Thursday, September 19, 2019

Too Soon to Die (The Jensen Brand #2)

Title:  Too Soon to Die (The Jensen Brand #2)

Author:  William W. Johnstone & J. A. Johnstone

Pages:  448

Year:  2019

Publisher:  Pinnacle

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars

What a fun adventure and action western to read!  Whether you haven’t heard of the Johnstone novels or are a longtime fan, here is a tale readers, who enjoy a book chock full of nonstop action, will get lost in for hours!

The Jensen family are characters who stick together through all kinds of trouble and good times too.  They also give back to the town of Big Rock and work hard on their Sugarloaf ranch.  Smoke is the patriarch of the family with a well-known reputation for taking care of business.  Denny and Louis are twins, now grown, with Louis getting married to a widow woman who he met during a blizzard.  But that’s another story.

An added thread in the novel is men who have nefarious schemes in mind no matter who gets hurt.  When they kidnap a member of the Jensen family, Smoke will go to great lengths to rescue him/her.  Smoke doesn’t ride alone; the other family members gear up.  Along with the ranch hands, they will ride with nary a word from Smoke.  Sally, his wife, would ride along too and go to battle, but this time she must wait on the sidelines.

The Jensen family are loved and admired by many, many fans including myself.  The stories pull you in and leave you wanting more.  If you are wanting to read more about the Jensen Family or check out other western and various genre written by the Johnstones, visit:

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Storm Rising (The Book of the Wars #1)

Title:  Storm Rising (The Book of the Wars #1)

Author:  Ronie Kendig

Pages:  384

Year:  2019

Publisher:  Bethany House

My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.

The Book of the Wars of the Lord allegedly is a real book that exists and has been found by a nefarious organization.  The book tells of past wars and their outcomes as well as future wars and their outcomes, so there is more than one organization/person after it.  One such group is a special ops team led by Leif Metcalfe, a former Navy SEAL.  His team travels the globe in their search for the book.  One of their main competitors is a Bulgarian agent, code name Viorica, who has amazing skills and will stop at nothing to complete her mission.  While Leif’s interactions with Viorica have him admiring her abilities and have him thinking romantic thoughts about her, he is still struggling with his secret abilities and a six-month gap in his memory.

Viorica or Iskra Todorova steals the book, but only has it for a short while.  She will do anything to get it back.  She is a woman who can’t fail her mission as it will have dire consequences.  She is immediately attracted to Leif, but she can’t afford to let her heart lead her astray.  She must stay focused and bring the book to her controller.  However, the more meetings she has with Leif the more she wants to trust him.  If he discovers her secrets, all will be lost to her way of thinking.

I had a little trouble getting into this book, but a kept reading knowing that Ronie always writes with plenty of action and spine-tingling missions for her military protagonists.  The prologue had me glued to my seat, but then the story takes readers back one month to give us background information and slows down.  There were a lot of characters to keep track of as well that sometimes had me re-reading pages to make sure I had everyone’s character in the right place.  However, the electricity between the two main characters was palpable, and their skill set to get out of dangerous situations was truly awesome!  The teasing between the members of the team was also funny and fun to read.  I already have book two, King’s Falling, on my watch list to order on its release date of 3/31/20.

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

One Good Deed

Title:  One Good Deed

Author:  David Baldacci

Pages:  432

Year:  2019

Publisher:  Grand Central Publishing

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars.

The main character is a war veteran and ex-con named Aloysius Archer who comes into a small town that is run down and has big problems.  The character mainly goes by the name Archer throughout the novel.  He is accused of a crime and is working to exonerate himself.  The story follows Archer as he reports to an interesting parole officer, breaks at least a couple of the rules he is supposed to follow religiously and gets entangled in a web of family trouble!

Archer shows a certain aptitude for being a “gumshoe”, which he credits to having been a scout in the Army.  One thing about this man though, he doesn’t learn from mistakes he has made when dealing with women.  Archer is a hard-working man.  He uses his intelligence more than anything, though what he learns about fighting in the Army just might come in handy when running against men aiming to take him out…permanently.

Ms. Crabtree is an intriguing and mysterious woman whose addiction to books and reading was interesting, especially when I figured out why.  From the PIttleman couple, who are hard to figure out, to Jackie and her relationship or non-relationship with her father, makes this a page turner and fun read!  I hope the author writes more with this new character who adds unique qualities and perspective to a bygone era.

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 

Monday, September 16, 2019

The Girl Behind the Red Rope

Title:  The Girl Behind the Red Rope

Author:  Ted Dekker & Rachelle Dekker

Pages:  336

Year:  2019

Publisher:  Revell

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars.

