Wednesday, December 31, 2014

It's a GOD Thing Volume 2 by Don Jacobson

While I have never listened to K-LOVE radio I have always heard wonderful things about it. So when I had the opportunity to read and review It's a GOD Thing" I grabbed the chance. This is a book about miracles that happen in everyday life to everyday people.

I truly believe miracles still happen. In fact, miracles have happened in my life so I know they happen from first hand experience. People who don't believe in miracles are usually people who don't take the time, or have the time, to observe life around them. This book will take the reader on a journey showing them that miracles still happen today.

Some of the stories are about the following:

  • A young boy being trapped under water for seven minutes and he makes a full recovery.
  • A man who was mysteriously released from a truck before it flew down into a ravine.
  • A woman who broke her neck, both the front and back of the vertebrae but her spinal cord wasn't injured.
  • A mother and two children who rode out a tornado in their hallway only to find the rest of the house was destroyed.
  • A mother who hear's a voice telling her to check on her baby over and over again. When she check's on him she finds him tangled up in his blanket preventing him from breathing.
There are fifty-eight chapters that tell fifty-eight testimonies of miracles. Life changing miracles. Reading these stories reminded me of miracles I have seen, experienced or heard about. It is a book that will truly bless the reader.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading a book that will open your eyes and speak to your heart about God's love. Actually,this is a book to be enjoyed by anyone.

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

I would like to thank BookLook Bloggers and Thomas Nelson for my copy of It's a GOD Thing Volume 2. I received my copy for free in order to read it and give my honest review, which I have done.

Smiles & Blessings,
  

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Heaven Sent Rain by Lauraine Snelling

Lauraine Snelling's newest novel, Heaven Sent Rain is the story of scientist and pharmaceutical CEO Dinah Taylor, veterinarian Dr. Garret Miller and a seven-year-old Jonah Morgan. It is a story of loss, love and trust.

Heaven Sent Rain is well crafted and the characters come to life on the written page. Dinah has issues that cause her to wear mostly white and her apartment is all in white as well. She is very organized and isn't ready for the changes that take place in her life but she soon adapts.

Dr. Garret Miller and Dinah don't really hit it off but because of young Jonah and his needs, they try to get along. Will their animosity tear them apart or pull them together.

One of the major story lines in this book deals with the disease diabetes. Personally, I felt the author went a little overboard in bringing the subject to light. Maybe because I am diabetic I felt I was being brow-beaten. But for some it could very well be an eye-opener.

If you like clean contemporary fiction that pulls at your heartstrings, I would highly suggest this book. I will say that you may need a box of tissues while reading this book. I found myself in tears on several occasions. 

On a 5-Star Scale - 3 Stars.

I would like to thank Faith Words for my copy of Heaven Sent Rain. I received my copy for free in order to read it and give my honest review, which I have done.

Smiles & Blessings,
  

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Yuletide Rescue by Margaret Daley

I love Christmas and stories set during the Christmas season. So, with Christmas just a few weeks away, what better time to read a book set during Christmas? Especially, if the book is Margaret Daley's newest offering for Love Inspired Suspense, The Yuletide RescueReleasing in December, this book is Ms. Daley's first book in her "Alaskan Search and Rescue" series, Based on this first book I know I will love the series.

The story begins when Dr. Aubrey (Bree) Mathison is in a small bush plane with long-time family friend, Jeremiah Elliot. Bree travels all around Alaska helping people who need medical help and Jeremiah, as a pilot, is flying her home to Anchorage. Unfortunately, Jeremiah suffers a heart attack but is able to send off a May-Day call before crash landing the plane. Bree tries to help Jeremiah only to find that he has passed away. 

Now on her own, Bree builds an ice cave to stay in feeling assured that someone will find her by tracking the plane's beacon. Thankfully, David Stone, the head of a search and rescue unit finds her and is able to get her safely back home, but not before their safety is put in jeopardy. In the days to follow she begins to wonder if she really knew Jeremiah after all.

