Saturday, November 26, 2016

Review of Chase the Lion by Mark Batterson

Nutshell: Do you feel like you have no vision in life? Like you have no purpose? Like you have no goals or dreams? This book will jumpstart you in how to realizing what your dreams may be and how your dream my impact those around you, even those who come after you that you don't even know today. Mark Batterson does a great job sucking you in to this book with his vibrant passion in looking for your Dream. This book give you the push you may need in pushing forward in your life. It breathes a breath of fresh air in to your soul and helps you realize that God has not forgotten you and He WANTS to do great things in your life. It may be small things or big things, but ultimately, God wants to use you to do His work and what an honor that is!

Pro's: A great book to read if you need a jumpstart in your life! Mark does a great job encouraging the reader to not give up!

Con's: Sometimes it felt very jumpy, like jumping from subject to subject without concluding one before the next starts.

Recommendation: Read this book! Patterson's first book In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day is also an excellent book to read!

WaterbrookMultnomah sent me this complimentary book to review for them. Opinions expressed are my own.

Review of The Cottage by Michael Phillips

Nutshell: Loni ford finds herself as the sole heir of property in Shetland Islands of which she knows nothing about. Should she sell if off to the locals or forge ahead and try this whole land ownership thing? With two sides vying for her loyalty she has to make a decision as to who to trust and not trust. As the only American on the island full of Scots, she learns a whole new culture and what it means being the laird of the island. But the island soon becomes divided when lies take over and turn the hearts of the island people. Loni finds herself falling for this island, for the people, especially the Chief of the island who is slowly starting to steal her heart. Loni's journey continues in Book 2 of the Secrets of the Shetlands.

Pro's: i loved this book! It read so fast despite being longer. Phillips weaves a story like no other where you can feel the drizzle in your bones and want to cozy up next to a fire and drink some tea with book in hand.

Con's: It would've been nice to have more side backstory of Loni's ancestry in the notes written by her family members. That could've been a great secondary story throughout the book, but seemed to die off the further the book went.

Recommendation: It would be beneficial to read book 1 in this series to fully understand this 2nd book and the characters in it. Otherwise, what a great read that is steady and heartfelt.

Bethany House Publishers sent me this copy to review for them. Opinions expressed are my own.

Review of The Occupied by Craig Parshall

Nutshell: Lawyer Trevor Black had a pretty good childhood, was in a band as a teen, went off to college, then law school and ended up in New York City with a trophy wife and part of a prestiges law firm. Life was moving along pretty well. Until things started to fall apart and he came face to face with life unravelling. His marriage, his practice, his life. His eyes were also opened to a side of the world that he had never seen, but was eerily familiar from his youth. The dark side. With murders popping up that all looked the same with sinister evil forces behind them, Trevor finds himself looking not for murderers, but for the evil "horribles" living inside of those murdering. In this twisted tale of heaven versus hell, this gripping tale keeps you reading until the end.

Pro's: captivating! What a great story, and a great story teller in Craig!

Con's: may be on the dark side for those that want something light to read. Demons vs angels are prevalent in this book and if that keeps you awake a night, you may not want to read this. :)

Recommendation: Looking for something a bit heavier to chew on? This book will do it! It does get gruesome and violent at times, but it fits right within the story line.

Tyndale Publishers sent me this complimentary copy to review for them. Opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Review of Tangled Webs by Irene Hannon

Nutshell: The youngest McGregor son has secluded himself away at a friends cabin to recoup after retiring as an Army Ranger. His tranquility is pierced by screams in the night which he finds himself jumping to the rescue running through the woods to the neighbors house. There he finds a terrified woman, Dana Lewis, awaking from a terrifying dream. Through this encounter a fast friendship forms. But things aren't as they seem. Someone is out to get Dana and wants her off her property. With Finn McGregor diving in to figure things out, their lives are in danger, but from who they aren't sure...

Pro's: This is the 3rd book in the Men of Valor series and it's a great book to wrap up the series! A quick paced book that keeps you up in to the night wanting to know what happens! Irene does it again  with another fantastic book! You can almost smell the surroundings with the imagery Irene weaves throughout the book

Con's: A bit on the mushy side...

Recommendation: This can be read as a stand-alone book, but it's great as a series too! If you like mystery/suspense, this book is for you!

