25 Book Reviews

Thursday, March 28, 2013

"A Courageous Story of Giving Life and Renewing Hope"

Product Details"Taylor's Gift"
                By Todd and Tara Storch
                     with Jennifer Schuchmann

This is one of the most thought provoking and touching books that I have read in a very long time. It is one that causes you to review your own life and appreciate all you have. 

Synopsis: A loving family is on spring vacation, having a great adventure skiing. It is the last run of the first day on the slopes for Todd and Tara and their three children. But suddenly, a tragedy occurs. Their daughter, Taylor's life is cut short in a skiing accident. The poor family is overcome with grief losing their beautiful young daughter. While they are still in shock, they are asked the difficult question that no parents think that they will ever hear, "Would you be willing to donate your daughter's organs?"

The answer they gave, would change their lives forever, as well as bring them immeasurable comfort in years to come, even in their darkest moments.  It also saves the lives of five desperately ill people who are waiting for a heart, liver, cornea, pancreas and a  kidney. What is important in life? To give to others! What is important in death- the SAME thing!  

This is a heart wrenching true story of a family's struggle to make the right decision. It brings hope to all those who experience a tragedy in their lives.  There can be life after a loss, although we think otherwise.  This Christian family finds strength in Goeven in the darkest moment. Hope  reigns!

My Thoughts:  My emotions while reading this wonderful book were on a rollercoaster .  I cried with these Godly parents as they went through the most feared of all disasters, losing a child. I rejoiced as they found hope and peace in their decision to donate Taylor's organs, as she would have wanted to do, so that she could live on in the lives of others. Even in death, Taylor made a difference to people who needed a touch of healing. An extremely well written book, accurately and realistically describing a tragedy that any of us could experience. 
The book succeeds in making us think that there can be hope found in any family situation. It also makes us very aware of the importance of organ donation and what it means to others. 
A FANTASTIC book!! One, that all of us NEEDS to read- thought provoking and hopeful!

    "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, March 27, 2013

An "On the edge of your seat" kind of book!!!

 Product Details




By Jordyn Redwood

If you love to read books that are frightening, hold your attention far into the night , and won't let you release those pages until you have finished, this book is definitely for you!! What a thriller!! I felt fear, confusion, wonder and amazement when reading this work of art. You are compelled to read to the last page to find out the answers to the many questions that are raised in your mind during this story.

The story begins with the main character, Keelyn Blake, whose stepfather took her family hostage, raving about an "imaginary" creature, Lucent, a being who forced him to commit horrible acts.  Some of the family survived while others did not. Even Lee Watson, one of FBI's best detectives, could not overcome this deadly man's delusions or end the standoff in a peaceful manner. 
Now, Lucent is appearing in a new way- and he is NOT an illusion. He has kidnapped Keelyn's niece and her half sister, Raven. Raven  is no where to be found. Others begin dying in very strange circumstances, all having been involved in the standoff many years ago. Will Keelyn's relationship with Lee survive the unimaginable horrors that occur????

This book is the second in the  Bloodline Trilogy, following "Proof".  

All I can say is WOW!!!! This book held my complete attention from beginning to end.  I must say, many of the events gave me chills and my gasps could be heard aloud, as I read the many surprise terrifying situations in this book. 
The characters were realistic and well described. I felt every fear that Keelyn experienced and wanted to release her from her pain of the past. 
The plot keeps you totally engaged and you need to read this book , when you can stay up all night to finish it. The tension builds throughout. The ending is a complete surprise, totally unpredictable. 
Definitely , a five star book to those of us who like to FEEL the book!! I can hardly wait for Book 3 in this series!!

Book provided by Kregal Publications, in exchange for a fair and honest review. 


Getting to REALLY Know the Author, Jerry Eicher!!

