Saturday, August 20, 2016

When Death Draws Near by Carrie Stuart Parks

I usually do not like reading books written in the first person, but after reading Carrie Stuart Parks first book in her "Gwen Marcey", The Bones Will Speak (read my review here), I had to read her newest book in the series,  When Death Draws Near. I can honestly say I really enjoyed her first person voice in writing her books.

Blurb from back of book:

GWEN MARCEY TAKES DEATH IN STRIDE UNTIL SHE'S FACED WITH HER OWN MORTALITY.

Forensic artist Gwen Marcey is between jobs when she accepts temporary work in Pikeville, Kentucky--a small town facing big-city crime. 

Gwen suspects a connection between the rapist and the "accidental" deaths that are happening around town, but the local sheriff has little interest in her theories. When her digitally-obsessed teenage daughter joins her. Gwen turns her attention to a second assignment: going undercover in a serpent-handling church. She could get a handsome reward for uncovering illegal activity--a reward she desperately needs, as it seems her breast cancer has returned. But snakes aren't the only ones ready to kill. Can Gwen uncover the truth--and convince anyone to believe her--before she becomes a victim herself?

In a thrilling race against time, When Death Draws Near plunges us into cold-case murders, shady politics and a den of venomous suspects.

My Thoughts:

As mentioned above I usually don't like books written in first person, but Carrie Stuart Parks is a gifted author who handles writing first person point of view very well. In fact, her words pull you into the main characters head and she allows the reader to become one with the heroine. 

When Death Draws Near is a story that has a serial rapist on the loose along with church members who have meetings where their congregants handle snakes. I must say the thought of handling snakes made my skin crawl, but the author handled (no pun intended) the topic well.

I met Gwen Marcey in the first book of the series and grew to enjoy her job as a forensic artist. It was quite intriguing to say the least. In this, the second book in the series, the author allows us to learn more about Gwen personally. She is fighting a lot of personal battles and hopefully by book three they will be tied up tighter than at the end of this book.

The hero doesn't have a large part in this book but I was happy to know that after being someone I didn't think I would like I grew to appreciate his character and look forward to where his and Gwen's relationship might go in the next book. You notice I didn't mention his name. That was intentional. You'll need to discover him all by yourself.

I would recommend this book to any adult who loves a good suspense novel. I don't believe it is a book for younger people because of the subject content.

On a 5-Star scale - 4 Stars!

I would like to thank LitFuse Publicity and Thomas Nelson for my copy of When Death Draws Near. I received my copy for free in order to read it and give my honest review.

Smiles & Blessings,

Sunday, August 14, 2016

A Heart Most Certain by Melissa Jagears

To say that I loved Melissa Jagears newest book, A Heart Most Certain, is an understatement. I treasured this book. Ms. Jagears is a gifted author and in my opinion, this is her best book yet. It is the first book in her "Teaville Moral Society" and the start of what I am sure will be an excellent series.

Blurb from the back

Lydia King knows what its like to be in need, so she joins the Teaville Moral Society hoping to help the town's poor. But with her father's debts increasing by the day and her mother growing sicker by the week, she wonders how long it will be util she ends up in the poorhouse herself. Her best chance at a financially secure future is to impress the politician courting her, and it certainly doesn't hurt that his mother is the moral society's president. Lydia's first task as a moral society member--to obtain a donation from Nicholas Lowe, the wealthiest man in town--seems easy...until the man flat-out refuses.

Despite appearances, Nicholas wants to help others but prefers to do it his own way, keeping his charity private. When Lydia proves persistent, they agree to a bargain, though Nicholas has a few surprises up his sleeve. Neither foresees the harrowing complications that will arise from working together, and when town secrets are brought to light, this unlikely pair must decide where their beliefs--and hearts--truly align.

My Thoughts:

As mentioned above, I loved this book. It is a story about redemption and trust. It's a story that is filled with prostitution, dirty politicians, a church filled with hypocrites and people turning blind eyes to sin for their own benefit. Now all those things in themselves doesn't necessarily make for a good Christian book, however, Ms. Jagears has taken the sins of Teaville and allowed her two lead characters to pull back the ugliness of sin and let God's light shine in leading many of the sinful characters out of their sin.

