Saturday, October 31, 2015

All Is Bright... a book review


All Is Bright
All Is Bright

by Colleen Coble
A Hope Beach Christmas Novella
Publisher:Thomas Nelson 
Available October 2015
Christian fiction / Mystery / Suspense / Romance

Publisher's Description:
A romantic Christmas wedding at Tidewater Inn gives Delilah's unique gifts a chance to shine. But will her light be snuffed out before the bride and groom say 'I do'? A romantic, Christmas wedding at her seaside hotel gives Delilah a chance to shine with her unique gifts. But will her light be snuffed out before the bride and groom say “I do”?

As manager of the Tidewater Inn, Delilah Carter has been planning a spectacular Christmas wedding for her friends at the grand hotel overlooking the ocean. While picking up still more twinkly lights and some last-minute groceries for the reception dinner, a huge truck runs her off the freezing, wet roads into the dark night. Her car stops just short of an enormous tree and the truck speeds off into the night. Delilah escapes with her life and has almost convinced herself the whole thing was an accident, but then she begins to receive threatening phone calls. With the wedding just hours away, she’s distracted and anxious. Then Sheriff Tom Bourne stops by the inn and volunteers to help.

Tom has always had a soft spot for Delilah, and he’s determined to protect her. But he is pulled away by a bizarre Christmas stunt that has the neighborhood reeling, and Delilah is attacked again.  Will Delilah have to cancel the Christmas wedding at Tidewater Inn? And will Tom’s protection be enough to save Delilah from the shadowy figure looming in the background?

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

All Is Bright is another keeper for my bookshelf to revisit over the years!  I have enjoyed many of Colleen Coble's novels and this one did not disappoint.  Novellas concern me that the author is only able to scratch the surface of the story line, but that is not the case with All Is Bright.  Colleen Coble seamlessly develops the characters and the story line in a way that makes the reader feel as it you are reading a full novel.  I enjoy vising Tidewater Inn and those that reside there.

So, grab All Is Bright, your favorite warm beverage, and curl up with a heart-warming read that will give you a break from your own hectic life!

I received a complimentary digital copy of All Is Bright from Thomas Nelson and BookLook Blogger program for my honest review.

Happy Reading,


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Ties That Bind... a book review



The Amish of Summer Grove, Book One
ISBN: 978-1-60142-699-4
WaterBrook Press
September 2015

Book Description:

Ariana s comfortable Old Order Amish world is about to unravel. Will holding tightly to the cords of family keep them together or simply tear them apart? 

Twenty-year-old Ariana Brenneman loves her family and the Old Ways. She has two aspirations: open a cafe in historic Summer Grove to help support her family's ever-expanding brood and to keep any other Amish from being lured into the Englisch life by Quill Schlabach.  Five years ago Quill, along with her dear friend Frieda, ran off together, and Ariana still carries the wounds of that betrayal. When she unexpectedly encounters him, she soon realizes he has plans to help someone else she loves leave the Amish.  Despite how things look, Quill's goal has always been to protect Ariana from anything that may hurt her, including the reasons he left. After returning to Summer Grove on another matter, he unearths secrets about Ariana and her family that she is unaware of.  His love and loyalty to her beckons him to try to win her trust and help her find a way to buy the cafe because when she learns the truth that connects her and a stranger named Skylar Nash, Quill knows it may upend her life forever.  

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

I always enjoy a wonderfully written story of the Amish and Ties That Bind did not disappoint.   Author Cindy Woodsmall introduced me to a close-knit family and their Amish community living a simple, God-fearing life in Summer Grove, Pennsylvania.  I was drawn into the lives of Ariana and her family from page one.  I found myself cheering her on as she works toward buying the cafe and felt my heart stop when she learned the truth regarding the night she was born.  I was wondering how Cindy Woodsmall was going to tie up all the storylines in the book and then realized this was the first book in a new series!  I was so excited and disappointed... I love the book and now I have to wait for the next book to learn the outcome of Ariana's life!

For more information on Cindy Woodsmall, her books, and Amish recipes, check out her website.

I received a complimentary copy of Ties That Bind from WaterBrook Press and their Blogging for Books program for my honest review.

