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


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Runner Book Review

Book One
Michael Knight Series

SUMMARY:  Michael Knight had the perfect life - a perfect family, a perfect relationship and a perfect future.  He was to follow in his father's footsteps and preach the gospel to the nations.  But Michael has a secret ... that will take him from being a small-town preacher's kid to the heart of the big city.  Where everything seems golden, glittery and glamorous, he will obtain the opportunity of a lifetime and he will walk down the corridors of power, influence and wealth.  The whole world will be laid at his feet for the taking.  But at what cost?  Will he trade in all he has been for all he could become?
     A. Wayne Gill presents a breakthrough novel of suspense, intrigue and spiritual awakening.  You will be drawn into the lives of the characters as their worlds collide, forcing them to make decisions that will impact generations.  The Runner will grab you from its opening pages and will not let you go.
 
REVIEW:  This is a great book.  It moves at a great pace and the storyline is very interesting.   I like how the author did some fore-telling in a few key scenes.  They kept me trying to figure out how everything would work out, especially when things would get tense.  The only thing I had a problem with was when timelines with the main characters would cross.  It made it difficult to follow along at times.  But, that is the only problem I had.  I can't wait to read the future books in the series.  

This book was provided by Glass Road Public Relations for review without compensation.
 
When he isn't crafting legal dramas, Wayne Gill serves as CEO and Managing Partner of Gill Dion & Forsyth P.A., a law firm with offices in Florida and Georgia that serves some of the top companies in the world, including AT&T, Hilton Hotels Corporation, SunTrust Bank, and American Express.
     This husband and father earned his B.A. in English from Trinity College and law degree from George Washington University. His first book, Tales My Grandma Told Me - a Business Diversity Fable, has been referred to as the "Bible" of supplier diversity.
     Wayne has been recognized among the 50 Most Powerful Black Professionals in South Florida and the Who's Who in Black South Florida. He's received Macy's Crystal Award for Outstanding Minority Business Advocacy, and he's received several honors from NMSDC affiliates and the local Bar Associations. In 2002, he received Northwood University's Arthur E. Turner Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award for Outstanding Commitment to the Betterment of Mankind. He is a board member of the Black Chamber of Commerce of Palm Beach County and Secretary of the Board for The Southern Florida Minority Supplier Development Council.
      While practicing law, running a successful law firm, and writing novels keeps him super busy, Wayne is also a passionate, committed co-founder and legal advisor to Oasis Compassion Agency, a non-profit empowerment agency for the disadvantaged. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Dilema of Charlotte Farrow Book Review

Avenue of Dreams Series
Book 2


SUMMARY:  The whole world is coming to Chicago.  Charlotte's whole world is coming down around her.
     While the rest of Chicago focuses on the enormous spectacle of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, Charlotte Farrow's attentions are entirely on one small boy - her boy - whom she had kept a secret from her wealthy employers for nearly a year.
     When the woman who has been caring for her son abruptly returns him to the opulent Banning home, Charlotte must decide whether to come clean and face dismissal or keep her secret while the Bannings decide the child's fate.  Can she face the truth of her past and open her heart to a future of her own?  Or will life's struggles determine her path?
     The compelling story of courage, strength, and tender romance captures the tension between the glittering wealthy class and the hardworking servants who made their lives comfortable.

REVIEW:  This is the second book of the Avenue of Dreams series.  While you don't have to read the first one, The Pursuit of Lucy Banning, to follow the storyline, it is very helpful to completely understand the previous year of Charlotte's life, how she came to make the decisions she did and how Lucy Banning Edwards figures into the storyline. 
     That said, this was a really good book.  Olivia Newport did an excellent job helping her readers to understand just how hard life was for the working class in the late 1800s.  My mother's heart went out to Charlotte as she had to make very difficult decisions regarding sacrificing her needs and wants for her son while acting as if she had no connection with him at all.  The pain she felt as she heard him call another woman "Mama" and seeing some decisions made about her son's life while not being able to speak up due to the underlying threat of dismissal from her job if she did made my heart cry. 
      Check this book out (and this series) for some wonderful storytelling.

