Posts

Showing posts from April, 2016

Woodland Miracle (An Amish Wonders Novel #2)

Image
Title:  A Woodland Miracle (An Amish Wonders Novel #2) Author:  Ruth Reid Pages:  352 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Thomas Nelson My rating is 5 stars. Whew!  This one really had me on the edge of my seat with every page I turned…wow!  I thought I couldn’t read fast enough as the suspense and danger in the book kept climbing!  Grace is the oldest child who has had to shoulder the care for the house and her younger siblings.  What has made it more difficult is Grace’s disability and at times fear. Ben and Toby were sent to Michigan by their fathers to stay and hopefully mature while working for an uncle.  However, when they arrive, the uncle isn’t expected to return for weeks because he has gone timbering.  Oh, but there is danger lurking as a man said to be dangerous by police may be in the area while Ben at first toys with Grace’s feelings. The suspense and twists with turns in the plot kept me up most of the night reading as I couldn’t close the book.  The tension is set on high througho…

A Miracle of Hope (An Amish Wonders Novel #1)

Image
Title:  A Miracle of Hope (An Amish Wonders Novel #1) Author:  Ruth Reid Pages:  352 Year:  2014 Publisher:  Thomas Nelson My rating is 5 stars. One of the best aspects of the series is there is a riveting story in each novel filled with suspense, romance, faith, heart break and redemption.  In this first book, a young woman has a marriage arranged by her brother who doesn’t know what happened one night when his sister didn’t come right home after the singing gathering.  When Lindie turned up pregnant, her brother arranged for her to leave Ohio and marry a complete stranger in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. At first Lindie and Josiah enter marriage as a commitment with boundaries that only these two know about.  The closer it comes to Lindie’s due date the more Josiah looks sickly and is afraid a past illness has resurfaced.  Now, will they both enter these trials believing God can heal and deliver them or will their faith crumble? I really was captivated by the story and eagerly a…

Loving Leah Author: Lynn Larson

Image
Title:  Loving Leah Author:  Lynn Larson Pages:  208 Year:  2016 Publisher:  Covenant My rating is 4 stars. The setting of the story is when Quantrill hit Lawrence, Kansas with devastating and deadly results.  The novel focuses on one family’s hardship of losing their mother to an illness while their father is off to war and then the raiders hit.  The father of Ethan and Addie hires a governess who is a Mormon.  She was orphaned young and wanting to work her way to Utah. For me, the novel was riveting in historical details and focusing on this one incident helped me understand more of what occurred.  Included in the book I believe is a lot of Mormon history which helps to understand what and why they believe what they do.  Plus knowing what they went through historically I found of interest. In many ways the heartache, broken lives, and need for forgiveness and restoration is accurately portrayed.  While I don’t agree with the theology of Mormons, I can appreciate what many sought his…

At Home in the Father’s House

Image
Title:  At Home in the Father’s House Author:  John Sheasby & Ken Gire Pages:  192 Year:  2016 Publisher:  Worthy My rating is 5 stars. When you see this short book in the store, don’t mistake it for having nothing to impart to your heart.  As you look at the cover perhaps think of what you can glean from a man who has been a servant and now understands what it means to be a son.  In order to understand the previous statement, reading the book will clarify this.  In case you need a tidbit in order to read it, understand that it is for all who long for a closer intimate walk with the Lord. The author is originally from a different nation, but that doesn’t matter as the human heart is very much identical regardless.  The heart yearns and cries out for God to save, to love, to speak and so much more!  Like others who experienced a legalistic background the author helps us understand freedom in Christ as he shares very transparently the journey the Lord took him on. After each chapte…

Snow Out of Season

Image
Title:  Snow Out Of Season Author:  Christy Brunke Pages:  288 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Mountainview Books My rating is 5 stars. What an original, confusing, suspenseful and heart-rending novel!  Wondering what it’s about or why I describe the novel as I do?  Well, it’s a story about two pregnant women in different stages of life.  One is a teenager in 1979 while the other lives in 2014 and their stories seem as different as night and day.  However, they both have at least one other thing in common other than being pregnant and that is both women have known deep heartache. What is apparent in the beginning of the book such as the plot or theme of the book becomes quite apparent at the end.  The novel is a heart-gripping story that explores themes such as problematic pregnancy and teenage pregnancy with at least a point of view of how it affects the teenager. This is one of the most different types of stories I have ever read in my life.  While not understanding it, there seemed to be …

