25 Book Reviews

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Fabulous Romance - Full of Mystery and Intrigue!

"Sweet Sanctuary"
By Kim Vogel Sawyer

If you are looking for a romance that will grab your attention on the first page, and keep it until the last one, then , look no farther!!! This book is outstanding in its appeal to the true romantic !! Well written, with a problem that evolves throughout the book, it is truly an amazing work of art!!

The main character, Lucy Eldredge is a single mother, or so it appears, longing to provide sanctuary for her little boy, Nicky.  However, there are constant threats, which are getting more serious, coming from Nicky's  drug-addicted father, who is struggling to get his son and will do ANYTHING to do so!!

Entering the scene, is a wonderful Christian man, Dr. Micah Hatcher, who serves the immigrant population of Queens , New York. BUT under great secrecy, he has a highly dangerous mission that challenges everything he thought he wanted out of life. 

When Lydia and Micah's paths cross, they suddenly become deeply involved in each other's callings. They both seek a refuge of safety - for themselves, for Nicky , as well as for the needy people that God puts in their pathways. Will hope and love prevail- even in the midst of turmoil and discord? Obstacles seem to stand in the way at every turn!

These characters are so realistic and described so vividly , that they become part of you.  I could easily identify with Lydia, who desperately wants a home of her own, a safe place for Nicky , as well as a partner to love and share with.  Micah is an outstandingly empathetic young man striving to do his best in a world full of turmoil. You can feel the struggles and challenges that these two people meet. My heart dropped as I read parts of this book and felt the heartbreak and fear of Lydia.

The plot was full of twists and turns - that amazingly all connected, in a fabulous surprising way. This is one book where all of my predictions of the solutions to the problems were WRO|NG!!  I loved the element of surprise. Just the right amount of tension to hold your interest!

Definitely a five star book!!!  NOT a surprise!! Kim Vogel Sawyer's books  are all outstanding!

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

Thursday, April 4, 2013

A Story of Healing and Restoration

              "The Dance"
 By Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley 

This is a book that will touch every reader and hopefully change them for the better. I know it did, for me.  From the beginning of the first chapter, it is a story that compels you to keep it in your hands until you have finished it.

  After twenty seven years of marriage, Marilyn is very tired and discouraged. She has attempted to play the role of the perfect wife, with little success. Her husband, Jim , is a businessman , very successful in his field. He has supplied her every need- a beautiful home, financial freedom to be a stay at home mom and a collection of wordly goods! Marilyn has everything that she wants... EXCEPT for what is most important- LOVE!!

Marilyn has tried for years to be a faithful wife and companion , however feels a total failure. She finally tires of trying to find happiness and decides to take some time for herself.  Maybe if she sorts out her life, some content will be gained. So, she leaves her husband, without warning, gets a job and another place to live, making every attempt to "find herself" and attain some degree of contentment. Part of this involves her taking dance lessons. That is one thing Marilyn has always wanted to do, much to Jim's dismay.

The story , as well as describing Marilyn's life, shows us a man in agony. Jim is shocked to find his house empty, his life turned upside down. What did he do wrong??? It takes an unlikely ally to begin a campaign to win Marilyn back. What he doesn't realize , is that this will also affect everyone around him, starting with himself.

I found this book to be a very powerful and emotional story that kept me up long after bedtime. The power of God and His ability to provide us with restoration and renewal of our faith shines throughout the story.

The characters are realistic and full of character. I could easily identify with the feelings they were experiencing. The lows and the highs were all there and are felt by the reader.  This is a roller coaster of a story, with a typical family experiencing a crisis none of us desires.  The important part is how they find their way back to a healthy relationship, centred on God. The impact on others is not to be taken lightly. It is a fact of life that what we do DOES affect our family.  

Definitely, a five star book!  It is definitely worth the read!

  "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 Book With a Truly Emotional Journey!

 Hidden in the Heart

 "Hidden in the Heart"
  By Catherine West               
Everything Claire wants seems to be beyond her reach…
After losing her mother to cancer and suffering a miscarriage soon after, Claire Ferguson numbs the pain with alcohol and pills, and wonders if her own life is worth living.
Adopted at birth, Claire is convinced she has some unknown genetic flaw that may have been the cause of her miscarriage. She must find a way to deal with the guilt she harbors. But exoneration will come with a price. With her marriage in trouble and her father refusing to answer any questions about her adoption, Claire begins the search for her birth mother. For the first time in her life, she really wants to know where she came from. But what if the woman who gave her life doesn’t want to be found?
Hidden in the Heart has been nominated for a 2013 Grace Award and is on the long list for an INSPY award.

My ThoughtsI must admit, adoption is near and dear to my heart as my husband and I are adoptive parents. The joy we experienced twenty three years ago, receiving that exciting, unbelievable call that we had been chosen to have in our home, a beautiful baby girl was one which has never been matched!  The journey of searching for a birth mother is nothing strange to us- in fact we embrace the thought and hope that one day , our daughter decides to go on this adventure.