I really enjoyed the characters of Bree, David and David's father, Don. They were all well crafted and pulled me into their story from the very beginning. Bree and David both have painful memories and I loved how they worked through those pains as their love for each other grew. I also love it when a story and it's characters engage me in their world early on.

One thing I love about Margaret Daley's suspense novels is the fact that you can always count on a few twists and turns to keep the reader wondering and guessing. The Yuletide Rescue did not disappoint me in that area. Packed with suspense, the reader can count on a 'sitting on the edge of your seat" adventure.

I would highly recommend picking up a copy of The Yuletide Rescue book as soon as it hits the shelves. If by chance you miss it in the stores remember you can always buy it on line with any of the on line booksellers.

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

I would like to thank Margaret Daley for my copy of The Yuletide Rescue. I received my copy for free in order to read it and give my honest review, which I have done.


Smiles & Blessings,
 

Thursday, November 27, 2014




May you all have a blessed and happy Thanksgiving!


Smiles & Blessings,
 

Monday, November 24, 2014

CFBA - Swept Away by Laura V. Hilton & Cindy Loven




This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Swept Away
Abingdon Press (November 18, 2014)
by

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 



Award winning author Laura V. Hilton has penned many novels, including the Amish of Seymour series, the Amish of Webster County series, and the forthcoming Amish of Jamesport series. A member of ACFW, Laura is also a professional book reviewer for the Christian market, with over a thousand book reviews published at various online review sites. A pastor’s wife, stay-at-home mom, and home school teacher, Laura and her family make their home in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas.



A lifelong reader, Cindy Loven is an active church wife of a minister and mother to one son who is a home school graduate. Cindy and her family reside in Conway, Arkansas.

ABOUT THE BOOK


Sara Jane Morgan is trying to balance teaching with caring for her ailing, stubborn grandmother. When school lets out for the summer, the plans are for Grandma to teach Sara Jane to quilt as they finish up the Appalachian Ballad quilt Grandma started as a teenager. But things don’t always go as planned. 

Andrew Stevenson is hiding from his past—and his future. He works as a handyman to pay the bills, but also as an artisan, designing homemade brooms. When Sara Jane’s grandmother hires him to renovate her home, sparks fly between him and his new employer’s granddaughter. 

Still, it doesn’t take Sara Jane long to see Drew isn’t what he seems. Questions arise, and she starts online researching him. What she discovers could change her life—and her heart—forever.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Swept Away, go HERE.

MY THOUGHTS:

Out of all the books I have read in the Quilts of Love series, Swept Away is definitely my favorite. The characters are well developed and I fell in love with Sari, otherwise known as Grandma. She is the grandmother of Sara Jane, the heroine. and I guarantee you she will rope your heart and pull you into her story and her plans for her granddaughter and Andrew, her handyman.

One thing I found interesting in this book is they introduce the reader to the Ballad Quilt. It is a quilt made based on a song ballad. Quite interesting. One day I would love to see one of these quilts.

On a 5-Star Scale - 5 BIG Stars!!!!! I loved this book.

I would like to thank Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and Abingdon Fiction for my copy of Sept Away. I received my copy for free in order to read it and give my honest review, which I have done.

Smiles & Blessings,
 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Where Treetops Glisten by Tricia Goyer, Cara Putman & Sarah Sundin

I truly love reading stories set during WWII, especially if they are written by Sarah Sundin, Cara Putman or Tricia Goyer. These wonderful writers of historical romance have joined together to write three wonderful stories tied together by family and love.

I really enjoyed the way the book was set up and that the titles are all song titles. The Prologue is titled, "Winter Wonderland" and was written by Sarah Sundin. The first story is "White Christmas" by Cara Putman, followed by "I'll Be Home for Christmas" by Sarah Sundin and then "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" by Tricia Goyer. The Epilogue is titled "Let it Snow, Let it Snow" by Cara Putman.