Close to You

Image
Title:  Close To You Author:  Kara Isaac Pages:  373 (ARC) Year:  2016 Publisher:  Howard Books This is an absolutely delightful, contemporary, romantic comedy set in New Zealand.  The two main characters are Jackson Gregory and Allison Shire.  Both characters are dealing with several issues and are thrown together for a three-week bus tour of all things J.R.R. Tolkien.  Allie is the tour guide with a luxury tour company and is charged with making memories for her group via unique outings to various film locations for the movies The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy.  She has a master’s degree from Cambridge and knows just about everything about Tolkien and his famous works, but due to circumstances beyond her control has taken this job to pay debts. Jackson Gregory was a rising star in the investment world when his ex-girlfriend stole a million dollar idea from him and took it to the competition, making Jackson’s company go belly up.  Jackson was forced to sell all his assets…

Song of Silence

Image
Title:  Song of Silence Author:  Cynthia Ruchti Pages:  320 Year:  2016 Publisher:  Abingdon My rating is 5+ stars. This is a very moving tale that won’t soon be forgotten by this reviewer.  This is a story about a woman who taught music only to lose her job 19 years later.  Readers will journey with her as she deals with the emotional ramifications. The program she ran was originally started by her father and now she feels as though she has failed him because of the closing of the program. What follows after the introduction to the character Lucy, who was a music teacher, will keep audiences’ hearts gripped till the very end of the book.  I enjoyed the author’s portrayal of how Lucy and her husband Charlie each handle Lucy’s unemployment.  For me, I thought it was accurate to portray the longing of a woman’s heart for understanding from her mate and the times that fail to occur.  Poor Charlie kept attempting to try and restore the light in Lucy’s eyes and the passion in her heart, o…

The Rules In Rome Author: A. L.Soward

Image
Title:  The Rules In Rome Author:  A. L.Soward Pages:  304 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Covenant My rating is 4 stars. I am a fan of novels set during the WWII timeframe.  A. L. Soward has written a story that draws readers in by using espionage, spying, and codes for transmitting reports to the Allies about what was happening in enemy territory.   There is a romance building between the lead male and female characters that is constantly being played down by them so that they can focus on their assignments. In a way, it was easy to enter the imagination of the writer because she aptly describes the scenes with detail.  Both Bastian Ley posing as a German Officer and Gracie Begni as a radio transmitter begin finding it difficult to stay in character as different people as they are continuously drawn towards each other.  There is always danger of being found with the radio and codes or turned in by someone who is really a German spy which adds the tension element to the tale. For me, I woul…

The Calling of Ella McFarland

Image
Title:  The Calling of Ella McFarland Author:  Linda Brooks Davis Pages:  376 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Mountainview Books My rating is 5+ stars. What a captivating and thrilling journey it has been in this historical novel!  There are many themes one could glean such as trusting the Lord with vengeance, not worrying about the speck in one’s own eyes while there is a plank to be removed first, redemption, trust, love and hope.  The story tells about family life in the early 19th century with the suffragette movement and the ruin brought to many lives through alcoholism and lawlessness. The faith of the McFarland family is steady and the foundation the parents taught to their children and grandchildren firm.  While not all members embraced it or understood it at first in the tale readers will see the trust placed in the Lord, the decision to love another above self and prayer being a major comfort in life not just when trails come.  The trails that Ella endures throughout the book touch…

West for the Black Hills (Dakota Sunrise Book #1)

Image
Title:  West for the Black Hills (Dakota Sunrise Book #1) Author:  Peter Leavell Pages:  350 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Mountainview Books My rating is 5 stars. Oh boy, I so cannot wait for the next installment in the Dakota Sunrise series!  I love the western genre anyway and Peter Leavell is a new author to me.  In his novel, he incorporates a whole host of unique people living in Dakota’s small town called Mitchell; this is before Dakota was a state.  The male lead character is an orphaned boy named Philip Anderson.  Philip lost both his parents when their wagon was attacked by robbers.  Sounds simple, right? Now enter an Indian male named Running Deer who Philip at first thinks is going to kill him, but Running Deer and the braves help Philip in a couple ways.  The female lead is a character named Anna who Philip quickly falls in love with, but when he doesn’t vocalize his heart, Anna is crushed.  Here comes the antagonist named Jacob whose sole ambition is to own the townspeople th…

