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Showing posts from November, 2014

Love Unexpected

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Title:  Love Unexpected (Beacons of Hope Series Book #1) Author:  Jody Hedlund Pages:  352 Year:  2014 Publisher:  Bethany Lighthouses make for some of the best scenic pictures and interesting history.  For me, they are a physical reminder of how God is my strong fortress, mighty tower, hiding place and shelter.  No matter what season of life you are in, a lighthouse can remind you that He is the Light of the World.  He can light the way when storms rage and batter your world, when you cannot see your own hands in front of your face because the fog is so thick or cannot decide which direction to take in life.  I know this is true because of what the Word says about my Heavenly Father and having gone through a painful season in my own life that was unprecedented.  The really neat thing about the story you are going to read is at the end the author shares her research and thoughts along with what the story was hopefully going to remind readers. Love Unexpected speaks a word of encourage…

Love Without End

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Title:  Love Without End (A King’s Meadow Romance Book #1) Author:  Robin Lee Hatcher Pages:  320 Year:  2014 Publisher:  Thomas Nelson Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Love-Without-Kings-Meadow-Romance/dp/1401687679/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1415601941&sr=1-1&keywords=love+without+end+robin+lee+hatcher A western with a heart of romance and a love for ranch life is what I think of when I hear the title.  Two people older now and with teenagers, find themselves without their spouses.  Kimberly is a city girl who lost her husband and all she owned before moving in with her best friend in Idaho.  Chet was born and raised on a ranch and cannot imagine what made his wife leave and never care to look back on him and their two surviving sons.  Even though Chet knows the loss of their oldest son played a part in her leaving, he knew there was more but never did find out. Now, on the Leonard ranch, life gets more complete when Nana Anna moves back from Florida.  Anna came to…

The Brother's Keeper

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Title:  The Brothers’ Keepers Author:  NLB Horton Pages:  408 Year:  2014 Publisher:  NLB Horton Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Brothers-Keepers-NLB-Horton/dp/0991401735/ref=sr_1_9?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1415745840&sr=1-9&keywords=the+brothers+keepers When Camels Fly written by the same author introduces us to a world of espionage, danger and intrigue that centers on the travels of the Madison family.  The Madison family members have diverse gifts and reasons for choosing their particular career paths that take them all over the globe.  We pick up with the Jeff, honeymooning with his wife Becca, when his sister Maggie is abducted again. Now the parents along with Jeff and Becca agree to meet up and begin to try to locate Maggie by back-tracking her recent excursions.  What makes the novel so intriguing and unable to put down is the constant moving of the plot along with trying to figure out who is for or against the family and the excitement of their discoveries.  The chap…

When Camels Fly

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Title:  When Camels Fly Author:  NLB Horton Pages:  350 Year:  2014 Publisher:  NLB Horton Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/When-Camels-Fly-NLB-Horton/dp/0991401719/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1415519146&sr=1-1&keywords=when+camels+fly+by+nlb+horton Using her research, travels and imagination, the author shares a riveting tale set in the Holy Land with danger leering constantly.  When requested by either an author, publisher or via some other avenue to review a book, I check on Amazon to see what other novels have been published by the author.  Soon, I will dig into book two written by this author titled, The Brother’s Keeper, which continues the story of the travels of the Madison family. The mother, whose name is Grace, is an archeologist and her daughter Madison is a hydrologist.  Mark stays at the ranch to do the chores while his wife Grace occasionally travels.  Mark is a retired CIA agent and their son, Jeff, works as a newscaster for the BBC.  When mother and d…

The Bracelet by Dorothy Love

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Title:  The Bracelet Author:  Dorothy Love Pages:  336 Year:  2014 Publisher:  Thomas Nelson Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Bracelet-Dorothy-Love/dp/1401687601/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1417158169&sr=1-1&keywords=the+bracelet+love Author Dorothy Love adds the aspect of suspense in The Bracelet, which is not normally evident in her stories.  There is faith, romance, family, love and a sprinkle of mystery that surrounds the Browning Home where Mr. Browning, Ivy and Celia live.  The setting is Savannah during the time right before the Civil War breaks out. Celia is bothered by articles appearing in the town’s local newspaper which cast a dark cloud over the home by insinuating that murder may have happened there years ago.  Celia remembers little of this time frame as she was just a wee girl, but Ivy, her cousin, remembers more but speaks little of it.  In fact, Ivy seems to keep distance between herself and everyone. The father is in the shipping business and is kno…