Revell Publishing sent me a copy to review for them. Opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, September 30, 2016

The Raven by Mike Nappa

Nutshell: The Raven has found himself in some hot water with the Ukrainian mafia when he lifted a wallet of a well known government official running for mayor during one of his street magic tricks.  The one act triggers a series of events the Raven finds out of his hands. While he is trying to stay on the good side of the mafia, Samuel Hill and Trudi Coffey are trying to put the pieces together for what sounds like a big event called Nevermore. Leads are turning up dead-ends, but along the searching, their paths cross with the Raven and the hot water he's gotten himself in to. Will Nevermore be a dead end, or and end with someone dead?

Pro's: Another great story by Mike Nappa! A twisting plot that keeps you intrigued and wondering what is going to happen next. With Edgar Allen Poe references interspersed throughout the storyline, Nappa does a great job creating a multi-layer plot that keeps you wondering.

Con's: A bit slow to start, but you can see how the story is being built.

Recommendation: This is book 2 in the Coffey and Hill series. It can be read as a stand-alone, but there are references to the first book (Anabel Lee) which is wickedly amazing. If you like suspense, mystery, action, and a great book to read, you will enjoy this book!

Revell Publishing sent me this complimentary copy to review for them. Opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, September 05, 2016

Review of Without Warning by Lynette Eason

Nutshell: Katie Singleton is walking down a new road as part of the Elite Guardian Protection Agency, a group formed and supported by the mayor of the city. On her way home from a job that has just completed, she notices a fire happening in the vicinity of a well-known restaurant and decides to check it out. Upon arriving, she sees it is the restaurant of the uncle of one of her student's in her self-defense class the Guardian's teach. Unbeknownst to everyone standing there, this is just a chain of events that will take place over the next days to try and end the uncle's life. Katie is hired by the niece to protect her uncle, Daniel Matthews, and keep him alive. As she gets deeper into this job, her past, her trust and her heart are all on the line.

Pro's: This is the 2nd book in the Women of Justice series, but can easily be read as a stand alone book. It is a very intense, fast paced story that will keep you turning page after page to get to the end.

Con's: I found the chain of events on Daniel's life to be a bit over the top and unrealistic as to how many attempts on his life there were in such a short period of time. Very suspenseful, but a bit much. The plot of the attacker also seemed to fizzle away as the story went on. I thought that could have been used much more throughout the book.

Recommendation: if you enjoy suspense and mystery, you will enjoy the second book in this series.

Revell Publishing sent me this copy to review for them. Opinions expressed are my own.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Review of Deadly Encounter by DiAnn Mills

Nutshell: Dr. Stacy Broussard wears many hats: volunteer airport ranger, vet, business owner, and unofficial foster mom for the 12 year old neighbor boy. She's on the path to adopting the neighbor, her vet business is gaining ground and her love of volunteering at the airport is keeping her life going. Her life takes an abrupt turn when she stumbles upon a murder scene on one of her routes at the airport and all of a sudden everything spins out of control. With being at the center of the investigation she is thrown in to the path of FBI Special Agent Alex LeBlanc who is a bit skittish around women. As threats pile around Stacy and lives are in danger, it is up to Alex to figure out who is targeting her and how to handle what she is doing to his heart as well.

Pro's: A great story with twists and turns that keep you reading until the very end.

Con's: Started off a bit slow but did gain momentum. It felt like this was a second or third book in a series with how backstory of the characters seemed vague.

Recommendation: If you enjoy suspense and mystery, this is the book for you!

Tyndale Publishers sent me this complimentary copy to review for them. Opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Review of An Elegant Facade by Kristi Ann Hunter

Nutshell: Lady Georgina Hawthorne is on a mission. A mission to marry with as high as status as possible. This would be the only way to secure her secret. With her beauty and her trademark white wardrobe, she is ready for the Season. With her plan in place, Georgina steps out in to the Season with style determined to catch the eye of the most eligible suitors. The eye that can't seem to look away from her belongs to Colin McCrae, a frugal business man with no social status. He is able to see beneath Georgina's facade to the true person beneath. But she wants nothing to do with him. eUnforeseen vents seem to draw them together, but Georgina fights against being seen with Colin. What her heart truly needs is not at all what she portrays to the world. Where will her choices lead her future?

Pro's: This storyline is well written and reminds me a lot of the time period that Pride and Prejudice takes place. It was easy to picture the surroundings based on other books written in the 1800 time frame. It was a solid romantic book with a bit of excitement thrown in.

