Saturday, April 30, 2016

Woodland Miracle (An Amish Wonders Novel #2)

Title:  A Woodland Miracle (An Amish Wonders Novel #2)
Author:  Ruth Reid
Pages:  352
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson
My rating is 5 stars.
Whew!  This one really had me on the edge of my seat with every page I turned…wow!  I thought I couldn’t read fast enough as the suspense and danger in the book kept climbing!  Grace is the oldest child who has had to shoulder the care for the house and her younger siblings.  What has made it more difficult is Grace’s disability and at times fear.
Ben and Toby were sent to Michigan by their fathers to stay and hopefully mature while working for an uncle.  However, when they arrive, the uncle isn’t expected to return for weeks because he has gone timbering.  Oh, but there is danger lurking as a man said to be dangerous by police may be in the area while Ben at first toys with Grace’s feelings.
The suspense and twists with turns in the plot kept me up most of the night reading as I couldn’t close the book.  The tension is set on high throughout the book and readers never foresee where the author is going to take the story.  I love reading novels that tell a good story and keep me engrossed while also entertaining me.  I wasn’t disappointed!
I hope you read all three books in the series as they are worth the time to enjoy and share with friends and family.  Now, I must move on to the third book titled, A Dream of Miracles.  I hope to hear about your reading, sharing and thoughts about the books soon.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  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.”

A Miracle of Hope (An Amish Wonders Novel #1)

Title:  A Miracle of Hope (An Amish Wonders Novel #1)
Author:  Ruth Reid
Pages:  352
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson
My rating is 5 stars.
One of the best aspects of the series is there is a riveting story in each novel filled with suspense, romance, faith, heart break and redemption.  In this first book, a young woman has a marriage arranged by her brother who doesn’t know what happened one night when his sister didn’t come right home after the singing gathering.  When Lindie turned up pregnant, her brother arranged for her to leave Ohio and marry a complete stranger in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
At first Lindie and Josiah enter marriage as a commitment with boundaries that only these two know about.  The closer it comes to Lindie’s due date the more Josiah looks sickly and is afraid a past illness has resurfaced.  Now, will they both enter these trials believing God can heal and deliver them or will their faith crumble?
I really was captivated by the story and eagerly anticipate reading the next two books in the series.  While the following book isn’t tied together to book one by characters, it takes place in the same area.  Book two is titled, A Woodland Miracle followed by book three, A Dream of Miracles.
I really like being able to sit back and read a good tale for hours without having to filter some aspects I read in other books.  I have been to the UP in Michigan and it is beautiful, and I am sure very cold as portrayed in the novel when winter comes.  The author doesn’t just focus on Amish, but writes a captivating tale that makes readers unable to put the book down.  I hope you enjoy her books too!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  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.” 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Loving Leah Author: Lynn Larson

Title:  Loving Leah
Author:  Lynn Larson
Pages:  208
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Covenant
My rating is 4 stars.
The setting of the story is when Quantrill hit Lawrence, Kansas with devastating and deadly results.  The novel focuses on one family’s hardship of losing their mother to an illness while their father is off to war and then the raiders hit.  The father of Ethan and Addie hires a governess who is a Mormon.  She was orphaned young and wanting to work her way to Utah.
For me, the novel was riveting in historical details and focusing on this one incident helped me understand more of what occurred.  Included in the book I believe is a lot of Mormon history which helps to understand what and why they believe what they do.  Plus knowing what they went through historically I found of interest.
In many ways the heartache, broken lives, and need for forgiveness and restoration is accurately portrayed.  While I don’t agree with the theology of Mormons, I can appreciate what many sought historically as well as today, which is freedom to worship in America.  The book is a clean, well-researched and well written tale that can be enjoyed by simply ignoring the Mormon teaching interwoven in the book.
For history buffs of the Civil War this is a good tale to learn about that time period, which is why I choose to read the book.  No matter who writes or publishes any book always be discerning and let the Word of God and not man be the basis of truth.

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.”

At Home in the Father’s House


Title:  At Home in the Father’s House
Author:  John Sheasby & Ken Gire
Pages:  192
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Worthy
My rating is 5 stars.
When you see this short book in the store, don’t mistake it for having nothing to impart to your heart.  As you look at the cover perhaps think of what you can glean from a man who has been a servant and now understands what it means to be a son.  In order to understand the previous statement, reading the book will clarify this.  In case you need a tidbit in order to read it, understand that it is for all who long for a closer intimate walk with the Lord.
The author is originally from a different nation, but that doesn’t matter as the human heart is very much identical regardless.  The heart yearns and cries out for God to save, to love, to speak and so much more!  Like others who experienced a legalistic background the author helps us understand freedom in Christ as he shares very transparently the journey the Lord took him on.
After each chapter there is a prayer to help facilitate talking with the Lord about what you gleaned from the chapter.  Feel free to adapt the prayer to where your heart is and the cry of your soul.  It only takes a short time to enjoy reading At Home in the Father’s House, but I guarantee you won’t soon forget what is written on the pages.
After you’re finished with the book, consider buying one for a friend or family member that you know would really be impacted by the message.  I have it on my shelf in my family library for my sons to read or a friend to borrow.  What about you?

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.”

