25 Book Reviews

Friday, October 28, 2011

Review of a Fantastic Suspense Novel - Guardians of Justice Series

"Deadly Pursuit"
By Irene Hannon
Irene has continued the Guardians of Justice series , with her second being no disappointment.-  
Her ability to keep you in suspense throughout the book is outstanding. I was constantly intrigued by the twists and turns in her plot- I never could guess what would happen next.  Just when you think you have all the answers, she throws in another  idea or mystery. This book is definitely a page turner. It captures your attention on the first page and continues to do so until you are finished. Irene uses a style of fast paced drama and a true mind boggling mystery.
The story builds to such a climax that you are on the edge of your seat - I just could NOT put this book down until I had the answers- and even when I finished, I was left with more questions that I wanted answered.
  The characters appear very real and are described in great detail. You feel the fear and confusion of the main character . Alison is a  social worker who has a wonderful passion for protecting children- those in danger and those mistreated.  But now, she finds herself in the position of the little ones- she is the one who requires protection. Alison has a tormentor who is giving her a great deal of attention-  very violent  ones!! She is forced , through her fear , to call in  her police-detective brother, who then involves his new partner, an ex-Navy SEAL, Mitch.  As the story progresses, the stalker's threats become more violent and frightening. You can feel  the danger, my heart beat faster at each action of this mystery person.  If you are a nail biter, this book will leave you with no nails at all!!  Mitch begins to take a very personal interest in this case and protecting Alison becomes more important than his job.  His whole future depends on keeping this woman safe.

Irene is certainly a talented author, with her outstanding ability of writing a combination of suspense and romance, combining the two , with her storytelling ability. What a book!! I absolutely loved it!! Can hardly wait for Book Three in this series!! Write quickly , Irene!!

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Beth Wiseman has done it again!! Another winning book!! Another Amish Book Review

View Wisemanco...jpg in slide show

"The Wonder of  Your Love"

          By Beth Wiseman

Just when you think that Beth has written the BEST book ever, she does it again!!!  "The Wonder of Your Love" is the second book in her Land of Canaan Amish Series and is as marvellous as the first, "Seek Me With all Your Heart".  
The ability to appeal to your heart and soul is one in which few authors excel in every book they write, but Beth is the exception. Every one of her books has had this quality evident within the characters and the plot . Her characters are alive - they are REAL people with REAL problems and challenges in which you  cannot help but become involved , as you make your way through the story.  They become part of you. Beth's faith and  sincerity shines through each and every one of them.  
    " The Wonder of Your Heart" is the story of Katie Ann, who also was in the first of the "Land of Canaan" Series.  Katie Ann Stoltzfus , living in  a small Amish community in Colorado, has lost the love of her life and now must carry on, at forty years old and with a young child to raise. The baby boy will never know his father, and Katie struggles with 
 this fact. Has her Heavenly Father left her too?? Why would God expect her to  be a capable single parent???  Katie Ann's faith is challenged to the max!! As a reader,  I could feel her anguish, as she pondered what the future would hold. 

Eli, a widower,  has raised six children by himself and comes to Canaan for a wedding. He is enjoying his peace and quiet after a busy lifestyle of being both  mam and dat to his family. HOWEVER,  when Katie Ann and  Eli meet, there is an instant connection- they feel the attraction- that becomes a real problem. They are at opposite ends of their parenting- she has just begun and he is done- and feeling somewhat relieved.
How can this relationship flourish when their goals and lives are so different?  Does God have a plan for them that differs from their own?  
Martha, from the first book, is again, a very important presence in the story. You just have to love her unique personality and quips and frankness and how she is woven into the story. Danielle is another character who stirs your emotions. I certainly hope that Beth continues her story!! I just have to know what life has in store for her.
Each and every character plays a very special role and you grow to love each one as you feel their challenges as well as their  happiness, and sometimes cry with them as they experience heartache.
Beth, in her usual style, keeps you wondering  throughout the book- her plot becomes deeper and just when you think you know what will happen next, she throws in another twist.  This book is full of deep emotions teaching us to trust God even when times are difficult. It is definitely a book of renewal and redemption and you feel that throughout , as you encounter a variety of wonderful  characters.
This is a MUST READ!!   An author  like Beth Wiseman inspires all of us to become the best we can be. No, we can not all be an author, but we can follow God's plan for our lives and that is what this book is all about.
YAY, Beth!! You did it again!

