Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Finding Amanda

Title:  Finding Amanda

Author:  Robin Patchen

Pages:  268

Year:  2015

Publisher:  JDO Publishing

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

The cover of the book quickly grabbed my attention and when I read the synopsis, I knew I wanted to read this book.  Here is a tale about Amanda Johnson who is married to a popular chef and blogger.   Amanda’s past that she revealed privately to her husband years later is one she now wants to make known through her memoir.  Amanda is a survivor of abuse by her psychiatrist and now that he knows what she plans on publishing, he is coming after her and plans on successfully keeping her this time.

For me, it was very moving story of restoration of Amanda’s heart and her life.  There are many twists and turns in the plot along with the feeling of impending, even deathly danger.  I was left waiting for it as I kept turning pages.  I felt for Amada’s husband as he was reeling from her wanting separation.  Remember, this is a work of fiction not fact and doesn’t reflect on the field of the many doctors who are trustworthy.

I thought the author did a great job of showing the husband’s perseverance with God’s help in standing with Amanda.  Both characters are learning at different times and ways that God is the one who can do more than they could ask or think.  The author does a fantastic job of showing the heartache, pain and time it takes to allow God to work in hearts to bring about forgiveness, restoration and renewal of joy!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A Name Unknown (Shadows Over England #1)

Title:  A Name Unknown (Shadows Over England #1)
Author:  Roseanna M. White
Pages:  429
Year:  2017
Publisher:  BethanyHouse
My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.
Peter Holstein is a wealthy recluse who spends his time tapping away on his typewriter locked up in his study all day.  What is he typing all day?  Subversive letters against England and pro-Germany in these days of 1914 when countries are bristling against one another and on the brink of war?  That’s what Rosemary Gresham wonders upon first meeting him.  He has hired her to organize his extensive library and find certain documents that will prove his loyalty to England.  Rosemary has been sent by the mysterious Mr. V to find out if Peter is truly loyal to England or putting words in the King of England’s ear and is really embracing his German citizenship.  Rosemary faces a daunting task as she has had no formal education and is a child of the streets who has become an expert thief.  She is undercover to earn money for her large family that could feed and clothe them for a long time.  She is there to do the job and leave, but she soon finds herself enjoying her written exchanges with the quiet manor owner.  She knows he prefers writing due to his stuttering, so she adopts his method and writes back to him.  They soon form a friendship, but Rosemary must search for the truth without Peter knowing it or Mr. V will turn her in to the police for her thieving.  She begins to realize she is going to have to make a choice, one that will change many lives.
There were some very tender moments in this story, causing me to tear up occasionally.  The romance is gentle, but the faith revealed by Peter Holstein is wonderful!  He lives his faith daily and isn’t afraid to let others know of his beliefs.  He thinks of others first and tries his best to give godly advice and guidance.  He has a sense of humor, too!  He was my favorite character, although Rosemary ran a close second.  She is witty, scrappy, gritty and compassionate.  She stands up for those who need protection or those who have been wronged and she isn’t afraid of what anyone will think of her doing so.  She knows right from wrong, but has made some wrong choices out of necessity.  She realizes her life needs to change and makes the change needed without hesitation.  The book was a bit too long for me, but that is the only negative thing I found.  The scene where the Prince of England visits was just precious!
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, August 14, 2017

The Soldier Who Killed a King

Title:  The Soldier Who Killed a King

Author:  David Kitz

Pages:  288

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Kregel

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

This story is about Marcus Longinus, a Roman centurion in Jerusalem in 33 A.D.  The last thing for this soldier who is tormented by his past to expect is for Jesus of Nazareth to enter Jerusalem on a donkey as a king and perform miracles.  He heals the sick and the crippled, he raises the dead to life, and proclaims that the kingdom of heaven has come.  While Marcus cannot deny the goodness of this man, he is nevertheless disturbed by Him.  For on His entry into Jerusalem, Jesus turns to Marcus and he hears a voice in his head, “I have a future for you”.  Marcus feels small and doesn’t understand these words.  He fears to be around Jesus and doesn’t want anything to do with Him.  However, forces beyond his control are at work.  There are those in power who want Jesus dead.  The fate of Jesus and Marcus seems tied together and it seems Marcus might be the one who nails Jesus to the cross at Golgotha.