Whether you’re a new fan of the Dekker writings or an old hat, this novel will definitely grab your attention.  One quality of the Dekker writings is the strong spiritual theme throughout the story.  When I started reading the tale, I was not sure what the spiritual truth the tale would focus would on.  By the end of the book I wanted to start it over again!

Readers get many different perspectives from a book.  For me, it was the need for spiritual eyesight to see the evil threats that were keeping the characters blinded and in bondage.  One woman had the tenacity to face her fears, threats, and suffering in order to break free from the “Fury” in the Haven Valley community.  Grace had to wrestle with the rules, laws and expectations that were supposed to keep the inhabitants safe from the suffering the world was undergoing.

As the wife of a pastor, Rose is an interesting character.  She fell victim to the temptation of the Fury.   Their power scared her.  However, the manifestation was not scary as he cloaked himself in light.  The boy Eli is a very compelling little boy whose very presence seemed to threaten everyone who lived in the Valley, and his death was all they wanted as they believed he was a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

The tale, while fiction, echoes with truth and challenges for those who follow the Lord today and for them to be willing to acknowledge the wolves that are among the sheep.  It’s a tale of hope and heartache; it’s very moving and thought provoking.  You don’t want to miss reading this novel and sharing it with friends and family everywhere.  Grab a copy and when you are done, share it or gift a copy so others can enjoy the latest work of the Dekker father and daughter team.

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 

Saturday, September 14, 2019

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Friday, September 13, 2019

Exploring Our Hebraic Heritage

Title:  Exploring Our Hebraic Heritage
Author:  Marvin R. Wilson
Pages:  332
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Eerdmans
My rating:  5 out of 5 stars.
Exploring Our Hebraic Heritage is a very informing and enlightening book to read.  I wasn’t sure quite what to expect but I knew I wanted to learn.  Hence, reading this book.  If you want to learn history, both Jewish and Christian, this is a great resource.  If you want to understand the beginnings or foundation of your faith, then this is for you!
At the end of each chapter there are many questions to help facilitate discussion, journaling, further study and more.  A friend and I read a couple of chapters a week and then met to discuss what we learned, questions, and comments.  For me, I have found I learn better by doing so with another person. There are times I read books solo, but I do enjoy getting another person’s insight and perspectives from the material.
There are five major sections in the book after the Preface:  Theological Sources and Methods, People of God:  An Abrahamic Family, God and His Ways, On Approaching God, Moving into the Future.  In the back of the book, there is a list of the Bible passages quoted and a great Bibliography to aid in seeking out more understanding.
As with any human author, there were times we didn’t understand a point or perhaps disagreed with stated conclusions, but that is what makes it a joy to read and learn.  I hope you get a copy and perhaps consider meeting with a friend to discuss the content that Mr. Wilson puts in the pages.  My personal faith has grown and my hunger to understand has as well.  May the same growth be experienced by others who read with an open heart and mind!
Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

We'll Never Forget 911 Budweiser Commercial AIRED ONLY ONCE

"Never Forget"

ANO 0-16 National September 11 Memorial & Museum September 11 attacks advertisingAmerica will never forget what happened.  God Bless those who gave their all and the families, as well as those who survived this tragedy! Amen.  

Fragments of Fear

Title:  Fragments of Fear

Author: Carrie Stuart Parks

Pages:  336

Year:  2019

Publisher:  Thomas Nelson

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars

Want to read a very captivating and thrilling book?  Look no further!  Carrie has once again entertained and captivated my attention with a tale that is just outstanding!  I started the novel one evening rather late and hated to wait till the next day to finish it, but alas I had to.  So, when I picked it up the following day, I just kept turning pages until the very end.  It was an unbelievable tale about a woman who doesn’t want to be called by her real name but by Tavish, which is a part of her last name.

Tavish is a brilliant woman who owns a company, is an heiress when she turns 30, and an artist.  She views herself different from what is reality, and all she wants is to be loved.  What changes her whole life is that she loses her fiancée and inherits a dog she at first loathes.  But life is about to rush her headlong into trouble and running for her life.

Tavish meets an FBI agent named Stewart though he doesn’t reveal that part of his life to her at first.  Tavish and her mother don’t get along at all but wait to read what happens between these two characters!  There is romance, danger, mystery, faith, adventure and more awaiting you in the pages of Fragments of Fear.  When you’re done, don’t be surprised if you are wanting to read another of Carrie’s books!

Don’t hold your breath when reading this exciting and surprising tale!

