25 Book Reviews

Friday, January 29, 2016

An Intricate Blend of Romance and Intrigue!!

    "Thin Ice"
By Irene Hannon

Synopsis: (taken from book jacket) 

After losing her parents in a car accident and her sister to a house fire, Christy Reed has been mired in grief. Life is finally starting to feel normal again when an envelope arrives in the mail--addressed in her sister's handwriting. And the note inside claims she is still alive.

FBI Special Agent Lance McGregor, a former Delta Force operator, is assigned to reopen the case, but he's coming up with more questions than answers. If Ginny Reed is still alive--who is the woman buried in her grave? Where is Ginny? And is Christy a pawn in a twisted cat-and-mouse game--or the target of a sinister plot? As he digs deeper, one thing becomes clear: whoever is behind the bizarre ruse has a deadly agenda.

Bestselling author and two-time Christy Award finalist Irene Hannon warms readers' hearts as they root for a romance between Lance and Christy, but she pulls out all the stops as this high-stakes thriller chills to the bone in a race to the finish.

My Thoughts:
 As a big fan of Irene Hannon, my expectations of this book were high!!  I must say, that I was NOT disappointed!! This creation has to be one of this author's best ever!!  If you are a reader like I, you love to escape from reality for a while and immerse yourself in a book that takes you far and beyond what your normality is!!  I could not put this novel down !! I was totally captivated from beginning to end.

The plot involved twists and turns at the most unexpected moments. Just when your heartbeat was returning to a somewhat normal pace, a shocking event would put you once again on the edge of your seat with your heart pounding in fear and suspense. Fast paced and exciting, all in one book.

The characters were easy to identify with as they were described in an extremely realistic and believable way. The challenges and fears with which they were presented were unusual but oh so emotional. I felt every one of Christy's pains . My emotions were on a fast paced roller coaster ride as I travelled along side her in her strange circumstances.

Definitely a five star book!! 

All I can say is WOW!!!!!
About the Author
Bestselling author and three-time RITA Award winner Irene Hannon pulls out all the stops in this high-stakes thriller that races to a bone-chilling finish.|Irene Hannon is the bestselling and award-winning author of more than fifty novels, including Buried Secrets and the Heroes of Quantico, Guardians of Justice, and Private Justice series. In addition to many other honors, she is a seven-time finalist for and three-time winner of the prestigious RITA Award from Romance Writers of America. She is also a member of that organization's elite Hall of Fame. Learn more at www.irenehannon.com.  

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

Another Great Amish Romance from Popular Author, Molly Jebber!

"Grace's Forgiveness"
  By Molly Jebber

Synopsis:  Grace Blauch is skilled at midwifery as well as crafting very special quilts that help others pass on messages of everlasting family love. 

However, this wonderful, young lady's life is severely affected by a disfiguring birthmark. This keep this fine girl from a husband and home of her own, her greatest desires. That is, until Mark King, a single man arrives on the scene. His helpfulness and independent nature attract Grace and earn her respect. He finds her outspoken ways and determination to do right very appealing. Soon Grace is planning a wedding quilt of her own ... that is, until her father discovers that Mark has a shunned brother and he just happens to be hiding somewhere nearby. 

Grace's understanding spirit knows why Mark took such a risk when she hears his heart wrenching reasons.  Deep down, Grace fears that even prayer will not change her father's mind and he will never restore his blessing on their union. She is ready to face the end of her dreams. A sudden danger and impossible act of generosity will show her that abiding home can inspire the most precious of all miracles!!!

My Thoughts: This book is the second in The Keepsake Pocket Novels. After thoroughly enjoying "Change of Heart", I was somewhat reluctant to begin another book by this fabulous author.... NOT because I didn't love her writing, but because, I did not think that any other book could equal the first!! I was pleasantly surprised!! This book was equally as good, if not better.

The characters were so realistically and delightfully described that they became my best friends! The subject of having a birthmark and dealing with life's challenges due to it being in a prominent place, was dealt with in a sensitive manner. Grace had a heart of gold that even the taunts and hurtful comments made by others do not get her down. At times, I just wanted to give her a big hug and say it would work out fine. Her trust in the Lord was evident from the first to the end of this story. Mark was a man of God, who had gone through so many trials himself. Trying to do the right thing, is not always easy and often causes one more heartache. 

