Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

www.biblegateway.com


Thursday, December 21, 2017

Imperfect Justice Book Review

Hidden Justice series
Book Two

SUMMARY:  The police say the woman was a murderer.  Emilie Wesley knows they can't be talking about her client . . . can they?

To the world it seems obvious:  Kaylene Adams killed her daughter and then was shot by police.  Attorney Emilie Wesley knows a different story:  Kaylene would never hurt anyone and was looking for a way out of a controlling, abusive relationship.  Her death shakes Emilie's belief that she can make a difference for women in violent marriages.  Self-doubt plagues her as she struggles to continue her work in the wake of the tragedy.

Reid Billings thought he knew his sister - right up until he learned how she died.  He discovers a letter from Kaylene begging him to fight for  custody of her daughters if anything should happen to her.  No attorney in her right mind would support an uncle instead of the father in a custody case, but Kaylene's letter claims Emilie Wesley will help him.

Thrown together in the race to save Kaylene's surviving daughter, Emilie and Reid pursue the constantly evasive truth.  If they can hang on to hope together, can they save a young girl - and find a future for themselves in the process?

REVIEW:  Cara Putman's latest legal drama is wonderful.  I really felt a part of the story.  As I read, I kept trying to figure out ways Emilie and Reid could prove Kaylene's innocence and save her young daughter.  Just as the main characters would get frustrated by the lack of evidence, I did too.  I like how Emilie tried to keep evidence finding above board so it wouldn't get kicked out of court and how she was determined to look under every rock and in every nook and cranny to help her former client.  Her diligence paid off.  

The secondary story of Emilie's stalker was interesting.  Having only read the last book, I was a little confused at times because some incidences that occurred in the other one that were referred to.  But the author did a good job going back over some details to help the reader.  Because of her past dating relationships, Emilie was empathetic to her clients trying to leave difficult and abusive relationships.  She could offer something other attorneys couldn't.  

Cara Putman does another amazing job.  If you like legal dramas, this might be a series for you to check out. 

This book was provided by Litfuse Publicity Group and Bethany House 
for review without any compensation.

Cara Putnam is the author of more than 25 legal thrillers, historical romances, and romantic suspense novels.  She has won or been a finalist for honor including the ACFW Book of the Year and the Christian Retailing's BEST Award.  Cara graduated high school at 16, college at 20, completed her law degree at 27, and recently received her MBA.  She is a practicing attorney, teaches undergraduate and graduate law courses at a Big Ten business school, and is a homeschooling mom of four.  She lives with her husband and children in Indiana.  She can be found on Facebook at cara.putmanwww.facebook.com/cara.putman and Twitter at @cara_putman.

Deadly Proof Book Review

Atlanta Justice
Book One

SUMMARY:  Standing for what's right could cost her everything.

Tapped as Lead Counsel in a corporate cover-up lawsuit against Mason Pharmaceutical, Kate Sullivan knows this case cold make her career.  What really drives her, though, is getting justice for the victims whose lives were ruined by the company's dangerous new drug.  But when a whistle blower turns up dead, it paints a target on the back of everyone involved. 

Former Army Ranger turned private investigator Landon James steps in to handle security for Kate.  He's still haunted by mistakes in his past and is determined never to let something like that happen again.  But it soon appears someone is willing to do anything - even commit murder - to keep the case from going to trial.  

As danger closes in, Landon can't help but admire Kate's courage and resolve - but will her determination not to back down become too great of a risk?

REVIEW:  This book captured my attention and kept it until the end.  There were many twists and turns that I had to read slowly, and sometimes go back a few pages, to make sure I didn't miss anything.  The details that the author included made me feel like I was part of the action.  

I love how Kate kept her faith in Jesus at the forefront of everything she did.  She wanted justice for those affected and family members whose lives had been changed by this drug but she wanted to do it the correct way.  Instead of going rogue and trying to get information through questionable means, she stuck to her guns, did everything by the book, and in the end, it paid off.  Her integrity is one to be admired.