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Snow Out of Season

Title:  Snow Out Of Season
Author:  Christy Brunke
Pages:  288
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Mountainview Books
My rating is 5 stars.
What an original, confusing, suspenseful and heart-rending novel!  Wondering what it’s about or why I describe the novel as I do?  Well, it’s a story about two pregnant women in different stages of life.  One is a teenager in 1979 while the other lives in 2014 and their stories seem as different as night and day.  However, they both have at least one other thing in common other than being pregnant and that is both women have known deep heartache.
What is apparent in the beginning of the book such as the plot or theme of the book becomes quite apparent at the end.  The novel is a heart-gripping story that explores themes such as problematic pregnancy and teenage pregnancy with at least a point of view of how it affects the teenager.
This is one of the most different types of stories I have ever read in my life.  While not understanding it, there seemed to be a constant pull for me to go deeper and farther into the book.  My heart was engaged at times; it hurt for what the character was feeling and at other times it was joyous.  While the pregnant teen had friends with one wanting her to get an abortion, another wants to let family adopt it or are there other options?
Continuously going between 1979 and 2014 the author keeps the audience wondering what is the tie between these two pregnant women?  Or is there one?  What is the point of the book?  Whatever you do, read and be touched by the dramatic story written with so much heart it’s amazing.  Having read it, I can now understand why it was an award winner.  You definitely won’t be the same person when you’re done as when you started.  I loved the story and sure hope you do as well!

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.”

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Close to You


Title:  Close To You
Author:  Kara Isaac
Pages:  373 (ARC)
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Howard Books
This is an absolutely delightful, contemporary, romantic comedy set in New Zealand.  The two main characters are Jackson Gregory and Allison Shire.  Both characters are dealing with several issues and are thrown together for a three-week bus tour of all things J.R.R. Tolkien.  Allie is the tour guide with a luxury tour company and is charged with making memories for her group via unique outings to various film locations for the movies The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy.  She has a master’s degree from Cambridge and knows just about everything about Tolkien and his famous works, but due to circumstances beyond her control has taken this job to pay debts.
Jackson Gregory was a rising star in the investment world when his ex-girlfriend stole a million dollar idea from him and took it to the competition, making Jackson’s company go belly up.  Jackson was forced to sell all his assets to pay on his losses and has only the clothes on his back left.  His wealthy great uncle is a huge Tolkien fan and asks Jackson to go along with him on this tour as his assistant.  Jackson agrees so he can garner his uncle’s money to invest in a new idea to make money to pay back his former investors as well as get back on top of his game.  The only problem is Jackson knows nothing about Tolkien and is okay with that.  What follows are some truly funny moments between Jackson and Allie as well as great chemistry and dialogue.  Jackson’s great uncle is also a terrific addition to the story.
This story was really top notch.  I usually steer away from contemporary romance, but this one grabbed my attention.  There was plenty of humor, depth of characters, sparks flying between the two main characters, and recognition that a relationship with God must play a central part in our lives.  I had several laugh out loud moments with some hilarious scenes that were so well-written I could picture them happening and felt part of the moment.  This is the debut novel for this author and it sure is a good one!  I am looking eagerly looking forward to what she has in store next for readers.  This is one you won’t want to miss, so pick up your copy today!
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.”

Monday, April 25, 2016

Song of Silence

Title:  Song of Silence
Author:  Cynthia Ruchti
Pages:  320
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Abingdon
My rating is 5+ stars.
This is a very moving tale that won’t soon be forgotten by this reviewer.  This is a story about a woman who taught music only to lose her job 19 years later.  Readers will journey with her as she deals with the emotional ramifications. The program she ran was originally started by her father and now she feels as though she has failed him because of the closing of the program.
What follows after the introduction to the character Lucy, who was a music teacher, will keep audiences’ hearts gripped till the very end of the book.  I enjoyed the author’s portrayal of how Lucy and her husband Charlie each handle Lucy’s unemployment.  For me, I thought it was accurate to portray the longing of a woman’s heart for understanding from her mate and the times that fail to occur.  Poor Charlie kept attempting to try and restore the light in Lucy’s eyes and the passion in her heart, only to learn he couldn’t.
There are family dynamics that bring even more elements to the plot, along with interesting twists in the lives of some characters.  I saw a very realistic reflection of how life at times can throw many curves at us sometimes one right after another before can regain our balance.  Yet, through the story, we are reminded that while suffering is not pleasant or sought, deeper revelations of God plus what is a new season of life right around the corner were exceptional aspects of the novel.
I was enthralled from the moment I opened the book until I finished the last page.  It wouldn’t surprise me at all if this work of fiction is shared with others via friends and family.  I have a feeling many can relate to the situations crafted in the storyline.  So grab a chair and get ready to be touched deeply by the latest novel from this author’s pen; it’s a magnificent piece!

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.”

Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Rules In Rome Author: A. L.Soward

Title:  The Rules In Rome
Author:  A. L.Soward
Pages:  304
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Covenant
My rating is 4 stars.
I am a fan of novels set during the WWII timeframe.  A. L. Soward has written a story that draws readers in by using espionage, spying, and codes for transmitting reports to the Allies about what was happening in enemy territory.   There is a romance building between the lead male and female characters that is constantly being played down by them so that they can focus on their assignments.
In a way, it was easy to enter the imagination of the writer because she aptly describes the scenes with detail.  Both Bastian Ley posing as a German Officer and Gracie Begni as a radio transmitter begin finding it difficult to stay in character as different people as they are continuously drawn towards each other.  There is always danger of being found with the radio and codes or turned in by someone who is really a German spy which adds the tension element to the tale.
For me, I would have preferred more action scenes than are included in the story, but that is a personal opinion.  I believe people would enjoy reading the spy novel to see how these two people especially get their roles played out without reverting to their true selves.  I think Gracie knowing her job as a transmitter without any undercover experience, making her dependent of her male counterpart was a stroke of genius on the author’s part.
The other element the author added that brings what happens later in the novel to the forefront is the history Bastian had before going under cover with another agent.  I cannot wait to see what new adventure A. L. Soward brings for readers to live out in our imagination through her next novel!

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.”