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 

Monday, September 9, 2019

Legacy Rejected (Legacy Series #1)

Title:  Legacy Rejected (Legacy Series #1)

Author:  Robin Patchen

Pages:  290

Year:  2019

Publisher:  Independent Publishing

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars

What a story!  In a compelling work of fiction filled with plot twists, mystery, and intrigue, Robin Patchen takes readers on an adventuresome ride!  The main female character is Ginny Lamont who is a realtor.  Her life now is supposed to be better than her past, but the past hasn’t just creeped up on her; it slams her so hard that Ginny isn’t sure which way to go.

Ginny’s sister leaves her; her mother is an enigma to her, and her father is gone.  Someone is after her and they won’t be deterred by anything or anyone!  Kade is a man whose siblings are settled and successful.  He is just trying to fulfill his dream of building homes.  He meets Ginny and they work together.  Ginny is introduced to the Lord through Kade and her friends.  When she is faced with mortal danger, what will happen to her faith?

Here is novel mixed with romance, faithful friends, a town that turns against her and a shattered life. There is action, danger and more that awaits in the small town of Nutfield in New England.  I enjoyed picturing the beautiful areas as described in the tale.  The way the characters faced adversity with prayer and courage is a reminder of how we can face ours today.

The antagonists in the story were a stroke of brilliance as I never saw them coming.  You can feel the climax building which keeps you turning the pages.  If you haven’t read Robin Patchen books, you’re missing great tales that will leave you desiring more from her pen.  The second book of this series is due out in October titled, Legacy Restored, with the third and final book coming our January 2020 titled, Legacy Redeemed.  I hope you enjoy these novels as I do!

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 

One More River to Cross

Title:  One More River to Cross

Author:  Jane Kirkpatrick

Pages:  352

Year:  2019

Publisher:  Revell

My rating:  4 out of 5 stars.

I am always amazed to read how various authors get started on a novel.  Whether it’s a person of history or an event it just fascinates me.  The novel One More River to Cross began when the author read a footnote, which you can read about in your copy, and from there she set out to learn more.  Jane Kirkpatrick does a very good job of researching and portraying true events as close to reality as possible.  When she writes the story, there are times she might deviate from what occurred if she knows what did or if there is no way to know, and her ability to create a believable tale is exceptional.

Before I started reading the tale, I read in the back the Author’s Notes and Acknowledgments, which lets me know fact from fiction.  For me, it doesn’t diminish my ability to enjoy the novel.  In fact, it enhances it knowing the truth from fiction.  In the beginning of the book, Jane lays out her characters’ histories such as who they are, if they are married and to whom they are related.  Having this helps me if I forget as I read who is related to whom.

October 1844 is where the reader’s journey begins, traveling with women who must face a harsh wilderness with courage and fortitude.  In a time where there wasn’t any way to communicate instantly with a loved one or know what lay ahead, these women had to carve out a living with their children until they reached their destination.

What is so gripping is the precariousness of life in the wilderness and traveling long distances always keeping in mind the unknown future.  These women had to fight to live.  It wasn’t pursuit of riches or fame but wanting a future.  I hope readers enjoy following these Winter Women to their destination through a vast and unkind wilderness to reach a future they believed would be better. 

May you enjoy the novel and the journey!

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Friday, September 6, 2019

Finding Lady Enderly

Title:  Finding Lady Enderly

Author:  Joanna Davidson Politano

Pages:  400

Year:  2019

Publisher:  Revell

My rating:  5+ out of 5 stars

I got hooked on Joanna’s novels when I read her earlier works, Lady Jane Disappears and A Rumored Fortune.  So, when I found out this novel was being released, I excitedly added it to my watchlist.  Last weekend I spent the day absorbed in Finding Lady Enderly.  I began the day before by reading a couple of chapters then the next day I really couldn’t stop reading!  I didn’t want to either!

Here is a novel that the mystery just reaches out and pulls readers in; it made me constantly try and figure out what was happening.  Plus, one of the characters appears to be a rescuer at first only to find out that later, well, I better not ruin it for you!

The main female character is Ragna and her name is as defining as what she does, perhaps more so how she views herself.  Ragna takes discarded clothing and makes it fit for others.  However, she must decide if she is going to be defined by what she does or the meaning of her true name.  Intrigued yet?

Ragna experiences heartbreak, joy, fear, and more as well as her faith that is changing the further along one goes in the story.  In one sense, this is a Cinderella story, but it turns out to be so much more than that as she becomes a shining beacon of transformation!  There is romance in the tale.  Sully is his name and what happens to both players will keep your nose in the book until you reach the end!  But beware, it also leaves you desiring her next tale!  For those who are curious, there is a teaser after you finish Finding Lady Enderly.

If you haven’t spent time in one of Joanna’s novels, grab one of each and then enjoy getting lost in tales of adventure, mystery, intrigue, faith and romance.  Perhaps you’ll share your books with other readers family and friends!

