Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Pirates on the Farm

About the Book:

“No one ever imagined that five swashbuckling pirates would settle in our proper little southern community. But they did.”

When pirates move in next door, life on the farm is bound to get interesting. But will the unadventurous Sanders family be able to handle the pirates’ bad manners, ghastly grub, and outrageous antics? Or will they learn the importance of loving one’s neighbor and help the graceless pirates find their “land legs”?





My Review:

5 Stars

This book so funny! My husband was reading it our daughter and though all the illustrations were just plan funny and silly. This is the first book in a new series, the Next Door series, and I can't wait to get a hold of the next one next year. 

This is a fun book of what happens when pirates move next door to a farm and its a wild ride that will keep you laughing all the way. This is a great book for both toddlers and older kids. With the topics of Pirates and Farms all in one book it is sure to be hit! The book has a great message for kids and help makes it a great story for kids.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone with young kids that enjoy a good laugh. This book won't disappoint.

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, November 15, 2013

The First Christmas Night Childrens Picture Book

The First Christmas Night 
By Keith Christopher
Illustrated by Christine Kornacki

Book Description (from publishers website):

Here is a lyrical retelling of the birth of Jesus on that joyous night in Bethlehem so long ago. Modeled after "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," the poem begins with the arrival of Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem and winds though Christ's birth, the angels' appearance to the shepherds, and the visit by the Wise Men. The simple, yet elegant, verses will appeal to little ones and are accompanied by the rich oil illustrations of Christine Kornacki.

For more info about this book and many others check out the Ideals Books website and Facebook pages!

My Review:

5 Stars
,
We all know the classic Christmas story "Twas the Night Before Christmas", many of us can even recite many lines from memory, but does everyone know the true meaning of Christmas. Keith Christopher uses that classic children's story as a model to tell the about the birth of Jesus Christ who is the reason for the season. Christine Kornacki brings his story to life with her beautiful illustrations. The combination of the illustrations and story this book packs a ton in to its 32 pages.

I just loved this book in so many ways. The illustrations are exceptional, there is no doubt that the illustrator is talented. I found reading this book aloud to be effortless with the flow and rhyme of the story. I really enjoyed that at the end of the book the author adds the excerpts from the gospel of Luke and Matthew. What a great way to redirect the story back to the actual Bible. This book will find a permanent home and I look forward to sharing it with my daughter year after year.

I recommend this book to all parents, grandparents, Sunday school teachers and more.  This would make a great bedtime story as well as using it a class setting.  It is so beautiful that it would also make a great decoration or coffee table book for even those with out children in their home. Honestly you really can't go wrong adding this book to your collection.

* I received this book through the publisher for the purpose of this review, my honest opinion was all that was requested. Thank you Ideals Books.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

To Know You by Shannon Ethridge

About the book:

Julia Whittaker’s rocky past yielded two daughters, both given up for adoption as infants. Now she must find them to try to save her son.

Julia and Matt Whittaker’s son has beaten the odds for thirteen years only to have the odds—and his liver—crash precipitously. The only hope for his survival is a “living liver” transplant, but the transplant list is long and Dillon’s time is short. His two older half-sisters, born eighteen months apart to two different fathers, offer his only hope for survival.

But can Julia ask a young woman—someone she surrendered to strangers long ago and has never spoken with—to make such a sacrifice to save a brother she’s never known? Can she muster the courage to journey back into a shame-filled season of her life, face her choices and their consequences, and find any hope of healing?

And what if she discovers in her own daughters’ lives that a history of foolish choices threatens to repeat itself? Julia knows she’s probably embarking on a fool’s errand—searching for the daughters she abandoned only now that she needs something from them. But love compels Julia to take this journey. Can grace and forgiveness compel her daughters to join her?

In To Know You, Shannon Ethridge and Kathryn Mackel explore how the past creates the present . . . and how even the most shattered lives can be redeemed.

My Review:

4 Stars

To Know You by Shannon Ethridge is a moving story that drew me in from the very first page. The story is laid out in chapters but also includes date and time. That feature made the story feel more fast paced and brought in a sense of following right with the characters. Shannon Ethridge does a marvelous job of diving into a multitude of real word situations and issues and shows the reader that redemption is possible no matter what.

I loved Julia's character, she is a strong and determined woman who may have made some bad decisions in the past she still showed love by making  some hard decisions. Now in present day her past is about to merges with present time and what happens is amazing. So many characters grew and found out how strong God's love really is.

This book is a great example of God's love and the power of redemption. It deals with some real issues and digs deep into the characters lives. I highly recommend this book to all, but with warning it is deep but the end is so rewarding. Enjoy!

*I received this book from Litfuse for the purpose of this review. Thank you!

Shannon Ethridge is celebrating the release of  To Know You (co-written by Kathryn Mackel), by giving away a $100 gift certificate to Lisa Leonard Designs and a personal coaching session, as well as throwing a Facebook Author Chat Party!
toknowyou-rafflecopter

One winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 19th. Winner will be announced at the "To Know You" Facebook Author Chat Party on the 19th. Connect with Shannon and friends for an encouraging evening of fun chat, book club discussion, giveaways, and a chance to win a PERSONAL COACHING SESSION WITH SHANNON!

So grab your copy of To Know You and join Shannon on the evening of November 19th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)
Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN at the event page. Spread the word — tell your friends about the giveaway and party via FACEBOOK or TWITTER or Pinterest and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on 11/19!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving Day Board Book


About the Book:

Author: Jill Roman Lord
Illustrator: Jody Wheeler

In this touch-and-feel board book, textures and bright artwork bring to life the things for which children can be grateful at Thanksgiving. Tactile experiences throughout the book engage the reader and help children to connect the book to the textures in their actual surroundings. Soft, vibrant watercolor illustrations add warmth and sweetness to the book.

For more info about the publisher click here.
Check out their Facebook page here.

My Review:

Happy Thanksgiving Day is a beautiful board perfect size for toddler's little hands. Throughout the book there is textures added to help bring the story to life such as a furry puppy, fuzzy blanket, smooth pumpkin and more. This book will be a great addition to a child's library and teaches a great lesson that everything is a gift from God and we need to be thankful for it. It really helps bring about the real point to Thanksgiving day. A day that is slowly getting buried by Christmas, shopping and being to busy to step back and reflect on all the blessings in our lives.

I really enjoyed reading this book to my little girl and found the story to perfect length for her and the illustrations are beautiful. I loved how the pages are easy to turn for her little fingers and that she can explore the book through the textures. I know this book will have a home on her bookshelf for years to come.

*I received this book through the publisher for the purpose of this review, my honest opinion was all that was requested. Thank you Ideals Books.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Singularity by Steven James

About the Book:

Jevin Banks is searching for a killer--and answers to terrifying questions he never even thought to ask.

When his friend is murdered, illusionist Jevin Banks is determined to find out what really happened. Drawn deep into a web of conspiracy and top-secret research on human consciousness, Jevin won't stop digging until the truth is revealed. Soon he uncovers a dark secret that could change the very fabric--and future--of human life on the planet.

