Sunday, July 31, 2016

Romance by Design

Title:  Romance by Design
Author:  Gail Gaymer Martin
Pages:  294
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Create Space Independent Publishing
My rating is 5 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book from www.bookfun.org.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.
For me, the most touching part of the novel was reading about the redemption of a man and the tension relationships can create.  I believe the author did an excellent job of showing that no family is perfect, even though some may look healthier than others.  Also, there was evidence in the story of the parents of both designers changing in ways that blessed their adult children.
Hunter Evans is a successful interior designer though for years his parents never really saw the heart of their son, especially when not following in his father’s footsteps in the career area.  Then, there is Morgan Branigan who is the only daughter of six children with five older brothers.  Morgan has been trying so hard to get her father to accept her choices to seek higher education and not choose to do what her parents did when they were younger.
Throughout the novel, readers will enjoy the relational tension between Hunter and God, as well as Hunter and Morgan.  There is definitely an antagonist who comes back to the Interior Design Company to relight an old flame with Hunter to the utter heartbreak of Morgan.  Will Hunter really go back to that shallow woman’s arms or open his heart to understand what real love is, first through a relationship with God and then hopefully with Morgan?
Morgan is a character with lots of spunk, energy, and she loves the Lord.  She has a “wee” bit of a temper, but she is also the spark which brings light to those around her at work.  Morgan was the character I best could identify with though I don’t wear a charm bracelet or work as an interior designer.  I just loved her zest for life and how she sought to bring joy to those around her no matter what she was doing.
So I hope you read, enjoy and pass on this romance novel that certainly has plenty of entertainment to other readers you know!

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, July 30, 2016

Mrs. Lee & Mrs. Gray Author: Dorothy Love





Title:  Mrs. Lee & Mrs. Gray
Author:  Dorothy Love
Pages:  400
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson
My rating is 4 stars.
This story is based on a real friendship between Selina Gray, a slave and her owner, Mary Custis Lee.  The story begins when Mary is a teenager and finds the love of her life, Robert E. Lee.  They eventually marry, have children and live life.  Selina is a young girl when the story begins with Mary teaching her how to read.  Selina over time is put to work in the house, serving Mary’s mother and then Mary herself.  While Selina is grateful for Mary teaching her how to read, she yearns for Mary’s father to set her free.  Mary and her mother are members of a society that raises money to send former slaves to Liberia to start a new life.
As Selina and Mary age, Mary especially suffers heartache.  Her husband is gone for months and sometimes years at a time, serving in the military while leaving Mary to raise their seven children.  This novel portrays a loving relationship between Mary and Robert, even though Mary knows from early on in her marriage that duty comes first with Robert.  In this story, Mary is seen to always put his needs first and herself second something Selina also knows firsthand as she has to put the needs of her owner(s) first, then Selina’s family, then herself.

While this novel is not brimming with action, suspense and chase scenes, it does a fine job of chronicling a friendship spanning fifty years between a slave and her owner.  The two women in question were born and bred in the South with its attendant culture.  Selina has always longed to be free and never forgets that Mary owns her.  For me, the friendship aspect didn’t seem too obvious.  Mary always treated Selina as a servant, with maybe the exception of when they went sledding as young women.  The older Mary gets, the more heavily she depends on Selina.  When they are forced apart due to the Civil War, Mary entrusts her home to Selina.  This was not a book that really grabbed my attention and held it, but it was interesting to read this fictional account about a character from history that I knew nothing about and what her life might have been like.  The author really did her research, and I thought the depiction of Mary in a new, more positive light than other books was a different twist.  

Friday, July 29, 2016

No Way Up (The Cimarron Legacy #1)

Title:  No Way Up (The Cimarron Legacy #1)
Author:  Mary Connealy
Pages:  304
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Bethany
My rating is 5 stars.
One of the first words that drew my attention was the author’s words to her mother before I even began to read the story.  What mother hopes when her babies are born that they will follow the Lord have good marriages or fulfilled lives?  There is no way to pay mothers for all they give so sacrificially without the children even really being truly aware of the cost to a mom’s heart.  So I am sure Mary’s mother was touched by her daughter’s words.  I like to think it really blessed her heart!
A good western book is this new series that starts right off with someone apparently trying to rid the Borden of their land.  The attempt made on the father of the family almost cost him his life, but the ranch hand named Heath provided assistance that probably saved the father’s life.  Now, the father lets his daughter know about a change in his will before he leaves to see a doctor in Denver in case he doesn’t make it.  The cost of hearing it was one thing, but for her and her older brother Cole to return to the ranch from places where they established their lives took the cake!
So at first the three siblings Cole, Justin and Sadie wrestle through what this revelation and demand means to each of them.  It brings tension right to the forefront of the story and continues to grow as the story progressed.  However, what was really interesting was seeing the siblings draw closer together in order to fight whoever is attempting to get them off the ranch they have owned for almost three generations.
There is a sequel coming up early in 2017 titled, Long Time Gone that I cannot wait to read.  I want to see how the parents react when returning from their trip to find Sadie’s life changed and how Cole ends up healing from wounds he sustained in a fight.  Justin is the one who tends to disagree with Cole most at first until the story focus changes to Sadie and some of the decisions she is making regardless of what her brothers think!
Mary’s novel really is like the fast draw of a gun because of the speed at which the action and danger start right from the get-go.  I like Sadie’s spitfire personality and how she is learning to mature in some ways that help instead of causing more problems for her older brothers.  Heath is a good ranch hand more so a good man, and the lessons he is learning by watching how the family interacts really impact his heart and life.  So I cannot wait to see what the author has in store for her fictional family and the Cimarron Ranch coming next year!

