Saturday, October 29, 2016

The Christmas Angel Project by Melody Carlson

Oh how I love stories set during Christmas! The first Christmas story I have read this year is Melody Carlson's The Christmas Angel Project. I must admit I shed some tears in this book but it was a wonderful read.

Back Cover Blurb:

THE ONLY SOUND IN THE ROOM was the rustling of tissue paper being peeled away, followed by some oohs and aahs.
     Belinda peered down at the delicate angel ornament in her hand. Made with satin and lace and glitter and ribbons, the small figure was lovely. But it was the hand-painted face on a large wooden bead that captivated Belinda. From the caramel-colored skin to the wavy dark hair and chocolate-brown eyes, this angel was clearly meant to resemble Belinda. She felt the familiar lump growing in her throat as she stared down at the dainty angel. Every detail was perfect.
     Belinda looked up to see the others holdig similar--yet different--angels. Each one resembled the woman holding it. Abby had obviously put a lot of time and thought into these gifts.
     "To write that letter--telling us thanks like that," Grace said with surprising intensity. "And to make these angels so that we'd remember her. And calling us her angels...doesn't it seem strangely coincidental? Like she had some kind of premonitions?"
     "It does to me," Louisa declared.

My Thoughts:

I loved this book. It was a story about close friendships and passing friendships. But in the end it was the story of one woman, Abby, who loved her friends so much that she could see into their frailties and through the simple act of giving them a handmade gift at Christmas the friendships she had with them reached out and touched each of the other three women.

Ms. Carlson created four very different characters in this book and yet if you were to put their lives under a microscope you would probably see some of the same issues and problems just depicted in a different way. I saw a lot of myself in some of her characters and this book, had a cathartic message that spoke to me through all these women's stories.

I would highly recommend picking up a copy of The Christmas Angel. But you might want a box of tissues close by for some of the more touching moments.

On a 5-Star Scale - 4 Stars!!!!

I would like to thank Revell for my copy of The Christmas Angel Project. I received my copy for free in order to read it and give my honest review.

Smiles & Blessings,

Tangled Webs by Irene Hannon

Irene Hannon has once again written a book that kept me on the edge of my seat until the very end. Her newest book, Tangled Webs, is the third book in her "Men of Valor" series. The first book in the series was Buried Secrets (read my review here) and the second book in the series was Thin Ice (read my review here). While each book can be read as a stand-alone book, I would suggest reading all three in the series because they tell the stories of three brothers.

Back Cover Blurb:


After a disastrous Middle East mission ends his six-year Army Ranger career, Finn McGregor needs some downtime. A peaceful month in the woods sounds like the perfect way to decompress. But peace isn't on the agenda once he crosses paths with publishing executive Dana Lewis, a neighbor who is nursing wounds of her own. Someone seems bent on disrupting her stay in the lakeside cabin she inherited from her grandfather. As Finn and Dana work together to discover who is behind the disquieting prands, the incidents begin to take on a menacing tone. And swhen it becomes apparent Dana's foe may have deadly ingtenet, Finn finds himself back in the thick of the action--ready of not.

My Thoughts:

I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the characters in this book. Having read the first two books, in which Finn McGregor appeared briefly, I was happy to finally find out the secrets he carried with him and see him finally get healing. As for Dana Lewis, she is a very strong character that was dealing with issues of her own. When you learn why she is living in the woods you can't help but feel for her.

Ms. Hannon is an expert at telling suspenseful tales that keep the reader engaged until the very end of the book. One thing I noticed in Tangled Webs is she let the reader in on what was going on right up front. We knew who the bad guys were. I thought at first it might ruin the story for me, but it didn't. Ms. Hannon is a master at creating twists and turns that keep the reader flipping pages long into the night.

I would highly recommend Tangled Webs to anyone who enjoys a good book filled with suspense and romance.

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

I would like to thank Revell for my copy of Tangled Webs. I received my copy for free in order to read it and give my honest review.

Smiles & Blessings,

Saturday, October 8, 2016

The First Gift by Ruth Logan Herne

Oh. My. Stars! Ruth Logan Herne has written another book that captured me from the first page and held me until the last page. I shed quite a few tears along the way but it was an excellent read!


FIVE-YEAR-OLD CASSIE CARRUTHERS fends for herself while her father drinks himself into a stupor. But her isolation has not gone unnoticed as a northern Appalachian community works to rescue the neglected little girl. Kerry McHenry, the kindergarten teacher, sees her own tough upbringing in Cassie's dire situation. As she throws herself into helping Cassie become everything God wants her to be, she finds herself torn between a commitment-phobic doctor and a widowed deputy sheriff still angry with God. As the stakes grow ever higher and the characters' lives intersect in unexpected ways, each will face a true test of faith--and come face-to-face with indisputable evidence of God's love.


The First Gift is a book that will settle in and stay awhile even after you turn that last page. In fact, the book has haunted my thoughts ever since I finished it and I mean that in the nicest of ways. Why? The subject matter makes me want to step in and help children like Kerry McHenry did in the life of little five-year-old Cassie. These two characters were so very real to me. I can imagine there are situations in the Appalachian community very much like the one in this wonderful book.

Kerry McHenry is a kindergarten teacher who takes her job seriously. When she meets Cassie Carruthers for the first time she is reminded of her own rough childhood and her heart breaks for this little girl. She wants to help Cassie in every way possible, however, there are laws that keep her from extracting the child from the run-down and dirty home she lives in with her drunken father. 

The two male characters in the book, Dr. Ryan O'Donnell and Deputy Jake Slattery were as different as night and day.  I disliked the doctor right away but then grew to like him a little as the story progressed. The deputy however had me at hello. His charm and wit won me over and I was rooting for him. Kerry had a difficult decision to make. The doctor or the deputy? I wish I could share her decision but that would spoil it for you. You'll just have to pick up a copy of The First Gift and find out if she chooses either one.

I truly appreciate that Ruth Logan Herne took on this subject matter and presented a story so well written that you almost feel like this is a true story. I guess it probably is as close to a true story as it can be. I would highly recommend this picking up a copy of this wonderful book.

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

I would like to thank the author for my copy of The First Gift. I received my copy for free in order to read it and give my honest review, which I have done.

Smiles & Blessings,