25 Book Reviews

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A New Book in "A Private Justice" Series!

            By Irene Hannon   
Best selling author of the "Guardians of Justice" Series, has written another winning novel! "Deceived" is the third book in "A Private Justice Series"and is full of suspense and action , as are ALL of her books. 

This story centers around a grieving mother, a mysterious child and a dedicated PI who is determined to solve a very complicated puzzle. For three years, Kate has been mourning the loss of her husband and son in a boating accident. However, suddenly, while at a mall shopping, Kate spots a small child on an escalator who she is convinced is her son. Is it possible??? The police are skeptical of her story, thus she turns to a well respected PI , Connor, for help. As he digs into this mysterious siting, the boating "accident" begins to look very suspicious. If this child in the mall is Kate's son, someone is intent on keeping him hidden, away from his biological mother. This person appears to be willing to go to threats of death to protect a very sinister secret. 

Irene Hannon is an expert in describing her complex characters in a realistic manner. You get to become friends with them as they meet challenges, fears and threats. Quickly, I became engrossed in these peoples' lives, at times , with my heart pounding while sitting on the edge of my chair. 

The plot grabs your attention on the first page and just doesn't let go until you have finished the book. At every corner, there are unexpected, spine tingling twists and turns. What you expect, is NOT what you get!! There is no other word for this book, other than riveting! My daily tasks became unimportant, as I lived the fears. The world just passed me by!! The highly explosive ending shocked, yet satisfied me! A great read!!

Definitely a five star book!! I can hardly wait for Irene Hannon's next creative tale!

This book was supplied by Revell, in exchange  for a fair and honest review.

A Laugh Out Loud Historical Romance from Mary Connealy!

  "Tired & True"
 By Mary Connealy
 Mary has written another humourous  historical romance. This author has the ability to combine humour, romance and yes, even a bit of intrigue in her books. It is quite okay for authors of Christian fiction to entertain us with laugh out loud tales and Mary does it well.

This is Book One in a new series, entitled "Wild at Heart" and the main characters, the Wilde sisters certainly are that, to say the least! Kylie Wilde is the youngest of three sisters AND she considers herself to be the most civilized of them! Her older sisters are quite content dressing in trousers posing as men, however SHE wears skirts and has grown her hair long. These three quirky characters are taking a huge risk! They are homesteading using the special exemptions they earned in the Civil War, all the while pretending to be boys!! Kylie is the only one who strives to finish her time in the wild and can hardly wait to return to the luxuries of the East. 

Just to add some tense moments in Kylie's life, a local land agent, Aaron arrives on the scene. Upon their first meeting , he is fascinated from the time her long hair floats from her cap. Easily discovering her secret, now come the complications. Should he report her for defrauding the government??  When a new problem arises, and someone else tries to force her to leave, can he convince her that marriage to him would solve the problem???  Can he convince Kylie to settle in the frontier?????

Mary describes her characters in detail, so that you can easily imagine them. They tend to be quirky people who don't always have total control of their actions, resulting in laugh out loud situations. They possess charm and grace with just the right amount of mischief.

Mary Connealy's fast paced plot keeps the reader's attention throughout the book. You just never know what is going to take place next. Some of the outrageous results have you giggling along with them in comical situations.

I highly recommend this book as a light read that is entirely enjoyable.

"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"

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Quilts of Love Series Comes Our With Another Winner!!

"Hidden in the Stars"
   By Robin Caroll

I know that when the  mail carrier brings me a book in this series, I will be out of commission to my household for the duration of the read!! This newest book in the series is no exception. Any book involving a quilt just has to be good, right??? All quilters would sure agree!

"Hidden in the Stars"  catches your interest on the first page and the suspense builds as you continue the book. The twists and turns in the plot are 
 surprising and unexpected. This is a GREAT romantic mystery!! It has everything a reader enjoys!

Can a quilt possibly hold the secret to a serial killer??? This is the premise that the story is built upon. 