Happy Reading,


Saturday, October 10, 2015

Eve... a book review

ISBN: 978-1-5011-0142-7
Available: September 2015
Publisher: Howard Books: An Imprint of Simon and Schuster, Inc.

Eve by Wm. Paul Young takes an elaborate look at Creation and God’s unending love, grace, and mercy.  Woven into a story of one girl’s search for meaning in her broken life, we find ourselves seeing a new side of God and His all-consuming desire of reconciliation with us.  It did take a while for me not to focus on the characters titles: Collector, Guardian, Healer, Mender, Scholars, and Engineer just to name a few, but to focus on their jobs and accomplishments.  As I neared the end of the story, I saw truths in my own life which were mirrored in the novel, Eve.  This will be a story which will be revisited often – in book and in thought. 
A few of the many nuggets gleaned from this story:
“Prayer is mostly about talking to God – about life and people and what is before us and who matters to us in that moment” (p. 101).  ~ Gerald
“… trust is about relationship, not power.  When two dance, each is always respectfully attuned to the other.  There is a timing of relationship, and that is Ruach’s (the Holy Spirit) playground” (page 257).  ~  God / Adonai
I received a free copy of Eve from NetGalley and Howard Books for my honest review.
Happy Reading!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Lost Codex... a book review


The Lost Codex

An OPSIG Team Black Novel
By Alan Jacobson
Available: November 3, 2015
Publisher: Open Road Integrated Media
Mystery / Thriller / Suspense/ Spies and Politics
ISBN-13: 978-1504003636

Publisher’s Description:

In a novel Jeffery Deaver has called “brilliant,” two ancient biblical documents reveal long-buried secrets that could change the world as we know it.

n 930 CE, a revered group of scholars pen the first sanctioned Bible, planting the seed from which other major religions will grow. But in 1953, half the manuscript goes missing while being transported from Syria. Around the same time, in the foothills of the Dead Sea, an ancient scroll is discovered—and promptly stolen. Six decades later, both parchments stand at the heart of a geopolitical battle between foreign governments and radical extremists, threatening the lives of millions. With the American homeland under siege, the president turns to a team of uniquely trained covert operatives including FBI profiler Karen Vail, Special Forces veteran Hector DeSantos, and FBI terrorism expert Aaron Uziel. Their mission: Find the stolen documents and capture—or kill—those responsible for unleashing a coordinated and unprecedented attack on US soil.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

I first met Karen Vail in Alan Jacobson’s novel Spectrum, published in 2014.  She works as an FBI profiler; and in this new book, she has teamed up with other FBI agents known as OPSIG operators (Operations support Intelligence Group) to carry out covert, deniable missions around the world.

This novel begins in Washington, DC and travels the globe in search of two ancient Biblical documents which could change the world.  It is fast-paced with many twists and turns along the way.  Once I was hooked on the prologue, I did not want to put it down! 

Fantastic, action packed novel with well-developed characters… live life on the edge with FBI profiler Karen Vail, Special Forces veteran Hector DeSantos, FBI terrorism expert Aaron Uziel, and many more!  I look forward to many more great books from Alan Jacobson.

I received this e-book from Open Road Media and NetGalley for my honest review.

Happy Reading,


Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Bones Will Speak... a book review


The Bones will Speak

A Gwen Marcey Novel series, book 2

Thomas Nelson Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-4016-9045-8

Available: August 11, 2015


Book Description

Forensic artist Gwen Marcey has become the target of a serial killer who believes he's been appointed God's executioner.

In Copper Creek, Montana, Gwen Marcey is struggling to put together her life after cancer and divorce. When her dog retrieves a skull of a murder victim and leads her to the victim's grave, Gwen uses her forensic art ability to identify a serial killer. She is horrified to discover all the victims look like her fourteen-year-old daughter.

The murderer is a "lone wolf," a member of the terrorist group Phineas Priesthood-and he has a score to settle with Gwen. Unraveling the tangled Christian Identity movement, where race-not grace-provides salvation, Gwen is in a frantic rush against time. She must use all her skills to uncover the killer before he can carry out his threat to destroy her and everyone she loves.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
Author Carrie Stuart Parks, an internationally known forensic artist herself, has penned a terrific mystery/suspense novel that hooks you from page one to the closing paragraph.  The main character, Gwen Marcey, is living through real-life problems that many of us are either dealing with or know someone who is.  Add a mysterious cranium, bones of a young woman, and a live victim to bring a chilling serial killer to their small town.