Swept Away

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Title:  Swept Away Author:  Laura V. Hilton & Cindy Loven Pages:  240 Year:  2014 Publisher:  Abingdon Press Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Swept-Away-Laura-V-Hilton/dp/1426773625/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1415521607&sr=1-4&keywords=swept+away This is a tender story of a grandmother who takes care of her only granddaughter after the death of both parents; now, the aging woman has difficulties.  One desire she has is to see her granddaughter, Sara Jane, happily married before her memories become a blur.  So Sari, the grandmother, begins to play matchmaker and her choice is a man she happens upon at the Heritage Festival.  The man’s name is Andrew and he is a handyman who makes beautiful handmade brooms of all shapes and colors. Sari decides she is going to hire Andrew to do some tasks for her at the cabin that is if she can remember what they are.  Sarah Jane gets upset with her grandmother for just hiring any man to do work around her cabin without checking to…

Pound Foolish

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Title: Pound Foolish (Windy City Neighbors Series #4)
Author: Neat & Dave Jackson
Pages:  332
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Castle Rock Creative, Inc
Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/Pound-Foolish-Dave-Jackson/dp/0982054491/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_y

For the story to be thoroughly enjoyed in Pound Foolish, I highly encourage reading the other novels of the series in order Grounded, Derailed and Penny Wise before starting the latest installment Pound Foolish. Each of the novels has two tenets  that run parallel the tales introduce various people in the small suburb of Chicago and each novel focuses on one house and the characters lives inside their homes and also community interactions.
For me this novel was the best of the best thus far!  The focus is on the Singer family highlighting marriage, faith, childrearing and accountability themes to name a few.  One thread which really was encouraging for me to read about was how important it is for believers to be willing to meet with others to…

Fearless (The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown

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Title: Fearless (The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown Author: Eric Blehem Pages:  288 Year:  2013 Publisher:  Waterbrook Press Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Fearless-Undaunted-Ultimate-Sacrifice-Operator/dp/0307730700/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1416974855&sr=1-1&keywords=fearless  Navy Seal Adam Brown grew up in Arkansas whose life was lived with a born fearlessness of danger, injury, Adam through 100% of himself behind whatever he did wherever he went. Both the highlights and the lowlights are on the pages of the pages of the book not to bring attention to himself but to Jesus. Adam left instructions should he be killed in combat that people know both the skeletons in the closet as well as his accomplishments in his life.  I knew going into the book that I would tear up even though Adam is in heaven, no one can read about his family without feeling sad for what they have gone through and maybe yet going through. T…

Happy Thanksgiving!

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May you truly enjoy the day with family, friends, food, football or other activities!
Remember to give thanks to the Lord for He is good!

Spin by Darcie J. Gudger

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Title:  Spin (Guarded Book #1) Author:  Darcie J. Gudger Pages:  364 Year:  2014 Publisher:  Mountainview Books Hilarious, heartbreaking and honest are just a few words I can say about this great book from Darcie Gudger.  The story has a contemporary setting and is about a teenage girl in high school, facing bullying from just about everyone and her journey toward forgiveness. Kisrie Kelley is in high school now, but has been tormented by Wendy Wetz since kindergarten.  Wendy has harassed, bullied, humiliated, and physically hurt Kisrie so Kisrie has long since stopped telling her parents or anyone else in authority about the bullying.  No one seems to be able to do anything about it.  Wendy always seems to be able to wiggle out of being found guilty of the deed.  She often enlists others to do her dirty work, so she can never be blamed. Now, Wendy has received a bad grade on an English paper that threatens to lower her GPA.  Wendy’s dream is to win a beauty pageant and win a scholar…

The Midwife

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Title:  The Midwife Author:  Jolina Petersheim Pages:  400 Year:  2014 Publisher:  Tyndale Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Midwife-Jolina-Petersheim/dp/1414379358/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411413506&sr=1-2&keywords=the+outcast+jolina+petersheim As in her first novel, TheOutcast, the author is able to draw in the heart of the reader while delving into the story.  Sometimes when I look at the stack of books I am blessed with reading, the choice of my next book can be really hard when faced with many wonderful books or unknown authors I want to discover.  As is my practice, I wait to see which one the Lord would have me read and then share with you. I loved Jolina’s first novel and when I could, I obtained The Midwife earlier this year.  What I knew to expect would be a wonderful tale, but what I didn’t know was how I would be impacted by the book.  While I have never been a surrogate mother, I have been blessed by having two sons with my husband of over 26 years.  J…