If God's plan for our life takes a nose dive and something bad happens, does it mean that He no longer has control or is it due to using our free will to make a bad decision?? This is dealt with throughout the book in truly mysterious ways.
The main character, Sophia, an Olympic class gymnast, has had her voice stolen from her in an attack that killed her mother. She has no choice but to accept help from her estranged grandmother. Once an Olympic hopeful, her future is now uncertain, and her ability to speak to tell her side of the attack frustrates the detectives looking for answers. Sophia has no idea what the criminals were after?? Why did they choose herself and her mother to beat??

Then, Julian Frazier enters the scene, determined that he will solve this case and find all the answers. However, a bit of romance now comes to the front. He is distracted by his heart and questions about why a gracious God would allow such an event to happen. Julian fails to realize that the answer is right in front of him. He begins to wonder if he will be up to the task of saving Sophia! Will the murderer be back to silence HER forever as was done to her mother???

I found myself on the edge of my seat with my heart pounding as the plot proceeds to develop. This author has a special talent in building the suspense until you feel you are ready to explode with curiosity.

Sophia was described in a realistic, believable manner, to the extent that I could identify with her from the first chapter. I was able to feel her every worry, fear, joy, and yes, some romance too!

Definitely a five star book!! A unique way of connecting a quilt, romance, mystery and family relationships to create a story proving that God does love us, has a plan for us and is with us through good times and bad.

About the Author:
Robin Caroll is the author of 22 published novels. When she isn't writing, Robin spends time with her husband of 20-plus years, her three beautiful daughters and two handsome grandsons, and their character-filled pets at home in Little Rock, Arkansas. She gives back to the writing community by serving as conference director for ACFW. Her books have been named finalists in such contests as the Carol Award, HOLT Medallion, Daphne du Maurier, RT Reviewer's Choice Award, Bookseller's Best, and Book of the Year.

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

Learn more about this book and the series at the Quilts of Love  website.

Don’t miss the newest Quilts of Love book, Hidden in the Stars by Robin Caroll. September’s QOL release is a wonderful combination of mystery, romance, and family love bound together by a quilt and the story it tells.
Enter to win a “Night on the Town” (a $200 Visa cash card!) and RSVP for the “Fall into Fall” Quilts of Love Facebook party on 10/7.

Hidden in the Stars Robin Carroll Quilts of Love
One winner will receive:
  • A $200 Visa cash card (The perfect accessory for a “night on the town”!)
  • A Grand Design by Amber Stockton
  • Hidden in the Stars by Robin Caroll
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 7. Winner will be announced at the October 7th author chat party with Amber Stockton and Robin Caroll! RSVP for an evening of book chat, quilting tips and tricks, prizes, and more!


Friday, September 12, 2014

Another Winning Book from Beverly Lewis for all Lovers of Amish Fiction!!!!

                                     "The River"
                                   By Beverly Lewis       

One look at the cover of this book grabs your interest, then you look at the author and know immediately that it will be super read!! The intense look of the child is coaxing you into the story, appealing to all moms!

Tilly and Ruth, two formerly Amish sisters are faced with unresolved relationships when they return to  Lancaster County for their parents' wedding anniversary celebration. Since leaving the Plain Life, Tilly has married an Englisher, but Ruth has remained single. She has never entirely come to terms with her failed courtship with her Amish beau. 

The  past meets these two young ladies head on!! Both need to find acceptance and redemption in order to continue their lives happily and freely.  However, can they face a future when they are unable to forget the past, a past that they can not undo??? Will they allow God to carry out His plan in their lives?? Or will they stubbornly stick to their own desires??

