Saturday, September 28, 2013

Book Review - The Back Road - Suspenseful

The Back Road
By: Rachel Abbott
Thomas & Mercer
Publish Date:  October 8, 2013
 
The setting of this book is the English countryside in the village of Little Melham.  The main characters are Max and Ellie Saunders, her half- sister, Leo and an ex-detective Tom Douglas. 
Ellie and her husband Max had just recently renovated and moved into Ellie’s childhood home, because she was in hopes that her father, who left without a word would return.    Ellie was excited about the renovation and convinced Leo to return home to see the house in its new glory, and hoped they could repair the damage of their childhood by Ellie’s mum.  On the night Leo arrived, Abbie Campbell was hit by a car and left for dead.  Later that night her sister Ellie left the house for a late-night rendezvous with her stalker, and Max had not returned home.  If anyone finds out the truth about the hit and run Ellie fears her life and marriage with be ruined although she was not involved with the accident.  A whole lot of people in Little Melham seem to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Someone has a lot to answer for and Tom Douglas, the ex-detective and neighbor to Ellie and Max, finds himself right in the middle of the investigation.
As the story unfolded it was filled with unexpected twists and turns.  I found myself holding my breath, and hoping the terror would end.  Each character had a specific role and MS Abbott did a superb job in tying it all together.  I found the book filled with suspense and intrigue.  In my opinion it is a must read for anyone who loves a good mystery.
Disclosure: I was given a copy of this eBook by the publisher, Thomas and Mercer, through Net Galley  blogger program for review. I was not required to write a favorable review nor was I compensated for my review. The opinions in this review are my own.

Book Review - Trapped- Suspense Filled

Filled with Suspense and Intrigue
 
 

Trapped

By Irene Hannon
Published by: Revell
Publish Date:  September 1, 2013

 
Laura Griffith became guardian to her sixteen year old sister.  Even though she knew Darcy had issues she felt they could work through them until Darcy ran away leaving only a brief note.  Laura enlisted the help of Dev, a private investigator from Phoenix, Inc.  The search for Darcy was hampered by the snow and cold, but as Dev dug into the run away the more sinister the situation became.  Laura never gave up hope they would find Darcy, but Darcy wondered if anyone was looking for her and if they would find her before it was too late.  She wondered if she would ever have a chance to make amends for her actions. 


This is my first reading of a book by Irene Hannon, but it will not be my last.  From page one the book grabbed my attention and kept me captivated till the end.  It is filled with unexpected twists and turns and a whole lot of intrigue.  MS Hannon alluded to the unglamorous life of a run away without being horribly graphic, yet with enough truth to get the point across, that it is unsafe to roam the streets as a teenage girl.


If you like a book with a few breath-holding moments, along with mystery and intrigue, this is a book you won’t want to miss.


Disclosure: I was given a copy of this eBook by the publisher, Revell, through Net Galley  blogger program for review. I was not required to write a favorable review nor was I compensated for my review. The opinions in this review are my own.


Book Review- Patchwork Family In the Outback

A Sweet Entertaining Story
 
 

Patchwork Family in the Outback
By:  Soraya Lane
Publisher:  Harlequin
Publish Date:  Septermber 3, 2013

 

Bellaroo Creek Australia is the setting for this easy reading entertaining book. 
 
Poppy Carter, left her life in the city behind to come to the Outback to teach.  Her goal was to teach, leave the heartbreak she had suffered behind and to stay away from any relationship with men.  However she didn’t expect to meet single dad, Harrison Black.   She also didn’t realize until after she arrived that if she failed as a teacher the town would not be able to exist.  Will she be able to avoid Harrison and will she be able to stay to help the town?  Those are questions that will be answered as you turn the pages of this book.

 
I was able to read this book in an afternoon and found it a delightful read.  There was just enough action to keep me turning the pages and the characters were believable.  I felt their turmoil and happiness as I was reading.  I have always been intrigued with the Australian Outback and it had just enough tidbits about the Outback to keep it interesting without it becoming a history lesson.


If you need a book to read that is entertaining, this is a book I would recommend. 
 
Disclosure: I was given a copy of this eBook by the publisher, Harlequin, through Net Galley blogger program for review. I was not required to write a favorable review nor was I compensated for my review. The opinions in this review are my own.
 