Friday, April 22, 2016

The Calling of Ella McFarland

Title:  The Calling of Ella McFarland
Author:  Linda Brooks Davis
Pages:  376
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Mountainview Books
My rating is 5+ stars.
What a captivating and thrilling journey it has been in this historical novel!  There are many themes one could glean such as trusting the Lord with vengeance, not worrying about the speck in one’s own eyes while there is a plank to be removed first, redemption, trust, love and hope.  The story tells about family life in the early 19th century with the suffragette movement and the ruin brought to many lives through alcoholism and lawlessness.
The faith of the McFarland family is steady and the foundation the parents taught to their children and grandchildren firm.  While not all members embraced it or understood it at first in the tale readers will see the trust placed in the Lord, the decision to love another above self and prayer being a major comfort in life not just when trails come.  The trails that Ella endures throughout the book touch the heart and draw the audience further into the book as the plot thickens.
I loved how the author had two sets of parents who loved their children, prayed for them and had to watch with broken hearts the choices they made.  Yet, both sets of parents realized the responsibility for making their choices was on the shoulders of their grown children, and the friendship was strengthened.  I enjoyed how the plot reveals how God uses things in our lives to bring us to a point of understanding Him along with His work in the lives of those around us.
I am astounded that this novel is a debut novel as it read more of a story from the pen of an author of experience.  The author shares her love of reading and how family history was passed down through the generations.  While the story contains a couple antagonists it is really the remarkable redemption in the hearts and lives of characters that portrayed both the good and evil that can be within the human heart. I loved how the author describes the reality in many ways of a person who follows the Lord including when bad, heart-breaking or evil experiences touch their lives.
I really cannot wait to see what will proceed next from this new author.  She has gained a dedicated follower from this reader for sure!

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.”

Thursday, April 21, 2016

West for the Black Hills (Dakota Sunrise Book #1)

Title:  West for the Black Hills (Dakota Sunrise Book #1)
Author:  Peter Leavell
Pages:  350
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Mountainview Books
My rating is 5 stars.
Oh boy, I so cannot wait for the next installment in the Dakota Sunrise series!  I love the western genre anyway and Peter Leavell is a new author to me.  In his novel, he incorporates a whole host of unique people living in Dakota’s small town called Mitchell; this is before Dakota was a state.  The male lead character is an orphaned boy named Philip Anderson.  Philip lost both his parents when their wagon was attacked by robbers.  Sounds simple, right?
Now enter an Indian male named Running Deer who Philip at first thinks is going to kill him, but Running Deer and the braves help Philip in a couple ways.  The female lead is a character named Anna who Philip quickly falls in love with, but when he doesn’t vocalize his heart, Anna is crushed.  Here comes the antagonist named Jacob whose sole ambition is to own the townspeople through bullying, and he has every intent of forcing Anna to become his wife.  Then, life in Mitchell really gets interesting and dangerous!
The interaction between Philip and Running Deer along with other Indians shows the level of care Philip has for all people.  There is mystery written in the story too, which keeps readers turning pages to see which one of the many hints shown to us answers Philip’s questions.  For a first book in a series, the author lays a lot of groundwork, which is very interesting and not boring at all.  Each page turned revealed a new aspect to the story or character that kept ramping up the tension in the book.
Yes, I wanted the romance started between the lead male and female character to work out and I hope the author plans on doing so in the next book.  I really cannot wait to see what new dangers the antagonist will bring to the life of Philip Anderson along with seeing where his search for the answers to his questions leads us readers.

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.”

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder (Herringford & Watts Mysteries)


Title:  The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder (Herringford & Watts Mysteries)
Author:  Rachel McMillan
Pages:  224
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Harvest House Publishers
As an avid mystery fan, I saw the description of this book and immediately wanted to read it.  I enjoyed the setting in Toronto with two female detectives as the lead characters in 1910.  These two women face challenges daily as they try to forge their way into an exclusively male career.  Merinda is supported by her wealthy parents while Jem has been disowned by her parents and works in a department store to earn her keep.  Both women have been told to find husbands, start a family and keep house.  That is what women are supposed to do, right?  These ladies beg to differ.  They set out to discover a killer of two, young, Irish women.  This is their first really big case and Merinda especially is determined to succeed. 
During the course of their investigations aided by Jasper Forth, a police detective as well as Ray DeLuca, a reporter for the local rag, Jem and Merinda begin to unravel the clues that lead to a murderer.  Jem and Merinda are threatened, chased, manhandled with Ray coming to the rescue more than once.  The mayor is up for re-election and the chief of police has taken Jasper off the case.  So Merinda and Jem don disguises to continue their investigation.  However, in a desperate attempt to avoid capture, the killer kidnaps Jem.  Can Merinda, Jasper and Ray find her before it is too late?
Negatives:  I would have liked more background on how Jem and Merinda met and how they became interested in detective work.  Maybe that information was included in the first novella, which I haven’t read.  I didn’t much like Merinda in this story as she appeared to me to be callous, selfish and uncaring toward everyone.  Hopefully, in the next book her character will grow more compassionate.
Positives:  I loved Ray’s character.  The information included on immigrants was also interesting.  I hope to see more of Jasper in the next story as well.  I also liked the funny footnotes at the bottom of some of the pages as well as the snippets included at the beginning of each chapter from the detective handbook.  I liked the shorter chapters and the author’s note.  I look forward to the next mystery for Herringford & Watts.
My rating is 4 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.”

