25 Book Reviews

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Book Two of Mary Connealy's Series, "Trouble in Texas"

   "Fired Up"
by Mary Connealy

This book takes up where Book One in the Series, "Swept Away" left us. If you enjoyed that one, you are going to LOVE this one!   Glynna Greer has come west as a maiul order bride, but ended up in a situation very different from what she expected. In fact, it is a very BAD situation!  Her husband, Flint is now dead. She is determined to continue her life and make a go of it alone! One determined person!! Her town is full of men, however, Glynna decides she doesn't need their help. She is perfectly capable of supporting her two children by opening a diner, regardless of one important fact. SHE LACKS THE TALENT OF COOKING!!

Dare Riker, although he is a doctor who strives to save lives, finds out someone is trying to end his. The Civil War, in which he was involved , may be the cause of traitors he dealt with, or it may be related to difficulty with Flint Greer and the ranch. Dare mustn't let his guard down for an instant or he may not survive.  This is extremely difficult as he attempts to  win the heart of Glynna, who is determined to ignore him and prove her independence. 

Dare's doctoring is booming, due , in part, to Glynna's somewhat questionable cooking. He seems to encounter dangers everywhere he goes, an avalanche, a fire, then a knife fight! Can he even survive to try to win over Glynna's resistance to a relationship???

Fans of Mary Connealy will love this second in the series.  There really is Trouble in Texas!! apparent in every part of this book.  Dare, Glynna and Paul all have to work on past issues that keep them at odds, before it is too late and a killer is successful in getting his revenge. 

Mary uses just the right amount of humour to interest the reader. Her characters all seem to be quirky, and unique individuals.  They keep you entranced with their antics and their solutions to problems. And..... yes, sometimes you explode with laughter at their situations. 

In this book, you can escape from your present location to  the 1860's in Texas. You easily picture both the characters and the situations in which they find themselves. Prepare yourself for a delightful read and a way to escape reality!

Looking forward to Book three.

"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".

"A Touching Story of Two Unlikely Friends"

                                               "Chasing Hope"

            By Kathryn Cushman      
This book is truly incredible in its ability to captivate you and keep your attention from the very first page to the last! The theme, itself, the power of struggle, the struggle of pain, and how God deals with each situation in His unique way, is dealt with in such a unique way. I simply could not walk away from this story. When I had to deal with reality and my everyday tasks, the characters and problems were still alive in my mind. They just would not be quiet!! I could hear them talking as I went about my daily jobs , until I got to sit down and quietly emerge myself once again in this tale  that leads to the most unexpected events and places. 
A talented runner who is determined to make the Olympics, Sabrina Rice, has her world and dreams shattered by a devastating diagnosis. She forfeits her scholarship, out of necessity, and years later, she is emerged in her new life and ideas for her future- NOTHING to do with running.  Sabrina has tried very hard to deal with the past and move on, however a new neighbour shatters her change of life. 

Until Sabrina meets Brandy and sees her running across the campus, outpacing security, she has managed to avoid all thoughts of training and running. However, she recognizes a true ability and talent in this young lady. It is so painful to realize that this troubled teen has a chance to do everything that she had once dreamed of. Events occur to bring these two ladies together in a very different way. Following God's plan is often an extremely difficult task. Does Sabrina have the faith and will power to do it??? Can this troubled young girl find acceptance and see that she has a future?? 

There are actually two subplots in this story that are carefully intertwined to become one. Kathryn has the ability to keep you reading far into the night, wondering what would happen next. It is a compelling tale that could apply to all of us, in our walk with the Lord. Do we always listen? Are we cooperative or do we fight His will?  This author has certainly made me think while reading this well developed novel.

The characters are down to earth, realistic, with everyday problems. Each has a unique personality with dreams and hopes that have been dashed, and they now have to make a choice. We deal with the same choice in our lives. I fell in love with the two main characters as they clashed on opinions and feelings and had to dig their way out of very big holes!! I could picture them in every scene. "Chasing Hope" is a testimony of the power of God's plans for us . 

This is definitely a book not to be missed. 
Five stars!!!   

About the Author: Kathryn Cushman is a graduate of Samford University with a degree in pharmacy. She is the author of many novels, including "Leaving Yesterday" and "A Promise to Remember," which were both finalists for the Carol Award in Women's Fiction. Kathryn and her family currently live in Santa Barbara, California. Visit her Web site at www.kathryncushman.com.
 "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". 

A Fantastic Read by Ann H. Gabhart!