This book was provided by Revell for review without compensation.
 
 Available January 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
 
Olivia Newport is the author of The Pursuit of Lucy Banning.  Her husband and two adult children provide welcome distraction from the people stomping through her head on their way into her books.  She chases joy in stunning Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is.

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Lesson Book Review

Stoney Ridge Seasons
Book Three

SUMMARY:  Sometimes love shows up when you least expect it. 
     Nineteen-year-old Mary Kate Lapp yearns for adventure, but all she seems to find is trouble.  Her dreams of travel have taken a backseat to her assignment to teach school this year.  And nothing ever seems to happen in her sleepy Amish community.
     But when a sudden and unexplained death conveniently coinsides with the arrival of a mysterious young man, M.K. is frustrated that no one takes it seriously.  She's determined to take matters into her own hands and get to the bottom of it.  Will she find more than she bargained for?
     Centered on one of the bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher's most loved characters, this is the Stone Ridge story you have been waiting for.  With a surprise at every turn, a gentle romance, and a shocking answer to an old family mystery, The Lesson is the dramatic conclusion to the Stoney Ridge Seasons series.

REVIEW:  Even though this is the third book in the series, you do not need to read the others to understand the premise of this book.  They do give you some background on MK's character and help you better understand her and some of the backstory more completely.
     This is a great book.  My heart went out to Chris and Jenny.  With all the difficulties they faced, they didn't give up hope and Chris just keeps on trying to give Jenny a better life.  MK got me frustrated at times because she would just barrel through without giving thought to those who might be affected by her actions.  When Alice Smucker is hurt by her carelessness and MK is forced to teach school in her place, Fern's advice and introduction to Ermy Yutzy help her in the schoolroom and outside with life in general.  I also like how things work out in the end for the main characters (who will remain nameless as it will give the ending away).

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

Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of the Lancaster County Secrets series and the Stoney Ridge Seasons series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace. She is also the coauthor of a new Amish children's series, The Adventures of Lily Lapp. Her interest in the Anabaptist cultures can be directly traced to her grandfather, who was raised in the Old Order German Baptist Brethren Church in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne is a Carol Award winner and a Christy Award finalist. She is the host of internet radio show Amish Wisdom and a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazines. She lives in California. For more information, please visit www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and connect with her on Twitter @suzannewfisher. Get Amish proverbs delivered right to your iphone or ipad! Download the Free App

Monday, January 14, 2013

Choices of the Heart Book Review

The Midwives
Book Three

SUMMARY:  She thought she had left her old life behind. . .
     Esther Cherrett comes from a proud line of midwives and was trained by her mother to take over the family calling.  When a terrible scandal threatens all she holds dear, Esther flees, taking a position as a teacher in the wild western mountains of Virginia.  But instead of the refuge she was seeking, Esther finds herself in the midst of a deadly family feud - and courted by two men on opposite sides of the conflict.  All she wants is to run away again.
     Yet could it be that her past holds the key to reconciliation - and love?
     In this gripping story of trust, deception, and bittersweet loss, you'll discover the true meaning of choices of the heart.

REVIEW:  This is the third book in The Midwives series.  You really do not need to read the other two books to understand everything going on in this story.  But if you would like background information on Esther's parents and their best friends, they will fill in the gaps.
      This is a good book.   My heart went out to this young woman who, after the unthinkable happens, feels the only option left to protect her family from gossip and harm is to leave everything she knows and loves behind.  I like how Griff, a young man, looks after his family and the other families on the mountain and tries to keep peace.  The torment Esther had gone through gives her a better understanding of the reason behind the feuding and, hopefully, helps bring the fighting to an end.
     This is a good book.  I can already see a few possibilities for plot lines if there was to be a fourth one in this series.  Check it out for yourself.

This book was provided by Revell for review without compensation.
 