The plot moved quickly full of twists and turns that keep the reader glued to the page. I must admit the world passed me by, as I lived with Grace and Mark. 

This is a book that Amish Romance readers will love but also one that teaches all of us how to accept and deal with others who are different . Strength and faith is so important to one's happiness, as this novel proves. 

I highly recommend this book!! Definitely a five star!! Eagerly awaiting the next one!!

Author Information

Molly Jebber is an educational, motivational, and Women's Christian Connection speaker. She was raised in a small town in the Midwest, and insists if you had blinked twice, you would've missed it. She loves God, her family and friends, sunshine, swimming and traveling to the Amish communities.  Creating historical Amish characters and throwing them into difficult situations and joyous times has been challenging and fun for her. The greatest reward she’s experienced in becoming an author is meeting wonderful people from all over the world who've been encouraging and supportive.

Link to order this fantastic book : http://amzn.com/1420137638

To read more review of this book:

 Tour Dates:
Jan 26: Tour Kick off
Jan 29: Bukwurmzzz
Jan 30: Quiet Quilter
Feb 2: Pam Povkov (reviewer)
Feb 3: Just Commonly
Feb 7: A Greater Yes
Feb 9: Tour Wrap Up

This book was provided by the author and Celebrate Lit, in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Win A Great Book By Popular Author, Vannetta Chapman! Leave a comment on this blog to be eligible to win a copy of this brand new book!!

                                   "Joshua's Mission"

       By Vannetta Chapman

It is my pleasure to provide you with an interview with Vannetta Chapman, a great author and friend. Her newest book , "Joshua's Mission" is just about to be released and I must say, it is her best yet!! It is a story of the Amish genre , however unique in its setting as well as development of the plot. If you are tired of the "ordinary" Amish fiction, then this is definitely one you should read! 

My rating: Character development - Five Stars
               Plot Development - Five Stars
               Interest Level and Intrigue- Five Stars
The characters in this book were so realistically and well developed, that they immediately became part of me and my world. I so wanted to envelope them with my love and prayers as they went through unbelievable struggles and challenges. My heart hurt for them as the worst of the worst conditions arose. 

The plot was fast moving and kept me glued to the page! Full of unexpected twists and turns, it kept me up long after my bedtime. I just HAD to know what would happen next. 

Vannetta has put her heart and soul into the creation of this novel. Her research into the history of Port Aransas was clearly evident as the story unfolded. God's wish for all of us to care, love and forgive is the theme throughout the book. These thoughts remain with you  and yes, cause you to ponder upon your life and how you can change to  help others and and supply their needs.

I LOVED "Joshua's Mission"! Don't miss this five star book!!

Joshua’s Mission  Setting: Port Aransas, Texas

Thank you for inviting me to visit your blog today. I’m very excited about the release of Joshua’s Mission (2-1-16), which is book 2 in my Plain & Simple Miracles series. TheAmish characters in this book live in Cody’s Creek, Oklahoma. That’s a fictional town, but it’s based on Chouteau, Oklahoma, which is east of Tula.

The bulk of the action happens at Port Aransas, Texas. In my story, a category 4 hurricane hits the gulf and pretty much levels the town. Then volunteers start arriving, all sorts of people from near and far, and among those volunteers are my smallish group of Amish who are serving with Mennonite Disaster Services.

1. Basics about Port Aransas. Port A is the only town on Mustang Island, and is located across the bay from Corpus Christi. There are approximately 3,500 residents in the town, though there are a lot more during summer tourist season. The University of Texas Marine Science Institute is also located here.

2. Past hurricanes. Port A has sustained hurricane damage in the past. The 1916 hurricane destroyed nearly everything. There have been other hurricanes to hit the area, including Carla in 1961 and Celia in 1970.

3. Visiting.  I had a wonderful time visiting the Port A area. We went in October, so there wasn’t a lot of tourists, but there was still plenty to do. And yes, it was warm enough to swim. We walked up and down the beaches, visited local restaurants, spoke to the museum curator, stopped by city hall, and interviewed at length one of the local realtors. Everyone was very helpful, and everyone we spoke to said it’s not a matter of IFthere will be another hurricane, but WHEN. They are doing their best to raise building codes and of course have very detailed evacuation plans. We also went out on a tour boat that took us around the bay. The crew caught a net full of fish which they let us see and touch before throwing them back in. (Yes, this a scene in the book).