This is the first novel from Carrie Stuart Parks that I have read, but it will not be the last!  Although I have a crazy, busy life, I read The Bones Will Speak in two days.  I look forward to reading the first book of the series A Cry from the Dust.

I received The Bones Will Speak: A Gwen Marcey novel from Thomas Nelson Publisher and their BookLook Bloggers program.

Happy Reading,

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Her Brother's Keeper... a book review


Her Brother’s Keeper
An Amish Secrets Novel

Thomas Nelson Publishing
Available: July 7, 2015
978-1-4016-8600-0 (e-book)
978-1-4016-8596-6 (soft cover)


Publisher’s Description:
Charlotte came to Amish country to find answers. What she never expected to find was peace.

Charlotte Dolinsky is not above playing dress-up and telling a few lies to find out what happened to her only brother. In fact, that is exactly what she’s come to Lancaster County to do. Now, calling herself Mary and slipping on a kapp, Charlotte will lie her way into the confidence of anyone who knows why Ethan had to die - unless she gets found out first.

But when Charlotte befriends a quiet Amish man named Isaac Miller, she begins to rethink her motives. And with a little help from a friend back home, Charlotte might find out that love comes packaged in ways she couldn’t have foreseen.

Isaac’s been caring for his cancer-stricken father and sympathizing with his frustrated mother for three difficult years. And that means he hasn’t been dating. He believes Hannah King is the woman for him, but Hannah is still grieving the loss of her fiancĂ©, and Isaac has all he can handle on the farm. When Hannah’s family plays host to a woman named Mary, their new cousin shakes things up for all of them.

As Charlotte digs deeper into the mystery of Ethan’s death, she finds more than she’d bargained for in the community he once called home. But will she ever learn the truth? And what will the community—and her new family—do if they learn the truth about her?
*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

From the opening paragraph to the closing page, I walked alongside “Mary” hoping to find closure in her brother’s death.  As she bumbles her way through the Amish culture, she finds clues to who her brother was before his death.  Through her search for answers, God works in her heart to bring her to saving faith. 

I truly enjoy Amish fiction.  With each new novel I read, I get a glimpse of the Amish lifestyle – God, family, and community.  Their strong family and community ties bind them together in a way I do not experience.  I guess this is why I keep coming back to this genre – love, faith, and family!

Thank you, Beth Wiseman, for weaving another wonderful story!

I received a complimentary e-book from Thomas Nelson Publishing and their BookLook Blogging for Books program for my honest review.

Happy Reading,

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Lorie's Heart... a book review

Lorie's Heart (Wells Landing Series #3)

Lorie's Heart

By Amy Lillard
Wells Landing Series
ISBN: 978-1-4201-3457-5
Amish Christian fiction / Mystery

Publisher’s Description
Welcome back to Wells Landing, Oklahoma, the tranquil Amish community where still waters run deep and a brave young woman sets out to discover her faith, her family, and herself…

Lorie Kauffman is grief-stricken when her father passes away unexpectedly. But her heartache quickly turns to bewilderment when she discovers he'd been leading two lives—one of simplicity and hard work in Wells Landing, and one fraught with painful ordeals in Tulsa. As she starts digging into her family's past, Lorie finds herself torn between the Amish world and the Englisch world—and she's no longer certain where she belongs…

Lorie knows that if she leaves Wells Landing, she may never be able to return. But what if her destiny lies in the outside world—the world her father knew so well? Change is never easy, but with a bit of courage and the help of a handsome and kind-hearted Englischer, she just may find the peace, acceptance, and love she's been longing for…

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As I turned the last page of this wonderful book, I knew I was going to miss these characters - new found friends.  I rode the emotional "roller coaster" along with Lorie as she began unraveling her father's past.   Lorie not only has to grieve in the Amish way, but she also feels compelled to learn of her father’s life away from the community.  Will her desire to know the truth about her father draw her closer to the Amish community or the Englischer world?  Amy Lillard brought these characters to life in believable situations and real-life problems.  I look forward to reading the other books in this series: Caroline's Secret and Courting Emily.

Happy Reading!

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