 Available January 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
 
Laurie Alice Eakes is the author of Lady in the Mist, Heart's Safe Passage, A Necessary Deception, A Flight of Fancy, and several other novels.  She won a National Readers Choice Award for Best Regency in 2007 for Family GuardianLaurie Alice writes full-time from her home in Texas, where she lives with her husband and sundry dogs and cats.  For more information, visit her website at www.LaurieAliceEakes.com.
 

Waiting for Spring Book Review

Westward Winds Series
Book Two

SUMMARY:  A new identity may protect her family - but can it protect her heart?
     After the loss of her husband and the birth of her baby, Charlotte has had a long, hard year.  But she can find no rest from the ghosts of the past and flees to Cheyenne to put the pieces of her life back together.
     Wealthy cattle baron and political hopeful Barrett Landry must make a sensible match if he is to be elected senator of the soon-to-be state of Wyoming.  He needs someone with connections.  Someone without a past.  Yet he can't shake the feeling that Charlotte holds the key to his heart and future.
     Will Charlotte and Barrett find the courage to look love in the face?  Or will their fears blot out any chance for happiness?
 
REVIEW:  This book is the second in the Westward Winds series.  Even though this one stands well on it's own, to get a full understanding of what Charlotte is running from (which is important to the storyline) and to better comprehend Charlotte herself, it is beneficial to read the first book Summer of Promise.
     Charlotte's character is one of strength that has been developed under duress.  She is a single mom raising a child who is blind when most parents at this time in history would send them away.  Charlotte is worried when someone from her husband's past starts looking for her thinking she has money her husband stole.  She owns one of the most popular dress stores in town where she designs and sews the one-of-a-kind garments herself.  Charlotte also thinks of other and helps those in need when she can, either by giving them a job and a place to live or remaking old dresses into new ones suitable for those who cannot afford one at all.
     This is a great story worth checking out.  I can't wait until the third and last book is released.

This book was provided by Revell for review without compensation.

Available January 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Amanda Cabot is an accomplished author under various pen names and a popular speaker.  The author of Paper Roses, Scattered Petals, Tomorrow's Garden, and Summer of Promise, she is also a charter member of Romance Writers of America, the cofounder of its New Jersey chapter, a member of the ACFW, and an avid reader.  She lives in Wyoming.  For more information, visit www.AmandaCabot.com. 

The Tutor's Daughter Book Review


SUMMARY:  Emma Smallwood, determined to help her widowed father when his boarding school fails, accompanies him to the cliff-top manor of a baronet and his four sons.  But soon after they arrive and begin teaching the two younger boys, mysterious things begin to happen.  Who does Emma hear playing the pianoforte at night, only to find the music room empty?  And who begins sneaking into her bedchamber, leaving behind strange mementoes?
     The baronet's older sons, Phillip and Henry Weston, wrestle with problems - and secrets - of their own.  They both remember the studious Miss Smallwood from their days at her father's academy.  But now one of them finds himself unexpectedly drawn to her. . . .
     When suspicious acts escalate, can Emma figure out which brother to blame and which to trust with her heart?
     Filled with page-turning suspense, The Tutor's Daughter takes readers to the windswept Cornwall coast - a place infamous for shipwrecks and superstitions - where danger lurks, faith is tested, and romance awaits.

REVIEW:  I really like this book!  It kept me in on the edge of my seat.  The story had me continually trying to figure out who was trying to frighten Emma and solutions for the different problems presented.  I absolutely love how Emma accepts Adam and treats him like part of the family.  She doesn't shun him like some of the others.  I also like how Henry saw a need for a better response to the shipwrecks that happen just off the coast and does what he can to help those involved.  He doesn't back down when faced with opposition, even when it comes from some closest to him.  This is a great book that I think you will enjoy.  Check it out!!

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

Julie Klassen loves all things Jane - Jane Eyre and Jane Austen.  A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time.  Three of her books, The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, The Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Silent Governess, have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance.  Julie and her husband have two sons and live in St. Paul, Minnesota.  For more information, visit www.julieklassen.com

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Giveaway Winners!!!

The winners of the books Belonging and Betrayal by Robin Lee Hatcher and No Safe Harbor by Elizabeth Ludwig are:



Dana Peirce
and 
Gabriella Schultz!!!!!
  