Even though Landon didn't agree with Kate on faith matters, I like how he honored Kate's boundaries and listened to her when she spoke of how God brought her through difficult times.  

If you like to read page turners and good legal suspense, check this book out.  It was very enjoyable and I look forward to reading the other books in this series as they are released.  

This book was provided by Litfuse Publicity Group and Bethany House 
for review without any compensation.

Rachel Dylan writes Christian fiction including legal romantic suspense. She has practiced law for over a decade and enjoys weaving together legal and suspenseful stories. She also writes the Windy Ridge series including Trial & Tribulations and Fatal Accusation. Trial & Tribulations was a Selah finalist in 2016. She lives in Michigan with her husband and five furkids--two dogs and three cats. Rachel loves to connect with readers. You can find Rachel at www.racheldylan.com.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Christy Book Review



SUMMARY:  The train taking nineteen-year-old teacher Christy Huddleston from her home in Asheville, North Carolina, might as well be transporting her to another world.  The Smokey Mountain community of Cutter Gap feels suspended in time, trapped by poverty, superstitions, and century-old traditions.
     But as Christy struggles to find acceptance in her new home, some see her - and her one-room school - as a threat to their way of life.  Her faith is challenged and her heart is torn between two strong men with conflicting news about how to care for the families of the Cove. 
     Yearning to make a difference, will Christy's determination and devotion be enough?

REVIEW:  This book was first published fifty years ago and has been loved by millions of readers since.  Having watched and enjoyed the television series based on the book, I was excited to finally get a chance to read this beloved story for the very first time. 
      Catherine Marshall retells the stories told by her mother, the women the book is based on, with some added twists.  She doesn't hold back any punches and shows life in its full, raw, and rough form.  But, she also shows the love Christy developed for the people of Cutter Gap, how they opened her eyes to God and His love for us in ways she never could have living in Asheville.  Sometimes it was not pretty; many times I thought about putting the book down because it was very difficult to read.  But, I stuck with it and I am so glad I did.  This book gave me a new outlook on life and a new appreciation for the area of Tennessee I have grown to love.  If you have never read the book, or if you read it as a young person, pick it up and read it.  It is well worth the time.

This book was provided by Litfuse Publicity Group for review without compensation.

Catherine Marshall, New York Times best selling author of 30 books, is best known for her novel, Christy.  Based on the life of her mother, Christy captured the hearts of millions and became a popular CBS television series.  Around the kitchen table at Evergreen Farm, as her mother reminisced, Catherine probed for details and insights into the rugged lives of these Appalachian highlanders.  Catherine shared the story of her husband, Dr. Peter Marshall, Chaplain of the United States Senate, in A Man Called Peter.  A decade after Dr. Marshall's untimely death, Catherine married Leonard LeSourd, Executive Editor of Guideposts, forging a dynamic writer-editor partnership.  A beloved inspirational writer and speaker, Catherine's enduring career spanned four decades and reached over 30 millions readers.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Rescued Hearts Book Review


SUMMARY:  Children's clothing designer Mary Wade Kimball's soft spot for animals leads to a hostage situation when she spots a briar-entangled kitten in from of an abandoned house.  Beaten, bound and gagged by the two thugs inside, Mary Wade loses hope for escape when a third villain returns with supplies.
     Discovering the kidnapped woman ratchets the complications for undercover agent Brett Davis.  Weighing the difference of ruining his three months' investigation against the woman's safety.  Brett forsakes his mission and helps her escape, the bent-on-revenge brutes following behind.
     When Mary Wade's safety is threatened once more, Brett rescues her again.  This time, her personal safety isn't the only thing in jeopardy.  Her heart is endangered as well.