Beverly Lewis is certainly the master of the Amish Fiction Genre. Her realistic characters with whom you easily identify, reflect her extensive knowledge of the Plain life and its people. Their lives are described accurately, making the plot so believable. It could be a true situation. She tells a story that deals with secrets, forgiving and improving relationships with God. We have daily changes in our lives but how we deal with them is up to the individual. The Amish have the same problems as you and I and must also find solutions. These are found when we submit to God's will . His plan for our lives is already there, BUT we must let go of the worldly desires and follow Him. This is much harder than Ruth and Tilly ever have imagined! Can they put away their wishes and accept a higher authority???

The plot moves quickly with intriguing twists and turns that make you a part of the story. It is a definite page turner!! You feel the pain, rejection, confusion and shock as the story  plays out. The clues don't add up to what you expect to happen. The daunting memories that the women face, makes you realize that we have very little control of life and can never change the past, only make peace with it. This book compels you to take a look at your own life. Are you following the plan mapped out by the Master??

The title, "The River" becomes an important part of the book. What an effect this river has on the story!! One that is very clear, by the end. An object of nature that can change one's life, or can heal!

Definitely a five star book!!! I highly recommend to all lovers of Amish fiction!!

Beverly’s Story

Beverly Marie Jones (Lewis) was born in the heart of Amish country—Lancaster, Pennsylvania. At the tender age of nine, she began writing short stories and poetry. Prior to that, she made up lyrics to the "little fingers" piano pieces she learned, at the age of five.
"My mother saved everything I wrote, even the stories I dreamed up during my grade school years," Beverly says. One such tale is semi-autobiographical, about a young girl whose parents can no longer afford to give her piano lessons. The manuscript was 77 pages long and titled "She Shall Have Music," penned under the shade of a lone willow tree. "Reading, writing, and playing piano have been top three on my list of favorite things," she says.
Not until her own children were well into middle school did Beverly seek to publish her work, first in magazines such as Highlights for ChildrenDolphin Log, and Guideposts for Kids. Her first book followed in 1993—Mountain Bikes and Garbanzo Beans—presently retitled Big Bad Beans(book #22 in the popular Cul-de-Sac Kids series of chapter books—see list of Bev's children's books).

"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".
  Also supplied by Bethany House in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Real Page Turner!

                                   "Nowhere to Turn" 
          By Lynette Eason
I have to admit when a book is offered for review purposes by Lynette Eason, I jump for joy and fill out the form as quickly as possible, keeping my fingers crossed that I will be one of the chosen bloggers!! Every one of her books has kept me on the edge of my seat, with my heart pounding, awaiting the next twist in the plot. "Nowhere to Turn" is another winning book in the Christian suspense genre!! It starts out with a bang and this author doesn't let up until the story is complete!
This book is the second in the "Hidden Identity" Series and is every bit as good as the first.

Danielle Harding takes her eleven year old son and flees from her abusive husband on the same day that Kurt Harding dies. She believes that she and her son are safe at last. She believes that her days of hiding are over, but discovers that the true danger has just begun!!  When Kurt was alive he took something very important from a mysterious individual! That unknown person now wants the item back and believes that Dani now has it. She and her son run for there lives, however find themselves with nowhere else to go, until she hires Adam Buchanan of Operation Refuge and goes into hiding. Unfortunately, Dani finds that she wont be able to hide for long...

The characters are realistic and well developed. In fact , so  believable that you live their fears alongside them . Every worry, challenge, battle fought, causes your palms to sweat and your heart to pound. 

This tension filled story will keep you in its grip from the first page. The plot is fast moving, with unexpected twists and turns at every corner!!  It is one book that you will NOT be able to put down until you have read that LAST page. 

Another Five Star book!!! Get writing, Lynette!!! I can hardly wait for the next in this series!!

This book was supplied by Baker Publishing, Revell Books, in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Can Faith Build Bridges ???