Wonderful Lonesome

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Title:  Wonderful Lonesome (Amish Turns of Time Book #1) Author:  Olivia Newport Pages:  320 Year:  2014 Publisher:  Barbour Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Wonderful-Lonesome-Amish-Turns-Time/dp/1628366311/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1413775133&sr=1-1&keywords=wonderful+lonesome+by+olivia+newport I would have to say that this is not a typical Amish read to me; it is very different from several authors I have sampled thus far.  The setting is a town called Lonesome in the state of Colorado where twelve Amish families have come to a land with high expectations and hopes.  Abigail is the oldest daughter of one of the families who is very firm in her resolve to see the communities’ inhabitants not give up because of drought or lack of a minister. Abigail has collected various pieces of fabric from each of the twelve families to put together a quilt as a symbol of hope for the Amish people.  However, there are some hard realities that test Abigail’s resolve along wi…

If You Follow Me

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Title:  If You Follow Me (The Dunbridge Chronicles #3) Author:  Pam Rhodes Pages:  255 Year:  2014 Publisher:  Lion Fiction Neil Fisher is back as the curate in training at Dunbridge.  He is now engaged to Claire, but that comes into question when the father of her son returns to England.  Neil is still reeling from Margaret’s refusal to return to her duties, leaving Neil to carry the heavy load of doing two jobs while still supposedly in training.  He is extremely busy with church events, activities and parishioners lives and has a grueling schedule.  This drastically reduces the amount of time he spends with his fiancĂ©e, Claire.  She understands why his schedule is so crazy right now, but she still needs his reassurance that getting married is what he really wants.  He also must contend with his mother, who has moved nearby and continues to try and direct his life how she thinks it should go.  Readers are treated to catching up on the lives of the people of Dunbridge from the two p…

No Greater Valor (The Siege of Bastogne & the Miracle that sealed the Ally Victory)

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Title:  No Greater Valor (The Siege of Bastogne & the Miracle that sealed the Ally Victory) Author:  Jerome R. Corsi Pages:  384 Year:  2014 Publisher:  Thomas Nelson Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/No-Greater-Valor-Bastogne-Miracle/dp/1595555218/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1416556395&sr=1-1&keywords=no+greater+valor Each book covering any historical event or person can never quite contain all the material available, the various views or the contested aspects of an event.  I read a couple of different reviews of this book before writing my own as I was curious as to how others viewed the material and whether they agreed or not.  Suffice it to say that books are sometimes downgraded in rating for what they don’t contain or for how they were written.  Each review is an opinion and I understand that, but I would love to see people point out the positive aspects of rich, historical, nonfiction writing like No Greater Valor with the understanding it isn’t meant to be …

Ties that Bind (Book #3) authored by C. J.Darlington

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Title: Ties that Bind Author:  C. J. Darlington Pages:  402 Year:  2013 Publisher:  Mountainview Books Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Ties-That-Bind-C-Darlington/dp/0989162109/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1415088248&sr=1-3&keywords=ties+that+bind Sometimes when life seems to throw a curve, besides reading the Bible for comfort, I love to escape into the fictional world created by an author.  Ties that Bind is the final book in this western trilogy which centers around two sisters previously introduced to us in Thicker than Blood & Bound by Guilt.  Christy is the bibliophile while May loves being outdoors and ranching.  We are now introduced to an episode in their parents’ lives of which the two sisters knew nothing prior to their parents’ deaths.  Now, out of the blue, a young woman shows up at May’s ranch asking for a job, and the co-owner Ruth gladly hires her. When tragedy strikes the ranch, the new girl begins a downward spiral, and Christy knows better than …

Bound by Guilt (Book #2) by C.J. Darlington

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Title:  Bound by Guilt Author:  C. J. Darlington Pages:  402 Year:  2013 Publisher:  Mountainview Books Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Bound-Guilt-C-J-Darlington/dp/0989162176/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_y The first novel in the series, Thicker than Blood, sets the stage for the continuation of the main characters in Bound by Guilt, Mayand Christy.  The sisters have experienced the loss of both parents in a car accident plus May has feelings of abandonment when Christy took off without explanation after the funeral.  Now readers see in Bound by Guilt the intensity notched up by focusing on a teenage girl who has felt rejected all her life.  Roxie is now traveling in an RV, living a less than stellar life. Page after page shine of God’s love, forgiveness and provision as readers delve deeper into the tale.  I can say that the depiction of foster situations and group homes in the story is pretty close to reality in some though not all homes.  There are some good foster parents/homes and some gro…