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, July 28, 2016

: Beyond the Narrows (A Novel)

Title:  Beyond the Narrows (A Novel)
Author:  M. R. Durbin
Pages:  304
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Covenant
My rating is 5 stars.
What an exciting novel with what looks like an ending left open for a sequel!  There is a mystery from ages ago along with racing for some supposed treasure left decades ago to be found if the clues and maps could be found.  I loved that some of the main characters were retired people from various jobs of expertise and ethnicities.  Two of the characters are a young man and a young woman who are related to one of the older gentlemen whose life is in constant danger!
Once I started the novel, it was hard to put down because the tension never lets up and there are twists in the plot that come up suddenly, grabbing my attention.  There is also archeology involved, native languages, and a bond these individuals have, especially the older gentlemen, that is very touching. 
There are a few references to Mormonism or terms I think are referring to something within the Mormon system of beliefs.  However, even though I am not Mormon, the novel was exceptionally well crafted and is a spell-binding, suspense-filled book that should be read and enjoyed.  The author I think did a great job to focus on the action, danger, mystery and other elements that just keep a person turning pages until they are finished reading.
I hope the author writes a sequel with these characters because the older gentlemen are very different, but their bond of friendship is deep.  One guy has such a dry sense of humor he made me laugh a lot throughout the book when he would pronounce a word is such a way just to throw people a curve.  Yet, at other times his knowledge was helpful in figuring out what was written so very long ago.
Grab a copy and have fun in the never ending danger to solve the mysteries within the pages!

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, July 27, 2016

Honor Redeemed

Title:  Honor Redeemed (Keys of Promise #2)
Author:  Christine Johnson
Pages:  352
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Revell
My rating is 5 stars.
Prosperity Jones has left home to reunite with her fiancĂ©, David Latham, after a two-year separation.  Her mother has recently died, leaving Prosperity with no close family and no means to support herself.  She has to leave home, so she decides to go to her fiancĂ© in the hopes that he will support her at a boarding house or hotel and marry her earlier than they had intended.  Upon arrival in the Keys of Florida from Nantucket after a five-week journey, Prosperity makes an awful discovery.  She turns to her newfound friend for shelter and the means to support herself.  She can no longer count on David.
David Latham has loved Prosperity Jones for years.  He is an officer in the military working on an engineering project.  He has six more years in service and then he will have saved enough to marry Prosperity.  One night some of the other soldiers induce him into drinking liquor, which he is not used to doing.  He was raised by a very strict minister and is usually very thoughtful and cautious in his manner.  This one night leads to the ruin of his future with Prosperity.  When he unexpectedly sees her outside the garrison, his heart drops to his stomach.  He pleads for forgiveness, but Prosperity shuns him.  How did his life get so complicated?
I thought this was a wonderful story!  I was hooked from the beginning.  The story was compelling and drew me into the lives of the characters.  I was emotionally involved with the two main characters, which to me shows a talented author’s God-given skill.  This book is set in a time when a person’s honor and word meant something and was worth something.  It could be counted on to be true.  We don’t see as much of this in our day and age.  I definitely could identify with the maternal aspect shown in the story and the lengths a woman will go to in order to protect a child.  The hanging on to God in the midst of terrible situations was also portrayed.  I can’t wait for the third book in the series!

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, July 26, 2016

The Reason

Title:  The Reason
Author:  William Sirls
Pages:  416
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Broadstreet Publishing Group LLC
My rating is 4 stars.
In case you look up this title say on Amazon, you may see an earlier version by the same author and title; however, it was published in 2012 through Thomas Nelson.  For me, the earlier version was my first introduction into the world of William Sirls stories.  In 2014, William Sirls wrote a novel titled, The Sinners’ Garden, which is also a wonderful story.  Each of these novels is a standalone book. 
Each version of The Reason has its pros and cons like any other piece of work.  As far as cover art for books, this one definitely needed something different or more eye appealing.  It seemed so uninviting or dull that some people may just walk past the book, thinking that it isn’t worth reading.
Each book is unique in some of the ways the author took the plot, the central theme and characters’ lives.  I won’t spoil it for those of you who haven’t read it yet, because you will enjoy the journey of discovering the author’s message.  For me, the art cover from the earlier version conveyed the story as well as drew me to want to pick up the book and delve in right away.
The author chose to change a character from the previous novel and something else which for me wasn’t as dramatic as the first printing.  The power of the message in The Reason was somewhat still thought-provoking and hearts will be touched.  For me though the first novel had a punch that isn’t as evident in the newer updated story. 
However, each book has something to teach readers and touch them where they live in the world today.  I know that a movie has been filmed based on the novel, but have no idea when it will be released in theaters.  There are several good articles about the upcoming movie and who stars in it that interested parties can find by simply searching the Internet by typing in The Reason movie to be released Spring of 2017.

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, July 25, 2016

I Have Called You By Name (Tell of My Kingdom’s Glory #2)

Title:  I Have Called You By Name (Tell of My Kingdom’s Glory #2)
Author:  Sonya Contreras
Pages:  335
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Bull Head Press
My rating is 5+ stars.
The series begins with the first book titled, Until My Name is Known by the same author.  Inside the novels we get a fictional account of the travels and tests of Moses along with the Israelite nation.  At first, when coming out of Egypt, they didn’t view themselves as a nation but former slaves.  Now, with the desert as the place their feet travel upon, Moses receives instructions from God and then tells the people what God has spoken.
As I read this second novel with the continuation of the story from book #1, the focus shifted more to how the people interacted with each other, Moses and God Himself.  The true story is told in the Bible in the Old Testament books of Exodus, Deuteronomy and Numbers.  I love how the author’s approach isn’t to replace Scripture, but to draw readers to know God, not about Him.  To know God is to be known by Him and that is a relationship He initiates.
There will be a third and final book to be published in this series with the title, I Am With You.  After I enjoyed the fictional tale, I then read the author’s notes along with perusing her extensive bibliography.  There is also a small dictionary in the back to explain some of the words used in the novel that aren’t familiar to us today.  One thing I kept reminding myself as I read was to not read it with American or English framework, but to attempt to understand the ancient history and the people who lived so long ago.
I cannot recommend these books highly enough along with reading the biblical account.  The Bible is without fault and what God has brought to us so many centuries later.  The Bible alone has the power to transform our thinking and lives.  We can learn so much about God, history and who we are as people created in His image.  I pray you take time to read the Old Testament books and the fictional tales written extremely well by Sonya for the purpose of making God known to this generation!

