Saturday, July 25, 2015

A Heart's Promise by Colleen Coble

For those of you who follow my blog, then you know I am currently reading books in Colleen Coble's six book series, "Journey of the Heart". These short books are a reprint of Ms. Cobles' first two novels, Where Leads the Heart and Plains of Promise. If I had to guess, A Heart's Danger is the end of her book Where Leads the Heart as everything seemed to tie up nicely. The fourth book in this series, A Heart's Betrayal is actually the first part of her original book Plains of Promise. This month's release is the fifth book, A Heart's Promise.

This book continues the story of Emmie Croftner and Lieutenant Isaac Liddle. They now are at Fort Phil Kearny in the Wyoming territory where the Sioux Indian nation is at war with the white man.

I love Colleen Coble's work and while the "Journey of the Heart" series isn't as detailed as her current books today, her talent was apparent even in her early days of publishing.

I am really enjoying this series. The characters are believable and Ms. Coble paints a picture of life in the old west that the reader can visualize and have a sense of being there. I would highly recommend it to anyone who loves to read a sweet historical set in the old west.

On a 5-Star scale = 5 Stars

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

Smiles & Blessings,

Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor by Melanie Dobson

I have often wanted to pick up a book by Melanie Dobson but for whatever reason, up until now, I haven't. That was a big mistake on my part as Ms. Dobson is an absolutely talented storyteller. Her newest book, Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor is a book that tells two stories in one. One story in the past and one in the present. The past is the story of Maggie and Walter and "their" daughter LIbby, who loves butterflies. In the present we meet Heather and her adult daughter Ella. Their stories are woven together quite nicely. 

All the characters were well developed and pulled me into their story of secrets, forbidden love, lies, sins of the family and murder. Moving in between the past and present helped to propel the story forward keeping me turning the pages quicker than I expected. 

Ms. Dobson has painted such a wonderful picture of the English countryside that I felt as if I was right there looking over the characters shoulders as the story unfolded. 

Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor is a story filled with mystery and murder, romance and family issues, redemption and forgiveness and many plot twists and turns. What the characters went through pulled at my heartstrings and I loved how the stories evolved.

It reminds me a lot of a Susan Meissner's novels moving so smoothly between periods. Not every author can move so effortlessly between the past and present but I honestly believe Ms. Dobson has mastered that talent.

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

I would like to thank Litfuse Publicity for my copy of  Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor, which I received for free in order to read and give my honest review, which I have done.

Smiles & Blessings,

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Hearts Made Whole by Jody Hedlund

I have heard nothing but wonderful things about Jody Hedlund's work and I have to be honest, this was my first experience in reading anything she has written. Heart's Made Whole is the second book in the "Beacons of Hope" series and while I believe it can be read as a stand alone, I really fill I missed out by not reading Love Unexpected, the first book in the series. 
Hearts Made Whole is a historical book set in the mid-1800s. As the cover portrays, it centers around a lighthouse and the people who maintain it. Without telling you too much I will say I loved the way Ms. Hedlund approached many issues that still exist today.

With romance and mystery, Ms. Hedlund takes the reader on a journey with two wonderful, yet flawed, characters, Caroline Taylor and Ryan Chambers. They were very well crafted and they brought the story to life. Their story is one of healing, grace, hope and love. 

If you are a fan Ms. Hedlund or even if you have never read a book by her, this is a must read for anyone who enjoys a good clean read.

I would like to thank Bethany House for my copy of Hearts Made Whole. I received my copy for free in order to read it and give my honest review.

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

Smiles & Blessings,

Drawing Fire by Janice Cantore

I must admit, reading Drawing Fire was the first book I have read by talented author Janice Cantore. Drawing Fire is the first book in the "Cold Case Justice" series. 

Ms. Cantore is a retired twenty-two year veteran of the Long Beach Police Department in California. That experience brought an authenticity to this book that another author might not be able to do. The book is also set in Long Beach, California which made it all the more believable.

I have always loved a good suspense novel and Drawing Fire is just that. It is packed with suspense, lots of action, plot twists and several surprises along the way.

The characters, Abby Hart and Luke Murphy, are well crafted and brought a reality to the story that made me want to learn more about them and therefore, I turned the pages rapidly. The Christian thread also flowed naturally and brought a reality to the story as well.

The ending of Drawing Fire wasn't as neatly tied up as I would have liked it to be, leaving it open for the next book in the series, which won't release until Spring, 2016. While I love continuity series in smaller books that release monthly, I really am not fond of them when the next book in the series doesn't release until a year later. 

I would like to thank Tyndale House Publishers for my copy of Drawing Fire. I received my copy for free in order to read it and give my honest review.

On a 5-Star Scale- 4 Stars!

Smiles & Blessings,

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Gone Without a Trace by Patricia Bradley

When I hear the name, Patricia Bradley, I think of fast paced Chrisitan Suspense that grabs you from the first page, hangs on to you and doesn't let you ago until long after you turn the last page. Her newest book, Gone Without a Trace, is book 3 he the "Logan Point" series. The first two books, Shadows of the Past (read my review here) and Promise to Protect (read my review here) were excellent books and I would highly recommend them all. 

In Gone Without a Trace Detective Livy Reynolds has just experienced an incident that makes her second guess herself. She is asked to take some time off and seek counseling in order to get herself pulled together. 
Private Investigator, Alex Jennings, contacts Livy regarding a senator's missing granddaughter. When Livy hears the circumstances surrounding the girl's disappearance it bears striking similarities to the disappearance of her cousin over two years earlier. Livy takes a strong dislike to Alex, but soon realizes if she wants to locate her cousin, she'll need to work with Alex. Will they learn to like each other? 

Waitresses with children have disappeared after receiving notes telling them to quit their jobs and go home to their children. Some are let go with no memory of what happened, some weren't so lucky. Will Livy be able to find her cousin? Is she alive and if so why hasn't she come back home? Will Alex be able to find the senator's granddaughter? Does she even fit the profile? All of these answers can be found inside of this edge-of-your-seat page-turner.

Ms. Bradley has a gift for creating believable characters that pull the reader into the book from the first page. The reader will find themselves rooting for the good guys and really hating the bad guys. When characters are as well crafted as Ms. Bradley's the story flows smoothly and the reader gets lost within the pages.

I don't know if there will be a Book 4 in the series but I sure hope there will be as I loved the Logan Point series and the characters who live there. All three books will definitely have a home on my 'keeper' bookshelves. I would highly recommend Gone Without a Trace along with the rest of the books in the series to anyone who loves a clean read filled with suspense.

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

I would like to thank Revell a division of Baker Publishing Group for my copy of Gone Without a Trace. I received my copy for free in order to read and give my honest review, which I have done.

Smiles & Blessings,

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Independence Day America!

I would like to wish a Happy Independence Day to all of you! I would also like to say thank you to all our men in women, past and present who have served this country so we can all live in freedom.

Back in 1984, I had the pleasure of becoming friends with a wonderful lady named Bliss. She was a special lady who had a special son by the name of Lee Greenwood. Through her I was able to meet Lee on more than one occasion. I was privileged to be in the audience when he sang "God Bless the U.S.A" for the very first time at the Crazy Horse Steak House & Saloon in Santa Ana, California. His music has touched my life in more ways than I can explain in this small space, but I was able to voice how his music has touched me to Lee. He has dedicated songs to me in the past and made me feel special. While the celebration of our nation's independence is not about Lee, he has written a song  that is all about our nation's freedom. I would like to share it with you here today. 
God Bless the USA. 

Also, please listen to "USA Today".

May God Bless the USA!

Smiles & Blessings,