REVIEW:  Something I really liked about this book was how the author did not give everything away in regards to the suspense in the book.  Reading through the story, when I thought I had everything somewhat figured out, a new twist was added.  The characters are likeable and relateable, except for the kidnappers.  One of my favorites was Brett's grandma.  She is someone I want to be like when I am much older. The ending was great.  I like how everything Mary Wade was worried about works out because she stood up for what she believed, even though it was not what her parents wanted.  This was a good book that keeps you turning pages.  Check it out.

This book was provided by Litfuse Publicity Group for review without compensation.

Hope Toler Dougherty holds a Master's degree in English and taught at East Carolina University and York Technical College.  Her publications include two novels, Irish Encounter and Mars . . . With Venus Rising, as well as nonfiction articles.  A member of ACFW, RWA, and SinC, she writes for SeriousWriter.com.  She and her husband live in North Carolina and enjoy visits with their two daughters and twin sons.  Visit her at hopetolerdoughterty.com.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Gift of Christmas Past Book Review


SUMMARY:  At twenty-seven, Hadley is still trying to get free of the weight she's carried all her life - entering foster care at age five, getting arrested at seventeen for arson, and losing her boyfriend, Monroe, when she needed him most.
     Monroe never wanted to walk out on Hadley.  He'd understood her, from her desire to help children with speech issues to her intense temper.  But when she was arrested, he became haunted by what he knew and convinced his only choice was to end their relationship.
     Almost ten years later, Hadley and Monroe are both specialist in the field of speech therapy.  They meet again...thrown together to help a four-year-old girl who's been rendered mute after being rescued from an apartment fire.
     Years of secrets and anger beg to be set free as Hadley and Monroe try to push aside past hurts and find common ground in order to help the traumatized young girl and her family.
     Can the love of Christmas past drift into the present, bringing healing and hope for all?

 REVIEW:  Some people never get a break in life.  It seems like everything is against them and everyone judges them for things they didn't do, just by how they are perceived.  Hadley is one of those people.  Facing struggle after struggle, Hadley uses the experiences to make herself a stronger person who is more attuned to those hurting around her and those not given a fair chance.  Her faith in God is what gets her through the most difficult circumstances.  I like how Hadley is determined to give others the benefit of the doubt no matter how many others disagree.  She also is determined to help Chloe overcome her speech difficulties and to give her her voice back, even if it means she has to work with Monroe to accomplish it.  I also like how resourceful Hadley and Elliott, her best friend, are.  They stretch the little bit they have (food, clothes, housing, etc) and are very creative.  This and their amazing work ethics are something we all should aspire to do.  These things help Hadley and Monroe navigate the troubled waters of their past and give them strategies for the future.
     This book shows second chances are possible, if you just give them the opportunity.  This is a fabulous story with a wonderful ending.

This book was provided by Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall 
for review without compensation.

Cindy Woodsmall is the New York Times and CBA best-selling author of eighteen works of fiction.  She's been featured in national media outlets such as ABC's Nightline and the Wall Street Journal.  Cindy has won numerous awards and has been a finalist for the prestigious Christy, Rita, and Carol Awards.  Cindy and her husband reside near the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains.  She can be found online at cindywoodsmall.com.

Erin Woodsmall is a writer, musician, wife and mom of three.  She has edited, brainstormed, and researched books with Cindy for almost a decade.  She is very excited about their first coauthored book.  How could a Southern gal not enjoy research time in Asheville, North Carolina, as part of the job?

Many Sparrows Book Review


SUMMARY:  Either she and her children would emerge from that wilderness together, or none of them would ........
     In 1774, the Ohio-Kentucky frontier pulses with rising tension and brutal conflicts as Colonists push westward and encroach upon Native American territories.  The young Inglesby family is making the perilous journey west when an accident sends Philip back to Redstone Fort for help, forcing him to leave his pregnant wife, Clare, and their four-year-old son, Jacob, on a remote mountain trail.
     When Philip does not return and Jacob disappears from the wagon under the cover of darkness, Clare finds herself utterly alone, in labor and wondering how she can recover her son ... especially when her second child is moments away from being born.
 