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 

Thursday, September 5, 2019

H. L. Wegley's Novel: Slanted

Title:  Slanted

Author:  H. L. Wegley

Pages:  209

Year:  2019

Publisher:  Trinity Press

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars

I read this in one day!  I was mesmerized from beginning to end.  I had to remind myself that this is a work of fiction.  The hardest part about convincing myself was that it was so close to reality I thought I might be reading someone’s personal experience.  Yes, it is that good!

In the novel, readers find a young man who has researched and found that an IT company is manipulating the results people received when they do an internet search.  Add to the mix a young lady whose broken past, scarred heart, and longing to be loved has made her into a spitfire!  Then, add another character who is parentless.  Her guardian is a young man who wrote a scathing report to be released to the public soon.

Now, mix all three characters up with the IT company’s nefarious actions and you have one thrilling, suspense filled book!  Don’t worry, the author didn’t fill his fictional tale with a bunch of woes and leave it at that.  Throughout the book, I enjoyed seeing the characters’ faith in action even when facing dangerous peril.  The ending is superb with hope filling the pages and leaving readers with heart-pounding patriotism and, I think, a desire to share the story with others.

The author did a wonderful job, revealing the hope our nation still has and a brighter future if we act through the power of our votes to save America.  I kept thinking as I was reading that I didn’t realize how much the internet really has influenced thoughts, actions, and decisions of people.  Yes, sometimes what is posted or shared it isn’t good, but it can be changed as we learn to think for ourselves, pray, and talk with people.

I think many will enjoy the book and I hope to share it with friends and family!

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Christmas in Winter Hill

Title:  Christmas in Winter Hill

Author:  Melody Carlson

Pages:  176

Year:  2019

Publisher:  Revell

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars.

This novella is a touching story of a woman along with her 8-year-old daughter move from a big, warm town to a small town that gets cold.  The female lead character is named Krista whose broken past tends to place a shadow every year over her Christmas holidays.  Krista becomes the town manager and quickly finds herself embroiled in a possible problem with the city financial officer who also happens to really dislike Christmas.

When Krista meets Conner and his daughter, it seems the two hit it off quite well.  As the holidays approach I enjoyed seeing Krista’s daughter, Emily, get excited about trying to win a house for her mom. Conner is a builder who has been widowed for six years and might be ready to begin exploring a possible relationship with Krista.

Melody does a good job of painting the small town as being close, people working together, along with the small-town gossip hot line.  There is romance, hope, joy and other themes in this quick read that was very refreshing!  Another aspect that I enjoyed in the book was that Melody didn’t try to rush the growing romance or tidy up all the lose ends before closing the story.  I enjoy books that leave the future of the characters to the imagination of its readers.

You might want to get up a copy for yourself or gift a copy this coming holiday season and then enjoy talking about it with friends and family.  The tale makes a great choice for book clubs to talk about before taking a break for the holiday festivities.

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Fire Storm (Kaley Quinn Profiler #2)

Title:  Fire Storm (Kaley Quinn Profiler #2)

Author:  Nancy Mehl

Pages:  336

Year:  2019

Publisher:  Bethany

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars.

Kaley Quinn profiler is a very compelling character and series.  Kaley is not the usual FBI agent nor is her past a run of the mill type.  Kaley is introduced to readers in the first book titled, Mind Games, which is a fascinating tale and will definitely grab the reader, pull them in with the suspense not letting up even after you close the book!  Kaley is a unique woman with very unusual gifts and procedures that help her identify suspects and the FBI close some cases, but not everyone is a fan of Kaley.

I think it would help readers enjoy the second book if they start with book one because of the developing backstory of Kaley.  The tale in Firestorm isn’t just filled with suspense but also a touch of romance.  Neither overshadows the other; it’s a good blend.  I enjoyed Kaley being a woman who must face her past or be threatened to be overtaken by it.  Kaley wants to not feel anything toward another FBI agent named Noah, and he doesn’t want to be drawn to Kaley either.  I am not sure they can control the chemistry that sparks between them!

Kaley originally goes home at the behest of her brother to help take care of their sick mother, but it is the last thing Kaley wants to do.  She finds it hard to keep her walls up when she faces her mother, and there is a firebug on the loose in the very small town where her mother resides.  The tension within Kaley comes from various sources, one is her family and the other is her job.  It is a very compelling read as these two worlds collide within and outside Kaley.

I hope you enjoy the series as I did, and maybe soon another installment with Kaley will be out for us to lose ourselves in for a few hours!  Until then, enjoy Mind Games and Firestorm and maybe share with others about this unique character and series.            

