Sunday, September 16, 2012

Shattered Silence by Margaret Daley - a review and giveaway

Shattered Silence is the second novel in Margaret Daley's "The Men of the Texas Rangers" series.  The first book in the series, Saving Hope, (read my review here) was extremely good and I could hardly wait for Ms. Daley's second book in the series to be released.  I wasn't disappointed.

The story is set in the town of Durango, Texas and is about Texas Ranger Cody Jackson and police officer, Liliana Rodriquez.  Cody has just arrived in Durango with his son Kyle who is mourning the death of his mother, Cody's ex-wife.  As soon as they arrive the first of five murders occurs.  Between murders, gun smuggling and bullying I was kept on the edge of my seat, quickly turning the pages and trying to figure out who were the bad guys.  I truly enjoyed this book.

I enjoyed watching the relationship of Cody and his son Kyle heal and grow.  Kyle was a bully when he lived with his mom and step-dad and he didn't want to live with Cody.  In time Kyle sees himself in other kids that are bullies at school and realizes he doesn't want to be like that anymore.  In time he grows closer to his dad.

Liliana and Cody spend so much time together while trying to solve the murders that their feelings for each other grow even though neither one was looking for love.  Liliana had an abusive childhood and always kept men at a distance, but in Cody she sees how a man should treat others and can't help falling in love with him.

I would highly recommend Shattered Silence  to anyone wanting to read a good clean suspenseful novel.  Ms. Daley pulls you into her novels from the first line and carries you through on a suspenseful ride all the way to the end.  I look forward to her next book in this series.

ON a 5-Star Scale - 5 Stars!

I would like to thank Julie Dowd and Abingdon Press for my review copy.  I received my copy of Shattered Silence for free in order to read and give my honest review, which I have done.

Margaret Daley
is an award winning romance author who has recently won the Golden Quill Contest and the Holt Medallion, among others.  She currently writes inspirational romance and romantic suspense books for Love Inspired.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

While my copy of this book is going on my 'keeper shelf', I have a second copy that I would love to send to one of my followers.  Please follow the rules below and one lucky person will win their own copy of Shattered Silence.

************ GIVEAWAY RULES  ************

1.  Giveaway is open to US and Canada

2.  No PO Boxes please.

3.  You MUST be a Google Friends Connect follower of my blog (please be sure to leave the name you follow under in your comment)

4.  For extra entries you may do one or all of the following:
    -- become an email subscriber +1
    -- invite a friend to become a follower of my blog.  If they become a follower & mention your name, you will both receive 2 extra entries

5. Include an email address where I can reach you if you are selected as the winner of this giveaway.  Please enter your email address in this format    winner[at]yahoo[dot]com

To make sure your entry counts, please answer the following questions:

What book have you read this summer that you absolutely loved?  What was the title and who was the author? 

Giveaway will run through September 30th and the winner will be selected using Random.Org

Smiles & Blessings,

With Every Letter by Sarah Sundin - a review

For those of you who follow my blog, you know I am a big, big fan of Sarah Sundin's work.  When I read her debut novel, A Distant Melody, the first book in her Wings of Glory series, she drew me in with her settings (one was my hometown in Riverside, California) and her characters.  This series was so very, very good that I really didn't know if her new series could compare.  Let me tell you, after reading With Every Letter I can honestly say, she has the start to another hit series!

With Every Letter, the first book in the Wings of the Nightingale series, is the story of Lt. Philomela (Mellie) Blake, a flight nurse and Lt. Thomas MacGilliver Jr. an engineer who begin a relationship through anonymous letters during World War II.  Mellie was raised in the jungles of the Philipines where her father worked as a botanist.  She grew up without real friends and depended on a scrapbook her mother created for her with 'paper' friends.  Through the years she added pictures of real people who she felt needed a friend.  She also included pictures of real people who she felt needed a friend.  Such as a young boy who's father was put to death because he had committed murder.