I would recommend this book to others because it is a great retelling of the last week of Jesus’ life here on earth.  I like how it stays true to what the Bible says happened during that time and how it is told through the eyes of Gentiles.  Now obviously, Marcus is made up and is supposed to be the Roman soldier who confessed that Jesus was the Son of God (see Luke 23:47), but it makes the story unique.  I also like how it stays true to the history of the enmity between a lot of the Jews and the Romans at that time when Israel was under Roman occupation.

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, August 11, 2017

Justice Buried (Memphis Cold Case Series #2)

Title:  Justice Buried (Memphis Cold Case Series #2)

Author:  Patricia Bradley

Pages:  384

Year:  2017

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

The series begins with the first novel titled, Justice Delayed that was released earlier in 2017.  Now, readers will enjoy book two in the series, Justice Buried that for me was more thrilling than the first novel!  The main female character named Kelsey Allen is a woman who has guarded her heart for years, carried pain from her past and turned into one of the best athletic and daring women in her family.

Kelsey’s father disappeared over 20 years ago and is suspected of robbing the very museum of artifacts he oversaw, but did he?  She is hired to be an undercover curator at the same museum her father once worked at, but only few people know her true identity.  Kelsey was adopted by a man named Sam whom her mother married when Kelsey was very young; therefore, her different last name doesn’t reveal her biological father.

Kelsey loves her sister Sabra and niece Lily who loves to rock climb with her aunt and seems to love danger and adventure as much as Kelsey.  Life becomes a deadly game when someone begins actively going after Kelsey, involving a police detective named Brad Hollister.  Kelsey isn’t too thrilled as they knew each other in high school and it wasn’t a positive or close friendship.

Now her life is in Brad’s hands and Kelsey isn’t just going to sit around and wait for someone to come after her if she has any say in the matter.  What will keep readers turning pages for hours is the danger doggedly on Kelsey’s heels and the many attempts on her life.  The way this tale is written kept me guessing who the responsible party was and how the author was going to write about the blooming relationship between Kelsey and Brad.

Grab a copy and hold on!  It’s a great suspense filled story just waiting for you to enjoy!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Missing Mabel (A Curl Up & Dye Mystery #1)

Title:  Missing Mabel (A Curl Up & Dye Mystery #1)

Author:  Nancy Mehl

Pages:  249

Year:  2010

Publisher:  Barbour Publishing

My rating is 4 stars out of 5.

I have read all of Nancy Mehl’s more recent books and was happy to discover she had written this mystery series earlier in her career.  The story is set in Wichita, Kansas in the present.  Hilde Higgins is a young, single woman with a very interesting and some might say strange job.  She is a hairdresser for the deceased.  She styles the hair of dead people before their funeral services.  Her mother is not happy with her career choice, especially since she quit college to pursue this job.

Hilde is called to one of the local funeral homes for a job, but accidentally goes into the wrong room to discover the body of Mabel Winnemaker, awaiting delivery to the coroner’s office for an autopsy.  Hilde is supposed to dress the hair of another woman.  Hilde quickly leaves the room and finds the correct body and proceeds to do her job.  A few days later she is called back to the funeral home to dress the hair of Mabel.  The only problem is the Hilde has a photographic memory and the body she has been told is Mabel is not the same Mabel she saw a few days ago.  She notifies the funeral home owner, but he thinks she has made a mistake.  Then, Hilde is accused of stealing an expensive ring from Mabel’s body and Hilde fears her reputation and career will be ruined.  She sets out to find out where the real Mabel is and to notify Mabel’s family of the situation.

An old friend contacts Hilde to renew their acquaintance and Hilde can sure use his help to find out what happened to Mabel.  Hilde also makes friends with a crusty old gentleman, Gabe, across the street from the boarding house where she lives.  They interaction between Hilde and Gabe were just so funny!  Those conversations were one of my favorite parts of the book and I hope Gabe appears in the other books of the series.  I also liked how Hilde’s faith in God was evident in how she lived her life.  Her best friend was not a believer, but Hilde prayed for her and tried to show her the love of God in how she lives her life.  Hilde’s renewed friendship with Adam also revealed his faith, which I thought was so important for the beginning of a relationship.  I am looking forward to book two in the series, Blown Away.