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 

Sunday, September 1, 2019

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Friday, August 30, 2019

Deadly Evidence

Title:  Deadly Evidence

Author:  Elizabeth Goddard

Pages:  224

Year:  2019

Publisher:  Love Inspired Suspense

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars.

Boy, I really enjoy a suspense filled story that grabs my attention from start to finish!  Here is such a tale!  While not noted on the cover, it is the first book in the author’s new Mount Shasta Secrets Series published by Love Inspired Suspense.  Special Agent Tori Peterson is on bereavement leave and in California for the funeral of her sister.  In her heart, she wants to find out who killed her sister, so she traces her sister’s last known path.  While kayaking, Tori’s heart is stirred with memories that are both good and regretful. 

Tori senses that someone is following her but brushes it off as being impossible and perhaps wrong since she is grieving.  A moment later that proves not to be the case when shots ring out and before Tori knows what is happening, she is in the fight of her life and about to go over the river falls.  She is reunited with a former flame, Detective Ryan Bradley, as he is the lead detective on the case involving her sister’s and other murders.

Throughout the book the action never really lets up as the danger to Tori is nonstop even when Tori is waiting to get on a plane to return to the East Coast!  What Tori endures is enough to cause her to consider her future and that includes what would help her parents cope with their loss.  Romance is definitely in the air but that is not all that is happening, and what is will keep you glued to the book all the way to the end!                 

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Cold Aim (The Line of Duty #3)

Title:  Cold Aim (The Line of Duty #3)

Author:  Janice Cantore

Pages:  384

Year:  2019

Publisher:  Tyndale House Publishers

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars.

Before I share my thoughts about the latest work of fiction, I would like you to know the two other books in the series are Crisis Shot and Lethal Target.  While each of the novels have unique story lines what ties them together are the characters and the area where the action takes place.

In Cold Aim, the story revolves around the towns Chief of Police, Tess O’Rourke, who is asked to shelter a very important witness.  The girl was part of a human trafficking ring and brought crucial evidence with her when she fled from her captor.  What the girl didn’t count on was the dogged determination of her former captor to take her out so she cannot help the FBI make a case against him.

However, there is a twist the plot that includes a woman in the chief’s town who has secluded herself from interaction with others.  Now, with this witness being hunted, the question is whether the recluse will risk her identity, home and life in order to help bring down the ringleader of the traffickers.  Along with all that going on there is romance that may or may not bloom between the chief of police and the local pastor who is widowed.  Will the female congregants see this as a good match, or will they interfere?

Each story Janice Cantore has written grabs the attention and heart of the reader as my experience has shown.  There is mystery, intrigue, suspense and twists in the plot that make the ending a total surprise!  Plus, with just the right touch of romance it makes for an enjoyable read.  The other element of the tales that provoke thought is the faith or lack thereof in the characters, which to me reflects real people doing life.  So, if you’re looking for a book that entertains, grabs your heart, and bolsters your faith, here is one author who brings all that to her stories.  I hope you enjoy reading her books as I have.

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Burning Daylight (Luke Jensen Bounty Hunter #7)

Title:  Burning Daylight (Luke Jensen Bounty Hunter #7)

Author:  William W Johnstone & J. A. Johnstone

Pages:  320

Year:  2019

Publisher:  Pinnacle

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars

Wow!  What an adventure that really draws readers into the Old West with lots of action and daring escapades!  Luke Jensen doesn’t trade on his name; he lets his actions speak for themselves.  Luke is from a well-known and respected family.  His brother, Smoke Jensen, is a favorite with fans!  Smoke is Luke’s younger brother, and each has carved out a path in the wilderness with experiencing many adventures.

Here we see Luke coming into a town with those who chose the owl trail and lost.  Luke isn’t a vigilante though the town’s people may look at him as such.  He does, however, bring to justice those who flee from such a notion.  When Luke is in a marshal’s office, he sees a unique wanted poster that sets his feet on a wild and crazy path.

The characters in this installment will surprise you in what comes across their paths, plus the paths that intersect!  Luke meets a family that is torn asunder by the owl hoot trail, the choices the sons make and how the local sheriff gets into the mix with the family when Luke begins to seek out the members separated by choices.

Luke Jensen will keep any lover of westerns turning pages until the very end and leave them wanting more!  So. if you’re wanting to be able to sit and lose yourself in a good story, look no further because this Jensen book gives it to you in spades!