Based on frightening scientific realities and bristling with mystery, suspense, and intrigue, Singularityis the riveting sequel to Placebo.



My Review:

Singularity is the 2nd Jevin Banks book and alot of the main plots and characters tie in with the first book placebo.  Our ex-magician is now a magician again but still manages to get wrapped up in some pretty crazy going ons.  The author did a great job of continuing to develop the characters that were introduced in the first book as well as inter connecting them even more.  While Jevin might be in a little better place in this book from some of the closure he received in placebo it is quite evident that the author is not done growing him in his faith.  This book like the last also gives a clear and consice ending but leaves enough open that you will be waiting to pick up the next book in the series.  All in all this was a great read and a very good addition to the Jevin Banks universe.

* I received this books for the purpose of this review.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Burning Sky by Lori Benton

About the Book:

“I remember the borders of our land, though I have been gone from them nearly half the moons of my life. But who there will remember me? What I have seen, what I have done, it has changed me.

I am the place where two rivers meet, silted with upheaval and loss.

Yet memory of our land is a clear stream. I shall know it as a mother knows the faces of her children. It may be I will find me there.“

Abducted by Mohawk Indians at fourteen and renamed Burning Sky, Willa Obenchain is driven to return to her family’s New York frontier homestead after many years building a life with the People. At the boundary of her father’s property, Willa discovers a wounded Scotsman lying in her path. Feeling obliged to nurse his injuries, the two quickly find much has changed during her twelve-year absence—her childhood home is in disrepair, her missing parents are rumored to be Tories, and the young Richard Waring she once admired is now grown into a man twisted by the horrors of war and claiming ownership of the Obenchain land.

When her Mohawk brother arrives and questions her place in the white world, the cultural divide blurs Willa’s vision. Can she follow Tames-His-Horse back to the People now that she is no longer Burning Sky? And what about Neil MacGregor, the kind and loyal botanist who does not fit into in her plan for a solitary life, yet is now helping her revive her farm? In the aftermath of the Revolutionary War, strong feelings against “savages” abound in the nearby village of Shiloh, leaving Willa’s safety unsure.

Willa is a woman caught between two worlds. As tensions rise, challenging her shielded heart, the woman called Burning Sky must find a new courage--the courage to again risk embracing the blessings the Almighty wants to bestow. Is she brave enough to love again? 

My Review:

Lori Benton's debut novel is fantastic, she packs so much into one book and does it great. You would think she is a seasoned author, I am thinking she will be writing many more fantastic books. This book has something for so many people: History, romance, intriguing characters, complex plot and so much more.

I loved every minute of this book and found myself glued to it from the beginning to the end. I will say I was skeptical that I would like it since the setting is not my favorite, but with the authors great writing and detail she brought the setting alive and convinced me that even my least favorite topic/setting could draw me in with great writing.

Looking for something new and fresh to read then look no further to this book, it won't disappoint. I am looking forward to reading her next book coming out in Spring 2014.

*I received this book through blogging for books for the purpose of this review.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Merciful Scar by Rebecca St. James & Nancy Rue

About the book:

Kirsten has spent her life trying to forget. But mercy begs her to remember.

When she was in high school, a terrible accident fractured her family, and the only relief Kirsten could find was carving tiny lines into her skin, burying her pain in her flesh. The pain she caused herself was neat and manageable compared to the emotional pain that raged inside.

She was coping. Or so she thought.

But then, eight years later, on the night she expects her long-time boyfriend to propose, Kirsten learns he’s been secretly seeing her best friend. Desperate to escape her feelings, she reaches for the one thing that gives her a sense of control in the midst of chaos.

But this time the cut isn’t so tiny, and it lands her in the psych hospital. Within hours of being there she knows she can’t stay—she isn’t crazy, after all. But she can’t go back to the life she knew before either.

So when her pastor mentions a treatment program on a working ranch, Kirsten decides to take him up on the offer and get away from it all. But the one thing she can’t escape is herself—and her shame.

The ranch is home to a motley crew, each with a lesson to teach. Ever so slowly, Kirsten opens herself to embrace healing—even the scarred places that hurt the most. Mercy begs her to remember the past . . . showing her there’s nothing that cannot be redeemed.

My Review:

This was a great book to read and very powerful. This is a story that will stick with you and you won't be able to forget. Its not a story that everyone will be able to relate to but one that will help them understand what can happen when pain, anger, frustration and more builds up inside a person. Kirsten has a long road to go in this book, and only can begin that process when things are pretty much rock bottom. She learns healing and redemption

This is a great book for everyone but especially to those that work with teens and young adults. Enjoy the book but it is deep, heart breaking at times but filled with hope and healing.

* I received this book through booksneeze.com for the purpose of this review.


Friday, November 1, 2013

Fifteen Minutes by Karen Kingsbury

Fifteen Minutes by Karen Kingsbury
Reviewed by Jennifer Whitney
Fiction Addict Blog Tours
Genre: Drama
Publisher: Howard Books
Pub Date: October 29, 2013

Karen Kingsbury’s new book asks the question: What Would You Sacrifice For Fame?

(Synopsis from Amazon.com) Zack Dylan made a promise to God and his college sweetheart as he left his family’s horse farm in Kentucky to compete on the popular reality television show Fifteen Minutes: If he makes it, the fame won’t change him.

Overnight, Zack is the nation’s most popular contestant, a country singer with the looks and voice of a young Elvis. As his star rises, Zack is asked to compromise and quiet his beliefs, and also something more. Something Zack could never have imagined. Just as America is falling in love with Zack, just as he’s on the verge of winning it all, his choices lead him to the brink of personal disaster.
At the same time, Reese Weatherly, a therapeutic horse instructor, is no longer sure about her relationship with Zack, or the wedding they had dreamed about. While Zack advances from one round of the competition to the next, an offer comes to Reese—one that will take her to a home halfway around the world.

Then Chandra Olson—reigning diva pop star and one of the Fifteen Minutes judges—intervenes. Chandra has suffered so much public pain and private agony since her days as a Fifteen Minutes contestant. Now she wants just one thing: meaning.

Can Chandra’s private losses help Zack find his way, or will his fifteen minutes of fame cause him to lose the life he once loved? Fifteen Minutes is a story of character, compromise, and the cost of having it all. A story that raises the question: Who are the real winners?

My Review:
As with most of Karen Kingsbury's books I enjoyed this book and found it easy to read. I enjoyed reading each of the character's stories and how they all intertwine together. I will say I feel like she has lost the charm of her earlier books and is using pop culture and the effects of fame more and more. The message of this book is powerful but one that many will never relate to since most of us will never have the chance to taste fame. I did enjoy her using Chandra's experiences as a ministry to help others not fall into the traps she did.

In Conclusion, fans of Karen Kingsbury should enjoy her latest book and if you have never read her you can't go wrong with this one. If you want a good contemporary story with a powerful message look no further this is the book for you.

Fifteen Minutes is available to purchase from Amazon.com.