The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder (Herringford & Watts Mysteries)

Image
Title:  The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder (Herringford & Watts Mysteries) Author:  Rachel McMillan Pages:  224 Year:  2016 Publisher:  Harvest House Publishers As an avid mystery fan, I saw the description of this book and immediately wanted to read it.  I enjoyed the setting in Toronto with two female detectives as the lead characters in 1910.  These two women face challenges daily as they try to forge their way into an exclusively male career.  Merinda is supported by her wealthy parents while Jem has been disowned by her parents and works in a department store to earn her keep.  Both women have been told to find husbands, start a family and keep house.  That is what women are supposed to do, right?  These ladies beg to differ.  They set out to discover a killer of two, young, Irish women.  This is their first really big case and Merinda especially is determined to succeed.  During the course of their investigations aided by Jasper Forth, a police detective as well as Ray De…

Breaking Free Author: Jennifer Slattery

Image
Title:  Breaking Free Author:  Jennifer Slattery Pages:  320 Year:  2016 Publisher:  New Hope My rating is 5 stars. We all know relationships can bring joy and sorrow, love and pain just to mention a few words regarding human interactions.  When a relationship is compounded by something that brings bondage, it complicates matters.  In marriage, while bringing to the human heart more than words express, let’s face it, it is work.  At times it doesn’t seem to take any effort and in others seasons much work while each day we must lean upon the Lord to fulfill our vows. In Breaking Free, the author shows us the possible shattering effects alcoholism can bring to a marriage and relationships with the children not to mention other friends.  Here is a story of a woman named Alice who must face her naked heart, but where can she go to share her burden where transparency doesn’t become gossip in the friendships she has in church?  Alice is afraid of sharing the truth with anyone.  After all, …

Our President & Their Prayers (Proclamations of Faith by America’s Leaders)

Image
Title:  Our President & Their Prayers (Proclamations of Faith by America’s Leaders) Author:  Rand Paul & James Robsin Pages:  160 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Center Street My rating is 5 stars. When looking at the title, one might tend to think it contains pages upon pages of prayers with little else to offer and that would be a wrong conclusion.  Inside the covers are pages that grant us a glimpse in the hearts and minds of various Presidents.  Included with portions of prayers are explanations into who the man was, what he thought or experienced in life and how he felt.  These Presidents felt deeply about America and how blessed she truly is in how she was conceived and more. Readers are reminded of history some of which I wonder has ever been taught or made available to Americans as a whole.  One reads this book and quickly captures the heart of solid belief that without God or a hand of Providence America would cease to be.  There may be ideas expressed or history understood …

The Great Train Massacre (Matt Jensen Last Mountain Man #10)

Image
Title:  The Great Train Massacre (Matt Jensen Last Mountain Man #10) Author:  William W. Johnstone with J. A. Johnstone Pages:  368 Year:  2016 Publisher:  Pinnacle My rating is 4 ½ stars. J.A. Johnstone has earned her own acclimation and admiration for her novels the more I read them.  Each western author brings to the audience either a realistic tale or more of a fantasy type.  Here is a story that is filled with western flavor, danger, romance and suspense.  Early on in the novel I sort of figured out who the antagonist was while he was trying to bring about the demise of a wealthy industrialist along with his only child, a daughter. Yet, it became quite apparent that the author knows how to throw a reader’s scent off the trail of the bad guy.  Many times through the book the audience will be captured by the constant danger always on the heels of John along with his daughter Mary Beth and their body guard Matt Jensen. Matt Jensen is quite capable of handling various forms of dange…

Sit, Stay, Love (Love Unleashed)