Where Treetops Glisten yields three stories surrounding the Turner family of Lafayette, Indiana. Let's start with Cara Putman's "White Christmas". This was the story of Abigail Turner and Jackson Lucas. Abigail is a student at Purdue and works a part-time job at Glatz Candy. When she encounters Jackson she feels he needs a friend and finds herself trying to help him with a family issue. This particular story had a little mystery to it and was a story set in the homefront in the early days of the war.

The second story, "I'll Be Home for Christmas" is the story of Pete Turner, Grace Kessler and her precocious daughter, Linnie. Pete is a Lieutenant and pilot in the Army Air Corps and is home on leave when he encounters Linnie. This story was my favorite of the three mainly because I absolutely fell in love with Linnie. Sarah Sundin created her so well that she stepped off the page, took my hand and invited me into her world. This story was absolutely charming and was also set on the homefront.

The third story, "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" is the only story that was actually set on the war front. It is the story of the youngest Turner daughter, Meredith, or Merry, as her family and friends call her. She is a combat nurse stationed near the front lines in the Netherlands when her story begins. She had been in love while she was going to nursing school and found herself betrayed by a young man she thought she would spend the rest of her life with but one day he disappeared leaving signs behind that he wasn't who she thought he was. 

All three authors have similar voices and at times I had to check to see who had written the portion I was reading. In my opinion, they are all excellent authors and I always look forward to their newest books and I keep their books on my 'keeper' shelf.

The characters in Where Treetops Glisten seem so real and the settings make you feel right at home. I will say that Cara Putman tied all three stories up quite nicely in the Epilogue and I must admit, as I finished the last few words I let out a big sigh. I hated to see the book end.

I would highly recommend When Treetops Glisten to anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction set during WWII and books set during Christmas. To be honest, I believe if you love good fiction in any genre you'll love this book.

On a 5 - Star Scale - 15 HUGE Stars!!!!!  Yes, I said 15, after all there are three authors and I'm giving 5 Stars to each of them. 

I would like to thank Litfuse Publicity and WaterBrook Press for my review copy of When Treetops Glisten. I received my copy for free in order to read and give my honest review, which I have done.


Smiles & Blessings,
 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Surprised by Love by Julie Lessman

First off, I have to say this is the first book I have read by Julie Lessman. I have several in my 'to be read' pile and I can guarantee you, they have been moved closer to the top of my pile. I have heard wonderful things about Ms. Lessman's writing and I can now agree with all the wonderful things people have said about her work. She definitely knows how to weave words into a story that grabs the readers heart and plays with their emotions.

Her newest book, Surprised by Love is the third book in "The Heart of San Francisco" series. I do wish I had read the first two books in the series, but that will come in time. This book is the story of Megan McClare and Bram Hughes. When the story begins, Megan has just arrived home from a year spent in Paris. When Bram, who always thought of her as a little sister, sees how she has matured he is 'surprised by love'. I have to admit, this story line reminds me so much of the story line of Sabrina and Linus in the movie Sabrina. I loved the movie and I loved Ms. Lessman's book.

Ms. Lessman truly has a gift for words and creating believable characters. They are so well developed they breathe the life into her story. Her prose is so lyrical it reads almost like poetry. Am I a fan? Yes! I am!

I would highly recommend Surprised by Love to anyone who enjoys reading a good clean historical novel. I guarantee you, you won't be disappointed.

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

I would like to thank Revell, a division of Baker Publishing, for my review copy of Surprised by Love. I received my copy for free in order to read it and give my honest review, which I have done.

Smiles & Blessings,

Sunday, November 2, 2014

At Bluebonnet Lake by Amanda Cabot

I always enjoy reading authors that are new to me. Especially when they are as gifted as Amanda Cabot. Her newest book, At Bluebonnet Lake, was an enjoyable "feel good" story set in Texas.

Kate Sherwood works in advertising and aspires to become a partner in the firm one day. She is a workaholic so when her grandma Sally wants her to take a month long trip with her to Rainbow's End, Texas, Kate reluctantly agrees. Mostly because she knows Sally's health is fragile. She owes Sally so much because when Kate's parents died when she was young her grandparents, Sally and Larry raised her. 

