25 Book Reviews

Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Great Summer Read!

"Welcome to Last Chance"          

     By Cathleen Armstrong                  
This title fits this book to a "T"!! Who at their wit's end wants to end up in a small town called Last Chance??? NOT I!   However, this place tends to offer a new beginning, regardless of what it is called!  It is definitely the place to start over! You can't do much else!

The red warning light on the car dashboard may have been Lainie's saving grace. Through no desire of her own, she ended up in the tiny town of Last Chance, New Mexico. As she meets the people who make this tiny town their home, Lainie's heart is full of flashing bright red warning lights!! The residents who live here, are just "too" nice and "too" accommodating AND much too interested in her personal life, especially since she is on the run and hoping to slip away unnoticed.

In spite of herself, Lainie is drawn into the small-town dramas, and particularly to a handsome local guy who just happens to have secrets of his own. Can she really make a life here??? Will the horrible past catch up with her, even if she is the middle of nowhere?? Is a romance possible, in face of a challenge??

This debut novel by Cathleen is outstanding.  The setting fits the name of the town perfectly. She gives us a warm, yet not sentimental view of small town life. From a fast paced life to an escape in this unheard tiny place is the perfect place for an individual to start over. Last Chance is an unforgettable place.

The characters are quirky and full of unique personalities, faults and all. You are able to picture them in your mind, with the realistic descriptions given throughout the book. At times, you laugh, at times you are frustrated,... BUT Cathleen makes you become one with them. They are your sometimes irritating friends, sometimes a faithful buddy! Lainie is a strong individual who has had a difficult time and these people actually give her a last chance to become the person, she has desired to be.

The plot kept me thoroughly engrossed until the last page! It is well developed and has enough twists and turns to keep a reader interested and wondering what on earth will happen next. Surprises occur throughout the novel. 

A great book to enjoy on a nice summer's day! And I did just that!!

"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".

Friday, August 23, 2013

WOW!!! Another FANTASTIC Book by Suzanne Woods Fisher!!

        "The Letters"
By Suzanne Woods Fisher         

I must admit, when I first picked up this book, I had the dreaded feeling of being "let down" - NOT because it wouldn't be a good book, but I was disappointed that The Stoney Ridge Seasons, by Suzanne, had ended and I was just POSITIVE that this new  series couldn't be THAT good!!!  I am delighted to say that I was WRONG!! BIG TIME  WRONG!  "The Letters" is another winner, the first book of a new series, "The Inn on Eagle Hill", and was every bit as wonderful as previous series! 

On the back cover of the book, there is a statement , which describes the novel.
"Welcome to a place of unconditional Love and unexpected Blessings." That well describes this story, characters and setting in a perfect way.

The main character, Rose Schrock turns her Amish farmhouse into a bed and breakfast to the chagrin of her cantankerous mother-in-law, and a few others in the community. After all, should  Rose be opening her home to all these Englischers?? Disapproval of the church is evident. With all of these challenges, she still continues her life, BUT one big surprise , is the way that the guests at the Inn spill their problems into her life as well as into her heart.  A totally unexpected event, is the help and support Rose gets from Galen King, the quiet horse trainer who lives next door. Love can bloom, Rose finds in the most unusual circumstances.

This author continues her trend to give us not only things to think about, but also teaches us facts of- what else, according to the Series' name- eagles!  I love the ability to put some information within the frame of the story, that many of us find new and intriguing. Not only did I love the plot of this book, but ending up being able to spout off my new knowledge of eagles.

The plot of "The Letters" is intriguing and spellbinding, not in a mysterious way,  but in placing in the reader, a compelling desire to find out more!  There are twists and turns around each corner, totally unexpected.  The complications that come about in the story  are in keeping with those that are realistic and in total keeping with the lifestyle of the Plain People, the Amish.  Suzanne uses rich language and descriptions that make you see and befriend the characters.  You not only see them, they become very real and easily befriend you. It is in fact, difficult to separate yourself from the main characters. They lived on in my mind after I had finished reading the book.

Suzanne's reputation of writing top notch Amish fiction continues to shine!!  With inspiration from a true story , she invites you back to Stoney Ridge, where we continue to find simple pleasures and strong faith in a very complicated world.

Definitely a five star book!!

"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".

About the author: In no particular order, Suzanne Woods Fisher is a wife, mother, writer, lifelong student of the Bible, raiser of puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind, a gardener and a cook...the latter two with sporadic results.
Suzanne has loved to write since she was a young teen. After college, she started to write for magazines and became a contributing editor for Christian Parenting Today magazine. Her family moved to Hong Kong for four years, just as the internet was developing, and she continued to write articles in a 44-story high-rise apartment, sending manuscripts 7,000 miles away with a click of a key.
After returning from Hong Kong, Suzanne decided to give her first novel a try. For four and a half months, she worked on an antediluvian computer in a cramped laundry room. She didn't even tell her husband what she was up to. When the novel was completed, she told her family at dinner one night that she had written a book. "That's why there's no food in this house!" said her slightly insensitive sons.
Undaunted...Suzanne found a small royalty publisher for that book and wrote three more (all earned multiple awards). With help from an agent, she went on to sign contracts with Revell Books for twenty plus books.
Writing, for Suzanne, is a way to express a love of God and His word. With every book or article, she hopes readers get a sense of what faith really looks like in the daily grind. She hopes they realize that life can be hard, but God is good, and never to confuse the two.
Suzanne can be found on-line at: www.suzannewoodsfisher.com

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Fun Summer Read!

"Whispers On the Dock"
    By Evangeline Kelly

About Whispers on the Dock:Three sisters. A charming inn. Hints of mystery and romance. And a gorgeous seaside setting. Escape to Misty Harbor Inn.