A Rebel in My House

Title:  A Rebel in My House

Author:  Sandra Merville Hart

Pages:  250

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Smitten Historical Romance

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

Sandra Merville Hart’s novel is gripping from beginning to end!  The first novel she wrote is titled, A Stranger on My Land, both stories take place in the historical timeframe of the War Between the States.  When I finished reading her first novel, I couldn’t wait until she published another story.  The tales she writes touch the heart and soul of readers in a unique way that defies words.

A Rebel in My House is a novel that brought tears to my eyes and that’s saying something.  The detailed scenes and the characters seemed so alive to me that it was as if I was there witnessing what was occurring at the time.  Sarah Hubbard is a single woman making her living as a dressmaker in Gettysburg when a stranger knocks on her door and requests aid.  As time goes on it seems the danger is increasing near her home from the war so Sarah goes to live with her sister and niece in town.  Yet, Sarah cannot help but think of the stranger who is once again in the thick of battle.

The knock that began the change in Sarah’s life continues to bring more conflict of the heart than anything else.  Of course, Sarah’s conflict with her sister Martha doesn’t help Sarah in any way.  Towards the end of the story is when I was near tears as the author depicts a very touching scene that I can imagine took place many times during the war.  When I read how Sandra prepared to write this story for us to enjoy, I could tell it really touched her heart with the real people behind the fictional ones.

Please read both of her novels and enjoy them.  I sure did and again I cannot wait to see what flows from her pen in the future!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Leviticus Live

In Our Hands (The Battle for Jerusalem)

Title:  In Our Hands (The Battle for Jerusalem)

Author:  Erin Zimmerman

Year:  2017

Publisher:  CBN


My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

Recently, I had been reminded of the Six-Day War in Israel by hearing about the movie, though it didn’t come to a theatre in my area, and through some articles in magazines.  To realize it happened 50 years ago when I was 6 brought me up short as I don’t remember being taught in school about what occurred in another nation.

When my husband and I sat down to watch this docudrama, we were not sure what we would hear or see.  What we did learn was an amazing testimony of how God miraculously brought confusion to the enemy, some of the Jewish people back to Jerusalem and the legacy the soldiers left behind!  The cost in lives was high, but when we listened to the soldiers who fought or their children retelling what they knew, it touched out hearts!

We learned it wasn’t something to just listen to and then go on with life; it really made us aware of God’s presence and power.  I hope many take time to watch the DVD together and then share what touched their heart or what they learned.  Equally amazing was learning what current IDF soldiers do before they start their time in service to their country.  It really touched our hearts and at times we felt like we had a lump in our throats!

Monday, August 7, 2017

A Matter of Trust (Montana Rescue #3)

Title:  A Matter of Trust (Montana Rescue #3)

Author:  Susan May Warren

Pages:  336

Year:  2017

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

The series includes two other outstanding books titled, Wild Montana Skies and Rescue Me.  The characters from these novels continue in this third installment.  Gage Watson is the man who had it all:   fame, wealth and notoriety until he lost it all.  Now, he serves on a rescue team known as PEAK.  Everything is going along smoothly for Gage until some people try some very dangerous stunts and a woman from his past makes an appearance.  Ella Blair is a senator and is one Gage has mixed emotions about.  Ella herself carries guilt for her part in Gage losing so very much.

Now, they are on a mountain seeking to locate her brother and a friend who decided to go on a closed mountain side to try and ride the snow trail as Gage did years ago.  What happens I will leave for readers to enjoy discovering as well as meeting a few new people in the novel that I hope the author brings to her next Montana Rescue story. 

For me, this was a very nail-biting thriller at times, as well as enjoying the possible budding romantic relationships.  What is introduced in the first book about the founder, Ian Shaw, looking for his niece continues in the novel here so I people will enjoy the story more if they read the books in order.  The characters and their various work or personal relationships are evolving along with the multiple story lines Susan continues to develop with each tale.

If you like reading books with tension, thrills, romance and more, look no further.  This series is one of the best for 2017!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Searching for Irene review Plus!

Title:  Searching for Irene

Author:  Marlene Bateman


Marlene Bateman Sullivan grew up in Utah, and graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor's degree in English. She is married to Kelly R. Sullivan and they live in North Salt Lake, Utah with their two dogs and four cats. Marlene has been published extensively in magazines and newspapers and wrote the best-selling romance/suspense novel, Light on Fire Island. She has written three other cozy mysteries; Motive for Murder, A Death in the Family, and Crooked House, as well as the romance, For Sale by Owner

Pages:  272

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Covenant Communications

My rating 5 out of 5.

