Sunday, April 27, 2014

For Such a Time by Kate Breslin

 I have always been a fan of debut novels. One thing I love about them is the opportunity to discover a new voice, someone I will want to follow in their future novels. So when given the opportunity to read and review For Such a Time by Kate Breslin, I jumped at the chancce. I can honestly say her book touched my heart at the deepest level and I can hardly wait to read more by this very talented debut novelist.

For Such a Time is set during World War II and takes place over a little less than a months time in the year 1944. It is the story of SS Kommandant Aric von Schmidt and Hadassah Benjamin, who early in the novel, goes by the alias of Stella Muller in order to protect herself because of her Jewish heritage. Aric rescues Stella from being shot while she was a prisoner at Dachau. He takes her to his aunt's house where she is kept locked in a room. In time, Aric comes and takes her to the camp he is the commandant for, Theresienstadt, another prisoner camp that is known as a paradise ghetto, but it is just as bad as the rest of the camps that kept the Jewish people prisoners simply because they were Jewish. Aric tells her she is to be his secretary and will live in his home outside the walls of the 'ghetto'. 

Stella's parents died when she was very young and she was then raised by her uncle Mordecai. She soon finds out that her Uncle Morty is a prisoner in the Theresienstadt prison camp. She is able to see him on rare occasions and in the end they work together to escape the camp.

Aric is an Austrian who has had a difficult life. Stella is a Jew who is living a difficult life. Together they find that barriers between the Nazis and Jews can be torn down and they can coexist, after all, they are both human. 

Ms. Breslin based her story on the Book of Esther in the Bible. It's almost as if she used the Book of Esther as her outline for her masterful first novel.  She did a phenomenal job!

I could go on and on about all that happens but I don't believe in handing out spoilers, but I will say one thing, Please take a look at the cove on the novel. You will find that the red hair, pearls and the tattered Bible all play a significant part in the telling of this wonderful story.

I would highly recommend For Such a Time to any adults who love a good, well researched historical novel. Due to the topic of the killing of the Jewish people, I wouldn't suggest this to younger children.

I would like to say one more thing, this is without a doubt, the best book I have read since reading Francine Rivers' book, Redeeming Love. It is a book filled with forgiveness, trust, perseverance and love. I loved all the characters but I was particularly drawn to Aric. Ms. Breslin's words brought him to life for me. Remarkable!

I would like to thank the publisher, Bethany House, for my review copy of For Such a Time. I received my copy for free in order to read and give my honest opinion which I have done.

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

Smiles & Blessings,

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Bodyguard Reunion by Margaret Daley

I am a huge fan of Margaret Daley's work and when given the opportunity to read and review her newest release, Bodyguard Reunion, I jumped at the chance. As usual with anything written by Ms. Daley, I fell in love with her characters and their story.

Bodyguard Reunion is the story of Chloe Howard and T.J. Davenport. These two characters come into this story carrying a past with them, a shared past. They had previously worked together and fell in love only to separate after the case was completed. They now find themselves partnered up again as bodyguards for Paul and Mary Zimmerman, a couple who is quite controversial and currently on a book tour. 

While working together to protect the Zimmerman's, Chloe and T.J. find their old feelings stirring back up again but realize they have to keep their feeling in check or risk botching their jobs as bodyguards.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Bodyguard Reunion  and would highly recommend it to anyone who loves to read a good clean romantic suspense novel.

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

I would like to thank the author, Margaret Daley for my copy of Bodyguard Reunion. I received my copy for free in order to read it and give my honest opinion which I have done.

Smiles & Blessings,

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Critical Condition by Richard L. Mabry, M.D.

Medical Suspense at it's finest! In my humble opinion, Dr. Mabry has yet another hit on his hands. Personally, I believe his newest release, Critical Condition, is his best novel to date.

In the Prologue, Shannon Frasier is a medical student who loses her soon-to-be fiance in a drive by shooting. Unable to honor his last words, "Help me!" she finds that the words tend to 'haunt' her. Fast forward ten years, Dr. Frasier is now a General Surgeon and dating Dr. Mark Gilbert, a pathologist on staff at the hospital she works at. They love each other and Mark would like nothing more than to marry Shannon, but something is holding her back.

In Chapter One, Shannon is holding a dinner party at her house to celebrate the final day of Dr. Le Duan (Lee) Kai's residency. Lee, his wife Ann, Mark and Shannon are sitting at the dinner table and as Shannon raises her glass to offer a toast for Lee, they hear three flat cracks. Since it is the 4th of July weekend Shannon thinks someone has gotten an early start on the celebration. The fact that the cracks were so quick in a row prompts them all to head to the door to check things out. What they find is a man laying in the yard with gunshot wounds. Shannon and Lee run out to him and Lee calls back to Mark to call 911. Before the police and EMTs can get there the man passes away. But before he does, he whispers something that only Lee and Shannon heard and then says to Shannon, "Help me".

I will say that there are many twists and turns in this book making you think everything is tied together one minute and then in another minute you start questioning things and begin thinking everything is unrelated. Oh my it was a wonderful suspenseful ride!  