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.” 

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Fraying at the Edge (The Amish of Summer Grove #2)

Title:  Fraying at the Edge (The Amish of Summer Grove #2)
Author:  Cindy Woodsmall
Pages:  352
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Waterbrook
My rating is 5+ stars.
The series as well as the main character’s story begin with book one titled, Ties That Bind.  The tale begins with two different young women from two different backgrounds.  The women are Ariana Brenneman who was raised Amish and from the English side of the story, Skylar Nash.  Not only are these women from two different worlds, they learn about being switched at birth twenty years earlier and being introduced to their birth mothers and families.
There is so much for these two young women to come to terms with.  However, the two women aren’t the only ones who must adjust; it’s also the siblings, friends and others who are trying to adjust as well.  The tension in the story is broken up occasionally by times of rejoicing just like in a real person’s life along with times of rejoicing among other emotions.  At first, since I didn’t read book one (which I am going to do now), I was lost for a couple of chapters in the book.  So I would highly recommend reading Ties that Bind first before Fraying at the Edge.
I know there will be a third installment as the tale is not wrapped up at the end, so I really am looking forward to seeing how the author resolves some threads of her story.  Unlike some other Amish type novels I have read, Cindy Woodsmall in this series has really grabbed the heart of the reader and crafted believable characters in a believable setting.  There are choices placed before many of the characters that have ripple effects for those they know and love.  I hope you will enjoy an afternoon with these novels and then share them with friends and family so they can get lost in an exceptionally well written 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.”

Friday, July 22, 2016

What Happened on Beale Street (Secrets of the South Mysteries #2)

Title:  What Happened on Beale Street (Secrets of the South Mysteries #2)
Author:  Mary Ellis
Pages:  352
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Harvest House Publishers
My rating is 4 stars.
Nicki Price receives a phone call from her best friend from high school, wanting her help.  What Nicki doesn’t realize is that her help is needed right away.  She decides to answer her friend’s request, but by the time she flies to see him she has trouble finding him.  She phones his sister and the search begins.  Nicki and Nate are hired by Isabelle Andre, the sister of the missing man.  Nate and Isabelle rub each other the wrong way and don’t get along.  Nicki pushes too hard on the investigation, getting herself thrown off the case.
With Nate now full-time on the Andre case, Nicki has nothing to do.  They are staying in a ritzy old hotel with lots of history so she takes a tour of the hotel.  While on tour she learns about a mystery concerning a series of scavenger hunts that took place in the mid to late 1950s.  The prizes for the winners of the scavenger hunt were expensive jewels.  The last scavenger hunt ended without the jewels being found, so Nicki thinks they are still in the hotel just waiting to be found.  She starts her own investigation to find the missing jewels.
I enjoyed the reading of this second book in the series more than the first book.  The characters of Nicki and Nate were more developed and I had a history with them carried over from book one in the series.  I really liked Nicki’s caring and compassionate nature, especially toward the elderly folks in this story.  I thought Nate a great guy with a sense of humor, loyalty and protectiveness toward those who are weaker.  I never saw his romantic line of the story coming and was surprised, but pleased.  I loved the jewel mystery that Nicki was involved in and the people she met while following the clues.  The next book in the series will be released in August 2016 and is titled Magnolia Moonlight.

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, July 21, 2016

Murder Under the Mistletoe (Northern Border Patrol #3)


Title:  Murder Under the Mistletoe (Northern Border Patrol #3)
Author:  Terri Reed
Pages:  224
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Love Inspired Books
My rating is 4 stars.
Tyler Griffin likes his life just as it is, being a DEA agent with a life on the road.  He doesn’t think he is husband or father material and isn’t looking to change his single status.  His new assignment is to bring down a drug cartel that has been operating from Canada to Mexico via Idaho.  His informant on an Idaho Christmas tree farm has just been murdered, so Tyler is on the trail of murders now as well.  Just before his death, Tyler’s informant left a journal detailing the drug operation somewhere on the Christmas tree farm.  Tyler goes to the farm to retrieve the journal, but before he can do so the farm’s owner is attacked.  Now Tyler must find the journal and protect the farm owner from harm to solve the case.
Heather Larson-Randall is a young widowed mother.  Her brother, a rehabilitated drug addict, had been running the family Christmas tree farm when he was found dead of a drug overdose.  Heather was living in Washington at the time, but sells her home and quits her job to return to Idaho to run the family Christmas tree farm.  Once home, she meets Tyler and discovers her brother was an informant, but also had made some poor decisions with the farm’s finances.  With Tyler and his team on the scene to protect her and her young son, Heather helps Tyler search for the missing journal.  With each day, the danger increases for Heather and Tyler as the cartel gets ready for delivery.  Where is that journal?
As I’ve said before, these are great books to fill an afternoon.  Both main characters have had their share of heartache and grief, but have remained steadfast in their faith in God.  I found that encouraging.  I like seeing a strong male figure that guides others to God and gains his own strength from Him.  The ending is predictable, but I still enjoyed the story from beginning to end.  This is one to settle down with in a nice cool place with a cold drink!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  The above is my opinion only.  I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Dangerous Tidings (Pacific Coast Private Eyes #1)