Note: I received this book as part of the Fifteen Minutes blog tour from Fiction Addict. I received no compensation for this review and only received a copy of the book for review purposes. Review copy provided by the publisher.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Audrey Bunny by Angie Smith + Giveaway

About the Book:

From best-selling women’s author Angie Smith (I Will Carry You, Mended) comes this sweet children’s book about a stuffed animal named Audrey Bunny who fears her imperfections make her unworthy of a little girl’s love. She'll learn the truth soon enough, and young readers will learn that everyone is special and wonderfully made by God.

My Review:

5 Stars

I loved this book. The illustrations are adorable and the story is so sweet. A great message for kids and parents too. This a great story to use to teach our children that they are perfect just the way they are, flaws and all. I see this becoming a loved book in my house and look forward to years and years of reading it. Than you Angie Smith for writing a great children's book.

Giveaway info:

Please leave a comment and email by Nov 7th. Winner will be seleceted on Nov. 8th.

Book Trailer:

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Dark Justice by Brandilyn Collins

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Dark Justice
B&H Books (October 1, 2013)
by
Brandilyn Collins


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Brandilyn Collins is a best-selling novelist known for her trademark Seatbelt Suspense®. These harrowing crime thrillers have earned her the tagline "Don't forget to b r e a t h e . . ."® Brandilyn's first book, A Question of Innocence, was a true crime published by Avon in 1995. Its promotion landed her on local and national TV and radio, including the Phil Donahue and Leeza talk shows. Brandilyn's awards for her novels include the ACFW Carol Award (three times), Inspirational Readers' Choice, and Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice.

Brandilyn is also known for her distinctive book on fiction-writing techniques, Getting Into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn From Actors (John Wiley & Sons). The Writer magazine named Getting into Character one of the best books on writing published in 2002.

When she's not writing, Brandilyn can be found teaching the craft of fiction at writers' conferences.

ABOUT THE BOOK

If I’d had any idea what those words would mean to me, to my mother and daughter, I’d have fled California without looking back.

While driving a rural road, Hannah Shire and her aging mother, who suffers from dementia, stop to help a man at the scene of a car accident. The man whispers mysterious words in Hannah’s ear. Soon people want to kill Hannah and her mother for what they “know.” Even law enforcement may be involved.

The two women must flee for their lives. But how does Hannah hide her confused mother? Carol just wants to listen to her pop music, wear her favorite purple hat, and go home. And if they turn to Hannah’s twentyseven- year-old daughter, Emily, for help, will she fall into danger as well?

Pressed on all sides, Hannah must keep all three generations of women in her family alive. Only then does she learn the threat is not just to her loved ones, but the entire country . . .

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Dark Justice, HERE.

My Reivew:

5 Stars

When Brandilyn Collins says her tag line is "Seatbelt Suspense" she proves that right with her newest novel, Dark Justice.  From the first page this book had me strapped in for a thrilling ride filled with twists, danger and suspense. I just loved all the characters and really felt like I could feel the fear they faced and so much more. I loved how I could not guess the ending real quick. The book kept questioning how it would all play out.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone that likes a good suspense. I will say that this book is not a romantic suspense at all. If you have read Brandilyn Collins in the past you won't be disappointed.

*I received this book from CFBA for the purpose of this review.

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Invention of Sara Cummings by Olivia Newport

About the Book:

In a world where everyone is putting on a show, there is a love that is genuine.

Sarah Cummings has one goal in life--to break into Chicago's high society. Desperate to stop serving dinner to members of the wealthy Banning family and to start eating at society tables, Sarah spends her meager free time altering cast-off gowns to create the perfect wardrobe for her future life.

When opportunity knocks at a chance meeting, she presents herself as Serena Cuthbert, weaving a fictitious past to go with her fictitious name. But as she gets closer to her goal--and closer to Simon Tewell, director of St. Andrew's Orphanage--Sarah finds that she must choose between the life she has and the life she dreams of.

Can she piece together the perfect life from scraps? Or will it all come unraveled in the face of true love?

My Review:
 
The Invention of Sarah Cummings is the third and final book in Olivia Newport's Avenue of Dreams series and just may be my favorite of the series. I loved this book. Sara is such a fun character who learns a few lessons in a rather hard and embarrassing way. I enjoyed following her adventure and trying to figure out when everything would come crashing down. Sarah has not had an easy life and only wants a better future than the past she has had. What she doesn't realize is the future she is running from just may be where she is suppose to be.

I highly recommend reading this book as well as the whole series. While each book could be read as a standalone I recommend reading them in order so you will know the back story of each character and how all three main characters are connected. Happy Reading!

*I received this book from Revell for the purpose of this review.


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Dangerous Passage by Lisa Harris

About the Book:

She's dedicated her life to ending violence. But has she moved too deep into a treacherous world?

When two Jane Does are killed on the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia, detective and behavioral specialist Avery North discovers they share something in common--a magnolia tattoo on their shoulders. Suspecting a serial killer, Avery joins forces with medical examiner Jackson Bryant to solve the crimes and prevent another murder. As they venture deep into a sinister criminal world, Avery and Jackson are taken to the very edge of their abilities--and their hearts.

Dangerous Passage exposes a fully realized and frightening world where every layer peeled back reveals more challenges ahead. You'll be hooked from the start.

My Review:

5 Stars

Loved it! From the first page to the last Lisa Harris' new novel, Dangerous Passage, had me hooked and I seriously read this book in less than 12 hours, it was that good! Lisa Harris ties together a great story of suspense, danger and more and keeps the reader on the edge of their seats for the whole book. This is the first book in her Southern Crimes series and I can not wait to read the next. 

I really enjoyed both of the main characters, Avery and Jackson and felt like they made a great team. It was fun to see how they interacted together and so much more. This book brings a big message of how serious the issue of human trafficking is and how common it really is.  While showing this big issue the book does it well but also tells a great fiction story.

Overall if you like romantic suspense don't look any further for your next book to read, this one will prove to be a great addition to your library! 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Born of Persuasion by Jessica Dotta

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Born of Persuasion
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (September 1, 2013)
by
Jessica Dotta


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Born in the wrong century–except for the fact that she really likes epidurals and washing machines–Jessica Dotta writes British Historicals with the humor like an Austen, yet the drama of a Bronte.

She resides lives in the greater Nashville area—where she imagines her small Southern town into the foggy streets of 19th century London. She oversees her daughter to school, which they pretend is an English boarding school, and then she goes home to write and work on PR. Jessica has tried to cast her dachshund as their butler–but the dog insists it’s a Time Lord and their home a Tardis. Miss Marple, her cat, says its no mystery to her as to why the dog won’t cooperate. When asked about it, Jessica sighs and says that you can’t win them all, and at least her dog has picked something British to emulate.

ABOUT THE BOOK

The year is 1838, and seventeen-year-old Julia Elliston’s position has never been more fragile. Orphaned and unmarried in a time when women are legal property of their fathers, husbands, and guardians, she finds herself at the mercy of an anonymous guardian who plans to establish her as a servant in far-off Scotland.