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Breaking Free Author: Jennifer Slattery

Title:  Breaking Free
Author:  Jennifer Slattery
Pages:  320
Year:  2016
Publisher:  New Hope
My rating is 5 stars.
We all know relationships can bring joy and sorrow, love and pain just to mention a few words regarding human interactions.  When a relationship is compounded by something that brings bondage, it complicates matters.  In marriage, while bringing to the human heart more than words express, let’s face it, it is work.  At times it doesn’t seem to take any effort and in others seasons much work while each day we must lean upon the Lord to fulfill our vows.
In Breaking Free, the author shows us the possible shattering effects alcoholism can bring to a marriage and relationships with the children not to mention other friends.  Here is a story of a woman named Alice who must face her naked heart, but where can she go to share her burden where transparency doesn’t become gossip in the friendships she has in church?  Alice is afraid of sharing the truth with anyone.  After all, she is a teacher and what will they think of her when they find out not all is perfect in her home?  Trent’s refusal to seek help causes the family to lose everything.  Now what are they to do?
In a heart-gripping story, readers will see how when human hope fails and when we surrender our life to God, He alone does amazing things.  Before God can work or we surrender, we really do have to hit the very bottom.  In the tale that is exactly what happens and in learning to live each day in God’s hands, both experience a hope that is living and beyond words!  I think the book shows too that we have a choice always in how we respond to the person in bondage, and our choices can affect others both in the home and outside.
I sat reading all night long from start to finish.  I read because I can relate to the call of alcohol in my life many years back as well as what I saw happen in my extended family because of alcoholism.  For me, God delivered me from it and the hardest part was throwing it all out!  I think those who call on Christ must be attentive to how we treat others within the Body as we see what the real cost is of masking our true self from others.
So the challenge is to love as Christ loved us, making hard choices and practice touch love if that is how God leads us.  Finally, I think learning to be the hands and feet of Jesus in a way that covers sins instead of exposing them for all to see, especially when they aren’t our own is needed.  Great novel Jennifer and thanks for sharing with us readers again!

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.”

Monday, April 18, 2016

Our President & Their Prayers (Proclamations of Faith by America’s Leaders)


Title:  Our President & Their Prayers (Proclamations of Faith by America’s Leaders)
Author:  Rand Paul & James Robsin
Pages:  160
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Center Street
My rating is 5 stars.
When looking at the title, one might tend to think it contains pages upon pages of prayers with little else to offer and that would be a wrong conclusion.  Inside the covers are pages that grant us a glimpse in the hearts and minds of various Presidents.  Included with portions of prayers are explanations into who the man was, what he thought or experienced in life and how he felt.  These Presidents felt deeply about America and how blessed she truly is in how she was conceived and more.
Readers are reminded of history some of which I wonder has ever been taught or made available to Americans as a whole.  One reads this book and quickly captures the heart of solid belief that without God or a hand of Providence America would cease to be.  There may be ideas expressed or history understood with a particular viewpoint, but isn’t that what makes our nation great?  We can express our hearts, minds, souls and be humbled by being reminded that “God governs in the affairs of men.” (Benjamin Franklin)
Here is a book that should grace the shelf of homes across the land so that for generations to come a resource is nearby from which to remember our history and the exhortation to stand fast in our day!  We need to have books and other media to share with others who don’t know or understand America.  We must remain vigilant lest we make the price many have paid null and void.
God Bless America!

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.”

Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Great Train Massacre (Matt Jensen Last Mountain Man #10)

Title:  The Great Train Massacre (Matt Jensen Last Mountain Man #10)
Author:  William W. Johnstone with J. A. Johnstone
Pages:  368
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Pinnacle
My rating is 4 ½ stars.
J.A. Johnstone has earned her own acclimation and admiration for her novels the more I read them.  Each western author brings to the audience either a realistic tale or more of a fantasy type.  Here is a story that is filled with western flavor, danger, romance and suspense.  Early on in the novel I sort of figured out who the antagonist was while he was trying to bring about the demise of a wealthy industrialist along with his only child, a daughter.
Yet, it became quite apparent that the author knows how to throw a reader’s scent off the trail of the bad guy.  Many times through the book the audience will be captured by the constant danger always on the heels of John along with his daughter Mary Beth and their body guard Matt Jensen.
Matt Jensen is quite capable of handling various forms of danger and threats having been taught much wisdom by Smoke Jensen while Matt was growing up.  I enjoy novels of the western genre with cloak and dagger activity, underhanded people attempting to gain advantage over others, and the quick draw.
The only minor distraction toward the end of the novel was Mary Beth’s play for Matt’s attention.  While the author takes great pain not to describe anything and leave much to reader’s imagination, I was hoping for a different ending.  Yet, even with the ending, I enjoyed the tale and look forward to other new stories as well as some of the classic westerns from the Johnstone family.
Will you join me on an adventure?  This book has lots to offer those brave enough to delve inside the pages!  So saddle up! 

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.”

Friday, April 15, 2016

Sit, Stay, Love (Love Unleashed)

Title:  Sit, Stay, Love (Love Unleashed)
Author:  Dana Mentink
Pages:  224
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Harvest House
My rating is 5 stars.
Dana Mentink brilliantly writes a tale and draws readers in by connecting it to an elderly dog.  Before I forget let me share with you that the second novel in series will come out July 2016 titled, Fetching Sweetness, and I cannot wait to enjoy that book!
Cal is a major league pitcher with some major league hurts and disappointments in his life.  Gina is the woman who is hired originally to dog sit for Cal’s dog Tippy though Gina longs to be a teacher.  With a touch of realism where every move Cal makes shows up in social media and fans surround him, Dana has written a very cute story.  At first, I thought and hoped that since the dog was elderly that it didn’t involve the dog not making it until the end of the tale.  However, I am glad to say that Tippy thrives just fine throughout the book.
There is the main thread running throughout the work of fiction of the heart’s search for love based on who one is and not their job or income.  Faith, romance and some crazy moments fill the pages of interaction with Cal, Gina and a dog named Tippy.
Don’t pass up this novel focused on those themes of the idea that family is most important even if it includes a dog who loves cheese balls!

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.”