Con's: This book some getting in to. It is a continuation of Hunter's first book A Noble Masquerade. It took a good chunk of time to figure out the who was who and what happened in the first book. It would have been easier to jump in the book at the get go if I had read the first book.

Recommendation: If you are able to get past the first few chapters and figure out the storyline, you will enjoy this book.

Bethany House Publishers sent me this complimentary copy to review for them. Opinions expressed are my own.

Review of Missing by Lisa Harris

Nutshell: Book two in the Nikki Boyd Files finds Nikki on a new case that involves her friend Tyler. The hunt is on to clear her friend and find the murder who is terrorizing the city. Every suspect is winding up dead and Nikki is on the race against time to keep those she loves safe. With dead-end clues at every turn, Nikki must use her training and grit to be one step ahead of game, dodge bullets, link ties to an underground drug operation and who is all involved.

Pro's: Very fast-paced and keeps you wondering what is going to happen. The twists and turns keep you guessing what is going to happen next. Great plot, great second book in the series.

Con's: May be a bit confusing if you haven't read the 1st book in the series, but the reader should be able to catch up quickly.

Recommendation: Lisa Harris does it again with another great book. If you enjoy thriller suspense, this is the book for you!

Revell Books sent me this complimentary copy to review for them. Opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Review of What Matters Most by Kellie Coates Gilbert

Nutshell: The fourth book in A Texas Gold Novel series takes you to the city of Austin and the world of politics. Leta Breckenridge is barely making ends meet with working two jobs and taking care of her mom who suffers from dementia. With no college degree and working in the floral department at the local grocery store, she knows she needs a break as the bills are piling up. Her luck turns worse when she backs in to a man's car, and with no insurance, she knows she's in deep trouble. His graciousness is a breath of fresh air, only to find out after he drives away that he's a newly appointed senator who also may be running for governor. Knowing she was spared a lot of money, her search for a new job becomes first a foremost. She comes across a job position that she knows she can do, applies for it and is offered the job. This job frees up her finances and the senator is starting to appear on the radar again. With a new friendship on the horizon and a new job she loves, life is looking on the up and up. Only when she realizes that the company she now works for is digging for dirt on the man she is starting to fall for, does she come to the understanding that she has some difficult choices to make. Walk with Leta on her journey where she learns that God does provide even in very unexpected ways.

Pro's: A very smooth read that is a stand-alone novel. Down to earth characters and a glimpse inside what the political world may look like was refreshing. I enjoyed the approach the author took and the plot and storyline were captivating and kept you wanting more.

Con's: The end! It was a bit abrupt, especially with one of the secondary characters having a change of heart of which I thought was a ruse, but it wasn't. That was a bit of a surprise that didn't feel like it transitioned well.

Recommendation: Read this book! A light read if you're looking for a non-deep book. This book has a great story line as do all the other books in the Texas Gold Novel series.

Revell Books sent me a complimentary copy to review for them. Opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Review of Together at the Table by Hillary Manton Lodge

Nutshell: Juliette D'Alisa is back. She is slowly recovering from the recent long-distant break-up with the man she gave her heart to. She's working on moving forward with her life as manager of her brother's newly opened restaurant and freshly grieving her mother's recent death. Her life as she knows it is going smoothly, even with a new guy in her life. The restaurant is thriving, she's in her element, her family is closer than ever and things may be looking up with her new boyfriend (who she gets to work with). But everything shifts one day out for a walk and she recognizes her first love's face. What in the world is he doing in Portland and why is her heart not over him? Journey with Juliette as she discovers what true love is, not only her own, but the mystery of her mysterious heritage and how love conquered all.

Pro's: I was so excited to see the final book in the Blue Two Doors series! The 3rd book was just as good as the first two and I loved how this book wrapped up the series. The characters were people I would love to get to know. The time frame of the book is short, but packed full of depth and keeps you hooked. It's a well written book! I also love the recipes that accompany and tie in to each chapter. I will definitely be trying some of them!

Con's: It took a bit to get in to the book as it had been awhile since I read the 2nd book. You would definitely need to read the first two books to understand the third book. It is not a stand alone fiction book.

Recommendation: Read this series! You won't be disappointed!