C. J. Darlington's wonderful novel: Thicker than Blood

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Title:  Thicker than Blood Author:  C. J. Darlington Pages:  400 Year:  2013 Publisher:  Mountainview Books Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Thicker-than-Blood-C-Darlington/dp/098916215X/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1415046619&sr=1-1 The novel opens up with action from the first sentence until the very end, increasing intensity along the way with twists and turns in the plot!  May is raised by her Aunt Edna after the death of her parents.  Her older sister Christy hasn’t been around for years, and May has no clue where she lives or works.  Christy works for a bookstore that sells rare and collectible books they usually get through estate auctions.  May works on a ranch, which suits her to a tee.  The ranch is in danger of foreclosure, which May prays about often believing God will act but not knowing how.  Christy is struggling with the same addiction that cost her parents their lives.  May wonders about Christy’s whereabouts and what she ever did to make Christy angry.  Chri…

Susie's Hope Movie Review

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Title: Susie’s Hope   (www.SusiesHope.com) Year:  2014 Publisher:  Green Apples Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Susies-Hope/dp/B00KS6EP5C/ref=sr_1_2?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1416301223&sr=1-2&keywords=susies+hope+movie My first thought when asked to review the movie was it would probably make me cry as I am a dog lover.  The other thought that crossed my mind was concern of whether it would make animals appear more important than human life.  It is with the greatest joy that I get to say that yes it tugged my heart but no, it doesn’t elevate animals above human lives. The reason Susie’s Hope exists is due to the way God took a terrible tragedy that happened in Donna Lawrence’s life and made good spring forth.  I don’t want to reveal so much that it takes away the reason this movie exists.  I will share that God gave mankind the responsibility to care for what He created, including animals.  While I agree sometimes it seems that various organizations or people appear to c…

A Frontier Christmas

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Title:  A Frontier Christmas Author:  William W. Johnstone with J. A. Johnstone Pages:  416 Year:  2014 Publisher:  Pinnacle Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Frontier-Christmas-William-W-Johnstone/dp/0786033606/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1414913498&sr=1-1&keywords=a+frontier+christmas This is a simply heartwarming story set in the west with characters that I am familiar with, being a fan of Johnstone books.  However, whether you are familiar with the characters or authors matters not as readers will be engrossed not just in the budding romance between Meagan and Duff, but the action with increasing tension will keep you glued to the book!  A Frontier Christmas is the fourth book in the series Western Christmas Stories that also includes A Lone Star Christmas, Rocky Mountain Christmas and A Big Sky Christmas.  Each book can be read as a standalone or grab all four and be prepared to be entertained for hours! The Johnstone’s Western Christmas Stories will capture your …

Jen Turano's :A Match of Whits

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Title:  Match of Wits Author:  Jen Turano Pages:  352 Year:  2014 Publisher:  Bethany Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Match-Wits-Jen-Turano/dp/0764211277/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1414722805&sr=1-1&keywords=a+match+of+wits+by+jen+turano Since this book was the fourth one in a series and having not read the previous ones, it seemed kind of long.  I appreciated the pig Matilda and some of the funny lines that would unexpectantly crop up between characters, but there didn’t seem to be a lot of action to the story.  I realize it is a romance mainly between Agatha and Zayne, but outside of them there were parts without much to keep me glued to the pages. Both Agatha and Zayne appeared self-centered and perhaps that was the author’s intent to have readers come away disliking that character trait.  I wonder too how a female author can write about the internal thoughts and struggles of a male character and while not always completing the thoughts in the novel, the audience…

No Safe Haven...A Must Read

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Title:  No Safe Haven Author:  Kimberley & Kayla Woodhouse Pages:  352 Year:  2011 Publisher:  B & H Books Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/No-Safe-Haven-Kimberley-Woodhouse/dp/1433671166/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1415764067&sr=1-2&keywords=no+safe+haven Written by a mother and daughter team, No Safe Haven, is a journey into the dangerous and beautiful wilderness of Alaska.  Jenna is the mother of a young girl named Andie who has a rare medical disorder that can put her very life in danger in the blink of an eye.  What may startle some readers is that Kayla, one of the co-authors, does have the disorder the character Andie has in the tale where they cannot feel pain or regulate their body temperatures. The action starts from the first words on the page and only increases until the very end of the book!  Jenna’s husband Marcus is killed.  He had been in the Army, but lately his actions were leaving Jenna with an unquiet spirit.  Andie just had a major operati…