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Lady Helen Finds Her Song

Title:  Lady Helen Finds Her Song
Author:  Jennifer Moore
Pages:  225
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Covenant Communications, Inc.
This is a charming love story set in 1813.  Lady Helen Poulter has traveled to India with her mother and step-father.  On arrival, she finds everything about the country fascinating.  She quickly comes to admire the people, places and events of India.  Her fellow Brits are not so kind in their thoughts and attitudes toward this country.  They find them to be heathens, the climate unbearable and the country disease ridden.  They make Lady Helen feel inferior for her fascination with and enjoyment of her newfound culture.  She finds a kindred spirit in Captain Michael Rhodes.  He is a British citizen who was born in India, schooled in England and then returned to India via service in the army.  He has always found India to be home to him.  He also finds Lady Helen has quickly stolen his heart, but is he too old for her?  Is there any way he can compete with the younger, handsome Lieutenant Arthur Bancroft for Lady Helen’s heart?  Are they destined to remain only friends?
I loved the setting of this story and watching Lady Helen learn her place in this new culture as well as learning to make decisions about her life.  The political climate and how to navigate through it as well as 1800 society was interesting.  The writing is crisp, vivid and clear, making me feel like I was right there alongside Lady Helen in India.  Lady Helen and Michael were wonderful characters that were genuine; there was nothing artificial or fake about them.  This was my first time reading this author and I look forward to reading more from her pen.
My rating is 4 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.”

The Mapmaker’s Children (A Novel)

Title:  The Mapmaker’s Children (A Novel)
Author:  Sarah McCoy
Pages:  336
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Broadway Books
My rating is 4 stars.
The Civil War era is a personal favorite of mine to read about either in fiction or nonfiction.  For me, this is the first of Sarah McCoy’s books to read.  Here she takes readers between two time periods.  One is at the time of the Civil War, John Brown and the Underground Railroad.  The other is the present day where a married couple is wrestling with infertility and find out the home they now own was once a part of the Underground Railroad.
Both Sarah, who is John Brown’s daughter and Eden are trying to find their place in life as women who are unable to bear children.  Children are usually expected or desired in marriage and depending on culture, it’s a sign the marriage is successful.  Eden’s character is very different by the time the reader reaches the end of the book, which is captivating.
Sarah’s story for me was more interesting as it was full of historical scenes and time is taken to develop her story.  Eden’s tale happens within a shorter time frame and perhaps because it is more present day I didn’t find it as interesting or captivating.  Either the author could have written two separate novels in order to develop Eden’s story better or just shared with reader’s Sarah’s journey.  So much more could have been included about the Underground Railroad, John Brown’s life and Sarah’s artistic gift.  Overall though the novel was enjoyable and interesting, I will be watching for what the author decides to share with us next!  At the end of the book the author shares her pictures and interesting notes from her research.

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.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Worth Dying For (A Navy Seal’s Call to the Nation)


Title:  Worth Dying For (A Navy Seal’s Call to the Nation)
Author:  Rorke Denver
Pages:  240
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Howard
My rating is 5 stars.
Worth Dying For is a very interesting and inspiring read. Rorke delivers a deep message of understanding for people without understanding of the military world.  Worth Dying For certainly delivers some very fine points on being a leader, when it is right and when it is wrong to kill, what we can do more for those who sacrifice so much for our freedoms, and being of service in one way or another.
In each of the ten chapters, Rorke addresses some major issues that some people (perhaps many) are fully unaware of or choose to ignore. This book shows what SEALs are capable of and Rorke certainly delivers some lessons that we civilians can learn from:  leadership, service, thoughtful, and open-minded. I would recommend this book to others because it shows what the military stands and fights for. And because I believe that God has a plan for Rorke to bring understanding to civilians and members of our military.
Thank you for your service Rorke and God bless.
 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.”


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

True Reagan.........a must read & personal library addition!

Title:  True Reagan (What made Ronald Reagan Great & Why it Matters)
Author:  James Rosebush
Pages:  288
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Center Street
My rating is 5 stars.
President Reagan was in office as I went from high school through college.  There were words, speeches or actions by the President I could recall to mind pretty quickly.  Then, I sat down and read through True Reagan in one sitting, alternating between the inner character of the man as well as busting out laughing at some of the ways Reagan expressed himself.
As I read I was impressed with knowing more about his family background and how that shaped the man he became in life.  I learned some of the sorrows and trials he went through in his formative years and as an adult; after all, no one can walk through this life without knowing both.  It was really touching to see what he read and committed to memory and how being President at times wasn’t the easiest of jobs to hold.
Early in the morning I was towards the end of the book when the author stated a quote from President Reagan and I just lost it!  In fact, my husband woke up and I told him and he proceeded to laugh as well.  Ronald Reagan was courageous, a risk taker, a student who if his subject was unknown to him he sought whatever avenue could help him learn about it.  I never realized how much of a strategist he was or one of the few times he lost his temper.  There were many thoughts going through my mind as I read about the man; yet, one was most pressing, “Who can be a leader as he was for our times?”
No one can take or imitate Ronald Reagan.  Like all of us he truly was one of a kind, but the virtues he lived by can become a part of anyone’s life if they so choose.  For his values, traits, and character were steeped in Scripture and in classic literature, both of which are available to all today.  President Reagan didn’t talk about his walk with God, but he showed it time and again.  After you read the book, I hope that like me you will commit to being more determined to live selflessly, others-focused and God honoring.
As Reagan knew it was his time to do what God called him to do; now we too must know it is our time to do what God has called us to do.  It will take humility, belief in God and fellow Americans, and something akin to the sense of humor this President unlike any other Presidents exhibited and restore hope to our nation in her time of need.

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.”