Title:  Dangerous Tidings (Pacific Coast Private Eyes #1)
Author:  Dana Mentink
Pages:  219
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Love Inspired Books
My rating is 4 stars.
This is the first book in a new Love Inspired Suspense Series from author Dana Mentink.  The setting is San Diego, California in the present day.  The Gallagher family is close knit and consists of four grown daughters, a mother and father.  The father owns a detective agency and while out with a drive on a case with his youngest daughter, the unthinkable happens.  The father is killed and the daughter seriously injured.  This is where the story begins.  The youngest daughter is in the hospital and the remaining sisters and mother are trying to cope with their grief as well as worry over their sister/daughter.  The police rule the wreck as an accident, but Donna Gallagher isn’t so sure about that.
Donna takes a week’s leave from her job as a veterinarian to investigate.  She comes across his most recent case file and finds only three names in it.  She is attacked at the office, but is saved by Brent Mitchell, a Coast Guard rescue swimmer.  Brent has found the detective agency’s name at his missing sister’s home and has come to find out if they have heard from his sister.  Soon Donna and Brent have two cases to work on so they team up.  An attraction forms between the two, but they are determined to solve each case and not pursue a relationship.  Both face multiple attacks in the course of their investigations and know they are getting close to the truth, so they push on.
These are great books when you have a few hours to spend.  I thought the character of Brent especially likeable in this story as he struggles with guilt and shame by distancing himself from God, but he was still protective of Donna and had a sense of humor.  Donna has her own struggles to overcome from the past.  Both main characters were easy to relate to and I liked that.  This would be a good book to take to the beach or read sitting by the pool!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  The above is my opinion only.  I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Cantaloupe Thief (A Branigan Powers Mystery #1)

Title:  The Cantaloupe Thief (A Branigan Powers Mystery #1)
Author:  Deb Richardson-Moore
Pages:  288
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Lion Fiction
My rating is 3.5 stars.
Branigan Powers is 41 years old and a reporter in a town in Georgia.  The town is growing from small to medium in size, but the newspaper is struggling to maintain readership.  The older folks in town still subscribe to the paper, but the younger set get their news via the internet.  Branigan is given the story of a 10-year-old murder, the only unsolved murder in the town.  With the 10th anniversary of the murder, Branigan revisits the family of the victim to interview them again in the hopes that maybe they might remember something.
A new angle presents itself to interview the homeless in relation to this crime, which Branigan does with the help of her good friend, Liam, a former reporter turned pastor.  Branigan also gets help from some of the homeless in town who participate in Liam’s mission, outreach programs to the homeless.  Then, unexpectedly, Branigan’s brother returns to town.  He has been homeless and addicted to alcohol and drugs for years.  He has been gone from town for twelve years.  He has returned home to warn his son, who has been raised by Liam, of the dangers of addiction and how easy it can happen.  As Branigan pursues her interviews, homeless people begin to be murdered.  Have Branigan’s questions and pursuit of truth caused the murderer of ten years ago to become nervous or are these killings of the homeless even related to the 10-year-old murder at all?  Is there a new killer on the streets?
For me, this would have been a 5-star rating if there wasn’t the use of foul language (no f-bomb) and the several references to drinking that were not in relation to the alcohol issue presented in the story.  With alcoholism one of the problems of some of the homeless that was highlighted in the book, I thought it was a conflict of interest that Branigan, the nonalcoholic, seemed to want a drink so often.  I thought the author did a great job of bringing to the forefront the homeless people and the myriad of problems they face.  She gave them a real face, making readers aware of how they are treated as invisible or disposable.  This aspect of the story really made me think about this social issue in my own city.  The mystery itself was intriguing and kept me interested from beginning to end.

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, July 16, 2016

Missing (The Nikki Boyd Files #2)

Title:  Missing (The Nikki Boyd Files #2)
Author:  Lisa Harris
Pages:  320
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Revell
My rating is 5 stars.
Simply put, awesome!  In book two of the series, Nikki’s interested in more than just being friends with Tyler.  The only problem is she doesn’t know how Tyler feels about her and she is scared to lose his friendship.  Plus, in this sequel, there is another case that soon grows out of proportion to what at first became a missing person’s case.
This story seemed to have more action, adventure, danger, etc.  Plus, while Nikki’s sister is still missing, Nikki has to decide whether she wants to remain in the force or go back to teaching kindergartners.  Tyler is ready to move forward in his life, but he isn’t sure in any area how without it affecting his son Liam.  Tyler wants to have a job that fits his personality and uses his military experience, but he doesn’t want to be in school or behind a desk.
The questions being asked by Nikki and Tyler about many aspect of life, work and faith do reach some conclusion.  However, the book is left on a cliffhanger that makes me long to read the next installment coming out in 2017 titled Pursued.  I found the novel had me chasing a few rabbit trails in figuring out who the main antagonist was, but that also kept me turning pages!
The only almost “unreal” aspect was how Nikki seemed to keep being saved “in the nick of time” by either Tyler or someone else.  While Nikki being saved right before she might perish makes for a lighter story, it just seemed to cast a somewhat unenjoyable aspect to the book.  I am sure people know agents do lose their life in the line of duty and some do get saved.  Those moments when Nikki got rescued were rushed moments in the storyline, but I really enjoyed book two more than the first book.  However, book one established the main characters along with their different backgrounds so it would be helpful to read Vendetta before Missing.

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.”

Trinity: Military War Dog (A Breed Apart #1)

Title:  Trinity:  Military War Dog (A Breed Apart #1)
Author:  Ronie Kendig
Pages:  352
Year:  2012
Publisher:  Barbour Publishing, Inc.
Heath Daniels suffers a head injury while on active duty as a Green Beret.  His job had been to handle a dog, Trinity, trained to sniff out terrorists.  Due to his injury that causes recurrent and unexpected blackouts, he is discharged from the military as he is no longer able to serve.  Trinity refuses all other handlers and is retired, so Heath adopts her.  The military was his life and Heath really is at loose ends as to what he is going to do now.  Then he hears from a former soldier about a program, showcasing the abilities of military war dogs that could be hired in the private sector.  Heath has nothing better to do so he agrees to enter the program.  The first stop is Afghanistan where Heath meets a woman who he immediately falls for, but who tries to send him packing.  She is captured by the enemy and a rescue team, including Heath and Trinity, is sent to bring her home.
Darci Kintz is a spy on a top secret mission.  She discovers vital information that she must report to her superior, but before she can do so her team is attacked by a rogue force of Chinese soldiers.  What are the Chinese doing in Afghanistan?  Darci knows part of the reason, but she is captured and endures torture.  To help with the pain she thinks of Heath and what might have been.  She refuses to give up, but she knows her chances of rescue in the Afghan mountains in a snow storm are slim.  She has a reason to stay alive as she wants to see more of Heath and to see where their relationship might go.
If you like intense action, plenty of tension, spies and political intrigue in a military setting this one is for you!  There is also some romance for those who like that aspect as well.  I thoroughly enjoyed the plot and the characters.  The reality of the fate of a captured spy also added realism to the story.  Trinity was one special dog, and the relationship she had with Heath was pretty special too.  God can certainly use animals to heal hurts sometimes.  Heath’s and Darci’s journey toward finding their faith in the face of terrifying circumstances was terrific!  I can’t wait to read the second book in this series about Talon, another military war dog.  Don’t miss this great story!
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.”