The character of Lydia King was well crafted and earned my admiration from the first page. While she has people pushing her towards their way of thinking, Lydia fights back trying to do what she believes is right. Every time she encounters Nicholas Lowe, sparks fly. Early on she finds him exasperating and he finds her feisty. In time will those sparks lead to something else? Only time and you picking up a copy of this wonderful book will tell. I will say that this story showed how two people from different worlds can come together in unity working towards the same purpose and be successful with God's help.

It saddened me to read some other reviews in which they claim the book is too "preachy". It is a story about sinful people that need to find redemption. How will the people of this world find redemption if Christians do not share the gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe Ms. Jagears wasn't preachy, she simply told a story showing that sinners can have hope to move beyond their situations. 

I would highly recommend A Heart Most Certain to any adults who enjoy a good Christian novel. Do to subject matter I wouldn't advise it for younger people.

On a 5-Star scale - 5 Huge Stars!!!!! The best historical I have read this year!

I would like to thank the author, Melissa Jagears, and Bethany House for my copy of A Heart Most Certain. I received my copy for free in order to read it and give my honest review.

Smiles & Blessings,

Her Unexpected Family by Ruth Logan Herne - with Giveaway!

I am a huge fan of Ruth Logan Herne's work. When I saw her newest Love Inspired book, Her Unexpected Family, I grabbed it up quickly and could hardly wait to read it. Imagine my surprise when I received an autographed copy in the mail from this very generous author. I was excited and told her since I had purchased a copy I would offer that to one of my readers. So if you would love to have a copy of this wonderful book to read for yourself, please read to the end of this post so you will know how to enter the giveaway.

Blurb from back of book:

A Family to Love. 

Emily Gallagher and Grant McCarthy are planning a wedding together--just not their own. Emily's well-structured life is turned upside down when her company is hired to help Grant put together his deployed sister's nuptials. Because as Emily spends more time with Grant and his adorable twins, she can't help but daydream about being at the altar herself. But Emily's ex-beauty-queen status brings Grant memories of his children's appearance-obsessed mother--a woman who walked out on their family. For a future with Emily, can Grant escape the confines of his painful past? If he can, the next wedding they plan could be their own.

My Thoughts:

Welcome to the town of Grace Haven. As the author writes, "A town full of heart, happiness and home". I picture a very small town environment in which everyone knows pretty much everyone living in town. The author has created an ideal place in which this reader would love to live. 

As mentioned in the blurb above, the main characters are Emily and Grant. Both of these characters have issues with trust and forgiveness but they learn to overcome and the outcome is quite beautiful. I would love to tell you about how they overcome their issues but that would ruin your experience in reading this wonderful bool. Ruth Logan Herne has a gift in creating living breathing characters that seem to reach out from the written page to grab the reader and pull them into their world. I love it when an author can do that and Ruth Logan Herne does it well.

Her Unexpected Family was released this month and it flew off the shelves at my WalMart so I have a feeling it may have flown off the shelves at other stores as well because Ruth Logan Herne offers beautiful stories about everyday life in small town America within her Love Inspired books. If you can't find it in the stores, you can always order it through Amazon (follow this link). Or you can enter my giveaway and win a copy of your own.

I would highly recommend Her Unexpected Family for anyone who loves a good clean book. I guarantee it worth your time to read this wonderful book.

On a 5-Star scale - 5 Stars!!!!!

I would like to thank the author for my copy of Her Unexpected Family. I received my copy for free to read it and give my honest review.

*********************  GIVEAWAY INFORMATION  *********************''

To be entered to win a copy of this book, you simply have to leave a comment telling me you would like to be entered to win. I would love it if you would follow me on Google Connect or by email//but it is not a requirement. So please leave a message and good luck! Contest ends on 08/31/16.

Smiles & Blessings,

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Fetching Sweetness by Dana Mentink

What can I say about a book with a dog on the cover, but "I have to read that book". I took a chance on Dana Mentink's book, Fetching Sweetness and it was definitely well worth my time. I loved this book.

Blurb from the Back Cover

Standing Between Stephanie and Her Dream is One Hundred Pounds of Loveable Trouble.