Forever After by Deborah Raney

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Title:  Forever After (A Hanover Falls Novel, #2) Author:  Deborah Raney Story Length:  387 Year:  2011 Publisher:  Howard Books This second book in the Hanover Falls Series takes place just a few months after the first book, Almost Forever, ended.  The two main characters in this story are Jenna Morgan and Lucas Vermontez.  Jenna is the widow of Zach Morgan, who was killed in the fire that took place in the first book.  Lucas Vermontez is the lone survivor of that same fire that took the life of his firefighter father, Manny Vermontez and his best friend Zach Morgan. Lucas has been in intense physical therapy for almost a year after the fire that crushed his legs under a concrete beam.  He has had to learn to walk again and still uses a cane much of the time.  He longs to be back at the station, but fears his life as a firefighter is over.  He has never wanted to do anything else.  He has struggled with depression over the last year and has had his faith in God severely tested.  He …

The Christmas Cat

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Title:  The Christmas Cat Author:  Melody Carlson Pages:  176 Year:  2014 Publisher:  Revell Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Cat-Melody-Carlson/dp/0800719662/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1413657470&sr=1-1&keywords=the+christmas+cat Readers don’t have to be cat lovers to enjoy the story Melody Carlson shares in her newest novel, The Christmas Cat.  While cats are a part of the story, they actually provide an excellent way to bring other themes to the forefront.  One of the themes I loved is the way the human heart is made for relationships.  God in his infinite wisdom made humans to be caretakers, and in this story, a young man is tasked with an unusual way to provide new homes for his grandmother’s cats after her passing. Another theme is learning what God’s plans are and realizing the joy obedience brings in fulfilling His calling for our lives.  In the novel, Garrison works hard at finding a job after returning from working as a missionary overseas.  When …

After All (Hanover Falls #3)

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Title:  After All (Hanover Falls #3) Author:  Deborah Raney Pages:  348 Year:  2012 Publisher:  Howard Books This third and final story in the Hanover Falls series focuses on Susan Marlowe and Peter Brennan.  Susan lost her husband in the devastating fire at the homeless shelter that she ran that took place in book one.  Peter Brennan was the fire station chief tasked with bringing her the news of her husband’s death.  The story begins approximately 18 months after this event.  Susan has started up another shelter, but is having trouble making ends meet financially at the shelter.  She is also having trouble with some of her volunteers keeping their commitments to the shelter.  She calls the fire chief of her husband’s old station to see if someone can stop by to check the new smoke detectors that have been installed at the shelter.  The chief himself shows up to do the checking and then he and Susan go out for coffee.  A friendship develops and soon Susan realizes she is ready to mo…

Lost Legacy (Treasure Seekers #1)

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Title:  Lost Legacy (Treasure Seekers #1) Author:  Dana Mentink Pages:  218 Year:  2012 Publisher:  Love Inspired Suspense Make sure to fasten your seatbelt before even opening the book, because as soon as you do the adventure takes off and doesn’t let up until the end!  There is danger, mystery, action, grief, forgiveness, anger, and oh so much more going on that it is truly a fun tale to read and share with a friend or family member. Brooke walks into an office seeking help in locating an unsigned missing painting by famous artist that is rarely known in the art world.  When she is at first turned down by those she seeks help from, upon leaving the building, Brooke spots a woman who has been following her.  She waits for a cab and the next thing she knows she is being pulled out of her chair as the first floor windows in front of her shatter, leaving the woman who was following her dead. Now, if that little tidbit doesn’t get your heart racing, I am not sure what will as from that …

Dreaming on Daisies (Love Blossoms in Oregon #3)

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Title:  Dreaming on Daisies (Love Blossoms in Oregon Series Book #3) Author:  Miralee Ferrell Pages:  384 Year:  2014 Publisher:  David C. Cook Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/Dreaming-Daisies-Novel-Blossoms-Oregon/dp/0781408105/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1414576616&sr=1-1&keywords=dreaming+on+daisies+by+miralee+ferrell I found it interesting that the author began collecting Zane Grey novels, which I am familiar with through my Nana collecting Louis L’Amour novels, when she was a teenager.  One way to look at this was how one author impacted and inspired another author a generation later.  Also, being familiar with how westerns were and are written and doing her research has allowed Miralee to write very compelling tales.  The other books in the series are Blowing on Dandelions, Wishing on Buttercups, Forget Me Not (novella) and ending with Dreaming on Daisies. Miralee is also a counselor who includes some of the issues she has helped others cope with and work …