View Wiseman_3...jpg in slide show

About Beth:

Beth Wiseman is hailed as a top voice in Amish fiction. She is a Carol-award winner and author of numerous bestsellers including the Daughters of the Promise series and the Land of Canaan series. She and her family live in Texas. http://www.bethwiseman.com/, Twitter @bethwiseman, www.facebook.com/pages/Fans-of-Beth-Wiseman/47576397539  

 Link to buy the book: http://www.thomasnelson.com/consumer/product_detail.asp?sku=1595548866&title=A_Land_of_Canaan_Series:_The_Wonder_of_Your_Love

Beth is celebrating the release of Book 2 in the Land of Canaan series with a Fabulous Facebook party on November 1st. She'll be giving away one of her OWN paintings, several mini prize packs and a sneak peak at the next book in this heartwarming series.

CLICK the button (to the right) to RSVP for the party - then join us on November 1st for a book chat, Amish themed trivia contest, and more!

To read more reviews of this new book, go to the Blog tour schedule:) http://litfusegroup.com/blogtours/text/13433387). It will list the dates on which you can read other reviews of The Wonder of Your Love

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Very Different Cookbook!! Entertaining and Useful!! WOW!

Review of a One of a Kind Cookbook:
"Taste of Pinecraft"
"Glimpses of Sarasota, Florida's Amish Culture                               and Kitchen"

By Sherry Gore
This is a very different kind of review for me to write. I have reviewed and done Blog Tours for fiction- all different types, biographies, autobiographies and personal growth, BUT have never before been involved in judging the merits of a cookbook!!
All  I can say is "WOW!"  This book is a true work of art. Not only is it packed with simple yet delicious recipes, it includes dozens of stories about life in a Plain community in Sarasota , Florida. I had not been aware of this  special community before encountering this book.   The recipes are generally easy to make and always full of wonderful flavors.  The ingredients are  easy to locate and are not unique to Florida.  If you follow these recipes, you end up with a delicious Amish meal, with enough variety to please everyone's tastes.

HOWEVER, this is not what just makes this cookbook unique. This book, as said by Keith Rathborn, publisher of The Budget, in the introduction, "feeds the body and the soul, serving family style."  The recipes are interspersed with stories of the Amish - Plain People, told by a variety of the members of this faith.  These reflections are personal stories which make you feel as if you are part of the Pinecraft community.  As I read through this book, I felt myself becoming part of a family based place to which I had never been. Each story is  one of a kind, as are the recipes, told with the wit and down home humor of the Plain People.  Stories told in the people's own words, showing their sense of humor as well as their creativity and story telling skills.

This is NOT just a cookbook!! It is a work of art. Useful recipes and heartwarming stories combined in one publication!! What more could one ask?

Sherry has used her life experiences to produce this fabulous cookbook. Never before have I cooked and read a story at the same time!!! Truly priceless!! Thank you , Sherry for sharing your community and recipes with us.
I absolutely LOVE this cookbook and it will take an important place in my kitchen - or maybe my coffee table- or..... Where does it belong? In a loving, caring home, feeding the stomach and the soul!!
Great for using in a practical  and entertaining way!!
For more information go to www.SherryGoreBooks.com
                                          or email TasteofPinecraft@gmail.com

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Review of another great Amish novel!! WOW !

Review of Another Wonderful Amish Novel!
"A Time for Peace"
By Barbara Cameron
Barbara has continued her series, entitled "Quilts of Lancaster County". Book 3, A Time for Peace is certainly no disappointment!! Often , when reading a series, I wonder if the next one will be as great as the previous- this book was EVEN better than the others, I believe!! How can that be, when I thought the last was great!! 

Using a great talent of describing the characters and their trials, challenges as well as joys and accomplishments, Barbara draws you into their lives so deeply, that you do feel as if you are part of the family. You feel the hurts, as they do and you rejoice with them as they make life changing decisions.
The plot is another one of twists and turns, making this book a real page turner.  You never know what is around the next corner.

In "A Time for Peace",  the main character , Jenny is loved  and cherished by her husband and children.  Her life appears to be perfect (after years of hardship), when suddenly her peaceful life falls apart. Phoebe, her grandmother, becomes ill and Jenny goes to care for her. As she cleans Phoebe's bedroom, letters are discovered that cause great distress and confusion. She is in shock, when she finds disturbing letters from her father, with details, of which she was totally unaware, dated back to the year when she was a mere eighteen.  Details, that could have changed her entire life!