It should have been so simple for Stephanie Pink: Meet up with Agnes Wharton in a small town in California, retrieve the reclusive author's valuable new manuscript, and be promoted to a full-fledged literary agent.


But Agnes's canine companion, Sweetness, decides to make a break for it before Stephanie can claim her prize. Until Agnes has Sweetness safely back at home in Eagle Cliff, Washington, Stephanie will never set eyes on the manuscript she needs to make her dreams come true.


When Stephanie tracks the runaway mutt to a campground, she meets Rhett Hastings--a man also on the run from a different life and a costly mistake. Rhett agrees to help Stephanie search for the missing dog...thus launching a surprising string of adventures and misadventures.


Once Sweetness gets added to the mix, it's a recipe for love and loss, merriment and mayhem, fun and faith in the backwoods of the Pacific Northwest.


My Thoughts

I have to say that Fetching Sweetness was one of the most lighthearted books I have read in a long time. It had me laughing, crying, and everything in between. After each session of reading I closed the book with a big smile on my face because it made me feel so good.

The characters of Stephanie and Rhett were as different as night and day, yet a big lovable oaf of a dog was the bridge that brought them together. Had it not been for Sweetness, the characters would never have met and the story would have been over before it had begun.

Both characters are flawed in their own way. Stephanie was chasing a dream that wasn't hers and Rhett was trying to build a dream that wasn't his. Together they learn from each other and are finally able to move beyond the dreams to create their own dreams.

I loved this book. I loved Stephanie and Rhett. I loved Sweetness and Panny. I will tell you there are moments between Rhett and Panny that made me cry because of the sensitivity shown. Panny, well, I'm not going to tell you about her. You'll just have to read the book to find out who she is and why she and Rhett made me cry. I guarantee you there are moments between them that will steal you heart.

I would highly recommend picking up a copy of Fetching Sweetness. It is a book for anyone who enjoys a good clean read.

On a 5-Star Scale = 5 Stars!!!!!

I would like to thank LitFuse Publicity for my copy of Fetching Sweetness. I received my copy for free in order to read it and give my honest review.


Smiles & Blessings,
 



Saturday, July 23, 2016

Missing by Lisa Harris

I can honestly say that if I see a novel with the name Lisa Harris on it, I cannot resist picking up a copy. So when given the opportunity to read and review her newest book, Missing, the second book in "The Nikki Boyd Files" series I jumped at the chance. I totally enjoyed Vendetta, the first book in the series (read my review here.) and Missing was just as good.

BLURB FROM BACK OF BOOK

Nikki Boyd usually isn't called in on homicides; her forte is missing persons. But when a case with two murdered and two missing pops up on a quiet suburban street, she's ready to start the investigation and find missing homeowners Mac and Lucy Hudson. When the first clues lead her to the boat of her friend Tyler Grant--and another dead body--Nikki must untangle what ties Tyler to the Hudsons. The clues pull her into a deadly maze of counterfeit drugs and a killer who will stop at nothing to silence anyone who threatens his business--including Nikki.

MY THOUGHTS

From the very first line to the last, Lisa Harris held me captive in her newest book, Missing. Her heroine, Nikki Boyd, continues her work with the Tennessee Missing Persons Task Force, but this novel pulls in several homicides as well. The hero in the novel is Tyler Grant, the widower of Nikki's best friend, and very early in the book, Tyler becomes a suspect due to the dead body found on his boat.

I truly love the character of Nikki Boyd. Ms. Harris has created a character that seems so very real that it is hard to believe she is only fictional. All of the other characters are well created as well, but Nikki stands out more than all of the others.

The plot was so fast paced and kept me guessing throughout. I would just start thinking I had it figured out only to have the story take a turn and I'd start trying to figure it out all over again. I love stories that make you think. The scary thing about the plot is the counterfeit drug story. It makes you wonder if something like that could really happen in today's world.

I can honestly say, if you are a fan of clean suspenseful fiction, you will love Missing. So please do yourself a favor and pick up a copy today.

On a 5-Star scale - 5 HUGE Stars!!!!!

I would like to thank the author, Lisa Harris, and Revell for my copy of Missing. I received my copy for free in order to read it and give my honest review.