With two months to devise a better plan, Julia’s first choice to marry her childhood sweetheart is denied. But when a titled dowager offers to introduce Julia into society, a realm of possibilities opens. However, treachery and deception are as much a part of Victorian society as titles and decorum, and Julia quickly discovers her present is deeply entangled with her mother’s mysterious past. Before she knows what’s happening, Julia finds herself a pawn in a deadly game between two of the country’s most powerful men. With no laws to protect her, she must unravel the secrets on her own. But sometimes truth is elusive and knowledge is deadly.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Born of Persuasion, go HERE.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Gone South by Meg Moseley

About the book:

The charm of the South drew her back to her family’s roots. But when the town’s old resentments turn the sweet tea bitter, can Tish find a welcome anywhere?

Leaving frosty Michigan for the Deep South was never a blip in the simple plans Tish McComb imagined for her life, dreams of marriage and family that were dashed five years earlier in a tragic accident. Now an opportunity to buy her great-great-great-grandparents’ Civil War era home beckons Tish to Noble, Alabama, a Southern town in every sense of the word. She wonders if God has given her a new dream— the old house filled with friends, her vintage percolator bubbling on the sideboard.

When Tish discovers that McCombs aren’t welcome in town, she feels like a Yankee behind enemy lines. Only local antiques dealer George Zorbas seems willing to give her a chance. What’s a lonely outcast to do but take in Noble’s resident prodigal, Melanie Hamilton, and hope that the two can find some much needed acceptance in each other.

Problem is, old habits die hard, and Mel is quite set in her destructive ways. With Melanie blocked from going home, Tish must try to manage her incorrigible houseguest as she attempts to prove her own worth in a town that seems to have forgotten that every sinner needs God-given mercy, love and forgiveness.

My Review:

Gone South is Meg Moseley's second book and after reading her first I knew she is an author to keep my eye out. When I saw she had a new book out I just had to read it and I am glad I did, it sure did not disappoint.  

In Gone South Tish finds herself buying an old family home and moving to a town where there is more back story and tarnish to her name then she has ever even known. She quickly learns that she is unwelcomed and that the town of Noble does not leave you any good impression of southern charm. Tish is a delight of a character, determined and hurt, but I will have to say Mel stole the story for me, I just loved her. The interactions between Mel and Tish are tender, raw, loving and tough and they are great team and just who each other needed.

I truly enjoyed this story and really felt like I got to know the characters and the setting. A delight of a story to read and one that left me wanting more. If you are in search of a good contemporary drama then this might just be the book for you! I highly look forward to reading more from Meg Moseley in the future.

*I received this book through the Author and her publicist for the purpose of this review.

Monday, September 9, 2013

What Once Was Lost by Kim Vogel Sawyer

About the Book:

A woman meant to serve, a child in the dark, a man standing apart—can these three souls embrace a God with new plans for them?

On a small Kansas farm, Christina Willems lovingly shepherds a group of poor and displaced individuals who count on her leadership and have come to see the Brambleville Asylum for the Poor as their home. But when a fire breaks out in the kitchen leaving the house uninhabitable, she must scramble to find shelter for all in her care, scattering her dear “family.”

With no other options, Christina is forced to approach Levi Jonnson, a reclusive mill owner, to take in a young blind boy named Tommy Kilgore. Levi agrees with reluctance but finds himself surprised by the bond that quickly grows between him and Tommy. As obstacles to repairing the farm pile up against Christina, she begins to question her leadership ability and wonders if she can fulfill the mission to which she's dedicated her life. And when an old adversary challenges Christina, will she find an unlikely ally—or more—in the aloof Levi? Can Levi reconcile with the rejection that led to his hermit-like existence and open his heart and life to something more, especially a relationship with a loving God?

My Review:

Over the years I have read many of Kim Vogel Sawyer's books and always look forward to reading another. I find her a talented author that writes in many settings which keeps her books fun and fresh and doesn't get that same old same old feel.

What Once was Lost did not disappoint at all. Kim Vogel Sawyer writes very sweet and tender books and this one is just that and more. I have always found great Christian messages woven into her stories that add great truths without being too preachy. I loved the setting and characters of this book and felt like I really got to know them. I will say this was a quick read and at times predictable but that did not ruin the story.

I would recommend this book to any fans of Kim Vogel Sawyer. Also to those that love a sweet tender romance with a great message. If you have never read her books then grab this one , you  might like it!

*I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, September 2, 2013

On Distant Shores by Sarah Sundin

About the Book

Caught between the war raging around them and the battles within, two souls long for peace—and a love that remains true.

Lt. Georgiana Taylor has everything she could want. A boyfriend back home, a loving family, and a challenging job as a flight nurse. But in July 1943, Georgie’s cozy life gets more complicated when she meets pharmacist Sgt. John Hutchinson.

Hutch resents the lack of respect he gets as a noncommissioned serviceman and hates how the war keeps him from his fiancĂ©e. While Georgie and Hutch share a love of the starry night skies over Sicily, their lives back home are falling apart. Can they weather the hurt and betrayal? Or will the pressures of war destroy the fragile connection they’ve made?

With her signature attention to detail and her talent for bringing characters together, Sarah Sundin weaves an exciting tale of emotion, action, and romance that will leave you wanting more.

My Review:

5 Stars

On Distant Shores may be book 2 in Sarah Sundin's Wings of Nightingales series but can read as a stand alone.  Georgiana is introduced in book 1, With Every Letter, and this book is her story. She is a fun character that many would be able to relate to. 

I enjoyed this book from the first page to the last. I really enjoyed Georgiana's story and loved the interaction she had with Hutch. They are made for each other but many obstacles stand in there past, including they both have significant others back home. I enjoyed seeing them grow and react to the effects of the war and all that was going on. I really felt there story come to life. I enjoyed learning about pharmacy in the military, how lacking it was and how untrained people where in the department.

This is a great book that anyone that enjoys a romance set in WWII would enjoy. I know I did and can not wait to read the third book in the series next year.

* I received this book from Litfuse for the purpose of this review.


Sarah Sundin is celebrating the release of her latest novel, On Distant Shores, with a Romantic Weekend Getaway giveaway!

On-Distant-Shores-rafflecopter

  One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A $200 Visa Cash Card (good for a perfect couple's getaway)
  • With Every Letter and On Distant Shores by Sarah Sundin
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 2nd. Winner will be announced September 3rd at the "On Distant Shores" Author Chat Party on Facebook. During the party Sarah will be hosting a book chat, testing your trivia skills, announcing the winner of the Weekend Getaway, and giving away a ton of books, gift certificates, and more. Oh, and she'll also be giving party goers an exclusive look at the next book in the Wings of the Nightingale series.

So grab your copy of On Distant Shores and join Sarah on the evening of September 3rd for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book, don’t let that stop you from coming!)

DON’T MISS A MOMENT OF THE FUN; RSVP TODAY. HOPE TO SEE YOU ON THE 3rd!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Into the Whirlwind by Elizabeth Camden

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Into the Whirlwind
Baker Publishing Group (August 15, 2013)
by
Elizabeth Camden


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


A research librarian and associate professor, Elizabeth Camden has a master’s in history from the University of Virginia and a master’s in library science from Indiana University. She has published several articles for academic publications and is the author of four nonfiction history books. Her ongoing fascination with history and love of literature have led her to write inspirational fiction. Elizabeth lives with her husband in central Florida.