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 

Monday, August 26, 2019

Under the Midnight Sun (The Heart of Alaska #3)

Title:  Under the Midnight Sun (The Heart of Alaska #3)

Author:  Tracie Peterson & Kimberly Woodhouse

Pages:  336

Year:  2019

Publisher:  Bethany                                                                               

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars

In this final installation, we get to enjoy seeing some exciting new adventures for a young woman named Taylor and what comes of some of those we have wondered about from the beginning of the series.  I love novels set in Alaska even though I have never been there nor studied about the state or people.  I wonder if it is the various wildlife that is there or the vast spaces where no one lives.  Whatever draws me to stories like this, I am grateful authors write them!

Taylor is a young woman in the early 1900s who was thought to travel a certain path of expectations from both family and society.  However, Taylor is a woman who longs to travel, study, grow in her faith and be free to experience the great outdoors.  While working in Yellowstone Park, she loses her father and her mother charts a dangerous course that is against what her husband desired.  Those who pay the price are Taylor and her brother Joshua, but there is hope that their mother will soften her heart and heal from the loss of her husband.

Taylor meets Thomas who works at the Curry Hotel and what ensues is friendship and the rollercoaster ride all relationships travel, especially at the beginning.  Readers who have read the other books in the series, In the Shadow of Denali and Out of the Ashes, will once again be entertained through the actions and at times antics of characters we have come to enjoy.

The series draws readers into a fictional world based on some facts from history and that makes it all the more fun to read!  Each book could be read as a standalone.  However, the characters grow, and some new ones are introduced in book two that all come together in this final installment.  If you haven’t read the books yet, please do so as they are filled with a reflection of history, faith, romance and adventure. Then, maybe share them with family or friends when you’re done so they can enjoy them as well!     

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 

Friday, August 23, 2019

Out of the Ashes

Title:  Out of the Ashes (The Heart of Alaska #2)
Author:  Tracie Peterson & Kimberley Woodhouse
Pages:  336
Year:  2018
Publisher:  Bethany
My rating 5 out of 5 stars.
The authors continue to tell us a story set in Alaska in a hotel that existed long ago, named the Curry.  At the end of the novel, there are websites listed for interested readers to visit if they so choose to see unique photos.  This second book is a sequel following book one titled, In the Shadow of Denali, which many of us have known as Mount McKinley in Alaska.
We continue to follow the adventures of characters we met in the first book and see how new characters come to the hotel with interesting backgrounds.  One of the visitors is a young man and his younger sister from France.  Jean-Michel was wounded not just in body but in soul.  How can he follow through with his father’s last wishes to turn to God when he doesn’t know how or take of a younger sister he loves yet hardly knows because of the 10-year difference in age?
Katherine is broken from an abusive marriage.  Her aging grandmother believes the best thing for her is going on an adventure to Alaska.  What Katherine doesn’t know is that her grandmother has secretly set up something in the hope of her granddaughter finding healing, joy and the Lord.  Collette is Jean-Michel’s younger sister and is maturing from teen to woman and is lost, having neither parent to guide her into adulthood.
Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse share about their own personal experiences while co-writing this book of times when they themselves have had God bring beauty from ashes.  I was touched by their transparency with readers as well as what happens in the work of fiction they share with us.  Read and enjoy the first two books before the third book in the series titled, Under the Midnight Sun, is released!

Thursday, August 22, 2019

In the Shadow of Denali

Title:  In the Shadow of Denali (The Heart of Alaska #1)
Author:  Tracie Peterson & Kimberley Woodhouse
Pages:  320
Year:  2017
Publisher:  Bethany House Publishers
My rating is 5+ out of 5 stars.
First, let me say that this rating is not based on who the authors are, but on the story.  The authors go to great extent to share what is true historical fact along with what came from their imaginations.  Also, they include websites readers can access to gain further insight and a couple of hard print books as well.  I love the historical aspect because it isn’t just events, but people... who they are, what they accomplished and how they lived.  Also, the authors share updated information about the Curry hotel, lookout and the people who have lived there for so long a time.  It was very interesting and fascinating to read and remember that what happened in the story and in history was during WWI.
What I loved too was learning the name of the tribe that lived in the area and a man who worked to put their language in writing.  Alaska is a very intriguing place that someday I hope to visit as much of it isn’t touched by man.  I have read the other stories Tracie Peterson wrote that were placed in Alaska as well so when a new series was announced set in Alaska, I couldn’t wait to read them!  Kimberley Woodhouse has written a couple of novels as well and I believe they are set in Alaska too.  Together these two authors make a formidable well-researched team!
Here the story takes place in Curry, Alaska in the year 1917.  The characters are varied and interesting, especially Cassidy Faith who was based on a real, special, young lady known to the authors.  Cassidy’s character father is from Alaska and knows the language, people and area like the back of his hand.  He is the tour guide for the hotel.  The themes of faith, love and redemption are set alongside a novel rich with action, adventure and mystery.
I was so grabbed by the story that I ordered a copy of one book recommended by the authors to learn more from the men who actually climbed Mount McKinley.  Please take time to enjoy the fictional story and then read about the real people and times in Alaska’s history.  You will be extremely glad to have done so!