Sally wants to return to Rainbow's End because she spent one wonderful week there with Larry fifty years before. When they arrive at Rainbow's End, it is not the same. It is run down and in desperate need of repair, but Sally still sees the beauty of it.

The hero is billionaire Greg Vange and when Kater first meets him she believes him to be a maintenance man at the resort.

I truly loved this story, it was simple but enjoyable. Besides Kate and Greg's story, the reader is also treated to a love story between Sally and Roy. The stories were woven together and left a smile on my face. 

The characters were well developed and interacted well with each other and I must say when I closed the book they all left a smile on my face.

I would highly recommend At Bluebonnet Lake to anyone who enjoys a good Christian contemporary love story.

On a 5-Star Scale - 4 1/2 Stars!!!!

I would like to thank Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, for my copy of At Bluebonnet Lake. I received my copy for free in order to read and give my honest review, which I have done.

Smiles & Blessings,


Playing by Heart by Anne Mateer

Reading Playing by Heart by Anne Mateer was my first experience with this author. While I enjoyed this book, I'm not sure I really enjoyed the 'first person' telling of the story. Each chapter has a header of who's mind we are in throughout that chapter. I have read some books before written in first person but the author left it to the reader to know whose head we were in and I prefer that form of first person writing.

With all that said, the story in Playing by Heart was well told. It is the story of Lula Bowman, a mathematics teacher and student working towards her PhD and Chet Vaughn, a teacher and basketball coach.  Lula's sister loses her husband and she is called back to her Oklahoma home town to help her sister get through this rough time. Lula's other siblings believe Lula should give up her dream of obtaining her PhD in order to help their sister Jewel. All her siblings appeared to be very selfish and self-absorbed. Chet Vaughn lived in Lula's hometown and while he would have loved to gone to war like his brother, he stayed behind to tend to his mother.

The characters were well developed and the reader is drawn into their world easily. Lula's character was based on both of Ms. Mateer's grandmothers, which I found quite interesting.

In my opinion, the love story between Lula and Chet took a little longer than I would have liked but the important thing is it did happen eventually. 

There are some plot twists in this story that were unexpected but added to the story quite nicely.

While it wasn't one of my favorite books, I would recommend Playing by Heart to anyone who enjoys reading Christian historical romance novels.

On a 5-Star Scale - 4 Stars.

I would like to thank Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group, for my copy of Playing by Heart. I received my copy for free in order to read it and give my honest review, which I have done.

Smiles & Blessings,

Monday, October 27, 2014

CFBA - Quilted by Christmas by Jodie Bailey





This week, the




is introducing




Abingdon Press (October 21, 2014)


by



ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 




A note from the Author: Well, I’m a regular ol’ person. Who just happens to write. A lot. Probably more than I should. I firmly believe that God created me to be a writer. From the time I learned how to string letters together into words I’ve been making up stories. Believe me… I have a very rich imagination. I used to think I was weird; now I know God just put me together that way. I can’t even watch commercials without expanding them into stories in my head. I am humbled and honored all at the same time that God looked down from heaven on me and said, “Jodie, do what you love.” Wow… how awesome is that?

I have always loved to write. I have stories that I wrote when I was in first grade. I used to sit at my grandmother’s yellow electric typewriter for hours, banging out my own little stories. When I was eleven, she bought me a typewriter of my own (It was 1984, okay?) and I would write and write on it. I wrote stories out by hand, and they ran to hundreds of pages. I got my first computer when I was eighteen, and the first thing I did was write a story on it. I wrote for school. I wrote for fun. I wrote for my friends. I’d get them on the phone and make up stories for them. (I earned the nickname “Dreamweaver” for that one. Nobody calls me that anymore, but it still stands as the coolest nickname I ever had.)

