Monday, September 22, 2014

CFBA -Hidden in the Stars by Robin Caroll

This week, the

is introducing

Abingdon Press (September 16, 2014)



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? 


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,

Monday, September 15, 2014

CFBA - The Curious Case of the Missing Figurehead by Diane Noble

This week, the

is introducing

David C. Cook (September 1, 2014)



Award-winning novelist Diane Noble writes stories that tap into the secrets of the heart. 

With more than a quarter million books in print, Diane feels incredibly blessed to be doing what she loves best—writing the stories of her heart.

For the last three years Diane has been honored to be lead author for the popular Guideposts series, Mystery and the Minister’s Wife (Through the Fire, Angels Undercover), and has recently returned to writing historical fiction. She recently finished writing book two of her new historical series, The Brides of Gabriel. Book one, The Sister Wife, and book 2, The Betrayal, which are published by Harper Collins/Avon Inspire, are now in bookstores.

Now empty nesters, Diane and her husband live in the Southern California low desert, near a place known for the lush and beautiful gated communities of the rich and famous.


She’s Passionate about Solving the Case ... with the Town’s Life-Long Bachelor

El Littllefield runs The Butler Did It catering. It’s the perfect cover for her to solve “who-done-its” (nothing too dangerous, please!) in this small university town nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. While catering her most important event yet—a fancy retirement dinner for Dr. Max Haverhill, life-long bachelor and history dean—countless guests fall ill, a 200 year-old relic is stolen, and her best friend vanishes. All in the first hour.

As El and Max race to solve the mystery, they discover there’s more to their relationship than simply solving the case. Welcome to Eden’s Bridge—the perfect small town setting for big intrigue, romance, and humor.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Curious Case of the Missing Figurehead, go HERE

My Thoughts:

I love a good mystery and especially one that pulls me into the story from the very first page. I loved that we were taken back to Paris, France during WWII in the first chapter. This pulled me into the story right off and it set the pace for what was to come.

This was my first experience in reading a novel by Diane Noble but I'm sure I will be reading more of her work in the future. She has created wonderful quirky characters that endear themselves to the reader.

I would highly recommend reading  The Curious Case of the Missing Figurehead to anyone who loves a good mystery.

I would like to thank Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my copy of The Curious Case of the Missing Figurehead. I received my copy for free in order to read it and give my honest review, which I have done.

Smiles & Blessings,

Monday, September 8, 2014

Nowhere to Turn by Lynette Eason

NOWHERE TO TURN (Hidden Identity book 2)
    Lynette Eason
Realease Date:  
    September 2, 2014
    Romantic Suspense
    320 pages
My Rating:

My Expectations:

Blurb from the back of the book

She thought her days of hiding were over... but the danger has just begun.
The day Danielle Harding takes her eleven-year-old son and flees from her abusive husband is the same day Kurt Harding dies. A relieved Dani belies she and her son are finally safe -- but in reality, things are just heating up. When Kurt was alive, he took something important from a mysterious individual -- who wants the item back and believes Dani now has it. As she and her son run for their lives, they have nowhere to turn, until she hires Adam Buchanan of Operation Refuge and goes into hiding. Unfortunately, she won't be able to hide for long...

The Reason I Wanted to Read this Book

I have read many of Lynette Eason's books and loved everyone. I also read the first book in the series, No One to Trust (read my review here), so I pretty well knew what to expect.

Romantic Suspsense is my favorite genre to read.

I'm often drawn to cover art and the cover of Nowhere to Turn is intriguing. Notice the man's shadow?

My Expectations:

Having read the first book in the "Hidden Identity: series, I expected a fast paced suspenseful novel filled with several twists and turns that would keep me glued to the edge of my seat.

I expected characters that, although fiction, seem completely real and believable.

Adam Buchanan, the male lead, had a small but very important part in the first book of the series. I was hoping to see his character be redeemed in book two.


Did the author fulfull my expectations?

In one word... YES! From the first sentence to the last, Ms. Eason took me on an adventurous, suspenseful journey. Her writing was superb, her lead characters had romantic sparks flying almost from the beginning and the Christian thread worked well within the story.

There are times, when I am reading a book, that the author doesn't capture my interest with their dialogue. In those cases, I find myself thinking of how I could take the story and make it different. When that happens I don't always enjoy the book as much as I would like. I can honestly say Nowhere to Turn flowed from start to finish with well written dialogue that didn't sound forced. When dialogue works, the characters appear real and bring their story to life.

Ms. Eason has a knack for creating well developed, believable characters that do bring her stories to life. Danielle (Dani) Harding's life was falling apart when she first meets Adam Buchanan. Although subtle at first, there were sparks from the beginning. Ms. Eason allowed her characters to grow and learn about each other slowly during their fast paced journey.

Nowhere to Turn, as in all of Lynette Eason's books, is a page-turner that keeps the reader on the edge of their seats. The tension of the story is strong and what sets the pace of the story from start to finish. While the characters help move the story along, the story is driven by the story line itself.

As previously mentioned, the romantic story line started slow, but this is due to the circumstances surrounding why Dani & Adam are together. I wouldn't say there was a lot of romantic tension in this book but there is definitely a lot of suspenseful tension.

While at times the story seemed a little predictable to me, Ms. Eason kept me engaged until the end. I would highly recommend reading Nowhere to Turn. It is a book that I believe would appeal to anyone who enjoys suspenseful fiction.

Lynette Eason has created another exceptional suspenseful novel that takes her readers on an extremely eventful trip. I look forward to the next book in this series, No Place to Hide, which is due out in Summer of 2015.

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

Smiles & Blessings,

Sunday, September 7, 2014

A Bride in Store by Melissa Jaegers

A Bride in Store 
  • Author:  
        Melissa Jagears
        Bethany House Publishers
    Realease Date:  
        September 2, 2014
        Historical Romance
        368 pages
    My Rating:

  • I truly love a good mail order bride story and Melissa Jagears has just created another mail order bride masterpiece with her sophomore offering, A Bride in Store. This is Ms. Jagears second novel in her "Unexpected Brides Series", which follows her debut novel A Bride for Keeps (read my review here).

The story begins in 1881 as Eliza Cantrell, a mail order bride, is on a train bound for Salt Flatts, Kansas to meet and marry her intended. However, the train is held up and everyone is robbed before they can get to their destination. What transpires in the first chapter sets the pace for this wonderful historical romance that is filled with a few surprises along the way.

I loved Ms. Jagears debut novel and this one is just as good, if not better. She has a way of creating flawed characters that endear themselves to the reader. If you have read any of my reviews before, you will know that I love an author that can create a well developed character that will pull the reader into their world. Ms. Jagears has the ability to do just that.

A Bride in Store is a story of two people who have huge dreams for their lives but are struggling to make them a reality. They find themselves on a journey of self discovery and a spiritual journey as well. They are flawed but real and that in itself makes for a believable story.

If you enjoy a good historical romance I would highly recommend picking up a copy of A Bride in Store. I guarantee that you will love this book.

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

I would like to thank Melissa Jagears and Bethany House for my copy of A Bride in Store. I received my copy for free in order to read it and give my honest review, which I have done.

Smiles & Blessings,