The novel gripped me from the first page all the way till the surprise ending I never saw coming!  I kept turning pages and trying to figure out who was responsible for Irene vanishing.  Ana, being the oldest, comes to take her sister’s place without revealing whether she had or didn’t have a connection to Irene.  The head of the household, Lawrence, needs help getting his paperwork in order to submit taxes and to have a system set up to make it easier for him to keep track of the household’s financial status.

The brothers, Kent and Tyler, have different areas of interests and ideas for making their father’s estate grow.  Ana is well educated and listens to what various household workers share regarding Irene specifically and anyone else in general.  Ana is bearing up under a load of guilt she has placed on her heart that in time readers like myself hope she lets go in order to grasp a brighter future.

The ending was just surprising and astonishing as I never would have picked that character to be the one responsible for what occurred in the mansion along with another character that Ana remembers seeing but couldn’t remember where for most of the story.  The author has listed in the front of her book other novels she has published and I want to read them as well!  I loved the romance, mystery, intrigue and various personalities and quirks of the household members.

Be prepared to sit until you get to the end of the book as it is exceptionally written and engaging!

Purchase Links:

Seagull Book;

Barnes and Noble;


Marlene’s website:

For Sale by Owner:  Stressed by a difficult year, McKenzie Forsberg quits her high-powered job to move back to her hometown. Desperate and determined to rebuild her life, Kenzie seeks to buy the home she grew up in. The only problem is that a handsome widower, Jared Rawlins, also wants the house. As a battle of wits ensue, sparks of attraction grow into something more. Then, Kenzie makes a stunning discovery about her past that changes everything. Will the power of love be enough to allow Jared and Kenzie to find their happily ever after?

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Genesis Live

The Captivating Lady Charlotte

Title:  The Captivating Lady Charlotte

Author:  Carolyn Miller

Pages:  311

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Kregel Publications

My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.

The year is 1814 and Lady Charlotte Featherington is presented to the Queen of England as part of her debut in society.  She wishes to marry soon and her eye is captured by a young man at her “come-out” ball.  Her parents, however, want her to marry a duke.  Charlotte wants to marry for love.  Her father is a well-placed aristocrat and will not be denied what he wants and that is for Charlotte to marry the widowed duke.  Can she ever love this man?  Is this what God really wants for her?

William Hartwell, the Duke of Hartington, is a widower.  His first wife betrayed him by breaking her marriage vows with the scandal known throughout society.  Now, all he wants is for his current wife to love him, not out of a sense of duty but because she truly loves him from her heart.  But can he trust her with his heart or will she betray him as well?  As they both struggle with their emotions, can they learn what love truly is?  Can they trust God to know what is best for them?

This is another exceptional Regency romance by Carolyn Miller.  Her first book published, The Elusive Miss Ellison, also was terrific.  It’s hard to believe this is only the author’s second published work!  The historical research done by the author that she used to build her story is interesting and grabbed my attention, holding it throughout.  The two main characters are likeable and had me rooting for a marriage of love and not one of duty.  To watch their marriage deepen their love for one another was thrilling!  William shows his love with his many acts of kindness to others he meets as well as to Charlotte.  I also enjoyed the appearance of characters from book one in the series, who actually had supporting roles and a story of their own.  I can hardly wait for book three in the series titled, The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey.

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, August 2, 2017

Beneath Copper Falls

Title:  Beneath Copper Falls

Author:  Colleen Coble

Pages:  368

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Thomas Nelson

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

There are other books in the series, but this was my first.  Colleen hasn’t lost her touch in writing a spell-binding mystery fraught with danger, twists and perhaps blooming romance.  The main character is Dana Newell who is a 911 dispatcher.  She returns to the area where she grew up in the hopes of escaping a man bent on taking her back to be alone with him forever.  What the stalker didn’t count on was the many people who care and know about Dana, and one man in particular who helps restore her confidence by training her in basic self-defense.

Just as Dana is hesitant to start a relationship, so is Boone as he was abandoned by his fiancée after an injury left him scarred.  Each character brings a different aspect to what is occurring in Rock Harbor.  I just kept reading the novel and enjoying the engaging tale amidst all the constant action with moments of friendship and romance.