ABOUT THE BOOK




Taryn McKenna believes she’s easy to forget. Abandoned by her parents and left behind when her high school sweetheart joined the army, she vows to never love again and throws herself into her love for the outdoors and the pursuit of a college degree—something no one else in her family has ever accomplished. Her goal, as a young teacher in the hills of North Carolina, is to leave a legacy in the lives of the middle-schoolers she teaches. When Taryn’s grandmother Jemma, the only other person who ever held her close, has a heart attack that reveals a fatal medical condition, Taryn is corralled into helping Grandma work on a final project—an Irish chain quilt that tells the story of her history and the love Jemma knows is out there for Taryn. As the pieces of the quilt come together, Taryn begins to see her value. Can she learn to believe that God will never leave her behind even though others have?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Quilted by Christmas, go
HERE.


My Thoughts:

I have always been a huge fan of books set during Christmas and I really love the Quilts of Love series. I just wish I could say I loved this book but I didn't. I liked it but I just couldn't get into the characters. 

The plot was well thought out and the characters were likable enough, but I just couldn't connect with them. I wanted to, but it never happened. That rarely happens for me when reading a book and I always feel so disappointed and sad because I know the author poured themselves into the pages.

If you like books about Christmas and the Quilts of Love series you may find this book a great read.

On a 5-Star Scale = 3 1/2 Stars.

I would like to thank Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and Abingdon Fiction for my copy of Quilted by Christmas. I received my copy for free in order to read it and give my honest review, which I have done.

Smiles & Blessings,

Saturday, October 25, 2014

A Promise to Protect by Patricia Bradley

A good suspense novel is always difficult for me to pass up, especially when it is the second in a series and I loved the first in the series. Patricia Bradley's debut novel, Shadows of the Past (read my review here) was an excellent book so when given the opportunity to read her sophomore offering, A Promise to Protect, the second book in her "Logan Point" series I, of course, jumped at the chance. 

A Promise to Protect is the story of Dr. Leigh Somerall and acting Sheriff Ben Logan. Ten years prior to the start of the story, these two characters shared a relationship that ended abruptly hurting them both. Fast forward to current day and Dr. Somerall has a secret she is trying to protect and fears someone will find out. Sheriff Logan has a bad memory he is trying to forget that is causing him to have a fear of his own. Both characters have to face their fears head on. Will they be able to get past their fears and move forward with their lives?

I love characters that pull me into their world and keep me there until the last page is turned. Ms. Bradley has created well developed characters that seem real and keep the story moving forward. The secondary characters in the book are just as real and entertaining.

This is a story of secret betrayals, forgiveness and second chances at love. It is a story that will have you rooting for the characters and cheering them on to their happily ever after.

If you enjoy a good suspense novel, I would highly recommend picking up a copy of A Promise to Protect. Due to an indiscretion in the characters lives prior to the start of the story, I would suggest this be a novel for mature readers.

I would like to thank Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, for my copy of A Promise to Protect. I received my copy for free in order to read it and give my honest review, which I have done.

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

Smiles & Blessings,

Monday, October 20, 2014

CFBA - Finding Mercy by Michael Landon Jr. & Cindy Kelley





This week, the




is introducing




David C. Cook (October 1, 2014)


by



ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 




Michael Landon Jr., son of television legend Michael Landon, is an award-winning storyteller, first in television and film, and now in books. His print works include One More Sunrise co-written with Tracie Peterson. 


****



Cindy Kelley is the co-author of the novel The Silent Gift, and Traces of Mercy. Her career as a screenwriter with long-time writing partner, Michael Landon, Jr., began with the adaptation of Margery Williams’ classic story, The Velveteen Rabbit, which had a theatrical release. Several television movies followed, most notably Love Comes Softly, (based on Janette Oke’s novel) which won a CAMIE Award and the Epiphany Prize for Movie Guide’s most inspirational television movie of 2003. Cindy and her husband, Jim, make their home in the Southwest; have three adorable grandchildren and four big dogs who rule the house. 

