Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Book Review-Taken by Dee Henderson


Taken
By: Dee Henderson
Publisher:  Bethany House

In my opinion, this is one of the best Dee Henderson books!  It is riveting, emotional and deeply intense!

How is a father supposed to deal with the abduction of his daughter?  Matthew Dane, an ex-Boston cop, is faced with that situation as he relentlessly spends eight years of his life searching for his daughter, Becky.  His faith is put to the test time and again as he struggles to find her, but God answers prayer and she comes home.  As Matthew helps Becky to physically and emotionally heal he realizes he must depend on God to guide him or he could lose his daughter forever. 

Shannon Bliss was abducted at age sixteen and was kept for eleven years, until she found a way to escape.  Because of what Matthew had been through with his daughter, Shannon chose him to help her get her life back on track, to heal and to bring to justice the Jacoby family who was not only responsible for her abduction, but the abduction of several other children. 

In my opinion this is one of MS Henderson’s best books to date!  Although the outcome of some of the events were predictable, the twists and turns that lead to their culmination were anything but predictable.  I love how MS Henderson explored, at length, the often asked question of:  “why does God let bad things happen to good people”.  The answers given in the book were easy to accept and were some of the best explanations as to why, that I have heard.  This book was intense and filled with lots emotion.  It is also filled with forgiveness and rebuilding broken lives while holding steadfast to faith.  This is the type of book that will remain in your heart long after you have read the last page.  I would highly recommend this book.  It is not a “preachy” type book and the plot will not only appeal to the Christian but to the secular as well. 

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this eBook by the publisher, Bethany House, through NetGalley 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-Liar's Bench by Kim Michele Richardson


Liar’s Bench
By:  Kim Michele Richardson
Publisher:  Kensington

1972, rural Peckinpaw, Kentucky still has not come to grips with the Civil Rights movement and has kept the secret of Frannie Crow for over a century, but that is all soon to end.

Frannie, a slave, was unjustly hanged and her gallows was used to build a bench in the town’s square as a tribute of sorts…but the locals called it Liar’s Bench as many a lie had been concocted while sitting on that bench. 

Mudas Summer’s seventeenth birthday was anything but happy because that day her mother, Ella, was found hanging from the rafters.  Everyone said she committed suicide because she was tired of her husband’s abuse.  However Mudas is convinced her mother wouldn’t commit suicide and her good-for-nothing step father is behind it.  She enlists the help of Bobby Marshall, a descendant of Frannie Crow, which was frowned upon by the community.  They begin the dangerous journey to prove her mother’s innocence. 

This book is filled with years of hatred, lies and corruption in the small town of Peckinpaw.  It has enough twists and turns to keep you turning the pages.  I found myself cheerleading for Muddy as she struggled to understand the town’s prejudices, Civil Rights, family lies and coming of age. In my opinion I was disappointed that it seemed to portray rural Kentuckians as ignorant and they only way to “come of age” was to have sex at the age of seventeen.  All in all the storyline was good and the dialect was right for the rural area.  I would recommend this book only if you can read about the Civil Rights movement with an open mind. 

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this eBook by the publisher, Kensington, through NetGalley 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-From the Start by Melissa Tagg


From the Start
By:  Melissa Tagg
Publisher:  Bethany House

Fun-loving energetic Kate Walker loves her family more than anything.  She is compassionate and normally up-beat but lately something is missing in her life.  She feels she needs more.  Even though she has written a romance novel and a mini-series for TV it certainly was not based on her romantic life.  A tornado rips through her hometown of Maple Valley, Iowa.  She immediately returns home to help her family and the town rebuild only to runs straight into the arms of ex-football player Colton.  He needs a ghost writer for his book and convinces Kate, even though she knows absolutely nothing about football, she can write his book. 

I was hooked from the first page.  The characters of this book are so well developed you will immediately be pulled right into story and become part of the family.  I truly fell in love with Kate’s character when I first met Breydan.  Her compassion and love for this child brought tears.  This book had its moments of tragedy and tears, but it will also have you laughing especially when Kate tries to learn the rules of football.  Watching Kate and Colton’s love blossom through tragedy will at times have you pulling your hair out, but it is also uplifting to see the way they resolve the issues they face.