Image
Title:  Sit, Stay, Love (Love Unleashed) Author:  Dana Mentink Pages:  224 Year:  2016 Publisher:  Harvest House My rating is 5 stars. Dana Mentink brilliantly writes a tale and draws readers in by connecting it to an elderly dog.  Before I forget let me share with you that the second novel in series will come out July 2016 titled, Fetching Sweetness, and I cannot wait to enjoy that book! Cal is a major league pitcher with some major league hurts and disappointments in his life.  Gina is the woman who is hired originally to dog sit for Cal’s dog Tippy though Gina longs to be a teacher.  With a touch of realism where every move Cal makes shows up in social media and fans surround him, Dana has written a very cute story.  At first, I thought and hoped that since the dog was elderly that it didn’t involve the dog not making it until the end of the tale.  However, I am glad to say that Tippy thrives just fine throughout the book. There is the main thread running throughout the work of fi…

Lady Helen Finds Her Song

Image
Title:  Lady Helen Finds Her Song Author:  Jennifer Moore Pages:  225 Year:  2016 Publisher:  Covenant Communications, Inc. This is a charming love story set in 1813.  Lady Helen Poulter has traveled to India with her mother and step-father.  On arrival, she finds everything about the country fascinating.  She quickly comes to admire the people, places and events of India.  Her fellow Brits are not so kind in their thoughts and attitudes toward this country.  They find them to be heathens, the climate unbearable and the country disease ridden.  They make Lady Helen feel inferior for her fascination with and enjoyment of her newfound culture.  She finds a kindred spirit in Captain Michael Rhodes.  He is a British citizen who was born in India, schooled in England and then returned to India via service in the army.  He has always found India to be home to him.  He also finds Lady Helen has quickly stolen his heart, but is he too old for her?  Is there any way he can compete with the yo…

The Mapmaker’s Children (A Novel)

Image
Title:  The Mapmaker’s Children (A Novel) Author:  Sarah McCoy Pages:  336 Year:  2016 Publisher:  Broadway Books My rating is 4 stars. The Civil War era is a personal favorite of mine to read about either in fiction or nonfiction.  For me, this is the first of Sarah McCoy’s books to read.  Here she takes readers between two time periods.  One is at the time of the Civil War, John Brown and the Underground Railroad.  The other is the present day where a married couple is wrestling with infertility and find out the home they now own was once a part of the Underground Railroad. Both Sarah, who is John Brown’s daughter and Eden are trying to find their place in life as women who are unable to bear children.  Children are usually expected or desired in marriage and depending on culture, it’s a sign the marriage is successful.  Eden’s character is very different by the time the reader reaches the end of the book, which is captivating. Sarah’s story for me was more interesting as it was fu…

Worth Dying For (A Navy Seal’s Call to the Nation)

Image
Title:  Worth Dying For (A Navy Seal’s Call to the Nation) Author:  Rorke Denver Pages:  240 Year:  2016 Publisher:  Howard My rating is 5 stars. Worth Dying For is a very interesting and inspiring read. Rorke delivers a deep message of understanding for people without understanding of the military world.  Worth Dying For certainly delivers some very fine points on being a leader, when it is right and when it is wrong to kill, what we can do more for those who sacrifice so much for our freedoms, and being of service in one way or another. In each of the ten chapters, Rorke addresses some major issues that some people (perhaps many) are fully unaware of or choose to ignore. This book shows what SEALs are capable of and Rorke certainly delivers some lessons that we civilians can learn from:  leadership, service, thoughtful, and open-minded. I would recommend this book to others because it shows what the military stands and fights for. And because I believe that God has a plan for Rorke…

True Reagan.........a must read & personal library addition!

Image
Title:  True Reagan (What made Ronald Reagan Great & Why it Matters) Author:  James Rosebush Pages:  288 Year:  2016 Publisher:  Center Street My rating is 5 stars. President Reagan was in office as I went from high school through college.  There were words, speeches or actions by the President I could recall to mind pretty quickly.  Then, I sat down and read through True Reagan in one sitting, alternating between the inner character of the man as well as busting out laughing at some of the ways Reagan expressed himself. As I read I was impressed with knowing more about his family background and how that shaped the man he became in life.  I learned some of the sorrows and trials he went through in his formative years and as an adult; after all, no one can walk through this life without knowing both.  It was really touching to see what he read and committed to memory and how being President at times wasn’t the easiest of jobs to hold. Early in the morning I was towards the end of …