Monday, April 11, 2016

Back in the Saddle (A Double S Novel #1)

Title:  Back in the Saddle (A Double S Novel #1)
Author:  Ruth Logan Herne
Pages:  320
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Multnomah
My rating is 5 stars.
First, let me say that the next book in this series will be released October 2016 titled, Home on the Range.  Now, to the story set in book one, Back in the Saddle.  Readers are introduced to a ranch named the Double S and the Stafford family.  Sam is the patriarch who is widowed and battling a liver problem and some injuries given to him by a cow.  Angelina is the housekeeper/cook and a whole lot more on the ranch where she cares for the father along with the ranch hands.  The son Nick has been the main mind and work horse on the ranch even when his wife up and walked out.  Now returns the prodigal son Colt who left years ago to work in the financial arena on Wall Street.  Colt never planned on returning, but when the market changed, he lost his job so to the ranch he returned.   The third son Trey is a Christian singer who travels much, but with his father’s health issue he plans on taking a break come spring.
Sam has undergone a heart transformation due to the Lord and hopes to have time to mend his relationship with each of his sons.  Angelina is falling in love with Colt, but can she give up her plans to return to the Seattle police force?  As time and family life develop in the story readers will enjoy the intriguing way the hearts of the sons do and perhaps don’t change.
I think Ruth Logan Herne has crafted a believable story of a family and each individual son, which is believable and enjoyable.  The Lord has changed the atmosphere in the home and in Sam.  Will those heart transformations reach Colt and Nick?  I really thought it brilliant that the widowed mother of Angelina wanted to be busy and enjoyed doing work on the ranch such as cooking and laundry.  Perhaps we forget that as we grow older we don’t want to be put away but be of use and be with people we love and care about.
I am wondering if the author plans her other books to focus on the other two sons Nick and Trey as well as the family and ranch as a whole.  Well, in October of this year we will all see won’t we?  I am excited and highly anticipate enjoying book two, Home on the Range.  Will you join me?

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.”

Friday, April 8, 2016

1 Peter (A Living Hope in Christ) Bible Study Book

Title:  1 Peter (A Living Hope in Christ) Bible Study Book
Author:  Jen Wilkin
Pages:  143
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Lifeway Christian Resources
My rating is 4 stars.
With so much of our society, including various parts of the Body of believers, this study couldn’t have come at a more important time.  It doesn’t take a person long to hear the hopelessness they feel or the lack of encouragement received in daily life.  The book of 1 Peter both encourages and exhorts believers to understand more deeply the God we worship as well as understand the why of suffering.  There is also direction to look deeper into the Word and treasure the Scriptures more than any other book.
One of the most effective ways to study the Bible is inductively, which is how this study is laid out over nine weeks.  At the beginning of each week, participants will read through 1 Peter before focusing in on a segment of the letter Peter wrote.  There are videos that can be purchased for download or on DVD for individual use on the Lifeway store website.  Here is my one disappointment in the study as the price seems high and may make it out of reach for those on a tight budget.  However, I encourage women to do the study even if they cannot get the videos, which I didn’t purchase.
In a small group setting, it would be fun to see how others marked their manuscript and what popped out to them as they read and reread a particular portion of Scripture.  What is a manuscript?  Well, it is just having the Word of God without titles or the commentary at the bottom of most Bibles or cross references.  In the study guide is the manuscript for 1 Peter using the English Standard Version (ESV).  Since I am more familiar with the NIV, I simply copied and pasted 1 Peter onto a document, removed the titles of the chapters and sections, and there is my 1 Peter ready to be marked up!
Each lesson is broken down to five days of homework that don’t take much time to work through, approximately 20-40 minutes depending on how the Spirit leads you.  Remember to pray before starting and be open to going with the Spirit’s leading because God will speak to you in your heart when you obey.  Since I couldn’t afford the DVDs, I was able to glean a lot of my information from the introduction to 1 Peter from a couple different study Bibles and commentaries.  The main purpose of any study of the Bible is to come to a deeper knowing of Who God is and what He has done in the past, which encourages us followers today.  As you glean a deeper understanding of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, your heart will be changed as you sense Him so close to you that human words fail to convey.  Be saturated, be encouraged, be brave!

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.”

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Calico Spy (Undercover Ladies #3)

Title:  Calico Spy (Undercover Ladies #3)
Author:  Margaret Brownley
Pages:  320
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Shiloh Run Press
This is the third book in the Undercover Ladies series and introduces the Pinkerton Detective Katie Madison.  She is on her first case that deals with murder.  She has apprehended robbers, thieves and other criminals with great success, but never a murderer.  She is sent to Calico, Kansas after two women are killed.  They work as Harvey Girls as waitresses.  Katie is sent in undercover as a waitress.  Well, she has no waitressing experience, which makes for some sticky situations for her.  Katie begins to see Branch as more than a partner in crime solving, but what kind of future might they have together?
Sheriff Branch Whitman doesn’t like Pinkerton agents or their operating methods, but he has no idea that Katie is really an agent.  He has tried to solve the two murders on his own, but doesn’t have a clue as to the identity of the murderer.  He soon learns Katie’s real identity and they agree to work together to solve the crimes.  He has been guarding his heart ever since the unexpected death of his wife in a tornado, but Katie has been able to sneak into his heart.
This story was average for me.  It started out slow and took some time to introduce all the characters.  The identity of the murderer was predictable.  I guess I was looking for a little more tension and suspense in the story.  However, I did like how the Harvey Girls banded together to help along the romance of Miss Thatcher.  Katie was great in her dealings with young Andy.  I also appreciated the faith element in the forefront of Branch’s and Katie’s daily lives, learning to trust the Lord no matter what. 
My rating is 3-1/2 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.”