For anyone who enjoys a fast paced suspenseful read you must pick up a copy of Critical Condition. I guarantee that you will not be disappointed.  It is a wonderful, clean read that will keep you up turning the pages as fast as you can.

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

I would like to thank Litfuse Publicity and Thomas Nelson for my review copy of Critical Condition. I received my copy for free in order to read it and give my honest review, which I have done.

Smiles & Blessings,

Monday, April 21, 2014

A Sensible Arrangement by Tracie Peterson

I have to say that I love a good "Mail Order Bride" story and A Sensible Arrangement, the first book in Tracie Peterson's "Lone Star Brides" series,  was absolutely wonderful!

Martha Dandridge Olson's mother died when she was born and her father died when she was only five years old. She and her brother Andy, were raised by their older sister Hannah.  Andy now lives with his family in Wyoming. Martha, or Marty, as she is called, was given part of the family ranch in Texas. She married and unfortunately never had children due to several miscarriages with her husband Thomas.

As the story begins, Marty is a widow, having lost Thomas to the goring of a Longhorn Steer. She has come to hate her ranch and her native Texas and can only think to escape by moving away. She answers an advertisement for a Mail Order Bride in which one Jacob Wythe, a widower from Colorago was looking for a girl from Texas to marry him in a marriage of convenience. Without letting her family know she lies and tells them she is going to Colorado to visit some old friends.

Jacob Wythe, who goes by Jake, is a Banker but his heart lies in his native Texas. He hopes to one day save up enough money to buy a ranch in Texas but for the time being he has to continue working for Mr. Morgan and his bank.

Marty take the stagecoach to Denver and just before arriving a couple of robbers try to commandeer the stage, shooting both the driver and the shotgun rider.  Marty pulls a revolver out of her carpetbag and begins to shoot at the would-be robbers. Once the robbers flee, Marty climbs up on top and drives the stagecoach the rest of the way into Denver. This makes for a grand entrance on her part.

Being a bank manager put Jake and Marty in a higher class of society and it seems Jake's boss, Mr. Morgan, while he is good to Jake financially, he demands a lot from him and Marty. I personally did not like Mr. Morgan.

Marty has a bad habit of telling lies or not divulging information that should be told. Such as the fact that Marty owns a ranch and Jake yearns for the day to have enough money to buy a ranch back in Texas. Marty finally asks her sister if her husband would buy Marty's ranch. The guilt begins to eat her up inside and she battles with herself on whether she should let Jake know about the ranch. Once she realizes that she loves Jake and he loves her she tells Jake about the ranch and well, lets just say she broke his heart.  

There is a small suspenseful thread that ran through the book and unfortunately it wasn't totally tied up by the end of the book. Which of course means I can't wait to read book two in the series, Moment in Time, which is scheduled to release June 3, 2014.

Ms. Peterson has created extremely believable characters who both had their demons to battle.
I would highly recommend A Sensible Arrangement  to anyone who loves good clean fiction and especially Mail Order Bride stories.

On a 5-Star Scale = 5 HUGE Stars!!!!!  I loved this book!

I would like to thank Litfuse Publishing and Bethany House 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,

Thursday, April 17, 2014

CFBA - Lip Reading by Harry Kraus M.D.

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Lip Reading

David C. Cook (March 1, 2014)


Harry Kraus


A Word from Harry:

I started writing my first novel during my last year of surgery training at UK. I was a chief resident, and started writing Stainless Steal Hearts in a call room at the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Lexington. It was a crazy time to write! I had a very demanding schedule, often spending days and nights in the hospital. I had two sons at that time, and I recognized the wisdom in my wife's urging: "Now doesn't seem the right time for this dream."

My experience as a writer is far from typical. Having received my formal training in biology and chemistry and medicine, my only preparation for a writing career was a love for reading. The longest thing I'd written before my first novel was a term paper in undergraduate school. My first novel was accepted by Crossway Books and published in 1994, and it wasn't until after I had FOUR published novels that I even opened a book of instruction about the craft of writing fiction. This is not what I recommend to others! Yes, I was successful, but I was bending the "rules" without knowing it. I had a natural talent for plotting, but I realize my initial success may have stunted my growth as a writer. I'd have made faster progress if I'd have gone to the fiction teachers sooner.

I have three sons: Joel, Evan, and Samuel. Look closely in all of my books and you'll see them there. My lovely wife, Kris, provides the basic composition for all those beautiful, athletic, dedicated women in my novels.


She Could Save Millions, or Save Herself

She just needs a little longer. She’s really close. Dr. Rebecca Jackson, a medical researcher, stands on the verge of a breakthrough that will transform medicine. But she soon discovers the reason behind the miraculous progress in her research, and it leaves her with a nearly impossible choice . . . and little time to decide. More than her research is at stake. And more threatens it than this latest revelation. Something she’s tried hard to cover up. There is a high cost to some things in medicine and it’s not always the patient who pays. Can Rebecca find the faith and wisdom she needs to make the right call? The clock is ticking and the pressure is on.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Lip Reading, go HERE.