I plan to go back and read the other novels in the Rock Harbor series.  I am sure they are as well-versed with danger, adventure and at least one or two characters who have a desire to cause harm.  If you have read the other books in the series, please leave a comment on this post and let me know which one was your favorite with a word or two of why it is your favorite!

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, August 1, 2017

Messianic Judaism (A Modern Movement with An Ancient Past)

Title:  Messianic Judaism (A Modern Movement with An Ancient Past)

Author:  David H. Stern

Pages:  321

Year:  2007

Publisher:  Messianic Jewish Publisher

My rating 4 out of 5 stars.

A friend and I were getting together weekly to discuss various chapters in the book.  One thing we quickly observed was that the book was ten years old and therefore a lot had changed in the Messianic community since the book was published.  So, we looked at the book with more of a historical perspective and for what we could learn about Messianic Judaism and the people.

We also observed that at times the author seemed inconsistent with his views almost as if he wasn’t settled with the issue he lays forth.  The other observation was that the author had some kind of heart wound about Christians in the past that we didn’t quite grasp why he brought it up in the book. There were some interesting ideas, views and thoughts that were quite interesting.  We both hope that the author will update this book because there has been such an explosion of Messianic material and more happening with the relationship between Christians and Jewish people.

When you read the book with discernment, glean what you can about the Messianic Community and how the bridge can be made between Christians and Jewish people.  My friend and I both love Israel and the Jewish people and desire to learn more about the Jewishness of the Scriptures, land and people.  We hope you will join us on this quest that has really opened our eyes and heart to the chosen people of God, and His Word!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Chasing Secrets (Elite Guardians #4)

Title:  Chasing Secrets (Elite Guardians #4)

Author:  Lynette Eason

Pages:  331 (ARC)

Year:  2017

My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.

Haley Callaghan is a body guard as well as the founder of a local teen center that helps underprivileged kids stay off the streets and out of trouble.  After finishing her last case, she heads for home only to realize she is being followed again.  She soon discovers that a detective from Ireland has come to the States looking for her with an incredible story.  She isn’t sure she believes what he tells her, but she also can’t ignore that it could be true.  She also undertakes the protection of a poor family in a bad section of town when she is almost the victim of a mugging.

Haley also meets her friend Quinn’s new partner who has transferred from Chicago.  Steve Rothman has been called home by his mother to help care for his dying father.  Steve has avoided home as much as possible as the memories of the murder of his 12-year-old brother continue to plague him.  He meets Haley and is fascinated by her spirit and grit.  He can’t seem to stop her from invading his thoughts.  He wants to get to know her better, but knows this isn’t the right time to get involved in a relationship.  Tell that to his heart!  He feels protective toward Haley even though he knows she can take care of herself as she is the victim of two drive-by shootings in one day and a death threat.  Could these attempts on her life be connected to the detective from Ireland or are they related to her new client?

What I like about Ms. Eason’s books is they always have the element of faith woven into them; this book is no different.  The characters not only talk about their faith, but they live it.  It isn’t something they participate in on Sunday and then leave it at the door on the way out of church.  I like the suspense and mystery too.  The characters are easy to get to know and get involved with their lives.  I always look forward to reading one of her stories because I get a good mystery and romance each and every time!  I’m looking forward to her new series titled Blue Justice as I know there will be plenty of action and suspense.

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 29, 2017

The Switch

Title:  The Switch

Author:  Joseph Finder

Pages:  384

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Dutton

My rating 4 out of 5 stars.

I have never read a Joseph Finder novel.  I wanted to read this particular book as the synopsis drew my interest.  The only drawback in reading the book is the use of taking God’s name in vain, which should never be used at all.  The author has a strong plot in the book, strong characters that kept my attention throughout the novel.  However, occasionally the word would show up and it was like a distraction that didn’t add anything to the story. Frankly, it was offensive.

The premise of a businessman accidentally getting the wrong laptop at the airport that belonged to a senator was great.  From there, the way one character used multiple nefarious ways to regain the computer was intriguing.  The businessman wanted to do the right thing before someone besides himself was hurt or killed.

I wondered how far the senator’s assistant was willing to go to attain a higher government position.  Plus, the constant tension of involving others in trying to get the laptop back, both with non-threatening and extremely threatening ways made me wonder if the man calling the shots was ever going to stop doing so.  The possible political ramifications of what was on that senator’s laptop was the paramount and sole focus of the senator’s assistant.