Waterbook Multnomah sent me this complementary copy to review for the them. Opinions expressed are my own.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Review of They Danced On by Carrie Armstrong Gardner

Nutshell: As the final book in The Darling Family Series comes to a close, the reader finds Jane Darling, the mother of the Darlings, and her daughter Laura Darling, as the main characters in this book. Jane is struggling with the diagnosis of her husbands terminal illness and also struggling with God as to why He is not healing her husband as the Bible promises. Laura is struggling with her lot in life and why everything is so unfair and the only thing that seems to help her cope with her life is alcohol. With a smattering of the other Darling siblings' journeys, this book mainly focus' on Jane and Laura and how they each seek and find God where they are currently at. 

Pro's: What a great book to wrap up this series! You feel like you have traveled along with this family with all of their struggles and joys throughout all three books. Gardner does a great job wrapping this book up and bringing closure to many of the characters. 

Con's: It seemed to wrap up quickly at the end. Reading along it felt like there was going to be a 4th book, but then it wrapped up quite fast at the end. 

Recommendation: I would recommend readers read the first two books in this series as to understand what the characters have gone through up to this point in the 3rd book. Those who enjoy series books and sweet storylines will enjoy this series.

Tyndale Publishing sent me this complimentary copy to review for them. Opinions expressed are my own.

Q&A with the Author Carrie Armstrong Gardner:
1. They Danced On is the final book in The Darling Family series. How have the Darlings changed throughout series? The books each focus on different characters in the family, and of course the characters each change in some way. But the Darlings have changed as a family too. Grief is chiefly what has changed them: grief over one family member’s terminal disease, and another member’s addiction. In Book 3, they’ve also said good-bye to another daughter/sister who’s moved away to Africa. So lots of changes for this family. By the end of the final book, grief and good-byes
have deepened and transformed them. In particular, the mother Jane grows in
her faith in Book 3. She’s always believed that God operates on an input/output system: if we ask in faith, God will give us what we want. But now she has to face the realitywith all its accompanying pain and joythat God is deeper and more mysterious than that. She has to grow up. 

2. Life doesn’t always go as expected for the characters in your book (and for us in real life). What are some ways you’ve learned to respond when this happens? Living and working in Russia was a great training ground for this: life hardly ever went as expected there, both in small ways and big. There were constant curve balls; lots of disappointments and also wonderful, unexpected surprises. I learned to roll with it; I had to, in order to save my sanity. When I came back to the States, a pastor friend said, “Wow, Carre, you’re so much less uptight than you used to be!” How’s that for a back-handed compliment? But I took it in the spirit it was intended. I think there are a couple of keys to how to handle life not going as we expected. The first is to get your own expectations out of the way from the start: expectations that you’re going to get what you deserve; that your kids are going to turn out well; that other people are going to live the way they should live. Disappointed expectations are the root of all bitterness. In fact, we are promised very little by God: we are owed even less. When our expectations are low, it clears the way for gratitude. And gratitude is the second key: it has the power to change our outlook on everything. Paul’s injunction to give thanks in everything means that sometimes we have to give thanks even when we don’t understand a situation; even when there seems nothing to be thankful for. It can be a real discipline. Like all disciplines, the gratitude muscle should be exercised during the less-than-dire times. Then, in times of crisis when we need to call on it, the habit will be there. 

Review of Sea Rose Lane by Irene Hannon

Nutshell: Lawyer Eric Nash finds himself out of a job. He heads back to his hometown to take a break, regroup and find his way again. But life comes crashing down as he drives in to town. Literally. Rear-ending a lovely lady was not in his plan. After a heated confrontation with this lady, he heads home to find his childhood home in shambles as his dad has decided to turn it in to a bed and breakfast. And the lead person in charge of the construction is none other than the feisty lady he rear-ended! BJ Stevens has a past of her own that she is trying to regroup from. She was not planning on crashing in to Eric Nash and having another man disrupt her life. With trying to put down new roots in a new town, BJ has to get her heart under control and try to forget about this new guy in town. Travel with Eric and BJ as they wrestle with their future and how what they thought they wanted and needed may be different than what God wants for their lives.

Pro's: Set in a small town, you feel like you are a part of the community of Hope Harbor. With some of the characters being carried over from the first Hope Harbor book, this book still reads as a stand-alone as Hannon does a great job with creating the characters, even ones from the previous book.

Con's: This book felt much slower than the first one with a slower plot line.