Back in the Saddle (A Double S Novel #1)

Image
Title:  Back in the Saddle (A Double S Novel #1) Author:  Ruth Logan Herne Pages:  320 Year:  2016 Publisher:  Multnomah My rating is 5 stars. First, let me say that the next book in this series will be released October 2016 titled, Home on the Range.  Now, to the story set in book one, Back in the Saddle.  Readers are introduced to a ranch named the Double S and the Stafford family.  Sam is the patriarch who is widowed and battling a liver problem and some injuries given to him by a cow.  Angelina is the housekeeper/cook and a whole lot more on the ranch where she cares for the father along with the ranch hands.  The son Nick has been the main mind and work horse on the ranch even when his wife up and walked out.  Now returns the prodigal son Colt who left years ago to work in the financial arena on Wall Street.  Colt never planned on returning, but when the market changed, he lost his job so to the ranch he returned.   The third son Trey is a Christian singer who travels much, but …

1 Peter (A Living Hope in Christ) Bible Study Book

Image
Title:  1 Peter (A Living Hope in Christ) Bible Study Book Author:  Jen Wilkin Pages:  143 Year:  2016 Publisher:  Lifeway Christian Resources My rating is 4 stars. With so much of our society, including various parts of the Body of believers, this study couldn’t have come at a more important time.  It doesn’t take a person long to hear the hopelessness they feel or the lack of encouragement received in daily life.  The book of 1 Peter both encourages and exhorts believers to understand more deeply the God we worship as well as understand the why of suffering.  There is also direction to look deeper into the Word and treasure the Scriptures more than any other book. One of the most effective ways to study the Bible is inductively, which is how this study is laid out over nine weeks.  At the beginning of each week, participants will read through 1 Peter before focusing in on a segment of the letter Peter wrote.  There are videos that can be purchased for download or on DVD for individ…

Calico Spy (Undercover Ladies #3)

Image
Title:  Calico Spy (Undercover Ladies #3) Author:  Margaret Brownley Pages:  320 Year:  2016 Publisher:  Shiloh Run Press This is the third book in the Undercover Ladies series and introduces the Pinkerton Detective Katie Madison.  She is on her first case that deals with murder.  She has apprehended robbers, thieves and other criminals with great success, but never a murderer.  She is sent to Calico, Kansas after two women are killed.  They work as Harvey Girls as waitresses.  Katie is sent in undercover as a waitress.  Well, she has no waitressing experience, which makes for some sticky situations for her.  Katie begins to see Branch as more than a partner in crime solving, but what kind of future might they have together? Sheriff Branch Whitman doesn’t like Pinkerton agents or their operating methods, but he has no idea that Katie is really an agent.  He has tried to solve the two murders on his own, but doesn’t have a clue as to the identity of the murderer.  He soon learns Katie…

Stealing Jake

Image
Title:  Stealing Jake Author:  Pam Hillman Pages:  384 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Tyndale My rating is 5 stars. The reason I love books is because they can take my mind on an adventure or build up my faith; they are more entertaining than any other form or venue of entertainment.  With a book, you can share with anyone over coffee or a coke.  Above all, anyone can pass down to the next generation a love of reading.  When I was a little girl, my Nana read westerns written by Louis L’Amour, Luke Short and others.  In fact, she read them more than once in her lifetime.  Now I have those books and I am adding my favorite stories and authors to my home library. I read Stealing Jake in a day which tells you just how enjoyable the story is!  There is action, adventure, mystery, intrigue and faith with romance intertwined.  The greatest part of the story for me was seeing how characters learned that no matter what their pasts looked like, they were brand new creations when they turned to Christ…

No Shred of Evidence (Inspector Ian Rutledge #17)