Readers will find out how a businessman trying to salvage his business comes out in the end when he refuses to simply allow the government official to tell him what to do or threaten him.  I hope in Joseph Finder’s future books he will refrain from using God’s name that way and look for other means of expression for his characters.  He really is a talented writer with a great story many might read if he were to remove the language because the story can stand on its own without using it.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Trusting Grace (Virtues and Vices of the Old West #3)

Title:  Trusting Grace (Virtues and Vices of the Old West #3)

Author:  Maggie Brendan

Pages:  328

Year:  2017

My rating is 4 stars out of 5.

Robert Frasier was married for just two months when his wife died and he lost his farm due to poor crop yield.  Right after his wife’s funeral, her sister shows up and drops off his dead wife’s three children for him to raise.  He had no idea his wife even had any children!  He is angry and depressed and grieving.  He has a poor attitude with the children even though he knows it is not their fault.  He takes them on the road as he looks for work so they live outside in a wagon, moving every few days as Robert can’t find work.  He comes to Bozeman, Montana and hopes his future will be brighter.  The town is just beginning to prosper so hopefully he can find work.  He gets a job at a local potato farm and meets the owner, a widow named Grace Bidwell.  He keeps his distance from her as he now thinks every woman is out to get a ring on her finger.  Over time, he learns that Grace is special and not what he expected.

Grace Bidwell has been a widow for three years after her husband’s unexpected death.  She is also caring for her ailing father who moved in with him after his wife died.  Grace desperately needs help to get the potatoes planted and keep up with work on the farm, so she decides to hire Robert.  She soon discovers he is a hard worker, but doesn’t say much and keeps to himself.  She stumbles upon his children and they soon fill a void in her heart for the family she has always wanted, but Robert doesn’t seem interested in her romantically.  A local lawyer begins to court Grace, so she might just get her family after all.

Readers see the two main characters both having issues with trust.  Robert was duped by his first wife and Grace not able to trust Robert due to another man’s mistreatment of her and lying to her.  They each learn how to trust that God knows what is best for them, whether it is becoming a father through deceit of another or longing for a family.  The act of swallowing pride and apologizing is in the story, which is something everyone must deal with at some point in their lives.  It was a good reminder to me that I don’t always have to be right and I need to humble myself and extend mercy.  I have enjoyed this entire series and think anyone who likes western historical romance will like these books.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Legacy (Secrets of the Shetlands #3)

Title:  The Legacy (Secrets of the Shetlands #3)

Author:  Michael Phillips

Pages:  464

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Bethany House

My rating 5 out of 5.

What an exciting conclusion to the series!  The various threads of romance, spirituality, history and how it affected the various family members was truly inspiring to read!  The only place that seemed a little tedious for me was the section where letters between family members from Loni’s past became somewhat burdensome to read.  Other than that, the whole series was fascinating to see one family’s ancestry and how it was connected through the many generations known by journals and letters left behind by those who came before.

I loved how the author took time to craft a tale with such depth of heart and meaning, plus the many twists and turns in the story to keep me turning pages for hours.  Reading all three books in order helped me experience such excitement that sometimes is missing when authors shorten some parts of their tale.  Michael Phillips does a fabulous job showing us how important it is to pass on the stories of our ancestors and others, as well as leaving a legacy of story for those yet to come.

The clan highlighted and family members weren’t perfect, but the truth of praying for them and not being ugly in return is a challenging truth!  The ending to me leaves what happens next to the minds of those who have enjoyed the series, characters, ups and downs, etc.  One of my favorite parts was when Loni thought to destroy her own journal because she viewed her journey as complete.  What happens next, you’ll discover when you read the book, but I love how the importance of leaving a written legacy whether in a journal form or notations in Bibles, books, etc. is a point perhaps we need to take to heart in a time with so much instant communication that those who come after us will never see, such as texts, pictures, emails, etc.

No matter where you are, grab the set and be prepared to travel via your imagination across the ocean and back as you get lost in the pages of Loni’s 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.”

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Cottage (Secrets of the Shetlands #2)

Title:  The Cottage (Secrets of the Shetlands #2)

Author:  Michael Phillips

Pages:  416

Year:  2016

Publisher:  Bethany House

My rating 5 out of 5.