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Stealing Jake

Title:  Stealing Jake
Author:  Pam Hillman
Pages:  384
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Tyndale
My rating is 5 stars.
The reason I love books is because they can take my mind on an adventure or build up my faith; they are more entertaining than any other form or venue of entertainment.  With a book, you can share with anyone over coffee or a coke.  Above all, anyone can pass down to the next generation a love of reading.  When I was a little girl, my Nana read westerns written by Louis L’Amour, Luke Short and others.  In fact, she read them more than once in her lifetime.  Now I have those books and I am adding my favorite stories and authors to my home library.
I read Stealing Jake in a day which tells you just how enjoyable the story is!  There is action, adventure, mystery, intrigue and faith with romance intertwined.  The greatest part of the story for me was seeing how characters learned that no matter what their pasts looked like, they were brand new creations when they turned to Christ! 
As I read, it was a great reminder that all of us have a past and some of it we aren’t proud of, but God makes us brand new.  When we are brand new, we have our faces up and are looking forward while walking one step at a time leaning on Him.  The main female character, though in a new town and now a Christian, had a past she was afraid others would learn of and then reject her.  Jake, who is the town’s deputy among other jobs, had to face a fearful moment that paralyzed him.  Then he heard the Spirit speaking to his heart, giving him strength to conquer his fear, which allowed him to save lives.
For awhile it seemed the town and churches were ignoring the needs of children who were orphaned and had no hope.  Then, out of a dark trial that enveloped the town came hope, renewal, forgiveness and most of all a brighter future for the orphans.  Perhaps now you can take a moment to sit outside, watch the leaves change color, and read a wonderful tale!

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.” 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

No Shred of Evidence (Inspector Ian Rutledge #17)

Title:  No Shred of Evidence (Inspector Ian Rutledge #17)
Author:  Charles Todd
Pages:  3
Year:  2016
Publisher:  William Morrow
I have enjoyed every book in this series.  Each one is a wonderful journey into the mind of Inspector Ian Rutledge and sometimes into the mind of a criminal to see if I can figure out the motive.  This particular case takes place in the autumn of 1920.  Ian has just finished writing up a report on a case he has wrapped up when he is called into the Chief Superintendent’s office and assigned a new case.   He hasn’t even been home yet to unpack from his prior case.  He quickly sets off for Cornwall to take up the case where the previous inspector left off.  He arrives to find that the previous inspector’s notes have been misplaced as well as the statements from the parties involved.  This inspector has died unexpectedly of a heart attack.  In the confusion of packing up his belongings, the papers go missing.  Without these, Ian must start from scratch and interview all those involved in the case.
The case about four young women from respectable, wealthy families had gone out in a row boat.  On their return trip to the dock, they encounter a young man whose boat is sinking.  Before they can row over to him, the boat sinks.  They try desperately to drag him on board their row boat, but they aren’t strong enough.  An oar is grabbed to extend to him to hand on until they can tow him to shore, but this accidentally hits him in the head.  From shore they hear a man shout, see him jump in the water and swim to them.  He helps the almost drowned man into the boat.  Upon reaching shore, he accuses the four women of trying to murder the young man by hitting him with the oar and trying to hold his head under the water to drown him.  They deny it, telling their side of the story.  So the investigative work begins for Ian.  As Ian follows up on statements and tries to find evidence of support the story of the women, more questions arise.  Another mystery or two become intertwined with this case, and Ian has his hands full.  It doesn’t help that one of the four women is the cousin of his former fiancĂ©e.  He knew her before the war and that she had feelings for him then.  What about now?  Ian must race to find the answers before the women can be bound over for trial and perhaps sent to prison or worse.
Once again, this mother and son writing team have produced a winning mystery.  I eagerly look forward to each new mystery in this series, as well as the Bess Crawford series, as they are always entertaining, make me use my brain and usually keep me guessing until the end!  I so enjoy settling down in my comfy chair and opening the book to delve back into the life of Inspector Rutledge, to see how he thinks and what makes him click as a detective as well as a human being.  This is another hit mystery in my view!

My rating is 5 stars.

Monday, April 4, 2016

The Centurion Author: Ken Gire


Title:  The Centurion
Author:  Ken Gire
Pages:  368
Year:  2016
Publisher:  River North
My rating is 5+ stars.
Every now and then while browsing or looking for books to add to my “to be read pile” or just for the fun of looking, I am blessed to discover a rare gem.  Here is one of those gems.  The story follows the life of the centurion who oversaw the orders to crucify three men.  Two of them were thieves; one was Jesus Son of God.  At the foot of the cross are Jesus’ earthly mother Mary along with some of those who loved Him from afar and some closely.  Of course, there were Romans soldiers there to make sure the orders were carried out to their fullest extent without interruption from the crowd.
As readers are drawn further into the historical work of fiction, be ready to lose yourself as you follow the years of service this one man gives to Rome.  What makes his task harder is that loves a woman who loves the Lord, but one who never sees him as anything other than someone she knows.  Over time readers will read how Mary Magdalena spends decades after the centurion goes to the frontier to serve as he has but one goal in mind, to be a general then retire.
The history that is written in the novel really captures the essence of the times in which the story is set, some of which is drawn from Scripture.  The author has done a slew of research which is evident by the descriptions of a Roman centurion’s life, battles, the loneliness this character feels, and in the end the disappointment that echoes throughout his whole being.
The author thankfully avoids expounding on the suffering Christ went through as well as the battle scenes; he easily could have made the tale gory.  Clearly, the author had other themes he wanted to tell in through the work of fiction.  The ending was simply one that stole my breath away and left me thinking of all those who have been martyred for their faith; we know it continues to happen today.

This one tale brilliantly written for audiences to remember that while Jesus died and rose again, He is still reaching out with open arms to those who will come to Him.  We don’t know for sure what happened to the many soldiers or the centurion after that day was over, but the author sure tells a very compelling tale sure to grip the heart of any who dare to read the book!