Image
Title:  No Shred of Evidence (Inspector Ian Rutledge #17) Author:  Charles Todd Pages:  3 Year:  2016 Publisher:  William Morrow I have enjoyed every book in this series.  Each one is a wonderful journey into the mind of Inspector Ian Rutledge and sometimes into the mind of a criminal to see if I can figure out the motive.  This particular case takes place in the autumn of 1920.  Ian has just finished writing up a report on a case he has wrapped up when he is called into the Chief Superintendent’s office and assigned a new case.   He hasn’t even been home yet to unpack from his prior case.  He quickly sets off for Cornwall to take up the case where the previous inspector left off.  He arrives to find that the previous inspector’s notes have been misplaced as well as the statements from the parties involved.  This inspector has died unexpectedly of a heart attack.  In the confusion of packing up his belongings, the papers go missing.  Without these, Ian must start from scratch and int…

The Centurion Author: Ken Gire

Image
Title:  The Centurion Author:  Ken Gire Pages:  368 Year:  2016 Publisher:  River North My rating is 5+ stars. Every now and then while browsing or looking for books to add to my “to be read pile” or just for the fun of looking, I am blessed to discover a rare gem.  Here is one of those gems.  The story follows the life of the centurion who oversaw the orders to crucify three men.  Two of them were thieves; one was Jesus Son of God.  At the foot of the cross are Jesus’ earthly mother Mary along with some of those who loved Him from afar and some closely.  Of course, there were Romans soldiers there to make sure the orders were carried out to their fullest extent without interruption from the crowd. As readers are drawn further into the historical work of fiction, be ready to lose yourself as you follow the years of service this one man gives to Rome.  What makes his task harder is that loves a woman who loves the Lord, but one who never sees him as anything other than someone she kno…

Finding Mercy (Mercy Medallion #2)

Image
Title:  Finding Mercy (Mercy Medallion #2) Author:  Michael Landon, Jr. & Cindy Kelley Pages:  416 Year:  2014 Publisher:  David C. Cook This second book in the series picks up right where book one, Traces of Mercy, left off so please read book one before this one.  It is now May 1866.  Mercy still has amnesia and is being escorted to the state line by Elijah Hale a former Union officer.  They are travelling on horseback and stop to camp overnight.  Mercy thinks she can move faster on her own, take care of her own self and doesn’t want Elijah to spend any more of his money or time on her.  She leaves in the night and takes a room at a boarding house only to find herself pursued by bounty hunters.  It seems someone is not happy or satisfied with the judge’s recanting of Mercy’s death sentence so bounty hunters have been hired to kill Mercy.  She manages to escape, but soon finds herself in another terrible situation.  Elijah has tracked her down and rescues her.  She has seen a pi…

Tailspin (Mountain Cove)

Image
Title:  Tailspin (Mountain Cove) Author:  Elizabeth Goddard Pages:  224 Year:  2016 Publisher:  Love Inspired My rating is 5 stars. There is nothing better on a Sunday afternoon than curling up with a Love Inspired Suspense novel.  The novels keep me glued to the tale that includes themes of love, suspense and faith.  Each novel I have read is unique in capturing the heart and mind while trying to figure out the adversary in the tale. In this story, a woman named Sylvie Masters is diving off the shore near an Alaskan shore, hoping to locate the downed plane her mother was riding in.  While doing so Sylvie sees a shadow above and assumes it to be a sea creature.  How wrong she is when she finds herself in a fight to stay alive!  Flying above her in a bush plane is Will Pierson who comes to notice a woman attempting to flee men who are chasing her.  Will decides to land close enough for her to get to him so he can get in the air before danger catches up.  The rest of what happens in th…

My Brother's Crown

Image
Title:  My Brother’s Crown (Cousins of the Dove #1) Author:  Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould Pages:  358 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Harvest House Publishers Renee Talbot is a brilliant scientist whose family has held a rare document for generations.  Now, with her grandfather’s recent death, the family abides by his wishes and contacts the Smithsonian to donate the document.  The document is a pamphlet written by French Huguenots for persecuted Huguenots to flee the country via hidden messages in poems and maps hidden in drawings.  Renee also discovers some hidden symbols, but is unsure if they have any meaning or not.  Blake Keller has been given the job of making sure the document stays safe and secure until handed over to the Smithsonian.  He helps Renee decode the hidden symbols as well as put an event in the past into perspective. Catherine Gillet is a French Huguenot in 1685 under the reign of King Louis XIV, the Sun King.  He has begun countrywide persecution of Huguenots, se…