The story is of Loni’s inheritance and her learning of the language and people who inhabit a little island called Whales Reef.  She has a confusing relationship with an upcoming man who is in the political arena and the people she meets in Whales who are as different as night and day.  The people view Loni with an attitude of skepticism, except the island chief named David.

Slowly Loni is beginning to understand the island’s view of her and the nefarious attempts to steal her inheritance by Hardy who is a man from Texas and currently on the island.  There is a whole lot of ancestry history being uncovered that surprises Loni.  She becomes enamored with the chief, David, as he is so much more than what he first appears.  He is more authentic than Hugh, which takes Loni by surprise.

There are many threads, characters and depth to the book than I can convey in a review.  However, I loved the continuing story that Michael Phillips crafted for readers such as myself to enjoy.  After a while, some of the written dialect in the book became easy to read and understand as I became familiar with the pronunciation.  I loved the blossoming spiritual legacy that is slowly being revealed in the series and how that affects or effects different characters in the tale.

Don’t let the length of the books cause you to rethink reading them; the time is well worth it as the enjoyment is beyond measure!

The Inheritance (Secrets of Shetland #1)

Title:  The Inheritance (Secrets of Shetland #1)

Author:  Michael Phillips

Pages:  432

Year:  2016

Publisher:  Bethany House

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

I read the novel the first time when it was originally published.  When I learned there were to be other installments of the story, I decided to wait until they were all available so I could read all three books and see the total sum of the tale together.  By the time the third book came out, I knew I had to read book one again as there were so many threads of the novel I was sure I had forgotten most of it by 2017.

I must confess that I enjoyed the novel more the second time through, perhaps it was because I was able to read it without being hurried or because I just wanted to refresh my memory.  Either way I again was absorbed in the legacy, land and people of Whales Reef Island where most of the tale takes place.  Other times it was fun to travel back to the United States with the main character, Loni, as she was attempting to become attached to her roots.

Loni is working in Washington D. C. when she is told she has an inheritance waiting for her on an island from a person she never heard of or knew.  When her journey to find out who she really is inside differs from the past of being raised by her grandparents and now being told she has ties to Scotland, well she is more confused than ever!  Please enjoy the series as all three books eventually point readers to the importance of knowing one’s legacy and how journaling might be an avenue of discovery!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

On Love’s Gentle Shore (Prince Edward Island Dreams #3)

Title:  On Love’s Gentle Shore (Prince Edward Island Dreams #3)

Author:  Liz Johnson

Pages:  336

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Revell

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

The other books in the series are The Red Door Inn and Where Two Hearts Meet.  I think to really appreciate the tale it is helpful to read the first two books as the character’s story continues to develop with each book.

In this story, we meet Natalie who formerly lived on the island and left for a time and is now returning to be married per her future husband’s desire.  Natalie left in hurry years ago as she tired of the whispers of gossip and the way she thought people thought of and about her.  Now, a grown woman, she feels like she did years ago and cannot wait to be married and leave the island along with her past to never return.  However, her plans don’t quite go as she had envisioned, starting with her fiancée returning to Nashville to help take care of a problem with recording a record for an artist.

Throughout the book it touched my heart to see Natalie confront her fears, the gossip and her past. How she comes to really understand how the people loved her and tried to care for her is an eye-opening and heart-touching moment for Natalie.  Plus, she runs into her childhood friend who was the one always there to help her through some of the roughest of her youngest years with her mother.

Here is a wonderful tale of redemption, real love and overcoming the past in order to embrace a brighter future!

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 24, 2017

My Daughter’s Legacy (Cousins of the Dove #3)

Title:  My Daughter’s Legacy (Cousins of the Dove #3)

Author:  Mindy Starns Clark & Leslie Gould

Pages:  397

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Harvest House

My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.

After meeting Nicole in book one and reading about her continued trouble with addiction in book two, now readers get to hear her story in book three of the series.  She has just completed her first year of college successfully.  She has been substance free for the whole time and has no intention of going back to her former life.  She is healthier than ever and with summer approaching she is going to live with her sister and intern at a local ranch that uses horses for rehabilitative therapy.  However, before she can begin her summer break, she decides she must share a secret she has kept at her grandfather’s request since she was six years old.  The secret sheds a little light on the mystery of the disappearing dead body that has plagued Nicole, her sister and her two cousins for years.  As the four cousins come together once again, can they finally discover what really happened all those years ago?