Finding Mercy (Mercy Medallion #2)


Title:  Finding Mercy (Mercy Medallion #2)
Author:  Michael Landon, Jr. & Cindy Kelley
Pages:  416
Year:  2014
Publisher:  David C. Cook
This second book in the series picks up right where book one, Traces of Mercy, left off so please read book one before this one.  It is now May 1866.  Mercy still has amnesia and is being escorted to the state line by Elijah Hale a former Union officer.  They are travelling on horseback and stop to camp overnight.  Mercy thinks she can move faster on her own, take care of her own self and doesn’t want Elijah to spend any more of his money or time on her.  She leaves in the night and takes a room at a boarding house only to find herself pursued by bounty hunters.  It seems someone is not happy or satisfied with the judge’s recanting of Mercy’s death sentence so bounty hunters have been hired to kill Mercy.  She manages to escape, but soon finds herself in another terrible situation.  Elijah has tracked her down and rescues her.  She has seen a picture of a man who looks familiar to her.  She and Elijah find out who he is and travel to Georgia, hoping to find out more information on Mercy’s true identity.
Mercy finds her family, but still no memories of her time before waking up in the doctor’s office have returned.  Over time, she begins to see her family isn’t exactly welcoming.  She also gets a picture of the person she used to be and she isn’t sure if she likes that person.  Mercy must face the consequences of some of her actions of the past.  Has she really changed or will she revert to her pre-war self because it is easier and won’t upset the apple cart?  Her situation becomes untenable and she must take a choice.  With Mercy’s life in danger, will anyone help her?
I read book one quite a while ago, but just now got around to reading book two and I wasn’t disappointed!  I was able to get right into the story and had little difficulty picking up the threads again as book two raced to its conclusion.  There is plenty of action and tension in the story that kept me turning pages from beginning to end.  I couldn’t wait to see Mercy’s reunion with her family and how Elijah would fit in to her life or if he would even be in her life.  Isaac was a wonderful character in the story and I could really picture that little boy in my mind.  I hope this writing duo has more stories planned in the future as I surely enjoyed these two wonderful Civil War era tales!

My rating is 5 stars.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Tailspin (Mountain Cove)

Title:  Tailspin (Mountain Cove)
Author:  Elizabeth Goddard
Pages:  224
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Love Inspired
My rating is 5 stars.
There is nothing better on a Sunday afternoon than curling up with a Love Inspired Suspense novel.  The novels keep me glued to the tale that includes themes of love, suspense and faith.  Each novel I have read is unique in capturing the heart and mind while trying to figure out the adversary in the tale.
In this story, a woman named Sylvie Masters is diving off the shore near an Alaskan shore, hoping to locate the downed plane her mother was riding in.  While doing so Sylvie sees a shadow above and assumes it to be a sea creature.  How wrong she is when she finds herself in a fight to stay alive!  Flying above her in a bush plane is Will Pierson who comes to notice a woman attempting to flee men who are chasing her.  Will decides to land close enough for her to get to him so he can get in the air before danger catches up.  The rest of what happens in the book will keep your eyes glued to the book to the very end.
I loved the Love Inspired Suspense novels because I know that there isn’t anything in them that I would have to be careful of reading.  These are absolutely enjoyable, wonderful, well-crafted stories that will entertain readers and provide moments of quiet that will soothe the soul.  Alaska is one state I hope to eventually visit one day as the scenes in the story portray such beauty.

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.”

Friday, April 1, 2016

My Brother's Crown


Title:  My Brother’s Crown (Cousins of the Dove #1)
Author:  Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould
Pages:  358
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Harvest House Publishers
Renee Talbot is a brilliant scientist whose family has held a rare document for generations.  Now, with her grandfather’s recent death, the family abides by his wishes and contacts the Smithsonian to donate the document.  The document is a pamphlet written by French Huguenots for persecuted Huguenots to flee the country via hidden messages in poems and maps hidden in drawings.  Renee also discovers some hidden symbols, but is unsure if they have any meaning or not.  Blake Keller has been given the job of making sure the document stays safe and secure until handed over to the Smithsonian.  He helps Renee decode the hidden symbols as well as put an event in the past into perspective.
Catherine Gillet is a French Huguenot in 1685 under the reign of King Louis XIV, the Sun King.  He has begun countrywide persecution of Huguenots, sending dragoons to hassle them, stealing their homes, burning their churches and even torturing and killing them all in an attempt to get the Huguenots to convert to Catholicism.  As Catherine and her family face more and more persecution, she begins to doubt her brother’s faith as well as wondering why he refuses to leave France and flee to safety in another country.  Her fiancĂ©, Pierre Talbot, also seems to blindly follow whatever her brother says, which serves to frustrate Catherine further.  What will it take to get her brother to move their family to safety?  Who has turned traitor and begun turning Huguenots over to the dragoons for profit?
I liked the switching back and forth of the chapters from modern time to the past.  I thought the authors did a good job of keeping the flow of the story cohesive with this technique.  Blake and Renee are my favorite characters.  I could easily relate to Renee’s struggle with how she viewed herself, especially when she compared herself to her cousins.  Blake was such a compassionate and caring man right off the bat in his dealings with Renee that he won my admiration.  I thought the character of Jules was cold and unfeeling, even though he had his family’s best interest in mind when making decisions.  Catherine seemed at times to be spoiled and immature, but she did have a caring heart for her cousin and matured some toward the end, placing her trust in God.  I also enjoyed reading about the Huguenots, a people whom I knew next to nothing about.  I look forward to book two in the series, My Sister’s Prayer.
My rating is 4 stars.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  The above is my personal opinion.  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.”