 
 
 


Friday, September 20, 2013

Book Review - Last Light- Christian Science Fiction

Last Light
By: Terri Blackstock

Would you be able to survive if the world we know just simply no longer existed?  What would you do if suddenly nothing electronic worked?  No electricity, no cars, planes…nothing.  Would you be able to find food and water?  Would you share what possessions you had with those less fortunate or would you hoard or steal from others?

Doug Branning and his daughter Deni’s plane just landed when suddenly everything stopped working.  Planes were falling out of the sky with no explanation.   Cars stopped running, watches quit working, no banking machines would work.  Nothing!  This was not your typical power outage.    Chaos was everywhere and no one knew how far reaching this outage was.   Doug and Deni began their journey home from the Birmingham airport on foot.  MS Blackstock paints a realistic reaction through her characters of how we might react in a similar situation.  Deni is quick tempered and self-centered.  Will she finally realize that family and God are what really matter regardless of how important we think we are?  They deal not only with having to pull together as a family, but as a community learning to share and work together to survive and deal with looters and murderers all at the same time. 

I was captivated from page one and I don’t usually like books with a science fiction overtone, but this book was well worth the read and I didn’t find it in the least “preachy” eventhough it was written by a Christian writer.  I felt it would be a good book for anyone to read that might be faced with unusual situations.  It certainly causes you to stop and think about what would be important.

I would highly recommend this book to any reader who enjoys science fiction, mystery and intrigue and Christian readers who want a good book without explicit language.

Disclosure: 
I was given this book by the publisher, Zondervan, Through  Booksneeze blogger program for review.  I was not compensated for this book nor was I required to write a favorable review.  This review is my own opinion. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Book Review - The Secret Keeper- by Amish Author Beverly Lewis

The Secret Keeper
By:  Beverly Lewis
Publisher:  Bethany House
 
The day after her birthday, Jenny Burns gave her two-week notice at the antique shop where she worked and sold her car.  She was moving to Hickory Hollow to become a seeker in the Amish community.  She had been corresponding with Marnie Lapp for several years and Marnie helped make her dream possible by finding an Amish family for her to live with while she is he went through her proving.  Rebecca and Samuel Lapp are her host family and are a bit uncertain about taking in an Englisher especially since their adopted daughter has been Banned from the Amish Community.  Rebecca and Samuel wonder if they are setting themselves up to be hurt again.  Jenny feels God put the desire in her heart to pursue the Amish way so this truly must be what she is supposed to do.  Can she give up her life of privilege and her family?  Will her family accept her decision to leave them?  Can her relationship with her ex-boyfriend remain buried in the past?  Will the Amish people accept her?  Will she be able to accept there is no religion that is perfect...not even the Amish?  With all these questions whirling around her mind will she have what it takes to become Plain?
For me this is the best book so far I have read by MS Lewis.  I couldn’t wait to turn the next page to find out what was going to happen next.  In reading this, the characters were so real, I could feel their pain, fears, joy and laughter. 
I have read all the books in the Home to Hickory Hollow Series and am in hope there is a sequel to this book.  I would like to know what happens to Jenny in her new life.  (hope, hope)
Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book by the publisher, Bethany House, through Bethany House  blogger program for review. I was not required to write a favorable review nor was I compensated for my review. The opinions in this review are my own.

Book Review - Children's Book - Mister Max

 
Mister Max – The Book of Lost Things
By:  Cynthia Voigt
Published:  September 10, 1013
Max Stering is the son of theatrical parents, who mysteriously vanish and leave Max alone with his grandmother.  He feels at 12 years of age he is old enough to stay in his parent’s home and care for himself.   To convince his grandmother he can be independent he must find a job in order to support himself.   By accident he finds he has the ability to find lost things.  This book is written somewhat like a play with each job having scenes.  He finds a missing child, a spoon, a dog, lost love, etc, but cannot find an answer to his own problem…his lost parents or can he?
Although this book states it is for grades 3 -7 and ages 8 and up, I feel it is a bit long and wans from time to time to hold the attention of a third or fourth grader.  All in all I feel it is a very good introduction into mystery reading material that can be enjoyed by any gender.
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to introduce their child to mystery reading.
Disclosure: I was given a copy of this ebook by the publisher, Knopf, through Net Galley blogger program for review. I was not required to write a favorable review nor was I compensated for my review. The opinions in this review are my own.