  The author tells the story of a young woman's search for her birth mother beautifully. The depth of the emotion is so heartrending. This is truly an emotional journey, one filled with loss, hope, and also a promise for the future. The main character is so realistic in her feelings and roller coaster ride into the past, that I felt that I was accompanying her in her journey. Her suffering and loss caused me to cry! Claire struggles with her faith as she travels down a long lonely road of discovery. The characters that Catharine has so well developed, are complete with flaws, as we all are.  They have to deal with the every day problems of making mistakes, experiencing heartbreak and pain. Easy to identify with, they become part of you. 

I could not put this book down. It is a compelling story that those of us who have been touched by adoption can feel and identify with. It is  a story of forgiveness . The road is tough but God can deal with this journey . It succeeded in giving me a very thorough understanding of the feelings of an adoptee. Catherine West helps us examine how our failures shape our futures and how a marriage CAN survive, but, only with God's help. 

A Five Star Book!! 
 This should be a "must read" for all persons who have experienced adoption   in their family.


 Image of Catherine West

 About the Author: Catherine West is an award-winning author writing inspirational stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. Educated in Bermuda, England and Canada, Catherine holds a degree in English from the University of Toronto. Her first novel, Yesterday's Tomorrow, released in 2011, her second, Hidden in the Heart, in September, 2012. When she's not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or tending to her roses and orchids. She and her husband have two college-aged children. Catherine is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America, and is represented by Rachelle Gardner of Books & Such Literary. Catherine loves to connect with her readers and can be reached at Catherine@catherinejwest.com

 Purchase a copy here

This ebook was provided by Litfuse, in exchange for an honest and fair review. 

 Catherine West is celebrating with the Hidden in the Heart Kindle Fire Giveaway! Enter today.


One winner will receive:
  • A brand new Kindle Fire
  • A copy of Hidden in the Heart and Yesterday's Tomorrow by Catherine West
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 21st. Winner will be announced on 4/23/13 at Catherine's blog.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Falling in Love!!

                By Siri Mitchell                                                                     

Lucy Kendall returns from a tour of the Continent, her luggage filled with the latest fashions and a mind fired by inspiration. After tasting Europe’s best confections, she’s sure she’ll come up with a recipe that will save her father’s struggling candy business and reverse their fortunes. But she soon discovers that their biggest competitor, the cheat who swindled her father out of his prize recipe, has now hired a promotions manager–a cocky, handsome out-of-towner who gets under Lucy’s skin.
Charlie Clarke’s new role at Standard Manufacturing is the chance of a lifetime. He can put some rough times behind him and reconnect with the father he’s never known. The one thing he never counted on, however, was tenacious Lucy Kendall. She’s making his work life miserable…and making herself impossible for him to forget.

Unrivaled by Siri Mitchell
Bethany House / 2013
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads
About the Author:
 Siri Mitchell is the author of nearly a dozen novels, among them the critically acclaimed Christy Award finalists "Chateau of Echoes" and "The Cubicle Next Door". A graduate of the University of Washington with a degree in business, she has worked in many different levels of government. As military spouse, she has lived in places as varied as Tokyo and Paris. Siri currently lives in the DC-metro area. 

My Thoughts on this Book:
This book held my attention from start to finish. In fact, I did not want to put it down to eat, sleep OR do housework!! This genre is generally not my favorite, however Siri is changing my likes!! Her book completely won me over.

  I fell in love with the main characters, Lucy and Charlie , immediately.  Siri described them with such rich language skills and so thoroughly , that I felt that I knew them. For me to enjoy a book, I must be able to connect with the characters and this was the case here. 
Lucy and Charlie came from such different backgrounds, however managed to find a common ground- their basic interests were the same as was their code of ethic . Both romance and conflict make the plot one that is full of twists and turns. Siri manages to use the element of surprise in a special twist of the plot! The ending was a total surprise! Now, THAT makes a great book!

I truly enjoyed the way in which the story was told- from both Charlie's  and Lucy's point of view. So, although , it is written in the first person, the chapters vary with two viewpoints of the same event. A very different way to write, one which did not appeal to me at first, but it did not take me long to adapt and love the two characters' similarities and differences. 

The total process of making candy from scratch was describewith rich detail. It became a real learning experience for me. The steps to creating delicious treats was unknown to me before reading this book and I am sure, to many others. Siri used colorful descriptions of the variety of sweets being made, so that it was very informative, making your mouth water! Although the book was light and entertaining, the author managed to throw in some more complex thoughts- a woman taking a man's job in industry- unheard of at that time! and those who are wealthy truly marrying for love!! NOT just to make MORE money!

This is a book well worth the read. Although not a complex plot, it provides the reader with information and a light romance in which to be interested.  
A FIVE star book!! LOVED IT! 


.Book was provided by Litfuse , in exchange for an honest and fair review.

Join a Facebook Party to discuss this wonderful novel with the author and friends! Win some prizes along the way!


One "swooning" winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Vintage Candy Kit
  • Unrivaled by Siri Mitchell (one for you and one for a friend!)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 17th. Winner will be announced at the "Unrivaled" Author Chat Facebook Party on 4/18. Connect with Siri, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at a trivia contest, and chat with readers just like yourself. There will also be gift certificates, books, vintage candy kits, and more!

So grab your copy of Unrivaled and join Siri on the evening of the April 18th for a chance to connect with Siri and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book - don't let that stop you from coming!)


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...