ABOUT THE BOOK

After her father's death, Mollie Knox takes over his watchmaking company and uses her head for business to solidify the good name of the 57th Illinois Watch Company. Her future looks bright until the night her beloved city is destroyed in the legendary Great Chicago Fire. With her world crumbling around her, Molly must do whatever it takes to save her company in the aftermath of the devastating fire.

Zack Kazmarek is an influential attorney with powerful ties to the political, mercantile, and ethnic roots of Chicago. His only weakness is Mollie Knox, a woman who has always been just beyond his reach. However, all bets are off after the fire destroys Chicago, and Mollie is in desperate need of assistance. Just as Zack finally begins to pursue the woman he loves, competition arises in the form of a hero from her past who can provide the help she needs to rise from the ashes.

While Mollie struggles to rebuild, the two men battle for her heart. One has always loved her, but the other has the power to save her. In the race to rebuild the city, can she survive with her business and her heart intact?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Into the Whirlwind, go HERE.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Anomaly by Krista McGee

About the Book:

Thalli has fifteen minutes and twenty-three seconds left to live. The toxic gas that will complete her annihilation is invading her bloodstream. But she is not afraid.

Decades before Thalli’s birth, the world ended in a nuclear war. But life went on deep underground, thanks to a handful of scientists known as The Ten. Since then, they have genetically engineered humans to be free from emotions in the hopes that war won’t threaten their lives again.

But Thalli was born with the ability to feel emotions and a sense of curiosity she can barely contain. She has survived so far thanks to her ability to hide those differences. But Thalli’s secret is discovered when she is overwhelmed by the emotion in an ancient piece of music.

She is quickly scheduled for annihilation, but her childhood friend, Berk, convinces The Ten to postpone her death and study her instead. While in the scientists’ Pod, Thalli and Berk form a dangerous alliance, one strictly forbidden by the constant surveillance in the pods.

As her life ticks away, she hears rumors of someone called the Designer—someone even more powerful than The Ten. What’s more, the parts of her that have always been an anomaly could in fact be part of a much larger plan. And the parts of her that she has always guarded could be the answer she’s been looking for all along.

Thalli must sort out what to believe and who she can trust, before her time runs out…

My Review:

WOW! I loved this book, easily one of my favorites from this year. As soon as I received it I dived in and was transported to this future world. I felt like I was on a roller coaster ride with all the twists and turns it took.

Krista McGee weaves a fantastic dystopian YA title with a Christian view point that will entertain both teens and adults. This is my first book I have read from her and also her first book in this genre. She has written many other Christian contemporary YA titles but now is writing in this genre too and excels at it.

I loved all the characters in this book, I felt like I got to know them and was with them. I can not wait till book 2 and 3 come out, I just have to know how this is all going to work out.

I recommend this book to everyone it is that good. It will leave you thinking and wanting for more. Great job Krista McGee!

* I received this book from booksneeze for the purpose of this review.


Friday, August 16, 2013

Rules of Murder by Julianna Deering

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Rules of Murder
Bethany House Publishers (August 1, 2013)
by
Julianna Deering


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

JULIANNA DEERING has always been an avid reader and a lover of storytelling, whether on the page, the screen or the stage. This, along with her keen interest in history and her Christian faith, shows in her tales of love, forgiveness and triumph over adversity. A fifth-generation Texan, she makes her home north of Dallas with three spoiled cats and, when not writing, spends her free time quilting, cross stitching and watching NHL hockey. Her new series of Drew Farthering mysteries set in 1930s England debuts with Rules of Murder (Bethany House, 2013) and will be followed by Death by the Book (Bethany House, 2014).



 ABOUT THE BOOK



Downton Abbey Meets Agatha Christie in This Sparkling Mystery

Drew Farthering loves a good mystery, although he generally expects to find it in the pages of a novel, not on the grounds of his country estate. When a weekend party at Farthering Place is ruined by murder and the police seem flummoxed, Drew decides to look into the crime himself. With the help of his best friend, Nick Dennison, an avid mystery reader, and Madeline Parker, a beautiful and whip-smart American debutante staying as a guest, the three try to solve the mystery as a lark, using the methods from their favorite novels.

Soon, financial irregularities at Drew's stepfather's company come to light and it's clear that all who remain at Farthering Place could be in danger. Trying hard to remain one step ahead of the killer--and trying harder to impress Madeline--Drew must decide how far to take this game.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Rules of Murder, go HERE.

My Review:

Rules of Murder by Julianna is a very well written mystery. The book is written in the style of the great mystery writers of the 1900's like Agatha Christie and many others. '

I am not really sure how I feel about this book, it was not a favorite and I felt lost at many times. I think having an understanding of how mystery's were written back then would help a lot. It did not have as much of the suspense and danger that I am use to reading, but had more clever and wit in it. I think many people who love the classic mystery would love this book. I will say it was nice to see something different in the Christian literature world.

Overall, this is a great book to read whether it is to try something new or to reflect on the classic mystery. Give it a try you  might like it.

* I received this book through CFBA for the purpose of this review.



Monday, July 22, 2013

The Outcast by Jolina Petersheim

About the Book:

Raised in an Old Order Mennonite community, Rachel Stoltzfus is a strong-willed single woman, content living apart from mainstream society until whispers stir the moment her belly swells with new life. Refusing to repent and name the partner in her sin, Rachel feels the wrath of the religious sect as she is shunned by those she loves most. She is eventually coerced into leaving by her brother-in-law, the bishop.

But secrets run deep in this cloistered community, and the bishop is hiding some of his own, threatening his conscience and his very soul. When the life of Rachel’s baby is at stake, however, choices must be made that will bring the darkness to light, forever changing the lives of those who call Copper Creek home.


My Review:

4 Stars

To being as you can see from the cover The Outcast is a modern retelling of the classic The Scarlet Letter, I have not read the classic but I know the general story. I can't say how well it follows the classic but I do know the story is very enjoyable. I found this to be a fast read and had to know how it would all turn out. The biggest issue I have with this book is that the back of the book description gives a little too much of the plot away. Unfortunately it is hard to pick a book to read with out reading the back of the book.

I really enjoyed Rachel and Leah in this book. They are identical twin sisters and have a bond that many wish they had with a sibling. They are pulled and torn in different directions but their love for each other never fails. I also loved Judah in this book he demonstrated a true hero. 

In conclusion I recommend this book to all. It is a great story that will pull you in and keep you reading late into the night.


In Broken Places by Michele Phoenix

About the Book:

Shelby’s life isn’t glamorous, but it is predictable—and that’s the way she likes it. A survivor of her father’s violence, she has spent a lifetime creating a safe existence devoid of dependence. But her carefully managed world begins to break when, under staggering circumstances, she becomes a single mother to four-year-old Shayla. In a drastic attempt to escape her childhood’s influence, Shelby moves to Germany, but she quickly discovers how intimately linked memory and healing are—and how honestly she must scrutinize her past in order to aspire to a richer future. As she juggles a new job, a new culture, a new daughter, and the attention of an enterprising man, Shelby’s fresh start becomes a quest for the courage to be not only a survivor, but someone who prevails.