Recommendation: If you are looking for a book with a slower pace, well developed characters and an all around easy read, you will enjoy this book.

Revell sent me a copy of this book to review for them. Opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Review of Freedom's Child by Jax Miller

Nutshell: Freedom Oliver is full of secrets. She's living her secret life under the watchful eye of the witness protection program, but no one is aware of that. She has two grown that she put up for adoption decades before. No one knows that either. She gets wind that her daughter comes up missing and she chooses to slip out from under the watchful eye of the WPP and travels across the country to find her missing daughter. Thus begins her journey of running for her life from her murdered husband's family and from the government to find herself in another pot of boiling water with her daughter's adopted family who are harboring a very dangerous secret themselves.

Pro's: A very gripping story! It took a bit to get off the ground, but the backstory was helpful in figuring out the present story. The characters were well described and the storyline hooked you once the pace picked up. The author did a great job storytelling and keeping the reader engaged throughout the book to the very end.

Con's: The language. It was a bit rough and crude throughout as well as the sexual connotations and language.

Recommendation: If you are not bothered by the "con's" above and can read past these, this a very good story and very riveting.

Blogging for Books sent me this complimentary copy to review for them. Opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Review of Murder Comes by Mail by A.H. Gabhart

Nutshell: Sheriff Michael Keane is back in the news again. This time for saving a man from jumping off a remote bridge that the Sheriff just happened to be driving by with a bus full of ladies. Flung in to the headlines as the local hero, Michael lets it roll off his back. He's not a fan of being the center of attention, especially saving a man who didn't want to be saved. When all the hype dies down, pictures show up in the mail of a dead girl and Michael has a very good idea of who the killer is. Now he just needs to find him to put all of the uneasiness to rest.

Pro's: Gabhart does a great job again of writing a light mystery/suspense novel filled with quirky characters and the small town life. She does a great job pulling you in to the ordinary life of a little town off the beaten path. Even with this being book two in The Hidden Springs Mysteries, it's pretty easy to jump in and follow along.

Con's: There seemed to be a few lull spots throughout the story where it felt like something should be happening instead of the story just coasting along.

Recommendation: If you enjoy light reading with a flare of mystery, you will enjoy this story. And read the first book too!

Revell sent me this complimentary copy to review for them. Opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Review of The 30-Day Faith Detox by Laura Harris Smith

Nutshell: Finding a way to revitalize your body, mind and spirit all at once? The 30-Day Faith Detox can be your guide. With a daily devotional about different warfares that may be waging against your spirit and mind, and suggestions on how to fill your temple to feel the greatest possible, this devotional/guide can be what you are looking for. Recipes, ways to fill your mind with His word, how to declutter your life and put your focus with your food with all different colors, your mind and your body back on Him.

Pro's: This is a great spring board in to getting back in to the routine of spending time with God daily, eating better and how to detox your body of unhealthy chemicals and thoughts. Every day there is a different reading to focus your mind for that day. I liked the suggestions of eating different colors each week. That opened my fridge up to many more options! I've been eating many less carbs/processed foods and my counter and fridge drawers are filled with more fruits and vegetables than ever before!

Con's: It would've been great to see more recipes in the back instead of eating the same recipe for 30 days. In the beginning the author did say not to eat potatoes or corn, but in the food lists of things to buy, potatoes and corn were on there. That was a bit confusing. Also, giving other options instead of juicing every day for lunch or snack would have been helpful as many people work and do not have access to juicing devices during the day.

Recommendation: If you're looking for a jump-start in feeling better inside and out, this is a great tool to use to help you with refocusing your mind, spirit and what you put in your body.

Chosen Books sent me this complimentary copy to review for them. Opinions expressed are my own.

Review of The Inheritance by Michael Phillips

Nutshell: On a small island of the Whales Reef is a little community whose link to the past still carries on through the bloodline of one family. The Tulloch's. David is expected to be the heir, the next in line to "be in charge" and look over the small community, but an unexpected twist is brought to light and the unruly cousin may actually be next in line for the coveted title as chief. Thousands of miles away is an orphan young lady who was raised in the Quaker community by her parents that is wrestling with who she actually is and where she's from. Slowly, these two stories, separated by thousands of miles intersect in the most unique way.