As Mellie begins her life as a flight nurse she is made aware that she doesn't really know how to make friends.  In order to boost morale Mellie's commanding officer starts a letter writing campaign with her husband's Engineer Aviation Battalion stationed in England.  Mellie really doesn't want to participate but her commanding officer suggests strongly that she does.  This starts the anonymous letter writing relationship between Mellie and Tom.  Tom gives the name of Annie to Mellie and she in turn calls him Ernest.

Tom is the son of a convicted murderer who was put to death.  In order to prove he is nothing like his father, MacGilliver the Killiver, he smiles all the time.  Through his letters he is able to open up his heart and show who he is and Mellie is able to do the same.  While Tom easily makes friends he has a hard time leading his platoon.  Mellie has a hard time making friends and because of her shyness the other nurses think she's a snob.  Through their letters Tom and Mellie learn from each other and before long they find themselves falling in love.

Tom adopts a stray dog that he quickly falls in love with and names Sesame.  During a stop  to pick up wounded, Mellie encounters Tom and through comments he makes and his dog Sesame she realized Tom is her "Ernest".  She also finds that Tom is the same person she has a picture of in her scrapbook.  She thinks Tom is so handsome and convinces herself they can never meet because she thinks she is very plain and he wouldn't be attracted to her.

The characters of Mellie and Tom were so very real to me that I find myself still thinking about them.  To me, when an author can make me love a character enough that I can't forget them, they have a true gift.  Ms. Sundin definitely has a gift in creating real, believable characters.  I found a lot of myself in Mellie.  She reminded me of my youth when I was so very, very shy and because I was an Air Force brat we traveled a lot and I was always trying to make friends only to have to say goodbye when one of our fathers got transferred.  With Each Letter is a portrait of relationships.  The relationship of Tom with his men and his dog.  The relationship of Mellie with the other flight nurses.  The relationship between Mellie and Tom and their relationship with God.

Each time I read a Sarah Sundin creation I am blown away.  From the first page I am drawn in and feel as if I am right their with the characters.  In the Wings of Glory series I experienced being in the cockpit of a B-17 Flying Fortress.  Now with the Wings of the Nightingale series I know what the men went through when they had to repair landing strips during WWII in Africa and Italy.  I rode along with the patients and Mellie in the belly of the C-47.  I was there.  I felt what the characters felt and experienced what they saw.  I wasn't told the story, it was painted on the canvas of each page and it drew me in from the very first page to the very last.  I can hardly wait until the next book in this series.

I would highly recommend With Every Letter to anyone who enjoys good fiction and stories set during WWII.

On a 5-Star scale = 5 STARS!!!!!  An EXCELLENT read.

         * Available September 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.*

I would like to thank Donna Hausler and Revell publishing for my review copy.  I received my copy for free in order to read and give my honest review, which I have done.

Sarah Sundin is the author of A Distant Melody, A Memory Between Us, and Blue Skies Tomorrow. In 2011, A Memory Between Us was a finalist in the Inspirational Reader's Choice Awards and Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. A graduate of UC San Francisco School of Pharmacy, she works on-call as a hospital pharmacist. During WWII, her grandfather served as a pharmacist's mate (medic) in the Navy and her great-uncle flew with the US Eighth Air Force in England. Sarah lives in California with her husband and three children.

Smiles & Blessings,

Monday, September 10, 2012

The River by Michael Neale - a review

In the book, The River, Michael Neale begins his story in an airport during flight delays.  An older gentleman begins telling the author the story of Gabriel Clarke, his story.  The story begins when Gabriel Clarke suffers a devastating tragedy which   causes him to be very shy and withdrawn most of his life.

There are key things that happen in his early years that the reader needs to take note of as in his young adulthood they come back as a remembrance to him and are part of The River that keeps calling him back.

With a childhood friend, Gabriel goes back to The River and that is where the story truly begins.  That is where the reader needs to pay close attention as there is a bigger story within the story.

The River by Michael Neale was an interesting book to say the least.  I read it in about seven hours and found myself guessing as to what The River actually represented.  At first I thought it was an allegory for Jesus Christ but later I figured it was an allegory for The Holy Bible.  I guess in looking at the book cover I should have figure that out right off.