Product Details"My Amish Childhood"
                             By Jerry Eicher

 I have read many, many books by Jerry Eicher and I must say that I love all of his Amish fiction! Also in my possession, is the cookbook, that he and his wife composed together. Yes, I did know that he was from an Amish tradition but little did I know of all the experiences this gentleman has had. No wonder he writes with such accurate and expansive knowledge of the Amish beliefs and Plain People! 
In this memoir, Jerry recounts many of his favorite childhood memories growing up Amish. Born in Alymer, Ontario, Canada, Jerry grew up in a large Amish family, dedicated to their faiths and beliefs.
In this book, Jerry recounts many of his favorite childhood memories while growing up Amish. He gives us a very clear picture of the daily life of a unique Amish community, simple and trusting, however often, taken advantage of.
At a young age, this man was transplanted with his family to a strange land, with a different language and customs, - the Honduras.  In this book, we read of his adventures , challenges, joys and fears in this  faraway country.  
Also a new discovery, at least to me, is that Jerry struggled as a stutterer. He tells of his many unhappy experiences due to this condition. You feel his pain and agony as he recounts stories of frustration. His conversion to Christ and departure from the Amish faith is also included.
This is truly an informative, wonderful memoire, told in many stories. I must admit, I thought I knew a lot about the Amish until I read this book, packed full of information. I also gained insight into Jerry and what made him the author, he is today!! No wonder, he writes with such understanding of the Plain People.
A  great book that you should not miss reading!! 

Book was provided by Harvest House and the author, in exchange for an fair and honest review.   

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Ann Gabhart's Small Town Story is a Success!

                              Scent of Lilacs
Product Details
By Ann H. Gabhart              

1964 is the year. Life for young Jocie Brooke will never be the same.  Jocie, the main character of this book, lives in the quiet town of  Hollyhill, Kentucky, a place where there are rarely life changing events. But this all changes in the  hot summer of 1964. On the surface, everything appears to be just fine, however this young lady is experiencing a difficult time in her life. It seems as if everyone in her life is keeping secrets, they are all hiding SOMETHING from her- and perhaps from themselves as well. Jocie decides to dig into the family's past and see what she can discover. In the process, she stirs up some strange information that causes a whirlwind of discoveries!  Will she find answers that are helpful, or were these hidden truths better off hidden in the past?? 

My Thoughts:
Having previously ready Ann Gabhart's book , "Angel Sister",and a few other of Ann's books,  I knew I was in for a good read. I am pleased to say that I was correct.
 The characters were extremely well developed , to the point of being so realistic , that they became very close to me. I could feel Jocie's frustrations, when attempting to deal with the unknown.  Her sadness, confusion, fears, and a few joys along the way, all had me completely engrossed in the book. I wanted this young girl to find happiness and succeed in her quest for the unknown past.  Yes, sometimes, I wished that I could give her a hug or some advice. That to me , makes this a good book. I could identify with Jocie  as a little sister with a very big problem. The other characters were equally well described. Very unique, somewhat quirky, and entirely believable.

The plot , although, I feel got off to a slow start, was well developed. Once I had read a few chapters, I was hooked on finding out the secrets, along with Jocie. Ann managed to insert some surprising events in the midst of the search for truth. It was a relaxing read, as well as having enough shocking events to hold my interest throughout.

A good read! I would recommend it to all Ann Gabhart fans! The rest of you, try it out! You will like it!!

  "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".

A Great New Christian Historical Romance!

"Love in the Balance"
   By Regina Jennings

About Love in the Balance

Handsome Cowboy or Debonair Tycoon.
How's a Girl to Choose?
Molly Lovelace dreams of a life without cares in Lockhart, Texas. She also dreams of handsome wrangler Bailey Garner, her ardent but inconsistent beau. The problem is, with Bailey's poor prospects, she just can't fit the two dreams together.
Then mysterious stranger Edward Pierrepont sweeps into town-and her life-and for the first time Molly wonders if she's met the man who can give her everything. But he won't be in Lockhart long and while it certainly seems like he talks about their glorious future together, she can't quite get Bailey out of her mind.

What's a girl to do with all these decisions when love is in the balance?