I read this book on a rainy day all in one afternoon.  It was a great way to chase away the rainy day blues.  I loved this book and would highly recommend it.
If you are a fan of Melissa Tagg, like me, you will not want to miss reading this book.  In my opinion..it is her best!

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this eBook by the publisher, Bethany House, through NetGalley 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-Together With You by Victoria Bylin


Together With You
By:  Victoria Bylin
Publisher:  Bethany House

Dealing with children is not always easy even when your children are considered “normal”.  Special needs children come with a whole host of issues that most of us never have to deal with on a first-hand basis.  This book deals with FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder).

As the story begins with five year old Penny Caldwell/Tremaine being lost at the mall, which can easily, happen in normal circumstances but with an all too accepting child such as Penny it can be devastating.  Carly Mason, employee at the Animal Factory in Los Angeles found Penny quietly playing with the stuffed animals.  Since Carly has a BA in Biology, a Master’s in Social Work and a year of PhD work at UCLA she immediately recognizes something is off in Penny’s demeanor.  When Penny’s father, Dr. Ryan Tremaine realizes Carly understands Penny’s condition he offers her a job as a nanny.  Carly is reluctant to accept because she feels she let down Allison Drake, a seventeen year old with FAS, who went missing in Lexington, KY.  Carly left her hometown of Boomer, KY to come to LA to continue her education and to try and put closure to losing Allison on her watch, all the while praying that Allison will be found.  Carly did eventually accept the job as nanny because she realized not only did Penny need her, but Dr.  Tremaine and his other two sons also needed her help and the whole family needed healing.

I found this to be a very deeply woven book and also hard to write the review as I have seen first-hand what FASD can do to a child in my extended family.  Its effects are not only difficult for the child but devastating in many cases for the family.  Through Carly’s understanding of FASD she is able to communicate on Penny’s level and in Penny’s world.  This book is sure to give hope to anyone dealing with not only this disorder but any debilitating disorder.  She shows patience and faith play a huge roll in maintaining some degree of a normal life.

Although this is predominately about FASD it is also filled with mystery, murder, forgiveness, healing and a little romance.  It is a great read and I would highly recommend it.

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this eBook by the publisher, Bethany House, through NetGalley 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, April 28, 2015

Book Review-Bash and the Chocolate Milk Cows by Burton W. Cole


Bash and the Chocolate Milk Cows
By:  Burton W. Cole
Illustrations by:  Buddy Lewis
Publisher:  B & H Publishing Group

Third in the series and the Chocolate Milk Cow” is just another day at the farm?!

When Beamer and his cousin Bash get together you can expect that anything weird is going to happen.  Its April Fool’s Day and Bash (Sebastian Hinglehobb) comes up with a way for the cows on his farm to give chocolate milk.  This book is filled with hilarious fun-filled highly-imaginative antics that will keep your child laughing from the first page.

Children ages 8-12, in this delightful book, will get a glimpse of what life was like before mass technology that has stolen the “outdoor” time from our children.  The illustrations at the beginning of each chapter are sure to cause laugher even before you read what will happen next.  As I was reading I couldn’t help but think Mr. Cole must have drawn from his own childhood experiences to create such imaginative adventures with weird antics that children of this age love.   His books are sure to capture the hearts of those who read it.  I connected with this book maybe because I live in Ohio along the beautiful shores of Lake Erie or maybe because as a child I also spent time on my grandparent’s farm doing some of the same things as Bash, his cousin and friends.  It is sure to be a hit with your children.  For those adults who lived the days of “creative imaginations” without technology, it is sure to bring a smile to your face and recollections of beautiful memories of by-gone days.  You can be assured in this book your child is reading a book without explicit language. 

Of all the adventures from the rain barrel kayak to the shuttle launch chicken coop and the mud fights (which I did as a child) the chocolate milk was my absolute favorite. 