Friday, July 15, 2016

Vendetta (The Nikki Boyd Files #1)

Title:  Vendetta (The Nikki Boyd Files #1)
Author:  Lisa Harris
Pages:  304
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Revell
My rating is 4 stars.
Nikki Boyd is a young woman whose career change into the Missing Persons Task Force was prompted by her younger sister being abducted.  Now, ten years later, Nikki is still searching for her sister along with any new clue that would help her locate the person responsible.  Nikki’s sister and five other young women have been abducted and so far Nikki is still searching not sure if it is for revenge or justice.
Also Nikki is dealing with it being the one year anniversary of losing her best friend and she is celebrating her life with her best friend’s husband, who she remains friend with by rock climbing.  The adrenaline rush is something Nikki loves and shortly after reaching solid ground her phone rings.  The call is due to a woman missing close to where Nikki is on her day off, so Nikki responds by taking the case.  The young widower, Tyler, goes with her to support Nikki in many ways.
As I progressed more into the story, I became engrossed in trying to figure out all of the clues that were slowly being revealed.  However, it wasn’t until shortly before I finished the book that I took a guess at who the culprit was, but there were some interesting twists at the end.  Lisa Harris’s novel isn’t just filled with suspense, romance and more, but also about how Nikki and Tyler are learning to walk through their faith.  Each has had heartbreaking, major interruptions in their life and they are good friends, but Tyler is having a hard time in his walk with God.
I liked that neither of the main characters, Nikki nor Tyler, had answers to some deep questions about God and their faith.  Nikki in dealing with her sister being missing and then losing her best friend has caused Nikki and Tyler to walk one day at a time and not be afraid to ask questions about faith, God and life.  I liked how the author didn’t give pat answers through any character and had them walk through the case with its dangers, threats and some good times too.
So for a quiet afternoon read or evening this is a book for you!

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

Talon

Title:  Talon:  Combat Tracking Team (A Breed Apart #2)
Author:  Ronie Kendig
Pages:  352
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Barbour
Aspen Courtland is a former Air Force JAG assistant who wants nothing more than to find her missing twin brother, Austin.  He served in the military and went missing on a mission.  He has been missing so long he has been declared dead, but Aspen refuses to believe it.  She has brought his military war dog, Talon, home to heal as he suffered from the separation from Austin.  He is a beaten down dog and acts depressed.  Aspen has been working with him for months and he seems to be slowly recovering.  Enter Dane Markoski or Cardinal as his boss calls him.
Cardinal has been given the mission of finding Austin and protecting Aspen and Talon.  He is a trained spy, but doesn’t feel right manipulating Aspen and playing on her fears.  He tries his best to keep his distance from her emotionally as he feels he is unworthy of her affections and his past will scare her away if she finds out.  As sightings of Austin as well as other clues of his existence crop up, the danger mounts.  Why is Austin hiding from his only living relative, Aspen, a twin sister he was extremely close to?  Cardinal has always felt peaceful inside church buildings, but can he find that peace elsewhere?
This book will pull you in from beginning to end.  There is plenty of action, tension and romance for any reader.  I read book one, Trinity:  Military War Dog, and couldn’t put it down.  This second book in the series is no different, with something always happening.  The romance between Aspen and Cardinal was touching, and I loved his willingness to confront his greatest fear for her sake.  Aspen also encouraged Cardinal in finding his way to God after having a horrific childhood.  I eagerly look forward to the third and final book in the series, Beowulf:  Explosives Detection Dog, so look for my review here soon!
My rating is 5 stars.
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, July 14, 2016

Meet my Husband an author!



Synopsis: A young man, joined by an old storyteller, sets out on a journey to join a group of freedom fighters to oppose an evil self-proclaimed king. He discovers his nation's forgotten history and the key to his own courage on a road that can only lead to the final battle between the Unicorn and the Dragon.




Blog address of author: http://cleve-johnson.blogspot.com/


Cleve A. Johnson M.A.

The Heir of Brownlie Manor

Title:  The Heir of Brownlie Manor
Author:  Anita Stansfield
Pages:  288
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Covenant Communications, Inc.
My rating is 4 stars.
Ruth Dawson has left her employment as a servant in a well-to-do household.  She decided to do so after discovering the man who had promised her marriage has left town with another woman, leaving Ruth in desperate straits.  She appeals to her uncle for help as he has promised her family to help whenever possible.  Her uncle is a butler for Thomas Fitzbatten and his parents in the family manor house.  Her uncle brings to problem to Thomas who readily agrees to help Ruth.
Thomas has recently returned from war with Napoleon and longs to settle down to a quiet life on the family estate, but has terrible memories from the war that pursue him.  He is restless and longs to feel useful.  When his butler brings the problem of his niece to the attention of Thomas, he feels a new purpose for his life.  He prays about the situation and answers God’s call obediently to help Ruth more than she ever dreamed possible.
This is a wonderful love story that shows respect for one another, patience, compassion and much more.  There is also an intriguing mystery to keep readers interested.  Mysteries are one of my favorite genres along with historical fiction books set in the early 1800s, so I was pleased that this story had both elements and didn’t disappoint!  The commitment of the characters to their faith was one thing I especially liked.  I hope this author continues to write more novels set in this time period as I will be sure to read them!