4. Truth vs fiction. Much of what you will read in Joshua’s Mission has already happened. The actual hurricane scenes are from my imagination, but I used firsthand accounts of past hurricanes to make them plausible. The Tarpon Inn and giant shark exist in the downtown area, and the tour boat is exactly as I describe it – right down to the man who handled the fish having only one arm (see picture). This guy was amazing.

5. MDS. The heart of this story is about how people help one another and how they fall on their faith in difficult times. My husband has worked with Mennonite Disaster Services in central Texas, where they have shown up to help many times. The scenes I depict of MDS volunteers rebuilding are fictional, but I interviewed MDS administrators as well as read their book describing their organization.

6. Additional reading. If these subjects interest you, I highly recommend the following books: 

• Mennonite Disaster Service, by Brenda D. Phillips.
• Images of America: Port Aransas, by J. Guthrie Ford and Mark Creighton
• 1919 The Storm, by Murphy Givens and Jim Moloney

Now I’d love to hear from you. Have you ever visited the Texas coast? If not, tell me your favorite beach or vacation spot. 

Vannetta Chapman

Bio and Links

Vannetta Chapman writes inspirational fiction full of grace. She discovered her love for the Amish while researching her grandfather’s birthplace of Albion, Pennsylvania. Her novel, Falling to Pieces, was a 2012 ACFW Carol Award winner for best mystery. Chapman was a teacher for 15 years and currently writes full time. She lives in the Texashill country with her husband. 


This book was provided by the author for a fair and honest review.

To be entered into a draw for a copy of this magnificent book , just leave a comment on this blog. The draw will take place on Feb. 15th. Please make sure to leave your email address along with your comment so that you can be contacted. 


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Adult Colouring Books!! The new , yet old way to destress and relax!!

          "Live     Love"

"Craft God's Word Into Your Heart
Through Creative Expression"

Margaret Feinberg

Okay, first off, I must admit that I never really grew up!!! As an quiet, reserved child, I spent many happy hours with my colouring books, crayons and pencil crayons. These were the days before the popular markers arrived on the scene. 

What a fantastic surprise it was, when adult colouring books hit the market! The variety of books available is amazing and in a short time, it has become the "in" thing in which to immerse oneself, to find a bit of quiet time in a hectic, fast paced world. It didn't take long for me to become deeply involved in this current craze! My stack of colouring books began to grow, along with a selection of colouring tools. A sudden health problem last June, demanded rest and relaxation, in order for healing to take place. Colouring became an important part of my daily routine. I was unable to exercise my muscles so I activated my brain. Colouring became my outlet for discouragement and gave me an interest on depressing days. I only wished that I had come upon this particular book during that time.

"Live Love" not only contributes to a time of relaxation and release of stress, but gives us an opportunity to reflect on God's Word as we colour. The journaling page alongside each design forces one to think of the verse and respond to each in a private Bible Study. It has become my simple way to get rid of daily stress but include a quiet time with the Lord. I must admit that I don't always take that time as often as I should. This book has become such a help  to lead me in a Christian direction. 

I would definitely recommend this book to those who feel overwhelmed with daily life and need a quiet time.

**Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

"The Shadows Over This Olive Grove Hide More Than Just the Truth!!"

                                "Beyond the Silence"
          Tracie Peterson
      Kimberley Woodhouse

Lillian Porter has always had the great desire to fullfill her mother's dream of going west. When she hears about a nanny position available in Angel's Camp, California, she is sure that this is not a coincidence- it is meant for her!  Defying her grandfather's wishes, Lillian takes a chance on a new future, one that she desperately needs. She needs an escape from the controlling situation that she is currently enduring. It doesn't take long for her to question her wisdom in this decision- there are murky, questionable rumors swirling around Woodward Colton, her new employer. Should she believe them, after all, the gossip doesn't really match the man that she comes to know??? Are others accurate in repeating what they believe is the truth? Lillian just can not believe them, however does have her doubts. 