ABOUT THE BOOK




When Mercy abandons Captain Elijah Hale to search for her true identity, he goes after her. With the threat that bounty hunters might be hot on her trail, Mercy does all she can to stay ahead of the danger, frustrating both the bad men who are after her—and Captain Hale who wants to find her and escort her safely home. But when she stumbles upon clues that help her learn who she is and where she's from, the danger escalates and she has to learn to keep her friends close and her enemies even closer—if she can determine which is which!

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Finding Mercy, go HERE.


My Thoughts:

After reading Traces of Mercy by Michael Landon Jr. & Cindy Kelley (read my review here). I couldn't pass up the second book in the "The Medallion Trilogy", Finding Mercy. While I thoroughly enjoyed the first in the series I absolutely loved the second in the series.

Set during the post Civil War period, Finding Mercy is the story of Mercy, a young woman with amnesia, and Army Captain Elijah Hale. I met these two wonderful characters in the first book of the series and I liked them. But I have to say that the authors revealed so much more of their characters in this book that they came to life for me and I hated to let them go. But since the series is a trilogy I can only hope that they will return in the third book.

Finding Mercy is a story of discovery, old secrets, the war torn South, forgiveness, faith and love. There was so much packed into this book that I could hardly wait to find out what happened next. I will say, in my humble opinion, this book would make a wonderful movie.

If you enjoy reading historical novels, especially set during the post Civil War period, you will love this book. It is packed with history of the issues people faced in the South following the Civil War. 

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

I would like to thank Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and David C. Cook publishers for my copy of Finding Mercy. I received my copy for free in order to read and give my honest review, which I have done.

Smiles & Blessings,

Saturday, October 18, 2014

NIV Once-a-Day Bible For Leaders

NIV Once-a-Day Bible for Leaders is a Bible that is broken down into 365 daily readings. Each day you will have a portion of the Old Testament, New Testament and either Psalms or Proverbs. Because it is set up by days, you can easily read through the Bible in one year.

I have had once-a-day Bibles before that are set up by actual dates such as January 1st, November 21st, etc. I have to say I prefer having them simply say, Day 1, Day 325 etc. This way if a person starts the Bible on April 28th, they can begin on Day 1 instead of moving through the Bible to April 28th. Some people probably would still start on January 1 but I'm not one of those people. :)

The one thing that sets this Bible apart from others is it has a section at the end of each day entitled "Reflections". These segments are written by different people within the Christian community. Some I have heard of, in fact, one is the pastor I used to have when I lived in California But there are some others I"m learning from for the first time. The reflections are all very insightful.

I would highly suggest this Bible to anyone looking for a once-a-day Bible even if you aren't in management or a leadership position.

I would like to thank BookLook Bloggers and Zondervan for my copy of NIV Once-a-Day Bible for Leaders. I received my copy for free in order to give my honest review, which I have done.

Smiles & Blessings,

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Deceived by Irene Hannon

Reading suspense novels by Irene Hannon is always such a treat for me. Her newest novel, Deceived, is the third book in her "Private Justice" series and in my humble opinion it is another winner! The first book in the series is Vanished (read my review here) and the second book in the series is Trapped (read my review here).

Deceived is the story of Kate Marshall, a woman who lost her husband and four year old son in a boating accident three years prior to the start of the story. She now lives in St. Louis and while on a shopping trip to the mall she hears a young boy ask his father for a poppysicle. This was a term her son always used for popsicle so it got her attention. She is going one direction on the escalator and when she turns and looks she sees a young boy that looks just like her son with hair the same color as her own going in the opposite direction. She calls her son's name and and little boy turns. Before she can turn around and go after him, he and the man he was with disappear into the crowd. Not sure what to believe, she contacts law enforcement but they don't believe that the little boy she saw was really her son. So she contacts Connor Sullivan, a Private Investigator with Phoenix, Inc. While he is a little skeptical, when he hears her story, he agrees to try to find the boy. This is the foundation for Deceived.

My heart went out to Kate Marshall.While being strong, she was very vulnerable and I was rooting for her throughout the book. As for Conner Sullivan, I loved his character. He is a strong former Secret Service agent who was drawn to Kate from the very beginning. They both are complex characters and I loved how Ms. Hannon revealed their character to the reader.