                                             "The Desire"
                                             By Dan Walsh 
                & Garry Smalley

This is another heartwarming, touching novel by two of my favorite authors, continuing The Restoration Series.  The book deals with a subject, that is near and dear to my heart, that of infertility, in a sensitive yet realistic manner. As my husband and I have walked this path, I was able to immediately identify with all of the characters, especially Michele. All of the testing, the pressures of society to have a family in order to be complete, the insensitive remarks made by others, were all things that I remembered . The sadness and grief is common among those like ourselves who find ourselves  unable to have a child. Everyone seems to think that they should give you suggestions and "help" you. Little do they realize, they are just reopening a wound that will not heal! Everywhere you go, you seem moms with strollers, teens with babies in arms, wondering why God did THIS to you?? The desire to have a baby just does not go away!!

For two years, Allan and Michele have been trying to have a baby. This emotional experience has been taking its toll on their relationship, AND their hearts. Michelle is obsessed with researching fertility treatments, as is  a common female reaction, while her husband is content to take his mind off the concern by spending his time and their money of supporting displaced children in Africa.  Michele is at her wit's end trying to understand her husband's seemingly lack of concern. Something has to give!! Hopefully, it is not their marriage. Can their marriage withstand the pressures and differences of opinions??

God has a plan for this Christian couple that they could never imagine! But will they wait and let Him take total control so that his will  is done???? A change of heart is need! Are Michele and Allen strong enough to set it in motion???  Allen's trips to Africa appear to be a bone of contention,hurting Michele . Little does she realize that following God's plan has a reward of unimaginable proprortion.

These two authors have a very special way of developing realistic characters who live within you as you read the book. You feel their every desire, hurt and cconfusion. 

The plot keeps you engrossed from beginning to end. It is so captivating that I found it very difficult to put down. In fact, the world passed me by , as I read this touching tale.  You finish this book realizing that God is truly in charge and always does His best to meet our needs, perhaps not in the way  we had dreamed, but in His time and fashion. If you are patient, God will see you thorough.

Definitely a five star book!! Can hardly wait for the next book by these fabulous authors!! Very thought provoking!

This book was supplied by Baker Publishing Company- Revell Books, in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Another Fantastic Read for Lovers of Amish Fiction!

By Barbara Cameron

For those who enjoy reading Amish Fiction, this is definitely a book to put on your "to read" list!  "Crossroads" is the second in Barbara's newest series, "Amish Roads" , following "A Road Unknown". Since I loved the first in the series, I was not surprised that this book was equally well written and a totally enjoyable read.

Synopsis: Emma, the main character, had decided long ago that she was going to marry Isaac Stoltzfus. In her childhood, she had dreamed of being Isaac's wife, of fixing up a small farm house and of raising a family together. BUT there is a major upheaval in her well laid plans- during Isaac's Rumschpringe , he has been introduced to new ways and has found that he enjoys them greatly. Emma is shocked and dismayed!!This was certainly not expected.
Emma is now wondering if Isaac is the same gentle man with whom she fell in love. He has become a stranger, much like an Englischer, wearing jeans, a short haircut and listens to strange rock music!! He moved out of his parents' farm, has gotten a job and expects Emma to join him in this new Englisch world much to her dismay.
Emma is faced with a life changing decision. How can she ever leave her family, friends and church. All of her dreams are shattered. But, she still loves him!  Can you ignore that pull of love?? She is truly at a crossroads in her life. What will she choose?? 

I found myself totally engrossed from the first page of this book. In fact, I had a very difficult time putting it down long enough to eat and sleep.The world passed me by, as I lived Emma's life full of changes and challenges. An easy character to identify with, she became my best friend. Barbara describes her characters in such a believable, realistic way, you find yourself living the Amish life and feeling their every emotion. 

The plot is believable and is very well developed. It moves along at a quick pace, while still allowing you absorb the implications and surprises along the way. Just enough twists and turns were there, to keep you glued to the page.

This book could be a stand alone book. It is not necessary to have read Book One in the series to enjoy it, although it does add more meaning to the story.
Definitely , a must read for all Amish fiction lovers!! That doesn't mean others wouldn't enjoy it!! 

Eagerly awaiting the next in this series!!

The ebook was supplied by the author 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...