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The Crossing at Cypress Creek (A Natchez Trace Novel #3)

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Title:  The Crossing at Cypress Creek (A Natchez Trace Novel #3)

Author:  Pam Hillman

Pages:  e-book

Year:  2019

Publisher:  Tyndale House Publishers

My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.

Caleb O’Shea has been roaming the globe for the last few years after leaving Ireland and his younger brothers behind.  He has put into port at Natchez-Under-the-Hill to help a friend get home.  Once that promise is fulfilled, he will be off again at sea to the next adventure.  However, once he sets foot on land, he soon learns that all four of his brothers are just a few miles away.  He decides to stay a few days to see them and then leave.  His oldest brother, Connor, opens him with welcome arms and puts him to work creating a logging camp.  Caleb will only stay until the camp and harvest of wood is complete.  He meets a beautiful and courageous young woman, Alanah Adams, who lives near the camp, foraging for medicinal herbs and such to sell in Natchez to support herself, her sister and friend.  Her uncle is a traveling pastor, is away from home often and does nothing to support them financially.  Even though he enjoys being with his brothers and Alanah, he feels he doesn’t deserve to be part of their lives after how he left Ireland and how he has lived his life over the last few years.

Alanah Adams wants to be a healer, but faints at the sight of blood.  She is good at finding medicinal plants and dosing them properly or finding the right herb to cure a problem.  Her sister has recently returned home after being kidnapped six months ago and suffering rape at the hands of a local river pirate.  Her sister is a shadow of her former self and afraid of all men.  Alanah is happy she is home and does all she can to help her sister heal.  Her run-ins with Caleb show her that not all men take what they want from a woman with or without asking.  He treats her with respect and is protective of her.  Her uncle has decided that they will move to Philadelphia, his former home, because the savage river pirates and those in the area won’t repent.  Before that can happen, something happens to draw Caleb and Alanah together to the rescue.

I liked the time period of this story (1792) when America was still being shaped and the landscape was unmarred by man.  I could hear the Irish brogue the brothers spoke in my head as I read, which I enjoyed.  Characters from the prior two novels in the series make appearances in this story, so it was nice to see how their lives had progressed.  Love, honor, respect, doing what is right, forgiveness and more come into play as the story unfolds.  This was a lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Living Lies (Harbored Secrets #1)


Title:  Living Lies (Harbored Secrets #1)

Author:  Natalie Walters

Pages:  336 (ARC)

Year:  2019

Publisher:  Revell

My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.

Lane who battles with deep depression with suicidal thoughts.  She has battled depression her whole life.  She is on the precipice of committing suicide when Charlie sees her on the edge of a bridge.  He gets her away from the edge while she claims she is just out taking pictures.  She turns away from him, going in to the woods and stumbles on the body of a teenage girl.  Lane owns a café in a small town and Charlie has arrived in town as the new deputy.  He was an MP in the military and has experience working crime scenes, so he is made lead investigator on the homicide.

Charlie lives next door to Lane and his uncle is the sheriff.  He tries to downplay any hint of family connections while on the job.  He wants to prove himself on his own merits.  He is interested in Lane romantically, but she wants no part of a relationship.  She is a widow who is still in love with her husband.  Her son, Noah, latches on to Charlie quickly.  The three of them see a lot of each other as Charlie’s aunt works for Lane in the diner and with Charlie living next door to the diner, he stops by often to eat and see his aunt.  As Charlie spends time with Lane and Noah, his compassionate heart begins to lean toward love.  But will a killer on the loose strike again before Charlie can catch him?

I applaud the author’s inclusion of the depression Lane dealt with every day.  This is a topic not often discussed in Christian fiction, but one many Christians encounter with themselves or others they know.  Charlie and Lane both had to deal with issues with the families, especially Lane and her controlling parents.  Her father was a real piece of work!  Faith was interwoven in the plot, and I hope this is brought out more in future novels.  I look forward to reading book two in the series as this writer has shown she has talent.

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 19, 2019

Tell Her No Lies

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Title:  Tell Her No Lies

Author:  Kelly Irvin

Pages:  352

Year:  2018

Publisher:  Thomas Nelson

My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.