 My thoughts on this book:

For a fan who is attempting, and I must say, succeeding, to learn to enjoy historical fiction, this book was an ideal read! Although I have just started to read this genre with enjoyment, in an attempt to “widen my horizons” , Regina managed to hook my attention and KEEP it throughout the story!! That is a great feat in itself!!
Regina demonstrates an excellent ability to describe her characters in a detailed, realistic fashion. Molly, the main character, became my friend. I was often frustrated by her choices, sometimes loved her, sometimes felt some dislike, wanted to give my advice when I thought she had made a poor choice! This , to me, makes a good book. When I can identify with the characters, my interest is magnified . The two male characters on which the story centres, Edward and Bailey, are both equally well developed throughout the book. These two very opposite personalities are described so well that I was able to picture each in my mind as I read. Both of them frustrated me at times, and I wanted to give each of them a good shake! LOL All characters are very well defined. The details given enhance the plot and maintain your interest throughout the story.

The plot is outstanding in its twists and turns. I would think that I had the story all figured out, when suddenly , in the next chapter, all my hopes were dashed and complications arose. I was glued to the book, could NOT put it down, as I had to discover the unknown!! THAT makes a great book!!

I would highly recommend this book to all fans. Definitely a five star book! A new author to keep your eyes on. I am eagerly awaiting the next book!!

Meet Regina:  
Regina Jennings is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in English and a history minor. She has worked at The Mustang News and First Baptist Church of Mustang, along with time at the Oklahoma National Stockyards and various livestock shows. She now lives outside Oklahoma City with her husband and four children. 
Find out more about Regina at 
 Link to buy the book: http://ow.ly/iTdiA 
To see other reviews of this book:  http://litfusegroup.com/author/rjennings 
This book was provided by Litfuse in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Book to Keep You on the Edge of Your Seat!!

            By Dani Pettrey
Product Details
 "Shattered" is the second book in Dani's series, entitled Alaskan Courage. The first one, "Submerged" was one that was so outstanding, that I had no doubt in my mind that this one could not possibly be as spellbinding!! I am pleased to say that I was wrong!! This one is not AS good, it is BETTER, if that is possible!! Dani has a real talent of writing books full of suspense, keeping you guessing throughout, and never could you succeed in solving her mystery. It is entertaining, but better than that, a book that fills the reader with nervous anticipation of what will happen next! It is sure to please all fans of suspense, begging the story to NEVER end!

It all begins with the return of Reef McKenna to his home in  Yancey , Alaska. He is the prodigal brother who comes back to his beloved family, particularly his sister, Piper. She is enthralled to see him again, but life falls apart very dramatically, and she is totally devastated and shattered, when he is almost immediately arrested for murder.  Piper is one determined young lady, willing to do anything to protect her beloved brother.  

Deputy Landon Grainger loves the McKenna family, however, he is sworn to finding out the truth. Did Reef commit a dreadful murder on an innocent victim?  He is totally aware that those closest to you have the power to deceive you the most. The sheriff is pushing for this case against Reef to go forward with no complications. Landon is determined to find out the whole truth, as he discovers some unexpected leads that may put his own career in jeopardy. 

Piper, the faithful sister, complicates the whole investigation by attempting to solve the case herself, in order to declare Reef innocent. Landon is left feeling responsible for saving Piper from herself- her impetuous nature often leads to trouble and danger. Landon and Piper's long relationship/friendship further complicates matters. The search for truth extends throughout Alaska into Canada's rugged backcountry.  With each step closing in on the truth, the already dangerous case becomes deadlier. Can Reef be declared innocent? Can Pepper be saved from impending danger as she gets closer to discovering the truth?

Dani's characters become very real to the reader. I felt the fear, the pain and worries of each of them . The McKenna family became mine. A truly good book to me, has to have realistic characters that I can identify with- this one certainly met my criteria. The personalities of each member of the family was in such detail that I could paint a picture in my mind.