Irene Hannon's suspense novels are known to have a few twists and turns in the plotline and she doesn't disappoint the reader with this novel. There were times I found myself on the edge of my seat waiting for what was to come next. Just when I thought I knew how it was going to end I was surprised.

Riveting plotline, captivating complex characters and a Christian thread are found in Deceived. This is a must read for anyone who enjoys good Christian suspense fiction. I would highly recommend this book.

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

I would like to thank Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. I received my copy of Deceived for free in order to read it and give my honest review, which I have done.

Smiles & Blessings,

Monday, September 22, 2014

CFBA -Hidden in the Stars by Robin Caroll





This week, the




is introducing




Abingdon Press (September 16, 2014)


by






ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Born and raised in Louisiana, Robin Caroll is a southerner through and through. Her passion has always been to tell stories to entertain others. Robin’s mother, bless her heart, is a genealogist who instilled in Robin the deep love of family and pride of heritage—two aspects Robin weaves into each of her books.

When she isn’t writing, Robin spends time with her husband of twenty-plus years, her 3 beautiful daughters, 2 precious grandsons, and their character-filled pets at home—in the South, where else? 




ABOUT THE BOOK

Following an attack that killed her mother and stole her ability to speak, 21-year-old Sophia Montgomery has no choice but to accept her estranged grandmother’s offer to return to their family home. Although detective Julian Frazier is working hard on the case, Sophia unknowingly frustrates him because her inability to speak thwarts her eyewitness evidence. The fact that Julian is undeniably attracted to Sophia doesn’t help either, so Julian hides his feelings as concern for a trauma victim and focuses instead on finding the killer.

Little do they know, the clues to solving the case may be right in front of them, displayed in Sophia’s mother’s “special” quilt design. Who will realize the secret Sophia’s unwittingly been hiding in plain sight? When the truth comes to light, will Sophia find her voice again? Or will the murderer—still at large—silence her forever? 

If you would like to read the first chapter of Hidden in the Stars, go HERE.

My Thoughts:

I haven't read anything by Robin Caroll for awhile but reading Hidden in the Stars reminded me of how much I love her work. 

This book is the story of a young woman, Sophia Montgomery, who is brutally attacked and loses her ability to speak. During the attack her mother is also killed. This all sets the story up for a great suspenseful journey. Detective Julian Frazier takes on the case and from the first moment they appear together on the written page, a chemistry develops.


This was a book that was difficult for me to put down. I loved Ms. Caroll's characters and the Christian thread in the book. The fact that she used some Russian words throughout intrigued me as I love languages and learning a few words here and there is fun for me.


I would highly recommend Hidden in the Stars to anyone who enjoys a good clean suspense novel.


On a 5-Star Scale - 5 Stars!!!!!  


I would like to thank Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my copy of Hidden in the Stars. I received my copy for free in order to read it and give my honest review which I have done.


Smiles & Blessings,

The Stress Cure by Linda Evans Shepherd

Unfortunately, I, like many other people in the world, have a tendency to suffer from stress. So when I had an opportunity to read Linda Evans Shepherd's book, The Stress Cure, Praying Your Way to Personal Peace. I couldn't resist. I must say this book was quite insightful.

Ms. Shepherd makes the point that many people love to offer advice to those who suffer from stress. Anything from eating right and sleeping more. She lets the reader know that what the person suffering from stress needs is a cure and that cure is prayer.

In The Stress Cure, Ms. Shepherd reveals to the reader how to recognize the presence of God in our lives and how we should release our stress to Him. She breaks the book up into twelve chapters that cover being overwhelmed, stuck frustrated, burdened, hopeless, offended, anxious, negative, distracted, and depressed. I loved the way she ends each chapter with the same subtitles, 'Shine the Light of the Word, Yielding Prayer for the (chapter title), Shine the Light, Yield, Forgive, Give It All to God, Pray for Healing, Exchange the Enemy's Work for God's Peace and Praise God - You Are Free!'. Because of the way the chapters are geared towards a certain topic of stress, you can go directly to the area you need the most help and read and re-read that particular chapter. 