Mr. Neale's way of writing made The River very easy to read and I recommend it highly.

On a 5-Star Scale - 4 Stars.

I would like to thank the BookSneeze program and Thomas Nelson Publishers for my review copy.  I received my copy for free in order to read it and give my honest review which I have done.

Smiles & Blessings,

Dan Walsh Holding a Giveaway for Two of His Books

For the next week, starting today and running till next Monday, September 17th, Dan Walsh is celbrating the release of his new novel, The Reunion, with a 10-book giveaway contest!  Five winners will each receive a signed copy of The Reunion, as well as his third novel, The Deepest Waters.  (He's including this book because it was named a finalist for ACFW Carol Award for book-of-the-year).  Click on the link below to see how easily you can enter the contest!

Smiles & Blessings,

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Reunion by Dan Walsh - a review

What if someone saved your life during a war that was very unpopular? What if that person won the Congregational Medal of Honor for saving you but you never really had the opportunity to say 'thank you'? That is the basis of The Reunion, the new novel by award-winning author, Dan Walsh.

Aaron Miller is a Vietnam veteran that has lost everything that was ever important to him.  He came back from Nam a broken man. One who turned to drink in order to forget the images of war and drugs to kill the pain from his wounds. Unfortunately, he lost his wife and family during that time.  By the grace of God he became a Christian and cleaned up his life but by that time his ex-wife had remarried and their children call her new husband Dad.  She tells Aaron there's no room in their life for him.

Unbeknownst to Aaron, the three men who's lives he saved in Nam are searching for him.  At the same time, Dave Russo, a reporter is doing research in order to write a book about heroes of the Vietnam war.  When he meets up to interview one of the three men Aaron saved, he is given an offer he couldn't refuse.  He is funded to search and find Aaron Miller so that the three men can finally give him the 'thank you' he so deserves.  In the course of his search he also finds Aaron's grown children and he finds he is attracted to Karen, Aaron's daughter.

Every time I pick up a Dan Walsh novel I know I am going to be drawn into the story and become one with the story.  I always fall in love with his characters and I have learned to always have a box of tissues handy.  Did I shed tears in The Reunion?  You bet I did!  But they were happy tears!

Dan Walsh has an uncanny talent of creating believable characters that stay with you long after you have turned the last page and closed the book.  They are real.  They are believable.  They are unforgettable.  His books are "keepers".

If you love great fiction.  If you love a story that makes you feel good.  Then I highly recommend The Reunion.

On a 5-Star scale - 5 STARS!!!!!

*** I would like to thank Donna Hausler and Revell Publishing for my copy of The Reunion.  I received my copy for free in order to read it and give my honest review, which I have done. ***

* Available September 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. *

Press Release for The Reunion

Expert storyteller Dan Walsh pens a new tale filled with the things his fans have come to love – forgiveness, redemption, love and that certain bittersweet quality that few authors ever truly master. Fans old and new will find themselves drawn into this latest story about restoration for the broken and ignored.

Walsh brilliantly weaves together two stories of men embroiled in turmoil – Aaron Miller a Vietnam vet who returned from war only to lose everything and of Dave Russo, a writer unable to love again. The Reunion opens with Aaron, 40 years after the war, slowly putting his life back together. Dave uncovers his heroic actions during the war, leading both men to find a second chance in life and love if they’re willing to take a risk.

Walsh captures genuine emotion in his writing, and according to RT Book Reviews, he “demonstrates that, like Nicholas Sparks, men are capable of writing romantic fiction.”
Walsh has mastered telling stories set in separate time periods. The Reunion is a contemporary story with flashbacks to Vietnam. When Walsh was young, he hated history until he discovered a few non-fiction history books that read like page-turning novels. “They made history come alive,” says Walsh. “Reading became a joy. That’s my goal now, to create that same experience for my readers. I hope they get inspired and thoroughly enjoy themselves.”

Smiles & Blessings,