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.”

Flirtation Walk

Title:  Flirtation Walk
Author:  Siri Mitchell
Pages:  374
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Bethany House
This story is set at the United States Military Academy and the nearby small town of Buttermilk Falls in the year 1855.  The main characters are Seth Westcott, a cadet at the academy and Lucinda Pennyworth, the niece of one of the teachers at the academy.  Lucinda has arrived in town to throw herself on the mercy of her aunt and uncle whom she has never met after the death of her father.  She has nowhere else to go and no way to earn an honest living as she has been in finishing school.  She has survived in the past as an accomplice to her father and his swindling schemes, cheating people out of their money.  Lucinda has never thought of this as something bad as her father has told her they are exchanging their money for hope.  Then, while living with her aunt, she begins to see truth and is convicted of all the lies and deception her father has taught her.  She learns about God in a new, revealing way and has His light shine on the darkness in her life.  She also develops a fondness for Seth, but eventually sees her past prevents a future with him.
Seth is in his last year at the academy.  He receives a letter telling of his mother’s death and his younger sister being left to sell the family farm on her own.  Seth is denied leave from the army to help his sister.  On her way to live with relatives in Kentucky, she loses all the money by investing in a nonexistent hotel.  Her only proof is a worthless deed to property that doesn’t exist.  Seth vows to find the swindler and get the money back, but to do so he needs to go west where the swindler has been operating.  Only the lowliest of cadets makes it into the cavalry and get sent west.  The only problem is Seth is at the top of his class and due to be sent to Europe immediately after graduation, leaving him no time to get his money back or take care of his sister.  How will he accomplish justice?
I applaud the amount of research the author did to write this book and I really enjoyed learning more about the life of a cadet in the 1800s United States Military Academy.  Lucinda’s father was such a mean snake!  I really liked the supporting characters of Deacon, Dandy and Otter as well as Phoebe.  I hope the series will continue and develop some stories for these characters.  The plot was a little slow moving for me and the two main characters weren’t as appealing to me as they could have been, but overall I still liked the book.
My rating is 4 stars.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  The above statements are only my 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.”

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

A Lady in Defiance (Romance in the Rockies #1)

Title:  A Lady in Defiance (Romance in the Rockies #1)
Author:  Heather Blanton
Pages:  282
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Rivulet Publishing
My rating is 4 stars.
A Lady in Defiance can best be described as a raw look at the Old West with a multitude of themes.  As I read, I sensed the spiritual warfare, evil, hate and yet the blossoming of hope for those who knew none.  On some pages scenes were described with too much detail that embarrassed this reader/reviewer and I thought unnecessary to the story.
The western genre is one of my favorites.  Authors who write sometimes put material in their story that detracts a reader’s attention.  Other authors seem to go out of their way to be too descriptive, but really for me the whole issue is forgetting readers have wonderful imaginations.  Authors shouldn’t feel obligated to describe scenes between men and women as people.  Not only are readers aware of what goes on, but in God’s eyes it is a holy moment.
Now, overall, I thought the story brought out some of the best themes of all which is redemption and obeying God even when it requires humbling oneself or unconditionally loving others and reaching out to them with His love and message of restoration.  I think the author did a great job of showing too how other people can tell a believer isn’t being honest or truthful because it shows up in their actions.
I loved how the characters wrestled with God; they spoke openly with Him whether with thanksgiving or anger.  The Scriptures in the story were well connected to what the fallen women in Defiance needed to hear.  The two main men who ran the town of Defiance each had a spiritual journey that was for one returning to God and the other…well, readers will have to wait and see.
Just beware these novels aren’t for youth or teens; they are best for adults who aren’t put off by an occasional short scene that could have been left out.  Above all though I hope readers come away from the book with thoughts of hope, restoration, redemption and knowing how well God knows each of us very intimately.

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.”

Deceived by Irene Hannon

Title:  Deceived (Private Justice #3)
Author:  Irene Hannon
Pages:  418
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Revell
Kate Marshall moved to St. Louis two years ago for a fresh start.  She works at a women’s career counseling center, putting her degree in psychology to work.  She is involved in her church and is asked by an elderly member to run an errand at the local mall.  Kate agrees and while there sees a little boy who looks just like her son.  The problem is three years ago her son was declared dead after a boating accident.  The authorities were able to find her husband’s body, but they never found her son’s body.  Kate thinks she must be seeing things, but the more she thinks about it the more sure she becomes.  She decides to present her story to a local PI firm and hire them to investigate.  She immediately feels confident and safe with Connor and trusts him to do a thorough job, even if the results are not the ones she wants.
Connor Sullivan and his partners have had their PI business for five years.  They have listened to their fair share of strange stories, but Kate’s story ranks near the top for not being believable.  Connor believes Kate is not crazy and tells her he will do some preliminary work, but makes sure she understands the slim to none odds that this little boy from the mall is her son.  Connor gets one lead and pursues it, then another lead is discovered and he begins to believe there may be something to Kate’s story.  Along the way, he also begins to think Kate may be the woman he has been waiting for his whole life.
After reading the prologue, I was intrigued as to where this mystery/suspense tale was going to take me.  The first chapter got me hooked; it was a nail-biter!  However, after the following few chapters, the story seemed to slow down too much for my taste.  The last third of the book picked up the pace again with a memorable final scene to cap things off.  I have read each book in this series and have enjoyed them all.  I loved the faith demonstrated by the two main characters and Christian aspect presented in the story.  I also liked how they were transparent with the mistakes made in their past and how they had learned and changed as a result of their faith in God.  I look forward to continuing to enjoy Ms. Hannon’s other series in the future.
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, July 12, 2016

The Reason by William Sirls

A wonderful emotionally packed story that you won't soon forget!