My Review:

5 Stars

In Broken Places is the first book I have read by Michele Phoenix and it won't be last. I know I have her last years release, Tangled Ashes, sitting on my kindle to read and I can't wait to find the time to read it.

Michele Phonix wrote a gripping tale weaving hurt, bitterness, hope and so much more into this book. I really felt like I could feel the characters emotions and really wondered what I would do in her situation. Shelby has built wall upon wall to protect herself after years of abuse from her father and that all starts to breakdown when she becomes a single mother to a sweet four year old who's life is also turned upside down. I loved watching Shelby grow, mature and find healing and forgiveness, which is the only way to move forward.

This is a great book packed with powerful emotions that will leave you wanting for more and thinking well past the last page. I highly recommend this book to anyone brave enough to face real emotion and a deep story. This is not a light fluffy read and in my opinion makes it so much better. Great job Michele on an outstanding book! 

*I received and ARC from the author for the purpose of this review. Thank you!

Friday, July 12, 2013

You Don't Know Me by Susan May Warren


About the Book:

A Deep Haven Novel

Sometimes the secrets we keep to protect ourselves can be our undoing.

To all who know her, Annalise Decker is a model wife and mother. She’s a permanent member of the PTA, never misses a sporting event, and is constantly campaigning for her husband’s mayoral race.

No one knows that Annalise was once Deidre O’Reilly, a troubled young woman whose testimony put a dangerous criminal behind bars. Relocated through the Witness Security Program to the quaint harbor town of Deep Haven, Deidre received a new identity and a fresh start, which began when she fell in love with local real estate agent Nathan Decker.

Twenty years later, Annalise couldn’t be more unprepared for her past to catch up with her. When Agent Frank Harrison arrives with news that the man she testified against is out on parole and out for revenge, Annalise is forced to face the consequences of her secrets. Will she run again, or will she finally find the courage to trust those she loves most with both her past and her future?


Meet Susan:


Susan May Warren is the RITA award-winning novelist of over thirty novels. A five-time Christy award finalist, a two-time RITA Finalist, she’s also a multi-winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice award, and the ACFW Carol Award.

A seasoned women’s events speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you!.

Find out more about Susan May at http://www.susanmaywarren.com/.
My Review:

5 Stars

What a fantastic book this was! From the back cover to the first pages this book had me hooked and kept my brain thinking for days on end. I found this book to be a fast read since I couldn't wait to find out how it would all turn out. This is the type of book that really makes you think and wonder what it would be like to be in Annalise's shoes. Can you imagine having to change your name, identity, where you live, and how you do things? Well that is just what Annalise had to do years ago when she went into the witness protection program. No one could know her life as a kid and teenager, nothing from her past could be divulged since anything could potentially hurt her or those she loved. After finishing this book it kept making me think about that situation and how there could be someone you met in your life that could be part of the witness protection program and you would never know it.

I highly recommend this book to everyone, part suspense, part romance, there is something for all. While this book is part of the Deep Haven series it can easily be read as a standalone. Great job Susan May Warren on a thought provoking and excellent book!

*I received this book through Tyndale and LitFuse for the purpose of this review.

Wings of Glass by Gina Holmes


ABOUT THE BOOK


From the bestselling author of Crossing Oceans comes a heart-rending yet uplifting story of friendship and redemption. On the cusp of womanhood, Penny is swept off her feet by a handsome farmhand with a confident swagger. Though Trent Taylor seems like Prince Charming and offers an escape from her one-stop-sign-town, Penny’s happily ever after lasts no longer than their breakneck courtship. Before the ink even dries on their marriage certificate, he hits her for the first time. It isn’t the last, yet the bruises that can’t be seen are the most painful of all.

When Trent is injured in a welding accident and his paycheck stops, he has no choice but to finally allow Penny to take a job cleaning houses. Here she meets two women from very different worlds who will teach her to live and laugh again, and lend her their backbones just long enough for her to grow her own.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Wings of Glass, go HERE.

My Review:

5 Stars

To start off with I just wanted to say that I have read all of Gina Holmes books and this one is her best! From the beautiful cover to the powerful story this book captured my attention from the very first page. This is not a complete fluffy, head in the clouds type of book but a poignant telling of how Penny met her husband, the abusive years and how she learns to laugh again and be free of the abusive relationship.

I loved how the story is told by Penny as she is telling the story to her son about his father. She recalls every single moment and really makes the reader feel like they are right along side her. Gina Holmes does an amazing job at making the reader feel ever emotion. This is not an easy book to read, but at the same one that draws you so far in that you can't help but keep reading. Great job on this book Gina and I hope many enjoy it and for some that it may help them see there is something better than living in a abusive situation.

*I received this book through Tyndale and CFBA for the purpose of this review.



Grace's Pictures by Cindy Thomson




About the Book:

Grace McCaffery hopes that the bustling streets of New York hold all the promise that the lush hills of Ireland did not. As her efforts to earn enough money to bring her mother to America fail, she wonders if her new Brownie camera could be the answer. But a casual stroll through a beautiful New York City park turns into a hostile run-in with local gangsters, who are convinced her camera holds the first and only photos of their elusive leader. A policeman with a personal commitment to help those less fortunate finds Grace attractive and longs to help her, but Grace believes such men cannot be trusted. Spread thin between her quest to rescue her mother, do well in a new nanny job, and avoid the gang intent on intimidating her, Grace must put her faith in unlikely sources to learn the true meaning of courage and forgiveness. 


My Review:

This is the first book I have read from Cindy Thomson and it was a delight to read. She really brought history to life with her captivating characters and charming story. 

I have always enjoyed stories of immigrants coming to the states through out history. I liked how this one ties in Ellis Island since that is not always the case. I find there stories to be full of trial, tragedy, hope, dreams and so much more. I also really enjoyed how Cindy Thomson tied in some of the history and background of cameras in the 1900's. It still amazes me how far we have come with cameras yet how in the end it is still all about capturing a memory.

In conclusion, this book I would recommend to fans of historical romance set in the 1900's and also to those who have a fascination with photography and cameras. This book won't disappoint.

* I received this book through Tyndale Blog Program for the purpose of this review.


Cindy ThomsonAbout the Author: 

Cindy Thomson's newest historical series begins with Grace's Pictures, June 2013, published by Tyndale House. She is also the author Celtic Wisdom (Lion Hudson),Brigid of Ireland, A Historical Novel, (Monarch Books) and co-author of Three Finger: The Mordecai Brown Story, (University of Nebraska Press.)

She is also a mentor in the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild. Her interests include genealogy, history, and baseball. Sharing the legacies of faith left by those who went before us is her passion.

She has spoken to book clubs and other small groups and enjoys appearing at several large Irish festivals across the country. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Wright State University with a degree in Elementary Education and taught in private Christian school settings for nearly 20 years.