The plot of the story has totally unexpected twists and turns. Just when you think the case is coming close to the end, another shocker is thrown in!!  The surprises were around every corner !!    

All I can say about this book  is a big WOW!! A definite page turner, keep you up late at night to finish novel, makes you ignore your daily chores, kind of novel!! I could NOT put this book down until I had finished it! Totally unpredictable ending!!   
Definitely a FIVE star book!!

About the Author:Amazon's Dani Pettrey Page
  Dani Pettrey is a wife, homeschooling mom and author. She feels blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporates so many things she loves-the thrill of adventure, nail-biting suspense, the deepening of one's faith and plenty of romance. She's a huge fan of dark chocolate, is always in search of the best iced mocha and her dream is to one day own a little cottage on a remote stretch of beach. She and her husband reside in Maryland with their two teenage daughters. Visit her web site at www.DaniPettrey.com!

This book was provided by Bethany House in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

"Swept Away" Does Just That! A great book!

About Swept Away

When a cowboy focused on revenge encounters a woman determined to distract him, there's going to be trouble in Texas!
Swept away when her wagon train attempts a difficult river crossing, Ruthy MacNeil isn't terribly upset at being separated from the family who raised her. All they've ever done is work her to the bone. Alive but disoriented, she's rescued by Luke Stone...so unfortunately, there are more chances to die in her immediate future.
Luke is on a mission to reclaim the ranch stolen from his family. But the men currently on the property won't let it go without a fight. Luke plans to meet up with friends who will help him take back the land, and since he can't just leave Ruthy in the middle of nowhere, she's going to have to go with him.
But the more time Luke spends around the hardworking young woman, the more he finds himself thinking of things besides revenge. Will Ruthy convince him to give up his destructive path and be swept away by love? 
Link to buy the book: http://ow.ly/iwbMo        
 My  Review of This Book:
Before I start, I must say that historical romantic comedies, are just "not my thing". I read all kinds of books, but I did think, when this one arrived in the mail, "Oh boy, I will never be able to finish it. How can I ever review it?" BUT , upon reading the first sentence in the first chapter, "The sharp crack of a cocking pistol brought Lucas Stone's head around.", I was hooked ! Not a difficult task to read and review this book, at all!  I must say, I was totally "swept away" by this author!!

 Mary Conneally is a talented author, who is able to describe her characters so vividly, that you can picture them in you mind as you read. The main character, Ruthy, at times , had me close to tears, other times, laughter and often made me quite frustrated. She was a real woman who experienced so much in her lifetime, I could easily identify with her worries and cares. Luke was the opposite of Ruthy, at least , I believed so at first.  He was out for revenge , as he feels he has had his father's ranch stolen from him. His goal is to get it back and he is a ruthless man, willing to do ANYTHING to do so, even rescue Ruthy and take her with him. All of the characters have unique personalities and had me laughing aloud at some of their antics. 
The plot of the this story that had seemed simple, grew into a tree with branches, intertwining plots growing out of the main one. There was constant action that keeps a reader totally involved.  Romance blooms in the midst of a rugged  scene , where intense emotions are flying high. The inclusion of comedy just adds to the pleasure of reading this novel. In the midst of a gunfight, Mary uses humor and you end up with totally mixed emotions colliding. Laughter and concern travelled side by side throughout the book.

Laughter, romance and action , ALL abound in  "Swept Away".  A great read for all fans of historical romantic comedies. 

Meet Mary: 

Mary Connealy writes fun and lively "romantic comedy with cowboys" for the inspirational market. She is the author of the successful Kincaid Brides, Lassoed in Texas, Montana Marriages, and Sophie's Daughters series, and she has been a finalist for a Rita and Christy Award and a two time winner of the Carol Award. She lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her husband, Ivan, and has four grown daughters.
Find out more about Mary at http://maryconnealy.com/.
To read more reviews about this book by other bloggers please go to this link: http://litfusegroup.com/author/mconnealy
  This book was supplied by Litfuse in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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...