Nina Fischer hasn’t had an easy life.  Her mother gave she and her sister over to her uncle to be formally adopted due to addiction problems.  Before adoption, Nina lived in a series of hotel rooms or their car.  She didn’t know where or when her next meal would arrive and a lot of times it didn’t.  Her mother had several “boyfriends” who came and went in their lives with regularity.  After she was adopted, her life took a 180.  She was the daughter of a well-to-do judge, had a roof over her head, regular meals and a loving family.  Now, she is an adult but still lives at home with her parents.  She has a love of photography and journalism, both careers that don’t pay much as her father points out often.  Her best friend, Aaron, is a cameraman for a local news station.  She can tell him anything and is supremely comfortable with him.  Rick is a man who she grew up with, one who was her friend when she first moved in with the judge and had no other friends.  Now, he is a lawyer and up-and-coming politician.  Both men have romantic feelings for Nina, but she has trust issues with men and wants to keep the status quo in their respective relationships.

At home one night she hears a noise and goes to investigate.  She finds her father dead in his study.  After the shock of her discovery, she is stunned when the detective on the case accuses her of the murder.  She and Aaron start their own inquiries.  What she learns about her father is unbelievable.  He always harped on their family’s good name and the importance of looking good to the community.  With this information and her digging for the truth, she becomes dangerous to someone.  More people connected to her father begin to die.  Her life is on the line, and who shows up out of the blue?  You will have to read this exciting thriller to find out who shows up as well as who is out to silence her permanently.

This was a great story!  The tension, mystery and suspense kept me turning pages until the wee hours of the morning.  I thought the characters believable and connected with them and their stories quickly.  The complex relationships between Nina, her sister, her mother, her father and birth mother were one that touched my emotions.  Aaron’s living out his faith and pointing Nina to God was a great example of faith in action.  Rick’s drive for success also struck me as a common thread is our world today.  I can’t wait to read this author’s next suspense-filled story, Over the Line.  Great job Kelly!!

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.

Friday, August 16, 2019

A Glitter of Gold (Georgia Coast Romance #2)

Title:  A Glitter of Gold (Georgia Coast Romance #2)

Author:  Liz Johnson

Pages:  368

Year:  2019

Publisher:  Revell

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars.

What a great story!  I finished this novel in almost a day because it was such a wonderful weaving of past and present, joy and sorrow, plus more!  I was captivated by the two main characters, Anne Norris and Carter Hale.  Anne Norris’ past experiences certainly impact her ability to live in the present.  Her attempts at hiding, running from and denying her colorful past are about to end.  Carter Hale is a man with a dream and vision, unfortunately it isn’t cherished by his father.

Both Anne and Carter are going to come together to solve a 250-year-old mystery that has romance and surprising tie to their present lives.  Liz Johnson weaves a masterpiece that includes a historical find on a beach and mistakes in the past that scar not only Anne’s present, but it also could have negative ramifications for her future.

Carter is a man with a dream, and the job he most desires may just be around the corner until he meets Anne.  Carter also has family issues that he allows to color his choices and maybe impact his ability to grab the future God has for him.  He reminds me of everyday people, like us, who have had family troubles and unless we deal with them head on it can keep us from living life to its fullest!

If you enjoy novels that have faith, romance, mystery and a little touch of suspense, look no further!  I have read Liz’s novels, none have so far let me experience anything other than a pleasurable story that uplifts the heart long after the book is closed!

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 

Thursday, August 15, 2019

A Sparkle of Sliver (Georgia Coast Romance #1)

Title:  A Sparkle of Sliver                (Georgia Coast Romance #1)

Author:  Liz Johnson

Pages:  368

Year:  2018

Publisher:  Revell

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars.

Would you read a novel that included family history, mystery, action and an ending that really was inspiring and touching?  Well, when I opened this book, I knew I would enjoy what Liz Johnson was offering but had no clue just how much!  If, after reading this, you want a suggestion of what else to read, her Red Door Inn series was exceptional!

A Sparkle of Silver has characters who allow themselves to be defined by the actions of their parents, their ancestors or even perhaps by who God says they are in His sight.  Millie is a young woman who is a reader of romantic novels and works hard at a couple of jobs to provide for her grandmother who raised her when her father left.  Ben worked three jobs and put himself through college to attempt to right the wrongs of his mother’s actions.

When Millie’s grandmother has a lucid moment, she shares something about her mother Ruth, Millie’s great-grandmother.  Through the glimpses into the past, Millie sets out to locate what her grandmother says exists and asks Ben to join her in the search.  What ensues is a tale of love, laughter, joy, sorrow, redemption, forgiveness, love and so much more.

Liz Johnson has again written a story that lifts the heart and spirit of her readers while also quietly pointing out how good God is and how He truly loves us and forgives us.  I enjoyed staying up late at night when my family was asleep to read a tale that captivated me and stirred my heart.  I truly hope many enjoy the first book of her newest series so when the next book is released, they are ready to enjoy another wonderful story!