As Nantucket reaches the pinnacle of its summer glory, and the Marris sisters welcome guests at Misty Harbor Inn, youngest sister Sam Carter enters her mother's cobbler recipe in the Summerfest baking contest. But she faces a formidable opponent, a past winner who is determined to keep her title even if it means stooping to dirty tactics. Can Sam's newfound faith help her rise above the fray and reach out to this lonely woman? Meanwhile, an elderly guest arrives who knows the inn's history, and the sisters are stunned to learn that their late mother lived there as a child. But she told them she'd never been to Nantucket until her honeymoon! Through the woman's reminiscences and photos, the sisters make an intriguing discovery --- not only about the mysterious Hannah Montague, the young woman who disappeared from the house in 1880, but also about their own family history.

Readers will delight in the inviting Nantucket setting and be enthralled by the adventures of these sisters who reunite to bring their mother's Misty Harbor dreams to life.

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/nXSVh

This book was a most enjoyable summer read! The authors have captured the essence of a small seaside community and the yearly events that consume the residents. The area is described is such flattering detail, that I actually wished to go and visit this vacation spot! The Summerfest Baking contest becomes the subject of contention among the current residents.. Typical of a small town, this contest becomes a most important event. 

The personalities of the characters were described in great detail. Realistic, sometimes annoying, but easily believable. Pictures formed in my mind of each and every one in this story.  The clashes and disagreements were portrayed in an believable way. I wanted to give some of them a good shake!! As well as a lecture , once in a while. The character development was indeed a pleasure to see . 

The plot , although not overly complicated, was fitting for this type of book. It was interesting, kept you guessing , and  best of all gave you a few surprises along the way. 

A super book for a light summer read!! Great to take on holiday or just to the beach.

About the authors: Evangeline Kelley is the pen name for the writing team of Patti Berg, Pam Hanson & Barbara Andrews, and Camy Tang, the four authors who collaborated to create Postcards from Misty Harbor Inn. Each of them has published novels individually, but this is their first series together. 

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

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Secrets, Mystery, and More!!!

                 `Death Be Not Proud`
                      By C. F. Dunn    

This fluent author has successfully written  a book that had me on the edge of my chair with the building of the tension filled moments. A most unusual story that kept me glued to the page, wondering what was going to take place next. There were totally unexpected twists and turns throughout the story, ones which totally mystify the reader. Extremely well developed plot gives us the desire to attempt to figure out the basics of the mystery.  

In this book, Professor Emma D'Eresby is viciously attacked by a psychotic colleague and the book begins with her reeling from the discovery that Matthew Lynes, the man she has fallen in love with is VERY DIFFERENT!! In a way that you would never suspect!! In fact, it took me a few chapters to figure out in what way, he was strange!  Emma flees her college in Maine and returns home to England to come to terms with her shattering revelation. Just when she thinks she has the answers, she faces her worst NIGHTMARE!  

A powerful love story between the historical researcher and the mysterious doctor, Matthew is described and developed in realistic, however, unusual, mysterious ways.  The tension continues to build until the final conclusion.

These characters , are described in detail, so that you become friends with them and they grow on you as you read. They are unique, strange and mysterious, which fits perfectly with the plot.

Definitely , a book to be read by all mystery fans!! Well written and a spell binding theme!!

This book was supplied for the purpose of an honest and fair review by Kregel Publications.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Adventure, Mystery and Romance!! What a Combination!!

" Winter in Full Bloom"                         By Anita Higman

Anita is an author to watch - her books not only carry a message to all of us, concerning God's plan for our lives, BUT also keep you captivated throughout the story! The mystery and intrigue kept me glued to the page. A late bedtime was in order, to just "finish the chapter"! Of course, that really doesn't work! You want to reach that last page!  The mystery and twists and turns in the plot were certainly not predictable. 

Lily, the main character,  has a complete change in her life, (after her husband dies, her daughter goes to university) when she has an explosive confrontation with her mother.  Her mother uncovers a deep family secret- only that which a dysfunctional family would have. This sends Lily on a panicky flight around the world to seek answers to her many questions. Her mother will NOT tell ALL, and Lily knows there is more to the deception in her childhood.  She gets more than she expected in Melbourne , Australia, where meeting a gentleman sparks a friendship that leads to the unexpected. Lily has to admit that he might hold the key to her past. Her greatest wish is to have a complete reconciliation with her mother, even though it may crush the one dream that she no longer imagined possible-- the chance to fall in love again!!

The character development in this book was outstanding in detail and realism. I connected with Lily in such a way, that she became one with me. I felt her despair, hurts, as well as her joys.  She captured my heart in a special way. I was routing for her to be successful in her goals throughout the hardships , to get where she was aiming to be. Her strength and determination was to be admired. 
The other characters were just as intriguing, as each of them had their own story of deception and mystery. 

The conclusion of the book was an answer to Lily's prayers, AND I must say, mine as well. She lands in the exact and perfect spot, than God intended all alone, although she was unaware of where this was!!

Anita Higman leaves this thought behind- God has a plan for your life. You have to be willing to wait and listen to that quiet voice. Sometimes He says , "Wait" , leading you quietly in the  path he desires.  The deep meaning of this book came through loud and clear. A good lesson to remember in our own lives!!

Definitely a five star book!

About the author:       
Meet Anita: Best-selling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, has over thirty books published (several coauthored) for adults and children. She's been a Barnes & Noble "Author of the Month" for Houston and has a BA degree, combining speech communication, psychology, and art. Anita loves good movies, exotic teas, and brunch with her friends.

To read other reviews and find out more about this book:

Connect with Anita at: www.anitahigman.com 


Purchase the Book: http://ow.ly/nIIcx

This book was provided by LitFuse and the author, in exchange for an honest and fair 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...