Although this is the first book by this author I have reviewed, I am confident it will not be my last.  I highly recommend this book and can’t wait to pass it on my grandchildren in hopes they will want to take time after reading it to make imaginative memories without the aid of mass technology.

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this Book by Shelby Janner, Senior Publicist, Shelton Interactive, B & H Publishing Group, 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-The (Desperate Diva Diaries) Book 2 by Angie Spady


Catie Conrad:  How to Become the Most (un) Popular Girl in Middle School

The (Desperate) Diva Diaries
By: Angie Spady
Illustrations by:  Channing Everidge
Publisher:  B & H Publishing Group

Fashionista Catie Conrad is back with her second adventure in the Diva Diaries series.  Her life is filled with school drama and stresses at home, but who knows which one is the worst?  Only her faith in God can help her put things in perspective. 

I was so impressed with the first book in the Diva Diaries series, that when Shelby Janner, Senior Publicist from Shelton Interactive contacted me to review the Diva Diaries book number two, I immediately jumped at the opportunity.  These books are definitely an alternative to “Dork Diaries” and “Diary of a Wimpey Kid”.  The (Desperate) Diva Diaries are morally and faith-based.  This series has quickly become a favorite of my granddaughter. 

In this book, I love how Catie deals with her BFF Sophie and her not so BFF Miranda Maron, not her mention being the older sister to her “the germ” brother.  Each situation Catie encounters is something your child could be facing at home or school.  These books give your child the skills to deal with these situations in a manner that would be pleasing to God and enrich their prayer lives at the same time.  This book shows that all things are possible with God through prayer and faith.  It also shows that being a kid is tough and in each situation Catie works through them with Godly influences and a good dose of prayer. 

If you are looking for an alternative to the “other diaries”, I highly recommend this series!

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this Book by Shelby Janner, Senior Publicist, Shelton Interactive, B & H Publishing Group, 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.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Book Review-Noah's Voyage --David Mills


Noah’s Voyage
I Can Read 2
Publisher:  ZonderKidz
Pictures by:  David Mills

I can read books published by ZonderKidz can help your child develop good reading skills while encouraging their spiritual growth.

 “Noah’s Voyage” again tells in easy to understand language the age-old story of how Noah tried to warn the people of the flood, the building of the ark, putting two of every animal into the ark, God shutting the door of the ark, the flood and finding dry land.  All of this culminates in a beautifully illustrated rainbow, complete with God’s promise.

The illustrations by David Mills is sure to delight even the youngest child as you read them or have them read to you.

I would highly recommend this book for any child ages 4-8

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this Book by the publisher, ZonderKidz, Z Blog Squad for an honest 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-Brave Queen Esther -- David Mills


Brave Queen Esther
I Can Read 2
Publisher:  ZonderKidz
Pictures by David Mills


I can read books published by ZonderKidz can help your child develop good reading skills while encouraging their spiritual growth.

Esther is one of my favorite Bible stories.  The story of Esther is written in easy to understand format, telling the reason Easter was chosen to be Queen of a non-Jewish King.  It tells how her faith in God helps to save her people, even though it was dangerous for her to do so.  This beautifully illustrated and simply written book is sure to delight your child and if you are reading it to them it will remind you that God is in control of every aspect of our lives and will guide us in all things if we let Him.  

Since little girls love stories about queens “Esther” is sure to be a favorite.  I would highly recommend this book for any child ages 4-8

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this Book by the publisher, ZonderKidz, Z Blog Squad for an honest 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-The Berenstain Bears By Mike Berenstain


God Bless Our Country
Berenstain Bears
By:  Mike Berenstain
Publisher:  ZonderKidz

The Berenstain Bears are busy getting ready to celebrate our country’s Independence on the Fourth of July.  Before that can happens they are taught a lesson that our country’s birthday party is about the fight for our freedom and how our forefather’s created a new country, where people could be free and they learned to thank God for our freedom.

This is an adorably written book with great illustrations.  Although the pages are filled with the preparations and fun of getting ready for the celebration, it brings to light the true meaning of that celebration in a way that is easy for children to understand. 