Like a River From Its Course

Title:  Like a River From Its Course
Author:  Kelli Stuart
Pages:  352
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Kregel
My rating is 5 stars.
Each chapter focuses on one of the main characters in the story plus the chapters alternate between those players.  The story is set in the timeframe of WWII and is in the nation of Ukraine, which I found was especially eye opening, having rarely read a historical novel set in that nation.  While the characters are mainly fiction, there is a lot based on the author’s travels and interactions in that nation.  For more, please visit her site at http://kellistuart.com/
Readers will have their hearts touched by those who suffered directly from the Nazi party’s actions in ways that can’t be imagined.  Various buildings were destroyed along with whatever was thought to be valuable was taken.  Through the suffering and some of the darkest moments there is a loving and caring God who draws people to Himself even those who never thought about spiritual life before.  Some of the story was hard when evil seemed to be so oppressing that hope was stolen and thought to never be a reality again.
The further I read though the more hope comes shining through as God works in spite of those bent on evil.  I found the book to be very unique, gritty and heart-touching.  Normally, I wouldn’t be drawn to these types of novels though I love history.  However, this book is the exception as I found out more of the story behind the book when I visited the author’s site and read her experiences.
What hope we can experience in the darkest of moments made the book well worth reading in my opinion.  I am grateful the author took what she learned from a real person and shared the testimony with readers.  I highly recommend reading the novel and sharing it with others to show how God turned something dark and evil into good for His glory with hearts transformed.  The book really captures the time, place and truth that God knows no limits and He comes to those who earnestly seek Him!  Don’t miss this great 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.”

Dark Habor (Love Inpsired Suspense)

Title:  Dark Harbor
Author:  Christy Barritt
Pages:  224
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Love Inspired Suspense
My rating is 5 stars.
Readers will most certainly enjoy a story where love wins and good triumphs over evil!  Zack is the lead male character who is Chief of Police for a small town off the East coast of the United States.  Originally Zack was a detective in Baltimore who worked to try to bring down a drug ring along with attempting to be a mentor to a young man on the streets.
Madelyn is the lead female character in the story that lost her parents in a car crash and has been trying to make it on her own since then.  Madelyn has no siblings and is adrift in her relationship to God.  When she goes to the small town to do a story on the Chief of Police under false pretenses, her life becomes targeted no matter where she is located!
In time, readers get to discover who is behind the illegal drug ring and the multiple attempts on Madelyn’s life.  Plus we get to enjoy the blossoming relationship between Zack and Madelyn.  Above all, we can enjoy seeing if, when or how Madelyn’s relationship with God morphs.  I really enjoyed the story and though some readers may have guessed who was behind all the attempts on Madelyn along with running drugs, I was surprised.  The ending was breathtaking and the epilogue was like icing on a cake!

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, July 11, 2016

Murder, Mezzo, Forte (A Preston Barclay Mystery #2)

Title:  Murder, Mezzo, Forte (A Preston Barclay Mystery #2)
Author:  Donn Taylor
Pages:  298
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Lamplighter Mysteries
My rating is 4 stars.
This Preston Barclay novel focuses on the man who teaches history at a university and recently solved a murder at the school.  Now, after a reception for the staff, trustees and other administrators, Preston and another professor, Mara Torn, find another dead body.  Preston knew this female professor because she was a friend of his late wife.  Were Professor Preston & Mara set up by some unknown assailant to discover the body and thereby be under suspicion for the murder?
There were a lot of one-liners throughout the novel that made me laugh out loud.  The main male character of Preston has a dry wit and sometimes speaks his one-liners at imperfect moments.  Mara and Preston became friends as they solved the prior murder on campus.  Mara though has kept her heart guarded due to a prior bad marriage.
Throughout the novel there were many references to a variety of music pieces, some classical while others were of other genres.  I thought the reference to the murder victim’s name was brilliant as well as the reason behind her nickname.  What sometimes disrupted the flow of the story was the amount of musical pieces referenced, even though I understood it was playing inside the head of Preston.  The reason the music was playing was to help Preston deal with life as some of the pieces were played when his wife was alive.
The ending was left at a place that leaves me to think the author might be bringing out another novel with the main characters of Preston and Mara.  I hope so as I enjoyed watching a possible romance and future with these two characters blossom the further the plot developed.  This is a good story that kept me guessing; there were just too many musical pieces referenced for 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.”

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Betrayed by Jeanette Windle


Title:  Betrayed
Author:  J. M. Windle
Pages:  365
Year:  2008
Publisher:  Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
Vicki Andrews is an anthropologist, working for an organization that gives funding to worthy aid organizations.  She has been sent to Guatemala to check out a children’s home for funding.  While there she runs into her younger sister Holly who is working at an animal rescue park.  They haven’t seen each other for a while, but Holly wants Vicki to help her with a project.  She isn’t specific about what the project is and Vicki really doesn’t want to take her personal vacation time and use it on Holly’s project.  Holly gets irritated and storms off.  The next day while Vicki is overlooking the huge garbage dump where the native Mayan people live and she sees movement in top of one of the garbage piles, runs to the pile to make a devastating discovery.
Vicki also discovers some things about her past from the children’s home founder.  She learns she was born in Guatemala and her parents were killed in a small village massacre twenty years ago.  She begins to have flashbacks to this terrible time that she has blocked out of her memory until now.  She also has two handsome men she meets in Guatemala; they are very different, but each has something she likes about him.  There are also soldiers from the military, soldiers on a new task force, guerilla forces and the CIA thrown into the mix of political manipulations and power struggles in this poor country for Vicki to worry about.  There is also a murder investigation, missing animals from the wildlife refuge plus a return to a right relationship with God for one character.
There is something for just about everyone in this action/suspense novel.  There is even a little romance too!  This was a very interesting setting with good writing and an author who knows her subject.  I enjoy finding some older books to share with other readers, so give this one a try.
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.”