Pro's: The intricate detail of how this book is written. There are so many bloodlines to follow, and having the family tree in the front really helps! It was almost like reading a fiction history lesson. Very well written, very well thought out.

Con's: That this story was not wrapped up in this book! It seemed long in some parts, but picked back up in most others.

Recommendation: If you enjoy a splash of history, intertwined stories and wondering how in the world two plots will come together, you will enjoy this book.

Bethany House sent me this complimentary copy to review for them. Opinions expressed are my own.

Silence in the Dark by Patricia Bradley

Nutshell: In book 4 of the Logan Point Series, Bailey Adams is in Mexico working hard at making a difference in peoples lives as a missionary. With her broken engagement from Danny Maxwell a thing of the past, Bailey immerses herself as a school teacher and enjoys teaching the women in a local village about Jesus. Bailey is asked to escort one of her student's, who is also her friend Joel's niece, home to the U.S. to visit her grandparents for the first time. With plans set in place and one last meal before heading to the airport, life changes in a flash. Not only is her ex-fiance at the same Mexican restaurant, but the local drug cartel shows up and attempts to kidnap her and her little friend. A series of events puts Danny and Bailey back together, running from the Mexican drug cartel, even in the safe haven of Logan's Pointe. Who is calling the drug cartel shots and why are they after Bailey and the little girl she's escorting?

Pro's: Captivating for sure! A very fast-paced story with events changing every chapter. An easy read to jump in to even as the 4th book in the series. Previous characters were alluded to from previous books, but it was still easy to understand.

Con's: Some seemingly very important medical scenarios at the beginning were not so important at the end, and I think that could've been woven through the book better.

Recommendation: A good read that takes you to the last pages hoping for more. If you enjoy suspenseful books, this keeps you turning the pages!

Revell sent me this complimentary book to review for them. Opinions expressed are my own.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Review of Annabel Lee by Mike Nappa

Nutshell: Annabel Lee finds herself underground locked in a bunker with a dog she is deathly scared of and supplies to last at least a month. She was put there by her uncle and was told to not open the door for anyone. Not even him. Unless he said the secret code. She doesn't know why she's down there and she also doesn't know there are people looking for her. A PI and her ex-husband end up enshrouded in a cat and mouse hunt along with a man who can't speak and a German with his cronies.  What do they all have in common? Once the pieces of the puzzle come together, a chilling realization is discovered and time is of the essence.

Pro's: A fantastic book!! Mike Nappa hit it out of the park with this story! A thriller, mystery, suspenseful plot that takes the reader on quite the journey. The plot is thick with unknowns until the end when it all makes sense.

Con's: A bit gory and violent in places, but it completely fit with the story line.

Recommendation: If you like suspense, you will like this book. It's not a like a suspense book I've read in the past and it was worth the read! Well done Mr. Nappa! As a reader, I'm so glad you listened to your wife and pastor's wife and kept submitting this book to be published!

Revell Books sent me this complimentary book to review for them. Opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Review of A Powerful Secret by Dr. Kevin Leman and Jeff Nesbit

Nutshell: Sean Worthington finds himself in quite the predicament. His brother, whom he works for, quits the senate race. Sean makes a pretty bold move in the political world, hoping to win his fathers attention and affection. Traipsing across the world, Sean learns not only about the secrets in the political worlds that could harm him, but also learns a lot about himself.

Pro's: A quick read that takes you to all different climates and countries. A fast paced story line all the way to the end.

Con's: A lot of politics, a lot of affluence that was hard to relate to.

Recommendation: If you enjoy political books, you will enjoy this one!

Revell sent me this complimentary copy to review for them. Opinions expressed are my own.

A Fool and His Monet by Sandra Orchard

Nutshell: Serena Jones is new to the FBI Art Crime Team. She finds herself undercover receiving the lost art she has come to love. She is also in search of the person who killed her grandfather, the man who introduced her to art in the first place. She finds herself on the path of looking for two stolen pieces from the local art museum and also finds herself being hunted by some people that really don't like her. Will she recover the art and live to see it?

Pro's: Creative book and creative storyline! A mystery with a slant of art and I liked that!

Con's: A bit slow. It was difficult to get in to this book and I didn't feel captured by events taking place.

Recommendation: Anyone who likes a light mystery would like this book!