It is a well written and beautifully illustrated book, that I would recommend for any child.  I love the Berenstain Bears and am always delighted when I can share another of their adventures with my grandchildren, nieces and nephews.  This is a great book for ages 4-8.

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this Book by the publisher, ZonderKidz, Z Blog Squad for an honest 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.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Book Review-The Love Letters by Beverly Lewis


The Love Letters
By: Beverly Lewis
Publisher:  Bethany House

Beverly Lewis writes another sweet Amish story.

The Bible says sometimes we entertain angels unaware.  In “The Love Letters” that is exactly what happens as Marlena Wenger tries to deal with the loss of her sister, caring for her infant niece and struggling to find her place in God’s plan.  In one moment in time, her life is forever changed. 

Small Jay Bitner,  son of Ellie and Roman Bitner, is an underdeveloped fourteen year old, who struggles with trying to get his father to accept him the way he is, and let me work side by side with him the way Amish sons are supposed to.

Boston Calvert, a vagrant, suddenly appears at the old mill with his dog Allegro.  He has no memory of how he got there or where he came from.  He only had a pack of love letters in his back pack. 

All because Sassy, Small Jay’s cat and Allegro met, healing began to happen in the lives of Small Jay, Boston, Marlena and Ellie and Roman. 

All I can say is have the tissues ready because you will need them as this book will pull at your heart-strings more than once.  I found myself moved to tears as Marlena struggled with the loss of her sister and the uncertainty of her sister’s salvation.  Her sister had left the Amish Order and there had been little contact with her since she left.  I found myself again in tears as she struggled with wanting to know God personally which was against the Old Order Amish. However she knew if she was going to marry her intended, Nat Zimmerman she had to stay in the Old Order faith. 

The next tears came as Small Jay struggled for acceptance from his father.  He felt the only one in the world who understood him was his cat Sassy and he told her everything.  Through his friendship with Boston, against his father’s wishes, he began to feel that he was more than just a small handicapped boy because Boston talked to him as a person and encouraged him to follow his heart.  Under Boston’s encouragement he began to grow as a responsible young man.

More tears arrived as I read Boston’s part in the story.  A man, who was obviously not Amish, yet accepted their simple way of life without question.  Even though Boston had little memory, his dog, Allegro, a package of love letter, a harmonica and his love for music, he was able to convey love and acceptance to all of those who met him.

Again the tears came when the healing process in the lives of those around Boston began to take place.  This is an exciting story that will keep you turning the pages and holding your breath while praying for a miraculous outcome.  Although there were many tears of sorrow, there were also tears of joy and lots of laughter, especially with the antics of Slasher.  As I read the finishing pages, I was reminded of the scripture in Psalms 30:5 …weeping may endure for the night, but joy cometh in the morning.  If you are a fan of Beverly Lewis you won’t want to miss this book.  It is the best I have read to date, her insight of the Amish people is superior to any other author’s work I have read concerning the Amish.  She has a distinct way of bringing a story together without being “preachy” and she often, as in the book, brings triumph through tragedy.   Although her books are Amish, the events can easily be applied to any person’s life and she reveals that the Amish in many ways have the same issues as the English.

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-Who You Are By John Croyle


Who You Are
(Defying the Circumstances That Define Us)
By:  John Croyle
Publisher:  B & H Publishing Group

Life doesn’t always turn out the way we wanted or planned for it to.  There are circumstances and events we often wish we could rewind or at least touch up, but that can’t happen either.  However we can stop the cycle by how we react to the events in our lives as evidenced by the children of Big Oak Ranch under the leadership of John Croyle and his wife Tee.  He teaches the children that come into his life to trust again, which not an easy task because of the tragedies in their lives.  He teaches them that where they came from, those awful events, is not the full picture of their lives and it certainly is not the ending.

Although Mr. Croyle writes about the events of Big Oak Ranch and the children he has been blessed to parent, this book goes far beyond those stories.  It causes deep soul searching in your life as you read of the tragedies in such young lives and how they were able to overcome.  He stated in the beginning of his book that he hopes each reader will walk away with two or three things that will make you want to “dust off the rust from your drive and fighting spirit”.  He hopes it will make you want to go after the things in your life that you have been afraid of or are avoiding.