Saturday, July 9, 2016

A Spy's Devotion

Title:  A Spy’s Devotion (The Regency Spies of London #1)
Author:  Melanie Dickerson
Pages:  315
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Waterfall Press
My rating is 4 stars.
This story is set in London in the year 1811. Julia Grey is the ward of Mr. and Mrs. Wilhern.  She has grown up with their daughter Phoebe and been given a good education and social standing due to her association with the Wilherns.  Phoebe has her heart set on marrying Nicholas Langdon and enlists Julia’s help in encouraging Nicholas to pay Phoebe attention and perhaps gain his favor.  Julia has always tried to follow the rules of society and has felt indebted to the Wilherns as they took her in at a young age and raised her after the death of her parents.  In gratitude for their care, Julia agrees to try to steer Nicholas in Phoebe’s direction.  However, she sees Nicholas sneak out of her uncle’s office and soon learns her world is about to be changed forever.
Nicholas Langdon is on leave from the army recuperating from war injuries.  He is shortly due to be sent back to his unit.  He has one more duty to perform before leaving and that is delivering a diary of a soldier who was in the camp hospital with Nicholas.  The young soldier was dying and asked Nicholas to deliver the diary upon his return to England.  Nicholas tries to deliver it, but is assaulted by two thieves who steal the diary.  Fortunately, Nicholas has made a copy and delivers this.  Upon deciphering the copy, the authorities discover a plot to murder General Wellington.  Suspicion turns to Phoebe’s father, but proof is needed so Nicholas is granted leave from his unit to find proof.
I thought the author did a good job of engaging me and holding my interest in the story.  Julia is a gentle, refined woman with the best interests of others always in the forefront.  She has a distant relationship with God, but as the story progresses she relies more on Him.  As tensions mount, she is finally able to see how the Wilhern family really sees her.  She is willing to risk her life for her country and to save Nicholas from an assassination attempt.  I enjoyed the conversations between Nicholas and Julia as well as watching their romance develop.  Julia’s optimism and selflessness were admirable.
Disclosure of Material Connection:  The above is my opinion only.  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, July 8, 2016

The Gilded Curse Author: Marilyn Turk

Title:  The Gilded Curse
Author:  Marilyn Turk
Pages:  258
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Heritage Beacon Fiction
My rating is 4 stars.
The setting is Jekyll Island, which is the home of the Millionaire’s Club and various homes used for those rich enough to get away during the winter.  Now, with the start of WWII, in order for the club to survive, the rules have changed and it is now opened to anyone.  Lexie Smithfield is the sole remaining family member returning to the island to get the home named Destiny ready for sale.  Before the Depression, Lexie’s family had wealth and socialized with elite families of similar class; however, now her life is so vastly different.
When she returns to the island, Lexie is reunited with a childhood friend who looks after her needs in many ways.  Russell couldn’t serve in the armed forces due to a hunting accident that left one foot permanently injured.  It seemed to Lexie that the curse her mother spoke about so often till her passing was becoming a reality in Lexie’s life too.  Someone is after whatever they believe she has in her possession, but Lexie knows it isn’t wealth.  So what is it?
In the novel, the family history is the main thread it seemed to me the more I read.  The author does a great job revealing that families may have secrets, and a history that showcases both good and bad choices with consequences.   Another thread is that no matter how long one turns their back on God or doesn’t talk to Him, He is there to welcome them home when they return to Him.
The ending reveals what Lexie’s father treasured most, and it is something that I believe will speak to readers’ hearts!  Plus, there is the reminder in the story of bonds forged many years ago that can be honored by the next generation.  Read the book and you’ll see what I am referring to.  Enjoy!

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, July 7, 2016

Voice of Freedom (Against All Enemies #2)

Title:  Voice of Freedom (Against All Enemies #2)
Author:  H. L. Wegley
Pages:  360
Year:  2016
Publisher:  H. L. Wegley
My rating is 5 stars.
The action-packed story begins with book one titled, Voices in the Wilderness, where we meet a small band of true Americans willing to stand up against domestic enemies.  Readers will be on the edge of their seats following each scene to see where this small band of three women and four men go in an attempt to stay one step ahead of the enemy pursuing them.  The enemy being the POTUS and those who have turned their backs on their oath of office!
In Voices in the Wilderness, the action centers around a brave young man named Brock Daniels and a genius of a computer whiz KC.  In this sequel, not only are we invited to peek in on the latest developments of Brock and KC, now we have an Israeli Mossad agent helping, another married couple, Steve who is a ranger and Julia who feels like a misfit.
When I finished the book, I felt hoped stirred in my heart!  While I know this is a work of fiction, many actions taken to uphold the Constitution and call the nation America again were excellent!  It reminds me of many who serve, protect and stay true to their oath of office to protect our nation from enemies, both foreign and domestic.  Our nation today needs brave Americans to pray and be active in helping turn the tide of this nation back to our founding fathers foundation.
I am aware that the author is currently working on another book for this series and I personally cannot wait to read it!  I thank all who serve America in cities and towns everywhere to protect lives and raise productive citizens for a better America in the future.  Thanks to the author for writing a moving story with a heart for this nation and her people!  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.”

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Cassia Author: Susan F. Craft

Title:  Cassia       
Author:  Susan F. Craft
Pages:  258
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Heritage Beacon Fiction
My rating is 5 stars.
In the manner of other great stories set on the high seas fraught with danger, add this novel to that list! I sat down to read Cassia in the early evening just drawn in by the cover and the different setting of the novel.  I didn’t stop reading till I reached the end!  I found the suspense in the tale would come at time unexpected and kept me turning pages to see if the characters avoided the pirates.
The main villain in the story is a pirate, Captain Galeo, who is an evil man who derives pleasure from seeing fear in the eyes of others.  His target is whatever crosses his path, and Galeo will not stand to be crossed by men under him.  The Xanthakos family is a godly family who endures trials that test their mettle and their faith.  The family endures life-threatening times, separation, danger and staring evil in the face.  However, the most admirable and truthful characteristic is their continued dependence upon God no matter what.
I can guarantee the moment you pick up the book you too will be enthralled so much that you may not want anyone bothering you until the end!  The novel will appeal to all types of readers, though I wouldn’t give it to young readers.  Consider giving a copy to your library, friends or perhaps a family member so they can get lost in adventure for a while!

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.”