The story continues to describe Jenny's struggles to come to term with secrets and why they were kept from her all this time. She questions her faith and trust in God. Why did this happen, when she was finally enjoying a life of peace and happiness??? Turmoil evolves in her , as well as her marriage and family life. Why is God doing this to her?  I must not say more, or I would be giving spoilers.

Barbara keeps you involved in this book from beginning to end. She is to be commended on her fine writing skills and her talent to totally involve you in the story. It is a real page turner!! I highly recommend this book to all!!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Another Wonderful Amish Fiction Book- Don't miss this one!

View Along Woo...jpg in slide show                                                   Amish fiction at its 
View hi res tr...jpg in slide show
Tricia Goyer

"Along Wooded Paths"

By Tricia Goyer

Tricia has done an outstanding job
 in this Amish fiction novel.  Her first book of the series, "Beside Still Waters" was adventurous and full of feeling- often sad and heartbreaking. I thought that I could not possibly enjoy this one as well. However , I was wrong, glad to say!!!  Along Wooded Paths, if possible, is even more enthralling , drawing you into the characters' lives and feeling their confusion , at times, while at others, their hope and faith. This book truly reveals the life of the Amish and their lifestyle . Tricia has captured their desire to live their lives according to their interpretation of the Bible.  

The main character, Marianna Sommer , continues her life and trials in her family's new home in Montana, among the Englischers, actually depending on them a great deal. This is in great contrast to her former life in Indiana.  Life in the remote mountains demands that neighbors depend on each other, whether Amish or Englisch.  Marianna does learn to help others who live so differently from the way she was taught and her heart is torn. You feel her anguish in making important decisions.
A huge matter of concern for her , as well as her family is her desire to marry- BUT who will it be?   The  Amish man from Indiana , who she had planned to be her partner for many years and had  to leave behind, or an Englisch gentleman , who walks more closely with the  Lord than she has ever seen before!!! 
Her confusion is evident as she grows in her faith in her new home. Marianna's heart  is torn. What would God have her do?  Should she sacrifice her family  and the Amish life to marry the wonderful Christian Englischer or remain faithful to the man she fully expected to discover true happiness with in the Amish community?  She finds the answer "along wooded paths", thus the title of the book. Very appropriate! Tricia keeps you guessing till the very end of the book as to her decision.

This book is truly one of faith and hope for the future as you walk with the main characters in their daily lives. It is a love story that we want to continue. Tricia, we eagerly await Book 3 in your series!!!

Find out about book 1, Beside Still Waters, here: http://www.triciagoyer.com/contemporaryfiction.html#BesideStillWaters

About the Author:

Tricia Goyer is the author of thirty books includingSongbird Under a German Moon, The Swiss Courier, and the mommy memoir, Blue Like Play Dough. She won Historical Novel of the Year in 2005 and 2006 from ACFW, and was honored with the Writer of the Year award from Mt. Hermon Writer's Conference in 2003. Tricia's book Life Interrupted was a finalist for the Gold Medallion in 2005. In addition to her novels, Tricia writes non-fiction books and magazine articles for publications like MomSense and Thriving Family. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences, and has been a workshop presenter at the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International Conventions. She and her family make their home in Little Rock, Arkansas where they are part of the ministry of FamilyLife.

For more about Tricia and her other books visitwww.triciagoyer.com

Come to a Facebook Party and Live Author Chat! 

Tricia is celebrating the release of Along Wooded Paths with a Fabulous Facebook party on October 18th. She'll be giving away prizes and a sneak peak at the next book in the Big Sky series.

Then during the second half of the party she'll be hosting a LIVE AUTHOR CHAT on her website and announcing something BIG! CLICK the button (in bar to the right) to RSVP for the party - then go here to sign up for the Live Author Chat.

Blog tour schedule:  Read what other reviewers have to say about this book. Click on : http://litfusegroup.com/blogtours/text/13430807)
To see a book trailer about this book , go to:

A Book Not to Be Missed!!! FANTASTIC!