In alternating chapters, readers are taken to the past of 1864 and learn about Therese Jennings.  Therese lives in Virginia, which is a Confederate state, but she is anti-slavery.  Her father was from the North and taught his daughter that slavery was wrong.  Her mother is from the South, but abided by her husband’s wishes.  Now that Therese’s father has died, her mother returns to the family plantation, refusing to free the slaves as her grandfather requested in his last words.  Therese can’t live under these conditions so she takes a job in Richmond as a governess and begins volunteering at a local hospital to nurse wounded soldiers.  Therese must decide if she can stand firm in her beliefs as well as who is trustworthy as all is not as is appears.

I so enjoyed this final book in this interesting series!  The authors did a great job of blending the story between past and present to make it easy to read and follow each timeline.  The look at the past in each book was especially captivating.  I liked learning about Richmond near the end of the Civil War and what life was like in this southern city.  The romantic angle for both Therese and Nicole was also one that piqued my interest.  I do recommend reading these books in order.  For an intriguing look at history and mystery, this is a series that will fit the bill!

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 21, 2017

"Searching for Irene" Review & Giveaway


Title:  Searching for Irene

Author:  Marlene Bateman

Pages:  268

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Covenant Communications, Inc.

My rating is 4 stars.

I always like to read a good mystery and this was a good one!  I was unfamiliar with this author, but when the chance came to review it, I jumped!  The story is set in the 1920s in Virginia.  Anna Coughlin is in her mid-20s and has something not many women have…a college degree.  She works as a financial advisor of sorts, preparing tax documents, payroll records and estate planning.  Her younger sister, Irene, works for the same firm.  A few months ago, Irene accepted a live-in position to get all the paperwork in order for taxes at a wealthy estate in Virginia.  She writes to her sister frequently, but the letters stop coming and Anna begins to worry.  She finds out that her sister has disappeared.  A search was undertaken at the time of her disappearance, but all that was found missing from her room was a suitcase.  Most of her possessions were left behind, giving the impression she was planning to return.

Anna has always protected Irene as she had to raise her when their mother was always at work.  Irene is headstrong, impetuous, beautiful, full of life and not afraid to push the envelope of propriety.  Anna has always lived in her shadow, but loves her sister deeply and will do whatever is necessary to find her.  She decides to investigate on her own as the police don’t seem to be doing much.  She takes a job as Irene’s replacement at the mansion in Virginia, but she tells no one of her relationship to Irene.  She begins asking questions and stirs the pot as strange things begin to occur.  Anna is also at odds with the young heir-to-be, Tyler Richardson.  He is attractive, but gruff, distant and sometimes downright rude.  He is against Anna being hired, but his father overrules him.  Tyler and Anna butt heads initially, but Tyler soon learns that Anna is quite efficient and knows her job well, plus his father likes her.  As Anna keeps her identity secret and continues her quest, the stakes are increased and her heart ignores her brain when she falls in love.  What happened to Irene?  Did she leave to meet a man and run off to get married?  Did she steal some things from the mansion and take off for the big city?

The had a Gothic feel in certain creepy parts that I liked as it raised goosebumps on my arms!  The ending was a surprise reveal, which I found well done.  I didn’t really like the character of Tyler much as he seemed too hot and cold, going from rude and mean to smoldering gazes for Anna.  Anna had a determined mindset that she didn’t waver from even facing danger to herself.  The mystery was a little slow in some portions, but overall flowed well.  I liked the crusty character of the father, Lawrence Richardson the best.  I would like to read more from this author and would recommend this book for any mystery buff.

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 20, 2017

My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island (Maude’s Mooring)

Title:  My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island (Maude’s Mooring)

Author:  Carrie Fancett Pagels

Pages:  256

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Barbour

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

Maude Welling is the main character in the story.  She is expecting to inherit an inn on the island.  The inn has been in the family through her mother’s side though her father doubted she could run it without a husband.  When her childhood friend returns to the island and she expects to become engaged to him, imagine her surprise when he returns with a friend!

Maude is a very independent, head-strong woman who sets her course with little thought of how it will impact her or anyone else.  When a young wealthy man shows up on the island, Maude begins to be drawn to him, but doesn’t really understand what she is feeling.  There are many other interesting characters in the story that bring depth to the book.  It was very fun and exciting to read!

I hope you grab a cold soda and relax as you enjoy a wonderful tale from author Carrie Fancett Pagels!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.”