        "Orchard of Hope"
          By Ann H. Gabhart   
 I have had the privilege to review other books by this author and have always found her to be extremely talented in plot development and character description. However, this book has to be the BEST yet!!!  

The sentence on the back cover of the book describes it well: "The smoldering embers of unrest are stirring- and even Jocie's sweet spirit can't put them out."  Jocie, the main character, has had an eventful summer. BUT, she doesn't realize that things in her town have just started to heat up. This small town, in Kentucky, Hollyhill,  has had an extreme drought. Everyone in town is praying and dreaming of one thing- rain, looking for a fresh start and a positive look to the future. 
A new family moves to town, attempting to make a fresh start and a better life for themselves, by planting an orchard on the outskirts of town. Alex and Myra have already gone through many hardships, all due to only the colour of their skin. Jocie is the first to befriend the family and accepts them for their true value, never thinking about the colour of skin. The rest of the town is not so accepting!! There begins to be unrest in this little town, as they have never had before. Disturbing events begin to occur, with even more threats being made! Can Jocie help this family, as well as her town, to ignore physical appearances and see them for who they truly are???

I found this to be a gripping tale. Unable to put this book down until finished, I was on the edge of my seat. The plot has many twists and turns that are all connected in the main theme. I felt the fear, the cruelty, and the kindness , all visible in this story. The characters became very much a part of me.They were realistic and had so many problems, that many suffer , due only to the colour of their skin. It makes you really examine your beliefs and faith. How would God handle this situation?? Would He care about their colour? Can a young girl change the set thinking of the people of Hollyhill? Only God can truly change a person. The question is, will these folks listen to that quiet , still voice?

LOVED this book!! Definitely a five star book!! Don't miss reading this one!

About the Author :Living just thirty miles from a restored Shaker village in Kentucky,Ann Gabhart has walked the same paths that her characters might have walked in generations past. Her thorough research provides a convincing and colorful backdrop for her books.

Favorite Verse: John 21:25 - Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have enough room for the books that were written.
"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".

Saturday, December 14, 2013


 "Tempest's Course"   

     By Lynette Sowell

About the book: Kelly Frost, a textiles conservator, is invited to the Massachusetts coastal town of New Bedford to restore a 150-year-old Mariner's Compass quilt, with one stipulation: she must live and work in Gray House where the quilt is stored. Tom Silva, whose heart seems as hard as the rocky coastline, is the caretaker employed by the mysterious absent owner of Gray House.

Over the long-lit months as Kelly works to restore the quilt, she is drawn out of her self-imposed shell and embraces the family God has given her after her own family failed her. As Kelly reads stories in a journal penned by Mary Gray, she learns there is no transgression beyond God's forgiveness, but the real obstacle is forgiving herself. During her and Tom's journey to grace and love, an unknown force works to keep both of them from discovering a long-buried truth that will change their lives forever.

My Thoughts:  I have thoroughly enjoyed ALL of the Quilts of Love books and this one is no exception. As a quilt top is pieced together with love and care, Lynette weaves a tale encompassing the same feelings. She has done her research well!! Intertwining plots come together in a unique and unusual story line. Lynette has used a historical background on which to build the story in a most effective manner. Not only are there many subplots , but there is so much to learn about the historical time when the quilt was created.  Full of mystery and intrigue, romance, this tale promises to keep you on the edge of your seat.

The main characters, Kelly and Tom, cause your heart to  flutter, as a simple romance turns into a very complicated situation. You feel every confused thought, frustration, fear and worry!! These characters lived withing me for the duration of the read. Using the past history of an unknown stranger, Kelly becomes aware of the need to let God plan her life and wait upon Him. When the truth of Mary Gray's secrets become clear to Kelly, she realizes that her life and family are already intertwined with Tom's, in a way that no one could predict and could make a huge impact on both of their lives. The mystery of the unknown adversary  who wants to keep the secret hidden kept me glued to the page until I completed the book.

A five star book!! LOVED it!!

About the Author:     

 Lynette Sowell is the award-winning author of five novels and six novellas for Barbour Publishing with sales topping 250,000. In 2009, Lynette was voted one of the favorite new authors by Heartsong Presents book club readers. Her historical romance, All That Glitters, was a finalist in ACFW's 2010 Carol Awards. When Lynette's not writing, she divides her time between editing medical reports and chasing down news stories for the Copperas Cove Leader-Press. Lynette was born and raised on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, but makes her home on the doorstep of the Texas hill country with her husband and a herd of cats who have them well-trained.

Learn more at: http://www.quiltsoflovebooks.com
Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/r7jlS

This book was provided by the author and 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...