Book Review - Take Charge of Your Emotions


Take Charge of Your Emotion
By Dr. Linda J. Solie
Publisher:  Bethany House
In this book, Dr. Solie shows if you are suffering from depression, anxiety, anger, frustration, etc., you are not alone and there is help.  She shows you can take charge of your emotions by: identifying what you are feeling, understanding the connection between your thoughts, feelings and behavior and choosing a new way to think that will produce positive behavior.  Her book guides you through seven steps of dealing with negative feelings.  Some of these steps include self-talk, what is a positive and negative way of talking to ourselves, building a relationship with God and friends, defeating depression and anxiety, conquering anger and finding joy.
I chose to read this book because I have been dealing with a situation that often leaves me suffering from several of the issues discussed in this book.  Although while reading, I was a bit overwhelmed at all the steps and how much journaling it takes to deal with one emotion.  At times I found myself wondering if I will be able to stick with it or if I will give up in defeat, because it takes more time than I have to devote to all the journaling and self- talk.   At this point only time will tell. However, since reading this book, when I am faced with a situation I find myself referring back to see how “they” handled it and start my self-talk and journaling from that point.   Hopefully it will come easier as I become more familiar with the steps. 
If you are dealing with any of these emotions in your life, I would recommend this book .
Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book by the publisher, Bethany House, through Bethany House   blogger program for review. I was not required to write a favorable review nor was I compensated for my review. The opinions in this review are my own.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Book Review - Rebellious Heart - Historical Fiction

 
Rebellious Heart
By: Jody Hedlund
Publisher: Bethany House
 
Jody Hedlund does it again with another wonderfully written book, “Rebellious Heart”.
The setting of this book is in 1763 in the American Colonies at the beginning of the unrest with British Rule before the Revolutionary war.  Benjamin and Susanna’s characters are truly believable and you fall in love with them from page one.  Benjamin has just returned to his hometown after receiving his law degree and has become outspoken against the taxation by the British.  Susanna is a minister’s daughter and although she is drawn to Ben she realizes her station in life will not allow them to become more than friends since he is below her class.  However regardless of the difference between them  Benjamin and Susanna take on caring for and hiding a runaway indentured slave and bring to justice a person who hunts down and brutally kills them.    This is a wonderfully written story that deals with political unrest before the Revolutionary War, the branding of people for crimes, lack of education for women and inability to vote if you don’t own land. 
Ms. Hedlund has taken historical facts and loosely woven them together with fiction to create a compelling story that you will not want to put down.  Her story loosely resembles the lives of John and Abigail Adams.  It is a book that I will enjoy reading again. 
If you have a love for American History with a little romance, mystery and intrigue thrown into the mix, it is an absolute must read.
Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book by the publisher, Bethany House, through Bethany House   blogger program for review. I was not required to write a favorable review nor was I compensated for my review. The opinions in this review are my own.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Book Review - Wounded by God's People by Ann Graham Lotz

Wounded by God’s People
By:  Ann Graham Lotz
Publisher:  Zondervan 
 Having much difficulty letting go of hurt by “Christian” people and letting God prevail in my life, I thought this would be a good book for me and I was not disappointed. 
 I have always been intrigued with Hagar and wondered how she dealt with rejection and hurt.  Ms. Lotz has explained in detail the story of Hagar and her unwillingness to return to the God she had served for years.  She shows Hagar had valid reasons for her feelings, but also shows those feelings were not of God and how they were robbing her of the blessings she used to have.   
In the pages of this book Ms. Lotz has shared her sometimes painful personal experiences, so that we the readers,  might understand none of us are immune to hurt, but with God, we can have healing. 
I was drawn to the chapter “A Stubborn Spirit”.  I wondered if my hurt was due to a stubborn spirit and if I was in self-exile.  Although I was not in the same type of self-exile as the example used in this chapter, upon self- examination I did find that my exile could possibly be due to my inability to let God again control my life has He had before. 
I am not disappointed with the reading of this book and it will give me many things to contemplate and pray about in the future. 
I would highly recommend this to anyone, not just those going through hurt.  I also found there is a lot of solid advice for dealing with everyday situations. 
Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book by the publisher, Zondervan, through Booksneeze blogger program for review. I was not required to write a favorable review nor was I compensated for my review. The opinions in this review are my own.