Send me a personal message on Facebook or an e-mail to let me know how best to get you your books.  

Congratulations!!!!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

GIVEAWAY!!!!

I am having a give away!!!  The prize is a copy of each of the books Belonging and Betrayal by Robin Lee Hatcher and No Safe Harbor by Elizabeth Ludwig. 

To enter, all you have to do is to comment on my post here on my blog, comment on my Facebook post about the giveaway or like my post on Facebook.  It's that easy!!  The contest ends on Saturday, January 12th so enter soon and often.  I will notify the winner on Sunday, January 13th.

If you would like to get more information about these books, you can click on the links below:









Good luck!!

Betrayal Book Review

Where the Heart Lives Series
Book Two

SUMMARY:  Can two wounded hearts find a way to trust again?
     Julia Grace has no desire to enter into another marriage.  But with her dead husband's half-brother threatening to take away her Wyoming ranch, Julia realizes marriage may be the only way to keep what is rightfully hers.
     A man well acquainted with betrayal, drifter Hugh Brennan finds himself drawn to the attractive widow.  Yet when he looks into Julia's eyes, he recognizes the same hurt that haunts him.
     A thoughtful romance from the turn of the twentieth century, Betrayal will take you to the high desert of western Wyoming, through the crags of the Rocky Mountains, and into the souls of two seekers learning to trust God's love no matter the circumstances.

REVIEW:  Another great book by Robin Lee Hatcher.  My heart went out to both Hugh and Julia as I read their stories.  Hugh has been betrayed by his father, someone he should have been able to trust, and ends up taking the fall for a crime committed by him.  Wanting to protect her daughter and keep her from the life of prostitution that she lead, Julia's mom finds her a husband and hopefully a good life.  But, soon Julia's life turned into a nightmare when Angus starts abusing her.  I like how both Hugh and Julia find people they can trust but mostly, I love how they are drawn to the Lord and find strength in Him when they had none.  I love how the author shows the strength of their faith and how they finally allow the Lord to restore the years of pain.  One of my favorite parts comes at the end when Julia's former brother-in-law gets his comeuppance.  If you are interested in reading a book that shows how God will restore the years the locust has eaten, this is the book for you.
     This is the second book in the series.  You don't need to read the first to understand this book but it is helpful to fully understand where Hugh is coming from in regards to the relationship with his father and his pursuit of his sisters.

This book was provided by Zondervan for review without compensation.

Robin Lee Hatcher is the bestselling author of over sixty books.  Her well-drawn characters and heartwarming stories of faith, courage, and love have earned her both critical acclaim and the devotion of readers.  Her numerous awards include the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, two RITA Awards for Best Inspirational Romance, and the Romance Writers of America Lifetime Achievement Award.  Robin is a lifelong resident of Idaho.  For more information, visit www.robinleehatcher.com.

Belonging Book Review

Stay tuned to this blog for information on a give away coming soon. 


Where the Heart Lives
Book One

SUMMARY:  Can two bitter pasts make one sweet future?
     In the high desert town of Frenchman's Bluff, Idaho, Felecia Kristoffersen has set out to create a future for herself that is better than her painful past.  Alone in the world with only her faith to sustain her, she must prove herself as this tiny community's new school teacher.  She cannot, must not, fail.  But there are those who never wanted her there to begin with.
     Five years after the death of his wife, local merchant Colin Murphy cares about just one thing: raising his daughter, Charity.  Colin wants to give her the educational advantages he never had.  The new schoolmarm's inexperience doesn't sit well with him, and if this teacher up and marries like the last one did, Charity's heart will be broken once again.
     A woman who hasn't known love.  A man who lost the love he had.
     In the midst of the wide, sage-covered plains, each is about to discover that life's bitterest circumstances truly can work together for good.

