She doesn’t want to give up control.
As Annie begins her interviews, she receives an anonymous threat.  She quickly involves Detective Chetterling, who was also the acting detective in the last book.  She refuses to bow to the threat and continues her interviews.  Then, she begins her drawing.  She is almost finished when she is kidnapped and held as a hostage.  She manages to escape and pledges to make God the Lord of her life.  New evidence is discovered for this 20-year-old case.   Annie realizes the truth about who is guilty of murder.  Will she be able to use this to prevent more violence?  Will she follow through on her promise to God?
This book seems to have lots more tension that builds up to a great climactic scene at the end of the story, which I thought made for a great story!  Annie is depicted as a single mother with real problems that anyone can relate to, which made her easy to identify with and care about.  Her journey to a saving faith also rang with truth.  The struggle to maintain control when at the end of your rope, wondering why you still want control of such a messy life was so real!  I’m looking forward to reading book three!!
My rating is 5 stars.

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/.  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Lawman's Oklahoma Sweetheart

Title:  The Lawman’s Oklahoma Sweetheart (Bridegroom Brothers #3)
Author:  Allie Pleiter
Pages:  288
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Love Inspired
Are you like me, one who loves to sit down to read a good book that has a lot of action, adventure, perhaps even a smidgen of romance?  I love reading a lot from writers who share their stories and help audiences everywhere to get lost in the pages of book as taking a break from reality for just awhile can be like a fresh breeze.  Here is tale set in the late 1800s in Oklahoma.  The sheriff is a man who is pursuing evidence against a gang known as the Black Four.
These Black Four men are attempting through nefarious means to cause people to sell their land and vacate the premises immediately.  What first begins as cutting fences and running out livestock escalates to murder.  The members of the gang appear in public to be upstanding men, but in the dark of night they carry out their plans to remove landowners, then disappearing before anyone can recognize them.  Sherriff Clint Thornton along with Brave Rock citizen Lars Brinkerhoff hatches a plan to capture these dangerous men so the townspeople and ranchers can live in peace.  However, the plan they come up with is dangerous plus it calls for Lars to be dead, which is the hardest part of all lying to Lars sister Katrine along with the town folk.  The Sherriff’s brothers cannot even know of this plan for fear that the very men Clint must trap might overhear whispers of the truth that Lars is in hiding and very much alive.  Clint reluctantly tells Katrine of the plan only after she swears to tell no one, but he has to agree to let her write him and take the notes back and forth.
Historical stories are very captivating to me, especially when the characters have faith in the Lord along with facing difficult times, dangerous situations and also sweet moments.  Westerns are enjoyable to read and the author crafts a great story that kept me turning pages till I was done!  While romance is part of the story, there is more to the characters like their faith, making a living, and being part of a community.  Like most people I love to cheer for the good guys to win in the end, and the sacrifice from some of the characters in the tale reminds us of the cost of freedom.  I loved the twist in the storyline the author threw in when I least expected it!  That was great!
Don’t pass up the book!  In fact, if you’re like me, you would want to know the titles to the other two books in the series which are The Preacher’s Bride Claim and The Horseman’s Frontier Family.
My rating is 5 stars.
Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Horseman's Frontier Family

Title:  The Horseman’s Frontier Family (Bridegroom Brothers #2)
Author:  Karen Kirst
Pages:  288
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Love Inspired Historical
Gideon Thornton is the central figure of this tale along with a young widowed woman named Evelyn and her son Walt.  The land grab in Oklahoma is what causes their paths to cross, even though the families have a standing feud going back to the War Between the States.  Gideon’s father was killed in the war and the cousin who became his son’s caretaker was a harsh man.  So as soon as they were old enough the three brothers leave to begin life somewhere else.
The Thornton’s reputation in Brave Rock had been slighted due to the Chaucer family spewing the feudal words taught to them by their now deceased parents.  Evelyn had been the only girl and her marriage was not as it appeared to her brothers.  So when Gideon and Evelyn are forced to cohabitate on the same land until the judge can decide who rightfully owns the acreage the stage is set for either the feud to continue or an agreed upon peace.
Gideon finds that the longer he is around Evelyn and her young son he is fighting to keep the deep pain hidden in his heart from the past.  Evelyn has her own hidden past, but her main concern is why her son Walt no longer talks since the death of his Dad.  Now the close proximity brings about a connection not only between these two adults, but also between Gideon and God once again.
Bridegroom Brothers was first brought to my attention by reading the third book, The Lawman’s Oklahoma Sweetheart.  I had never read any of the Love Inspired Historical novels, so when I looked further I discovered the other books.   I recommend that you read them in order, which I unknowing didn’t as the third book brings about the conclusion of a mystery started in the first novel, The Preacher’s Bride, continuing in this book.  I really enjoyed being able to sit down and get lost in the tale filled with faith, romance and adventure!
My rating is 5 star.
Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457