I learned you are never too old to start your journey to regain your focus and it is never too late to ask God for forgiveness as long as you have breath.  These stores of Big Oak Ranch’s Children touched my heart to tears because of what they endured before John and Tee came into their lives, but it also made me do a deep self-examination of where I stand in my life’s journey.  I can say I found myself falling very short and some of the things I have been experiencing have been stealing my joy, but more importantly it taught me how to regain that joy.

This is a book well worth reading.  I know it will touch your heart as it has mine. 

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this Book by Shelby Janner, Senior Publicist at, B & H Publishing Group,  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.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Book Review-Don't Lose Her By Jonathon King

Don’t Lose Her
(The Max Freeman Mysteries)
By:  Jonathon King
Publisher:  Open Road Integrated Media
Release Date:  June 2, 2015

In all of her time on the bench, pregnant U.S. district judge, Diane Manchester, has seen her share of evil, but nothing prepared her for the evil she saw in the eyes of the notorious Columbian drug lord, Juan Manuel Escalante, before her for extradition.  Although she was eight months pregnant and uncomfortable she knew she could show no weakness.  As she suggests a lunch break, Escalante subtly threatens Diane and her baby.  Diane refuses to justify his comment.

While in recess for lunch, Diane is abducted off the street on her way to her favorite restaurant.  She has no idea who is behind the abduction.  She is kept blindfolded and her captors are silent.  Diane has no hope of being rescued unless her husband, Billy and his employee and friend, Max Freeman, a Philadelphia cop turned private investigator in the Florida Everglades, can find her before it is too late for her and the baby.  Is Escalante behind the abduction or is some other force at work?

Although Jonathon King is a new author to me, I had no problem picking up and reading book number 7 in the series.  I found the book fast-paced with an easy to follow plot, even though there were many characters with lots of twists and turns.  Mr. King gave just enough background of the Everglades to help the storyline, but not so much it causes it to drag.  The culmination of the plot is somewhat predictable, but the twists and turns kept me turning the pages because I wanted to see how they arrived at the ending.  Now that I have read this book, I will go back and read more of the series. I enjoyed this book very much. 

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this eBook by the publisher, Open Road Integrated Media, through NetGalley 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-Murder Freshly Baked By Vannetta Chapman


Murder Freshly Baked
(An Amish Village Mystery Book 3)
By:  Vannetta Chapman
Publisher:  Zondervan
Release Date: June 9, 2015

Once again we meet in Middlebury, Indiana in the Amish Artisan Village as they are getting ready to host a race for the cure.  Village manager, Amber Bowman is only too happy to have something else to distract her thoughts from the “Poison Poet”---someone is leaving bad poetry in baked goods with a warning that it may be poisoned. 

Amber and Hanna Troyer struggle to find the person responsible for the poetry and sinister warnings before someone else dies.  Meanwhile play-boy type Ryan Duvall is dating three women from the village at the same time and has no regard for their feelings when they find out about his duplicity.  He feels he has done nothing wrong, until someone comes after him.  Could it be a case of women scorned or is there more to the story?  Is there a link between the Poison Poet and Ryan’s death?

The book begins with Ryan Duvall being shot just has he crosses the finish line in the race for the cure.  The story then backtracks to the beginning to fill in the events leading up to this culmination.  The plot is filled with twists and turns that keeps the story interesting and keeps you turning the pages.  Telling Ryan’s story would give away too much of the plot, but it is filled with love and forgiveness along with a good dose of God’s marvelous redeeming grace.  If you have read the other two books in the series, you won’t want to miss this one and if you haven’t read them you do not need to do so to read this book, however you may want to go back and read the others.  Once again MS Chapman brings us another book from Middlebury filled with mystery, intrigue, love and reminders of how fragile life can be along with God’s unconditional love for us. 

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this eBook by the publisher, Zondervan, through NetGalley 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-Detained by Don Brown

Detained
By:  Don Brown
Publisher:  Zondervan Fiction
Release date:  April 21, 1015

Hasan Makari and his son Najib, Lebanese Nationals, were taught by American missionaries and their dream was to experience the freedom of America.