You can visit her here:
http://cindythomson.blogspot.com/ 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Gone South by Meg Moseley

About the Book:

The charm of the South drew her back to her family’s roots. But when the town’s old resentments turn the sweet tea bitter, can Tish find a welcome anywhere?

Leaving frosty Michigan for the Deep South was never a blip in the simple plans Tish McComb imagined for her life, dreams of marriage and family that were dashed five years earlier in a tragic accident. Now an opportunity to buy her great-great-great-grandparents’ Civil War era home beckons Tish to Noble, Alabama, a Southern town in every sense of the word. She wonders if God has given her a new dream— the old house filled with friends, her vintage percolator bubbling on the sideboard.

When Tish discovers that McCombs aren’t welcome in town, she feels like a Yankee behind enemy lines. Only local antiques dealer George Zorbas seems willing to give her a chance. What’s a lonely outcast to do but take in Noble’s resident prodigal, Melanie Hamilton, and hope that the two can find some much needed acceptance in each other.

Problem is, old habits die hard, and Mel is quite set in her destructive ways. With Melanie blocked from going home, Tish must try to manage her incorrigible houseguest as she attempts to prove her own worth in a town that seems to have forgotten that every sinner needs God-given mercy, love and forgiveness.

My Review:

Gone South is Meg Moseley's second book and it is as great as the first, When Sparrows Fall, if not even better. Meg Moseley presents many issues found all around us, such as homelessness, stealing, low self esteem and more, and tackles it well. Everything about this book was well developed especially the characters. Each character came to life for me as if they were right in the room with me. The thing I loved most about this book was that fact that it had so many twists and turns that I could never fully predict what would happen. I find it boring to be able to predict the where the story will go early on and to be right.

I loved this book and would recommend to anyone that wants a good book filled with suspense, romance, and drama all tied together with the themes of love, faith and forgiveness.

*I received this book from blogging for books for the purpose of this review.


Monday, June 17, 2013

The House that Love Built by Beth Wiseman

About the Book:

Brooke has only loved one man, her late husband. Owen’s rebuilding after a painful divorce. Can a mysterious house bring them together for a second chance at love?

In the charming town of Smithville, Texas, Brooke Holloway is raising two young children on her own, supporting them by running the family hardware store. The last thing on her mind is falling in love. But she’s intrigued when a stranger moves to town and buys the old Hadley mansion. She’s always heard that house holds a secret—maybe even a treasure—and she can’t wait to see inside. When she meets the new owner and they spend time together, she can’t deny the attraction. Could God be giving her another chance at happiness? Or is she betraying her late husband’s memory by even thinking that way?

Owen Saunders bought the Hadley place to spite his cheating ex-wife. She’d always wanted to restore an old house in Smithville. Now he’s going to do it without her. But if anything needs restoration, it is Owen’s heart. Then he meets Brooke and her kids and finds himself tempted by love. Can he bring himself to trust a woman again?

Throw an eccentric uncle into the mix, along with the town’s teenage troublemaker, and even a finicky cat—and one thing becomes clear: God is bringing them all together for a reason.

My Review:

4.5 Stars

Beth Wiseman has done it again! She has written a fantastic novel that draws reader in from the first page with realistic and charming charactres, real emotion and faith weaved throughout it.

I really enjoyed this book, this is Beth Wiseman's second contemporary novel and she does a great job at it. This genre to me is a hard one because the plots can easily be so similar, or almost too hard to believe but she does a great job at keeping it real and unique but also not being so heavy that leaves readers feeling sad and frustrated. The romance part was very sweet and I couldn't help cheer them on and couldn't wait to see how it would all wrap up. I found this to be an easy read and one that is hard to put down, the best kind of books!

I highly recommend this book to fans of Beth Wiseman and to those who enjoy a good contemporary Christian novel. 

* I received this book from booksneeze for the purpose of this review. Thank you!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Borders of the Heart by Chris Fabry

About the Book:

Desperate to escape haunting memories, J. D. Jessup travels from Nashville to Tucson and volunteers on an organic farm. The hardened landowner has one prevailing rule: If J. D. sees an “illegal,” call the border patrol. But when an early morning ride along the fence line leads him to a beautiful young woman named Maria, near death in the desert, his heart pulls him in another direction. Longing to atone for the choices that drove him to Tucson, J. D. hides her and unleashes a chain of deadly events he could never have imagined. Soon they are running from a killer and fighting for their lives. As secrets of their pasts emerge, J. D. realizes that saving Maria may be the only way to save himself.

My Review:

4 Stars

Borders of the Heart is the third book I have read from Chris Fabry and while I really did enjoy it I am not sure I would call it my favorite. It had a slow start and then had many periods that would drag, but the overall plot was interesting even though predictable. I loved the concept of how one choice can change so much and put you on a path that you didn't even know existed. Chris Fabry is a fantastic storyteller and has the ability to write in different settings and craft unique stories. All of his books tend to have the theme of redemption, but that does not make them all the same at all. I will say this book is not light and fluffy, but it is not so deep and dark that it is depressing. It truly is part thrill ride and part romance which makes for a great combination. I would highly recommend this book to anyone that wants something different to read, has read Chris Fabry book's before, or anyone looking for a good story.

* I received this book through the Tyndale Blog Network for the purpose of this review. Thank You!

Can't Wait WIllow

About the Book:

Choose Right. Shine Bright.

The first book in a new series about helping children learn how to make good choices.

Willow is so excited that the Over-the-Top Circus has finally come to town! The only problem is that when left to make her own decisions, she can't say 'no' to her favorite things. On the way to the show, she is distracted by enticing treats and fun that she just can't turn down. Willow arrives late and is sad to find that not only has she has run out of time, but money, and she won't be able to enjoy the pink cotton candy she's been dreaming of. Willow is given valuable advice and a second chance and is ultimately taught the lesson that sometimes in life you have to say 'no' to good things to end up with something great!

About the series: The Shine Bright Kids series provides children and their families with a relevant framework to teach the importance of making good choices. The principles that will be explored include: using good judgment, taking responsibility, having a positive attitude, and demonstrating perseverance.

My Review:

I loved this children's book, it so cute and the pictures are just darling. It is a a book I would definitely consider buying when looking in a store, it has a catchy cover and doesn't disappoint once opened. This book is a wonderful story that teaches a lesson which is just great. I can't wait to read this book to my little girl when she is older and can enjoy this great story with beautiful illustrations. I know I will want to add the next ones in this series to my little girls bookshelf.

*I received this book from Fly By Promotions for the purpose of this review.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

All For A Song by Allison Pittman

About the Book:

Dorothy Lynn Dunbar has everything she ever wanted: her family, her church, her community, and plans to marry the young pastor who took over her late father’s pulpit. Time spent in the woods, lifting her heart and voice in worship accompanied by her brother’s old guitar, makes her life complete . . . and yet she longs for something more.