When I had the opportunity to review Lip Reading, by Dr. Harry Kraus, I jumped at the chance.  Afterall, I studied sign language for many years and lip reading became part of signing. This book has nothing to do with the deaf or sign language. I must say at first I was disappointed but as I climbed further into the book it didn't matter.

Dr. Rebecca Jackson appeared to be a vain and selfish person when the book starts but Dr. Kraus allowed the reader to experience her road to salvation and the beautiful transformation that took place. Dr. Noah Linebrink loved her in high school and still loves her.  Becca would like a chance at love again, love with Noah, but will she have the chance? I was rooting for them all the way.

Dr. Kraus made me care about Becca and Noah, I mean really care about them. They became real on the written page. Melissa, an old friend of both Becca and Noah was not a character that endeared herself to me. Her character always came off as a jealous person who always wanted Noah for herself and she was standing in the wings waiting for just the right moment to pounce. Since I don't give out spoilers.

I must say, Dr. Kraus has presented the reader with an extremely well written Christian Suspense novel that will reach out, grab the reader, and pull them into the story.  Beware, a box of Kleenex may be required when reading Lip Reading as tears may well be shed. Happy tears or sad tears, I cannot say as I never give out spoilers.

I would highly recommend Lip Reading to mature readers who enjoy a good Christian Suspense.

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

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

Smiles & Blessings,

Sunday, April 6, 2014

What Follows After - a novel by Dan Walsh

It's no secret that I love the work of Dan Walsh so when given the chance to read and review his newest book, What Follows After, I couldn't turn it down. I will definitely say that Mr. Walsh has another hit on his hands. From start to finish I was on an emotional roller coaster and while I steer clear of real roller coasters, this journey was well worth it.

What Follows After is a story of trust, family values and the rediscovery of what matters most in life. Mr. Walsh introduces us to the Harrison family. A family of four torn apart by lies and miscommunication. When the story begins, Scott and Gina Harrison are separated because of what Gina saw and believed to be a illicit affair. Their two sons, Colt and Timmy are caught in the struggle of trying to maintain appearances.  Scott and Gina show up to family get togethers as if they are still together and have their sons lie about it. The boys have finally had enough and Colt devises a plan to run away to their aunt and uncle's house in Georgia.

While Colt and Timmy are on their journey, the bus makes a stop so the passengers can grab a bite to eat and stretch their legs. Colt has to go to the restroom and while he is in the restroom, Timmy disappears.  A waitress tells Colt that Timmy left with his father, who had bought him several comic books. Timmy runs outside just in time to see his little brother riding away on a different bus going back the way they just came.

The main part of the story is the search for little Timmy, but Mr. Walsh weaves so much more into the story.  The emotions of a little boy who feels it is his fault his brother was kidnapped. A father and mother who want so much to be consoled during this time but are afraid to reach out to one another. The emotions were expressed so well, that they seemed truly real.

Mr. Walsh has a way of creating believable well rounded characters that tend to become real to the reader. I love it when an author creates characters that can pull the reader in and make them become one with the story. Mr. Walsh does this so very well.

One thing that caught my attention in reading What Follows After, is Mr. Walsh brought back a character he introduced in his book, The Discovery, FBI agent, Victor Hammond. I appreciated getting to know this character a little more.

I would highly recommend What Follows After to anyone who enjoys a good clean read.

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 What Follows After. I received my copy for free in order to read it and give my honest review, which I have done.

Smiles & Blessings,

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Dancing with Fireflies by Denise Hunter

I absolutely loved Dancing with Fireflies by Denise Hunter. Not just part of it but everything about it. From the characters to the setting I loved it. Okay, with that out of the way, Dancing with Fireflies is Denise Hunter's second book in her Chapel Springs Romance series. I must admit I have yet to read the first book in the series, Barefoot Summer, but I do plan on reading it in the near future.

After suffering a tragic event, Jade McKinley comes home to Chapel Springs, Indiana, harboring a secret that will not remain a secret for long. She had hoped to make a life for herself somewhere other than Chapel Springs but finding herself pregnant, alone, and broke she decides to go home.

Daniel Dawson is the mayor of Chapel Springs and has been a lifetime friend of Jade's family. In fact he has been considered an honorary member of the family for years. When Jade arrives home, she turns to him for help and in so doing she reveals that she is pregnant. Daniel does whatever he can to help her because, unbeknownst to Jade, Daniel has been in love with her for years.

Ms. Hunter has masterfully created a story that will touch you deep down in your heart. In this story of faith, hope, love and forgiveness, the characters jump off the pages and pull the reader into their story. You feel their love, their pain and you want to grab them by the shoulders and tell them to open their eyes. But in the end they do, with no help from the reader. 

As mentioned above, I loved this book.  I loved the images Ms. Hunter painted in my mind throughout the book, especially seeing a little girl 'dancing with fireflies'. I totally fell in love with the characters of Jade and Daniel. They were so well written that they became real to me. I can hardly wait for book three in the series, The Wishing Season (releases Winter 2014).

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

I would like to thank Litfuse Publishing and Thomas Nelson for my review copy of Dancing with Fireflies. I received my copy for free in order to read it and give my honest review, which I have done.

Smiles & Blessings,