Revell sent me this complimentary copy to review for them. Opinions expressed are my own.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Review of The Red Door Inn by Liz Johnson

Nusthell: Marie Carrington is on the run. She ends up thousands of miles from home with a back pack, a pocketful of change and at a dead end. She has no where else to go. Sitting in a ferry waiting room wondering how she could buy a ferry ticket, a stranger strikes up a conversation with her and the next thing she knows, she agrees to help the stranger out by landing a short term job as an interior designer.  On the mysterious Prince Edward Island, Marie finds God, her voice, healing, confidence and possibly love. All because of a stranger saw more to her than even what she saw in herself.

Pro's: This is Book 1 in the Prince Edward Island Dreams Series. A sweet story about a young lady on the run looking for herself. Johnson did a great job creating sparks between the main characters and how each of the characters grows past their previous circumstances. A good story about healing, finding trust and what our heavenly Father really is like.

Con's: None really.

Recommendation: If you're in the mood for a light read, this is the book for you.

Revell Books sent me this complimentary copy to review for them. Opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Review of The Calling by Rachelle Dekker

Nutshell: This is the 2nd book in the Seer Novel Series. Remko Brandt has escaped the Authority City with his wife Carrington Hale. He is now a husband and new father. He is also leading a group of Seers who are committed to rescuing those trapped inside the Authority City. His battle with belief grips his heart as he journeys through heartache, anger, bitterness and failure. This is his journey. His journey to find his Father. Follow him as he staggers through darkness to find light. Death to find life. Despair to find victory. Will he find these in the end or will they engulf him?

Pro's: This book captures you from the very beginning. Heart stopping at points, heart ripping at others. This book takes you through the rollercoaster of emotions. Rachelle does an amazing job of storytelling and leading the reader through an amazing story. The details, the plot, the characters, the book. All of it was riveting and brilliant!

Con's: If you pick up this book without reading the first book in the series, you may have a hard time understanding what is going on.

Recommendation: Read this book! Read the first book! Anticipate the third book! Rachelle is a masterful author who has a unique gift of storytelling!

About the Author . . . The oldest daughter of New York Times bestselling author Ted Dekker, Rachelle Dekker was inspired early on to discover truth through storytelling. The Choosing is her critically acclaimed debut novel. She graduated with a degree in communications and spent several years in marketing and corporate recruiting before making the transition to write full-time. She lives in Nashville with her husband, Daniel, and their diva cat, Blair. Visit her online at

Q&A with Rachelle Dekker
1. The Calling is the second book in The Seer Series. Does it pick up right after The Choosing leaves off?
No, a year and a half has passed when we rejoin the characters in The Calling

2. This book is written from Remko’s perspective. Did you face any challenges writing from a male point-of-view?

There was definitely a looming pressure as I started to write the book. As a woman writer, I wanted to make sure Remko felt masculine and authentic, so I was constantly aware of how he sounded, and how he reacted. Once I got into a flow with his character though, it started to feel more familiar I didn’t have to think about it as much. 

3. Remko struggles with his anger often throughout the book. Is this expression of anger connected to his fears? If so, how?

Anger is just a natural reaction to the circumstances Remko faces. Sometimes being afraid
can stir up anger because it makes us feel weak or out of control. This is definitely true for Remko in The Calling.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Review of Change of Heart by Courtney Walsh

Nutshell: Evelyn Brandt is the picture perfect wife of the young Colorado state senator, Christopher Brandt. She hosts the perfect parties, dresses perfectly, is the perfect wife with the perfectly decorated house and the perfect life. And she has no idea who she is and is dying inside. She dislikes hosting parties, her house doesn't feel like her home, she'd rather wear sweats and her husband is rarely home. Life looks fantastic looking in with the "perfect" image. All that swiftly comes to a halt while hosting a party of other government wives, the FBI shows up, ransacking her house and saying her husband has been arrested for embezzlement.

Her perfect like shatters around her and she is left the outcast. She has one friend, Trevor Whitney, her husband's former best friend. And he gives her refuge on his farm.

Evelyn now has to rebuild her life. After a swift divorce from a delusional husband who believed his lies to be truth, she seeks to find her former self. But there are secrets still lurking out there of which come to light and may just shatter hearts all over again.

Pro's: Such a sweet, sweet book. Some would call it fluff, but I would say it is beyond fluff. This book is more about rediscovery. Think of a soft warm summer breeze through the heart of a story line that is filled with tender words which weave a story of love. That is this book.