REVIEW:  This book is really good.  There are a lot of things about this book that strike me and memorable.  One of my favorites is how the author lays out Felecia's faith.  It seems like all Felecia experiences is hardship and pain.  But instead of lashing out and becoming angry, she lets it draw her closer to the Lord and lets Him give her strength and direction.  I also like the secondary story of Felecia's search for her brother and sister.  When they were separated after being adopted off the Orphan Train, Felecia never forgot them and kept searching for them when she got the chance.  If you are interested in a book about a faith and love that endures, this is the book for you.

This book was provided by Zondervan for review without compensation.

Robin Lee Hatcher is the bestselling author of over sixty books.  Her well-drawn characters and heartwarming stories of faith, courage, and love have earned her both critical acclaim and the devotion of readers.  Her numerous awards include the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, two RITA Awards for Best Inspirational Romance, and the Romance Writers of America Lifetime Achievement Award.  Robin is a lifelong resident of Idaho.  For more information, visit www.robinleehatcher.com.

Vanished Book Review

A PRIVATE JUSTICE Novel

SUMMARY:  A tenacious reporter.  A skeptical PI. And a secret that will shatter lives.
     Reporter Moira Harrison is lost.  In the dark.  In a thunderstorm.  When a lone figure suddenly appears in the beam of her headlights, Moira slams on her brakes - but it's too late.  She feels the solid thump against the side of her car before crashing into a tree on the far side of the road.
     A man opens he door, tells her he saw everything, and promised to call 911.  Then the world fades to black.  When she comes to, she is alone.  No man. No 911.  No injured person.  But she can't forget the look of terror she saw on that face in the instant before her headlights swung away.  And she can't get anyone to believe her story - except maybe a handsome ex-homicide detective turned private eye, who reluctantly agrees to take on the case.
     As clues begin to surface, it becomes obvious that someone doesn't want this mystery solved - and will stop at nothing to protect a shocking secret.

REVIEW:  Irene Hannon does it again.  Just when I thought I had figured the storyline out, she throws a curve ball and changes directions.  The storyline was engaging and never boring.  I like how the character were developed.  The only problem I had was with how the troublemaker (for lack of a better word) was dealt with.  It would have been great to see what happened when the information got out about everything that had been done by the troublemaker and see that person get their full due.  But, other than that, the story was awesome.

This book was provided by Revell for review without compensation.

Available January 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

 Irene Hannon is the bestselling author of more than forty novels, including the Heroes of Quantico and Guardians of Justice series.  Her books have garnered many honors, including two RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America, a National Readers' Choice Award, and a Daphne du Maurier Award.  For more information about her and her books, Irene invites you to visit her website at www.irenehannon.com.

Designed for Devotion Book Review

A 365-Day Journey from Genesis to Revelation

SUMMARY:  You are always just one day away from a deeper relationship with God.
     There is no better way to know God more intimately than to immerse yourself in his Word, and Designed for Devotion helps you do just that.  Combining fascinating historical background information about the Bible with practical application you can implement in your life each day, Dianne Matthews takes you through the Bible from beginning to end.  Guiding your journey, she
  • highlights key stories, characters and basic teachings
  • explores Old Testament passages that reveal Jesus as the Messiah
  • offers historical background about each book of the Bible, including author, theme and purpose
  • ties the Old and New Testaments together to show the Bible as a single story
  • shows you how to apply each day's lesson to your own spiritual journey
      Whether you are new to Bible study or  you simply long to learn about God's Word, this is the perfect devotional to bring you deeper into the Scriptures as you deepen your relationship with God.

REVIEW:  This is probably my favorite devotional ever!!!  The way the author lays it out makes it easy to read the Bible in one year and not feel bogged down. She handles potential controversial areas with delicacy and tact.  Hard to understand ideas are simplified without watering down the information.  While she doesn't cover every chapter or verse in the Bible, Mrs. Matthews does make sure the important ones are delved into with accuracy and depth.  If you are looking for a new devotional, check this one out.  You will not be disappointed.

This book was provided by Baker Books for review without compensation.

Dianne Neal Matthews is a freelance writer and the author of four daily devotional books, including The One Year on This Day, The One Year Women of the Bible, and Drawing Closer to God.  She also speaks and teaches at writer's conferences.  Please visit www.DianneNealMatthews.com for more information.