View RL Lacy b...jpg in slide show Review of a Thought Provoking , Wonderful   Book                                        
"Reclaiming Lily"
   By Patti Lacy
How do I describe this marvellous work of art???? AND that is what this book is!! 
Patti has accomplished what only the best can do-  write a moving story that has a theme of loss, healing and  most importantly LOVE!
" A storm the size of Texas brews when Gloria Powell and Kai Chang meet in a Ft. Worth hotel. They have come to discuss the future of Lily, the daughter Gloria adopted from China and the sister Kai hopes to reclaim. Kai is a doctor who had to give up her little sister during the Cultural Revolution and has since discovered that an inherited genetic defect may be waiting to fatally strike Lily.

Gloria's relationship with her daughter is tattered and strained, and the arrival of Kai, despite the woman's apparent good intentions, makes Gloria fearful. Gloria longs to restore her relationship with Lily, but in the wake of this potentially devastating diagnosis, is Kai an answer to prayer--or will her arrival force Gloria to sacrifice more than she ever imagined?"
(taken from info from LitFuse)
The subject of adoption, being near and dear to my heart, as we adopted a mixed race child, immediately caught my attention, however, that is NOT what kept me reading. When Lily, the adopted child from China, is discovered  by her biological sister, you actually feel the stress of the adoptive parents. Why is she here? Are we going to lose the daughter we have had since she was ten years old?
Patti Lacy has the ability to draw you into the story and make you feel the pain, the hurts, the confusion of each of the characters. 
Will the biological sister , who is now an prestigious M.D. in Boston change the feelings of Lily? This occurs at a point in Lily's rebellious teenaged years, where she is opposed to all of her pastor father 's beliefs. Gloria, her shy  mom, is struggling to  hold herself together , and wonders if the finding of a biological relative will be helpful to her teen's questions . You can feel the tornado whirl, as Kai calls the family for very specific reasons, not just to find her sibling. Medical issues are a completely new complication for this family and the shock to learn of them are unbelievable. I , myself , had never heard of this disease or what it involves, so this book , also becomes a tool of learning.
Are these two women, Gloria and Kai, able to come to terms , as they differ in culture and beliefs? The one thing they have in common, is their intense love for Lily! When a medical emergency occurs, can faith in God carry them through? - especially when Kai does not share Gloria's strong faith. Is Kai able to share her worries with her sister's mom? Joy does a complete turnabout and becomes the strong one in the family. Surprises abound.
There are so many twists and turns in this book, I am unable to  describe any more without giving spoilers.
Patti Lacy is an extremely talented author who can draw you into the story and the family's confusion and heartbreak.  You can not help but be moved and inspired by this book!!!  A change in all of the characters leaves the reader changed, as well!
It is definitely a book NOT to be missed.

Patty , you have kept me up nights and made me leave my work incomplete, but you have CHANGED how I believe. A real book to savour!!

View pl new sh...jpg in slide showThis book was provided by LitFuse in exchange for a review.
About Patti:

Patti Lacy graduated from Baylor University with a BS in education and completed master's-level courses in English at Indiana State University. She taught at Heartland Community College until May 2006, when she resigned to pursue her passion of writing. The author of three previous novels, Patti is the mother of two grown children and lives with her husband in Normal, Illinois.

For more about Patti and her other books, visit her website at www.pattilacy.com.

Patti Lacy is celebrating the release of her latest book, Reclaiming Lily,  with a KindleTouch Giveaway, blog tour and FB Book Chat Party!

Patti and her publisher, Bethany House, are giving away a Reclaiming Lily prize package worth over $150 to one lucky winner!!!!

Enter the Reclaiming Lily Giveaway and you could win:
  • A brand new just released KindleTouch with Wi-Fi
  • $25 gift certificate to Amazon.com
But, wait there’s more!

Enter today by clicking the icon in the bar to the right of this review. Giveaway ends on 10/19! Patti will be announcing the winner of the Reclaiming Lily Giveaway at her Party on Facebook October 20th! She’ll be hosting a book club chat of Reclaiming Lily (it's okay if you haven't read it - you could win a copy!) and giving away other fun prizes! (signed copies of her books and gift certificates to Amazon.com, Starbucks, & iTunes!). Don’t miss the fun at Patti’s FB Author Page on 10/20/11 at 5pm PST ( 6 pm MST, 7 pm CST, & 8 pm EST)! RSVP today!

For more about Patti and her other books, visit her website at www.pattilacy.com.

Another Fantastic Read by One of My Favorite Authors, Vannetta Chapman!

An Amish Proposal for Christmas  By Vannetta Chapman Synopsis: Her deepest Christmas wish will bring more than she imagined…in this novel by...