Eleven years later, Najib came to America and became a citizen and joined the Navy.  There were simultaneous terrorist attacks on several shopping centers throughout the U.S. and a mishap on the ship where Najib was stationed, at the same time his father was due to arrive in the U.S.  Upon his arrival Hasan was immediately detained and when Najib’s ship, the USS Abraham Lincoln, put into port he too, was arrested.  Both men were transported to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba – accused of crimes they did not commit.  Matt Davis, a Navy JAG officer has been assigned to defend them.  Matt knows they have been set up and it goes to the very top brass.  Emily Gardner, currently a top-ranking TSA lawyer, but soon to be nominated General Counsel for Homeland Security, uncovers a scheme to undermine the power of the president and it will put the American people at risk.  Matt’s only hope of saving the Makaris’ and the American people, is for Emily to remain alive long enough to expose the truth. 

I love political intrigue and Don Brown is one of the best.  I was first introduced to his work in “Fire of the Raging Dragon” and have since been a big fan.  Although his books are fiction, he develops the plots and characters closely enough to current events that it leaves you questioning if these could possibly be true.  In “Detained” it dives into behind-the-scenes of TSA, Homeland Security and Gitmo.  The twists and turns of this plot will keep you turning the pages and asking a thousand “what-if” questions.  You will begin to wonder if our government or any government could actually pull off such events in the name of national security.  Mr. Brown skillfully introduces the reader to the interrogation practices of Gitmo, without being graphic, yet encouraging your mind to finish what he didn’t say.  I highly recommend this book, especially if you like political intrigue and fast-paced suspense.  Mr. Brown also has a subtle way of developing an intriguing plot and lacing it with prayer and faith instead of graphic language.  This book will not only appeal to the Christian reader but to the Secular reader as well.


Disclosure: I was given a copy of this eBook by the publisher, Zondervan, through NetGalley 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-A Stranger's Secret By Laure Alice Eakes


A Stranger’s Secret
By:  Laurie Alice Eakes
Publisher:  Zondervan Fiction
Release Date:  April 21, 2015

Once promiscuous Morwenna Penvenan, now widowed, only wants to spend her life being mother to her son, Mihal and to restore her late husband’s run-down estate for her son.  However Morwenna finds life is never easy; especially with her reputation…someone is deliberately directing ships into her beach during storms as a safe haven only to be wrecked so they can steal the cargo.  Although she understands people in her community are starving because the copper mines have closed, she cannot understand the destruction of others.  After each storm she combs the beach for clues as to who is using her property to cause such devastation when she stumbles upon a barely-breathing man, David Chastain, wearing the medallion with the Penvenan Crest.  Barely alive she takes him to her home and nurses him back to health.  She learns he is on his way to Cornwall to find out how his father died.  They have a mutual distrust for each other…all because the medallion is missing and Morwenna is accused of luring the ships to their destruction.  Somehow their lives are intertwined…but how?

From the first page, I was hooked!  What is not to love about a wronged heiress, murder, attempted murder and love?  The plot and characters are well developed, leaving you feeling as if you are part of the story.  My heart went out to Morwenna as she struggled to control her temper and develops her newly found faith in God, especially when it seems everyone around her is against her.  This book will have you turning the pages, unable to put it down until the last page is read.
Disclosure: I was given a copy of this eBook by the publisher, Zondervan, through NetGalley 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-The Inn at Ocean's Edge By Colleen Coble


The Inn at Ocean’s Edge
By: Colleen Coble
A Shadow Bay Novel
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson

Claire Dellamore comes to Sunset Cove in hopes of helping her father close a business deal.  However the minute she arrives at the Hotel Tourmaline, she feels something terrible has happened at one time and has a severe panic attack.  To help settle her nerves, she takes a walk on the beach only to witness the murder of the hotel receptionist, Jenny Bennett, but no one believes her except Luke Rocco, who is home on leave from the coast guard.  He believes her because twenty-five years ago his mother and a four-year-old went missing at the same time.  His mother had never been found, but the little girl showed up at the hotel a year later, unharmed, with a note pinned to her clothing, stating she was Claire Dellamore.  Luke helps Claire track down the murderer and both uncover family secrets that might have been better left buried, because now someone is trying to kill Claire.