REVIEW:  This book was amazing, as all of Lori Benton's books are.  She delves into emotions, situations and events that make you think long and hard about the characters and how you might act if you were put in the same position.
     This story is not an easy one.  I can't even being to imagine how I would have reacted if I was in Clare's position: pregnant, and in labor, with only her small son to keep her company.  Then, at the apex of her precarious situation, her son disappears into the wilderness.  After Jeremiah and Clare locate Jacob, they cannot simply walk into the Shawnee camp and take him home.  The time it takes and the way Jeremiah and Clare maneuver around the obstacles they face is mind boggling.  It is a development of patience, love, endurance, and understanding.  I love how the author weaves Clare's faith and the struggles she has with God into the story.
     This is a wonderful novel that everyone should read.

This book was provided by the author for review without any compensation.

Lori Benton was raised eat of the Appalachian Mountains, surrounded by early American history going back three hundred years.  Her novels transport readers to the eighteenth century, where she brings to life the Colonial and early Federal periods of American history.  When she isn't writing, reading, or researching, Lori enjoys exploring and photographing the Oregon wilderness with her husband.  She is the author of Burning Sky, recipient of three Christy Awards, The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn, Christy nominee The Wood's Edge, and A Flight of Arrows.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Pretender Book Review

A Blackguard in Disguise
Caselli Family Series
Book One

SUMMARY:  South Dakota: 1975
     Eighteen-year-olds could order 3.2 beers in a bar and loaded guns were kept under the counter.  Frankie Valli sang My Eyes Adored You and American soldiers returning from Vietnam struggled with their new reality.
     It's within this tumultuous season of American history that Tillie Caselli meets Noah Hansen, and they are never the same again.  Their lives were mysteriously intertwined - and had been for many years - yet they had no idea.
     From the moment they met, Tillie and Noah wanted to spend the rest of their lives together, but a deliberate omission will keep them apart – and that same omission will be responsible for the escape of a murderer, and a bride’s deception.

REVIEW:  I've been thinking about this book and review for a while now.  It's one of those stories that stays with you a long time after reading.  There were some things I really liked and some that were just different - not bad, just different.
     I like the concept of the book and the characters.  Sometimes it felt like I was right there in the room with the characters.  Quite often I wanted to grab a few of them by the back of their neck and ask them what they thought they were doing, that they were being really stupid and presumptuous.   Other times, I cheered them on when they showed their mettle.  The story reminds me of the movie The Notebook in, after they were separated, how there were near misses and misunderstandings.  I liked how Tillie's life and Noah's life run parallel to each others in so many different ways and getting to see how each other lives without the other perosn in their life.
     The story line, and the possibilities of what could happen in future books, is intriguing.  I like how the author gives you a taste of events to come.  I also like how some people aren't always who you think they are, good or bad. 
     One thing that was different was how the story and characters flowed.  Okay, sometimes when I am reading, I wonder what the other characters are thinking during a particular scene.  For example, if the family is all in the room when a boy comes to pick up the daughter for a date, I have wondered what everyone (Mom, Dad, brothers, sisters, boy, daughter) is thinking at the time.  This author shows you what everyone's thoughts and conversations are during scenes.  At first, I couldn't figure out why suddenly the parents are having a conversation with the brother when the scene had been focused on the daughter talking to her sister-in-law.  But after reading a while, I began to see what the author was trying to do and it became a little easier.
     Another thing that was different was how the author focused on other family members and their spouses, showing scenes of their lives that didn't seem related to the main characters' stories.  Yeah, it's interesting to hear their conversations about events in their lives but the book is not about them. 
     This was an intriguing book.  My interest has been piqued about the rest of the series.

This book was provided by Litfuse Publicity Group and Reata Publishing 
for review without compensation.

Ta'mara Hanscom lives with her husband Jim in Northwest Iowa where they enjoy watching the Detroit Tigers, BBQs and taking care of their rescues - two cats and one Pomeranian.  For more information about the author, visit www.tamarahanscombooks.com.