Smiles & Blessings,

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Holman Christian Standard Notetaking Bible

Once again, I was given the opportunity to receive and review a new Bible. This one is the Holman Christian Standard Notetaking Bible. I was really excited to receive a notetaking Bible as I thought it would be a great addition for my study of the Bible.


Blurb about this Bible:

The Note-Taking Bible contains the full text of the Holman Christian Standard Bible in a single-column setting. Abundant space is provided on each page to make observations, record insights, raise questions, and suggest to yourself additional exploration of the text. The Bible includes a 40-page concordance, eight four-color maps, a one-year Bible reading plan, presentation page, and an introduction to the Holman Christian Standard Bible.

My Thoughts:

Normally, I am a fan of the New King James and New International Version of the Bible. I found the Holman Christian Standard Bible to be an easy version to read and understand, but it didn't win me away from the NKJV or the NIV Bible versions.

One thing I loved about this Bible is the wide open margins in which you can write your study notes. In my regular Bibles, I can never find enough room to make notes. I guarantee you there is ample room in this Bible.

If I had to say anything negative about this Bible, it is the size of the font. I am older and the font was way too small for my eyes. I also wish that this would have been a red letter edition, but it wasn't. While it is a negative for me, I doubt that it would be a negative for everyone.

I would like to thank B & H/Lifeway for my copy of the Holman Christian Standard Notetaking Bible. I received my copy for free in order to read it and give my honest review.

If you are looking for an easy to read version of the Bible with the room to take ample notes, this Bible is for you.

I do not choose to offer a rating on this Bible as while there are things I don't particularly like, that is simply my opinion based on my preferences and I am sure many people will absolutely love this Bible.

Smiles & Blessings,

 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Medical Judgment by Richard L. Mabry, M.D.


I am a big fan of Dr. Richard Mabry's work and when I am given the opportunity to read and review any of his books, I jump at the chance. His newest book is Medical Judgment and it is another great story by this author.D

About the book:

Medical Judgment (Abingdon Press, May 2016)

Dr. Sarah Gordon lost her husband and daughter. Now she's about to lose her life.

After losing the two people she loved the most, Sarah Gordon doesn't think life could get worse. But, after a fire in her garage is ruled an arson, she begins to realize someone is after her --and that person wants to see her dead. But first, they want to see her suffer.

Her late husband's best friend, Kyle Andrews, and a recovering alcoholic detective, Bill Larson, are trying to solve the mystery before it's too late, and theyre both trying to win her heart, too. Not only does Sarah feel torn between two men, she also feels as though she cannot trust anyone.

With creepy threats that become more and more sinister, Sarah finds herself in constant fear, but even the best home alarm technology won't protect her. Who is doing this, and why are they after her?

My Thoughts:

I love a good suspense and Dr. Mabry hands the reader exactly that in his newest novel, Medical Judgment. His heroine, Dr. Sarah Gordon won me over from the start as the grieving widow mourning the loss of her husband and baby daughter. Then to have someone stalking her every movement, my heart truly went out to her. She was a very well crafted strong female character that I truly enjoyed.

Kyle Andrews, was a character I just never grew to like. There seemed to be a shady side to him that just made me cringe when he tried to gain Sarah's attention.

Detective Bill Larson was a character I truly grew to like, however, not for Sarah. He had too much baggage and Sarah had enough of her own.

The question is, does Kyle or Bill win Sarah's heart or could someone else step in and steal her heart. Does the stalker get caught and if so, just who could want to harm someone who is already hurting so much. All of these questions are answered in this wonderful new suspense filled novel.

Dr. Mabry's characters in this book were all very strong and drew out strong emotions from me as I read it. Well done Dr. Mabry. I love good characterization.

As far as the stalker, I had really hoped I wouldn't figure it out until the "unveiling moment", however, with several tidbits tossed in throughout the book I figured who the stalker was about midway into the book. But that is okay because I didn't know the reason behind their actions.

For anyone who loves a good suspense novel, I would highly recommend picking up a copy of Medical Judgment. You won't be disappointed.

On a 5-Star Scale = 4 Stars!

I would like to thank Litfuse Publicity for my Advanced Reader Copy of Medical Judgment. I received my copy for free in order to read it and give my honest review.

Smiles & Blessings,