Something dark DID happen in the family's past. The seven year old boy, who become Lillian's charge has not spoken in over a year. Her job is now also her greatest desire, to draw him out of his shell, hoping that one day that he feel safe enough to share what scared him so . The Colton olive farm that seemed so peaceful and a place of refuge is not longer safe! Lillian encounters suspicious, frightening characters on their land as mysterious damage is being done to the farm on a regular basis. When the kind, considerate housekeeper is brutally attacked, the town once again believes the worse. Are these townspeople just being cruel or are there facts to support their horrible arguments??? Will the truth being uncovered help Lillian clear the name of the man she has come to care for so deeply or will it endanger her even more????

I have to admit that historical fiction is not usually one that I enjoy, however, this book definitely changed my opinion very quickly. A great book is one that can captivate me from beginning to end and this story certainly did!! I was immediately caught up and could not let go until I had completed reading the entire book.  A bit of romance was expected but this was one full of challenges, fears, and adventures . The desire for the good guy to win over all obstacles became my main focus. This Christian fiction book is one that reminds us to put our faith where it belongs, believe in the darkest hours and rejoice in the Lord when His Plans succeed. 

The character development was superior. Each of the characters took very little time to captivate my heart. How could they not?? There was a struggling widowed father, a small child stressed to the point of muteness, a nanny who herself has had a difficult relationship with her grandfather, a kind, simple young man who is mentally challenged but has a heart of gold, a housekeeper who, without a family of her own , has taken on the responsibility of the household with her love and care.  The desire to hug each one in turn was strong. I lived the story!! These characters live on in your heart long after finishing the book. 

The plot was fast moving and perfect in this old west town. The town formed a clear picture in my mind as did all of the antagonists that had their own selfish and dangerous motives. There was no chance to become bored, as around every corner, there appeared an unexpected twist or turn. The clear message shone throughout the book- throughout loss and  danger, prayer and faith can carry us and lead to a brighter future. The past can be forgotten but only if God's plan is followed. Patience in waiting for His Plan to be revealed is stressed. 

This is definitely a five star book!! Don't miss it!!

This book was supplied by Bethany House   and Graff Martin Communications in exchange for a fair and honest review. Now available from your local bookseller.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Can Love Overcome a Broken Past???

"Where She Belongs"
  By Johnnie Alexander


Shelby Kincaid has suffered the loss of her husband and is left feeling devastated, lonely and forlorn. She is at the stage of her life, where she feels that she is ready to move on and hopes for a brighter future. To improve her life with her two young daughters and herself, she longs to purchase her family's homestead, Misty Willow, the only place that she ever truly belonged. Although the house is at present, abandoned, Shelby has plans to transform it into the perfect home of her memories. This becomes a very big challenge!

AJ Sullivan never wanted Shelby's homestead! He became the owner, only as a punishment!! Yes, a punishment!! His grandfather left it to him because he did not follow the elderly man's wishes!! AJ, not caring about this house, has let it fall into a state of complete disrepair. His greatest wish is to unload this eyesore to this spitfire of a woman. But  even after many angry outbursts from her, he just cannot get her out of his mind. 

My Opinions:  

Johnnie Alexander is a new author to me, so I really did not know what to expect when I opened this book! I was pleasantly surprised!! It was a fantastic read! 

The characters were realistic and so well described that I felt immediately their every challenge, hurt and joy. I easily pictured Shelby in my mind as a spunky young mom who was facing a world of worries and heartaches!! AJ was also suffering from a family past that wasn't full of pleasure. Both of these individuals had disappointments and heartache that make an impact on the reader. 

The plot moves along at a steady pace with just enough twists and turns to keep the reader glued to the page. What you expect is not always the outcome! 

The setting is described in a way that it portrays a vivid picture of this old home. I really wanted to jump into the story to be there to enjoy this wonderful place.

This book is truly one that keeps you thinking long after you have read the book. Family grudges, unhappy pasts, life's surprises, all influence your life in the present and the future. The past can be overcome but it takes will power and help from above.

I will eagerly be awaiting this author's next book!!

This book was supplied byRevell  and Graff Martin Communications in exchange for a fair and honest review. Now available from your local bookseller.

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...