Spending a few days in St. Louis with her sister’s family, Dorothy Lynn discovers a whole new way of life—movies, music, dancing; daring fashions and fancy cars. And a dynamic charismatic evangelist . . . who just happens to be a woman. When Dorothy Lynn is offered a chance to join Aimee Semple McPherson’s crusade team, she finds herself confronted with temptations she never dreamed of. Can Dorothy Lynn embrace all the Roaring Twenties has to offer without losing herself in the process?

About the Author:
Award-winning author Allison Pittman left a seventeen-year teaching career in 2005 to follow the Lord's calling into the world of Christian fiction, and God continues to bless her step of faith. Her novels For Time and Eternity and Forsaking All Others were both finalists for the Christy Award for excellence in Christian fiction, and her novel Stealing Home won the American Christian Fiction Writers' Carol Award. She heads up a successful, thriving writers group in San Antonio, Texas, where she lives with her husband, Mike, their three sons, and the canine star of the family—Stella.

My Review:

5 Stars

Loved this book! This has been easily a favorite book of mine and one I will be re reading in the future, it has earned a permanent place on my bookshelf. As soon as I heard Allison Pittman had a new book coming out I could not wait to read it. I have read many of her books and loved them all. I really enjoy reading books set in the roaring '20's since that decade is such a mark of change and the struggles faced back then were very hard and really start to mark a more modern era. Life really started to change from the simpler olden days.

All for a Song is tells a powerful story of Miss Dorothy Lynn Dunbar and really is a story of growing up and finding God's plan. She struggles with the more modern things of the city with her simple country childhood and is torn for much of the story of where she fits and what life she is suppose to lead. I found it interesting how Allison Pittman weaved in the real life charismatic female evangelist  Aimee Semple McPherson and loved the the blend of fiction and non-fiction.

In conclusion, I highly recommend this book to everyone who loves historical s set in the '20's. I will warn though that this book really is not a romance story at all but much more of a coming-of-age story filled with so much that will leave you turning the pages long after the lights go out. Great job Allison Pittman on a fantastic novel.

*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review.

For more information check out:

1. The Authors website: www.allisonpittman.com

-and-

2. Questions and Answers with the author: http://mediacenter.tyndale.com/downloads/press_kits/ASAuthorQA.pdf

That Certain Summer by Irene Hannon

About the book:

Two very different sisters . . . an unexpected homecoming . . . one unforgettable summer

Karen and Val are family-yet they're anything but close. Karen has carried the burden of responsibility for her aging mother ever since her sister left town years ago to pursue a career in theater. But Val had other reasons for moving away-as well as a secret to keep-and coming home has never been an option . . . until their mother suffers a stroke.

Reunited in their hometown, Karen and Val must grapple with past mistakes as they care for their ailing mother. When two handsome men enter the picture, the summer takes on a surprising new dimension. As their lives intersect, can each of them learn how to forgive, let go, and move on? And strengthened by the healing power of faith, might they also find the courage to love?

With her trademark compelling characters and heartwarming hope, award-winning author Irene Hannon pens an inspiring true-to-life tale of complex relationships, the search for forgiveness, and the life-changing process of finding love.

My Review:

I am not sure what I feel about this book. When I got it in the mail I was excited to dig in as it is one of my favorite genres, contemporary, but as I read through I never really felt engaged in the book. The story was good, the characters had depth and the plot felt real but in the end it didn't leave me thinking or sad to leave the characters behind. With that said I have never read Irene Hannon and she is most known for her suspense books. I do know that I plan to try her other books one day as I have heard only good things about them. 

In the end this was not my favorite but I am confident there will be some that love it and something worth checking out. 

* I received this book from Revell for the purpose of this review. Thank you!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

All in Good Time by Maureen Lang

About the Book:

Dessa Caldwell has a dream: to open Pierson House, a refuge for former prostitutes in Denver’s roughest neighborhood. But after exhausting all charitable donations, Dessa still needs a loan, and nearly every bank in town has turned her down. Her last hope hinges on the owner of Hawkins National Bank.

Henry Hawkins has a secret: though he owns the most successful bank in town, his initial capital came from three successful raids on Wells Fargo coaches. Now he’s the most eligible bachelor in Denver, but to protect his criminal past, he’s built a fortress around his heart. Not even the boldest matchmaking mother can tempt him . . . until the day Dessa Caldwell ventures into his bank requesting a loan.

Though he’s certain her proposal is a bad investment, Henry is drawn to Dessa’s passion. But that same passion drives her to make rash decisions about Pierson House . . . and about whom she can trust. One man might hold the key to the future of her mission—but he also threatens to bring Henry’s darkest secrets to light. As the walls around their hearts begin to crumble, Henry and Dessa must choose between their plans and God’s, between safety and love.

My Review:

5 Stars

What a fantastic story! Maureen Lang does a great job at weaving the lives of Henry Hawkins and Dessa Caldwell together, both impulsive, stubborn and in need to learn the same lessons. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and dived right in as soon as it came in the mail. It didn't take me long to read at all!  I just loved Dessa and her determination to help woman and young woman out and get them out of bad situations. She didn't just want to give them a hand out but a hand up and teach them skills and show them that God loves them. This is not an easy thing for a woman to do back then and in many ways is still a hard thing.

This is part of the Guilded Legacy series but can be completed read on its own, there really is no connection to the first book. The characters and setting and completely different. II personally think this book is a lot better than Birds in the Butterfly Garden, the first book in the series. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has enjoyed Maureen Lang's other books and historical romance in general. You can't go wrong with this book and the cover is beautiful!

*I received this book from Tyndale for the purpose of this review.

Band of Sisters by Cathy Gohlke

About the Book:

Maureen O’Reilly and her younger sister flee Ireland in hope of claiming the life promised to their father over twenty years before. After surviving the rigors of Ellis Island, Maureen learns that their benefactor, Colonel Wakefield, has died. His family, refusing to own his Civil War debt, casts her out. Alone, impoverished, and in danger of deportation, Maureen connives to obtain employment in a prominent department store. But she soon discovers that the elegant facade hides a secret that threatens every vulnerable woman in the city.

Despite her family’s disapproval, Olivia Wakefield determines to honor her father’s debt but can’t find Maureen. Unexpected help comes from a local businessman, whom Olivia begins to see as more than an ally, even as she fears the secrets he’s hiding. As women begin disappearing from the store, Olivia rallies influential ladies in her circle to help Maureen take a stand against injustice and fight for the lives of their growing band of sisters. But can either woman open her heart to divine leading or the love it might bring?

My Review: 

5 Stars

Fans of Cathy Gohlke's Promise Me This will find they will love this book just as much even though its very different. It still has Cathy's excellent story telling, historical accuracy and a page turning book you can't put down. What is doesn't have is the romance story but it has a powerful story that will stay with long after you turn the last page.

I loved Olivia's character and her determination to do good and on honor her father's promise. She is a person that many of can learn from. Of course, I also loved Maureen's character but her story was more heart breaking at times. She was frustrating at times with her stubbornness, which made sense at times but not always.

This is a great book for anyone who likes a good historical story. Though I will say it is not a light beach read by any means, but I think that is why the book is so great and powerful!

* I received this book from Tyndale through Radiant Lit. Thank you!