This was a deeply woven plot with more turns than a screw.  Each turn took you further and further into the plot until you didn’t know whom you should trust. It captured my attention from the first page and its fast pace kept it until the end of the book.  The grief from that long-ago tragedy of the two families oozed from the pages causing a deep bond with the characters.  I loved the fact it touched on how people perceive you if you have been diagnosed with panic attacks.  If you are looking for a mystery with a sea-side setting, this fast-paced, suspense-filled novel is one you won’t want to miss and once you start reading it, you won’t be able to put it down. 

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this eBook by the publisher, Thomas Nelson, through NetGalley 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 Reveiw-Deception on Sable Hill By Shelley Gray

Deception on Sable Hill
By Shelly Gray
Publisher:  Zondervan

Unlikely duo, society detective, Owen Howard and rough-around-the-edges Irishman Lieutenant Sean Ryan pair up to apprehend the society slasher, who is skillfully killing or scarring society young ladies in Chicago. This daunting task is made worse by the world’s fair being held in Chicago.  Sean and Owen are hired to moonlight by the society elite to protect their young ladies as they attend social functions.  It is at one of these functions, Sean meets Eloisa Carstairs.  Although Eloisa’s distrust of men (because she was raped by Douglas Sloan) usually causes her to shy away, she finds herself drawn to Sean and able to share the story of the rape with him, which is something she has not even told her parents.  Although Eloisa’s mother is pushing for an engagement at the end of the society season, she knows no one will want to marry her because in society she is considered damaged goods.  Sean also knows he has no chance of winning her heart due to the differences in their classes.  In spite of this he continues to be her friend helping her to rebuild her self-confidence, while introducing her to life from the “other side of town”, through Hope House, a place for battered women and children to live.  As Sean and Owen feverishly race to find the slasher, love between Eloisa and Sean blossoms.  Will they catch the slasher before he claims another victim?  Will Sean and Eloisa find a way to be together?

This was an enchanting love story about differences in social classes, which to a degree still exists today.  As this story unfolds it will keep you on the edge of your seat, cheering for Sean and Eloisa.   It is filled with twists and turns that will keep you turning the pages as it culminates in an ending complete with recovering from tragedy to acceptance, forgiveness and grace.  This book is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. 


Disclosure: I was given a copy of this eBook by the publisher, Zondervan, through NetGalley 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-A Sparrow in Terezin By Kristy Cambron



 

A Sparrow in Terezin
By:  Kristy Cambron
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson
Release Date:  April 7, 2015

Although years separate Sera James (present day) and Kaja Makowsky (1942) their lives are paralleled as they both fight for their survival and for those they love.

Sera, faced with a brutal legal battle against her fiancĂ©, William Hanover for a crime he didn’t commit, must fight for him and her family, before there is any hope for their future.

Kaja barely escapes occupied Prague while having to leave her half-Jewish family behind. Once she learns Jews are being killed by the thousands in concentration camps, she must return to smuggle her family to safety.

Once I started reading this book, I couldn’t put it down.  It is seldom I find a book that makes time and commitment irrelevant, but that is exactly what this book did.  I couldn’t wait to turn the next page.  MS Cambron writes this heart-wrenching story vacillating between present day and WWII.  She is able to write detailed historical facts of violent atrocities, without being overly graphic.  Yet you are able to understand exactly what each girl is facing.  As I read, I could feel God’s grace give them hope and endurance as they struggled with the atrocities of WWII’s concentration camp and modern day brutality.  This is a book that will break your heart and will put it back together as their mysteries and tragedies unfold.  It will remain in your heart long after you have read the last page.

I have not read the first book in this series, but I am off to do so now while anxiously awaiting the next in the series.
Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book by the publisher, Thomas Nelson, through NetGalley 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.