There are many stories throughout the pages which helps keep the readers interest. She even references a scene with Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark in the book. She also takes passages and sets them in blocks withing the pages bringing those thoughts to the attention of the reader. I think one of my favorites was found on page 128 and says, "When we look to Jesus, instead of concentrating on our worries and fears, Jesus will give us His peace as our worries and fears fade away".

I would highly suggest this book to anyone who suffers from stress. 

On a 5-Star Scale - 4 Stars. ****

I would like to thank Revell, a division of Baker Publishing for my copy of The Stress Cure. I received my copy for free in order to read it and give my honest review, which I have done.

Smiles & Blessings,

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Tried & True by Mary Connealy


When you pick up a book by Mary Connealy, you pretty much know what to expect, a good clean read filled with humor, love and excitement with a few cowboys thrown in the mix. Her newest book fits that description to a T.  Tried & True  is the first book in her Wild at Heart series.

This first book in the series is about Kylie Wilde, the youngest of the sisters and Aaron Masterson, the local land agent. Sparks fly between these two from the first moment they meet. I couldn't help but fall in love with these two masterfully created characters.

Ms. Connealy has a talent for creating humor within her stories and let me tell you, a giggle slipped out a few times as I read this wonderful book. I also found myself on the edge of my seat when some 'surprises' presented themselves.

I have to say that one of the things I enjoyed the most about Tried & True is the wonderful cast of characters. Ms. Connealy has created a cast that makes the reader eager to read the rest of their stories. 

Tried & True is a well paced story that entertains the reader from start to finish. I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading clean, fun, historical novels.

On a 5-Star scale = *****

I would like to thank Litfuse Publicity and Bethany House for my copy of Tried & True. I received my copy for free in order to read it and give my honest review, which I have done.

Smiles & Blessings,

Before Amen by Max Lucado


Max Lucado's newest book, Before Amen, The Power of a Simple Prayer,  is a "how to" book about prayer. For anyone who has ever wondered how to approach God in prayer or just simply how to pray, this book is for you.

The book is small consisting of nine simple to read chapters.

  1. The Pocket Prayer
  2. Father...Daddy
  3. You Are Good
  4. I Need Help
  5. Heal Me
  6. Forgive Me
  7. They Need Help
  8. Thank You
  9. In Jesus' Name, Amen
I loved the way Mr. Lucado started chapter one, "Hello my name is Max. I'm a recovering prayer wimp. I doze off when I pray. My thoughts zig, then zag, then zig again." I could have made that same statement entering 'Cindy' for Max. Let's be honest, I'm sure some of you out there start prying at bedtime and the next thing you know you are waking up and never said 'amen'. Or you're in church and the pastor is leading prayer and your mind zig's to what to fix for lunch or where you plan to go after church. I'm sure most of us have been there before. If you find this to be true for yourself, this book is for you.

Mr. Lucado shares about the different types of prayer and how we should pray during the times that are the hardest. In the first chapter, he shares with the reader his "Pocket-size Prayer". This prayer is easy to remember and should help the person who feels they don't know how to pray get started.

So many times I have heard people say, 'I don't know how to pray'. Believe me there are many people in the world that feel that way. Mr. Lucado explains, "God will teach you to pray." He also goes on to tell the reader, "Prayer is simply a heartfelt conversation between God and his child". 

I enjoy Max Lucado's writing. It is simple for the reader to understand. In fact, it's like he is sitting across the room talking with you. His explanations are clear and easily understood.

I would highly recommend Before Amen to anyone who wants a clear picture of praying. I truly enjoyed this book.

On a 5-Star scale - *****

I would like to thank Litfuse Publicity and Thomas Nelson Publishers for my advanced reader's copy of Before Amen. I received my copy for free in order to read it and give my honest review, which I have done.


Smiles & Blessings,