Con's: The minor characters seemed to have just been plopped in to the storyline and seemed a bit out of place.

Recommendation: If you enjoyed Paper Hearts by Courtney Walsh, you will definitely enjoy this book!

Tyndale Publishing sent me this complimentary copy to review for them. Opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Review of Always Watching by Lynette Eason

Nutshell: Olivia Edwards is the owner of a body guard service. It is her job to protect high profile people from being attacked, stalked or killed. She works with the police and government officials on highly tense cases. Her newest case was not one she signed up for, but one she stepped in to after a co-worker was attached by the client's stalker. Now she finds herself keeping alive a very prominent radio-talk show host/psychiatrist. The stalker is not working alone and it is her job to figure out who is after her client and his family. Tension mounts after the first strike against her host didn't work. The stakes climb high with every attack. Olivia and her team work around the clock trying to stay alive while hunting down the bold stalker. Jump in to book 1 of the Elite Guardians series and you will go for quite the ride!

Pro's: I liked the angle of this book. A female body guard instead of the male in the lead role as protector. I did like the way this book read. I liked how fast paced it was, how the romance did not take over the book, nor was it so in-your-face, how level-headed the characters were and the journey the author takes you on.

Con's: How fast it went!!

Recommendation: If you enjoy fast paced, intense drama-filled stories, you will enjoy this one.

Revell Books sent me this complimentary copy to review for them. Opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Review of Thin Ice by Irene Hannon

Nutshell: Book 2 in the Men of Valor Series: Christy Reed has no family left. Losing her parents in a freak car accident nine months ago, and now her sister in a deadly house fire months ago. She's on the path of healing, until one day her world flips upside down. A letter and picture from her dead sister. Someone is playing with her in a very sinister way. Enter FBI Special Agent Lance McGregor. He has demons of his own that he is wrestling with while he takes on his very first case as an FBI agent. And his first case of Christy Reed pushes him to his limits with frustration, with unknown answers and with his heart. Will they hunt down the so called "kidnapper" before his sinister hunting catches Christy first?

Pro's: Great book! This can be read as a stand-alone in the series even though it is the 2nd book. Good plot, gets you sucked in from the beginning.

Con's: One scene did not quite add up based on the immobilization of the character. It didn't make sense how the grandma was able to do what she did after she wrote the letter (may seem cryptic, but I don't want to spoil the plot!) with hardly being able to walk. Other than that, a bit heart-gooey, but not over the top.

Recommendation: If you like mystery suspense, this is the book for you!

Revell Books sent me this complimentary book to review for them. Opinions expressed are my own.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Holding on to the sliver

Reviews galore, but nothing more.

I've been rattling around thoughts in my brain and thinking I need to get things recorded.

You know how a new year brings new hope? New goals? Dreams that may come true this year?

Here we are, 23 days in to the new year and it is not going how I thought.

Hopes feel dashed, dreams feel squashed, goals are out the window. All need to be rewritten. They need to include issues like

breast cancer.

possible colon cancer.



blood clots.



unexplained seizures.


All of the above are happening in my family. My immediate family. Not cousins. Not aunts. Not extended family. Those I hold close.

Many of the above diagnoses we found out in the past 23 days.

How does one hold these? How does one hold on to hope through all of these? How do I encourage my brothers? My sister-in-laws? My mother-in-law? My parents? My husband? My kids?

This is where I find myself. Needing to re-examine everything.

It can be extremely overwhelming if I let all thoughts run loosey-goosey. If I let emotions overtake all common sense.

I find the sliver of hope in Jesus and I have to cling to Him. He keeps me breathing through every diagnosis. Every doctor appointment. Every time I think, "how can things possibly get worse?" and they end up getting worse.

I continue to cling. It's the only choice.

Review of A Cup of Dust by Susie Finkbeiner

Nutshell: Little Pearl Spence makes the best of the life she has. She watches over her older sister, enjoys stories from her grandma and loves her family and the town she lives in. Despite living in a time where dust storms come and go, where food is rationed and seeing her best friend struggle, she lives life as best she can with what is thrown at her. Strangers come and go through the town, but she knows she is safe with her daddy being the sheriff. But one such stranger doesn't make her feel right. Follow Pearl as life as she knows it will change because of the dust, because of grief, because of this strange man.

Pro's: Another great book by Susie! You could feel the grit of dust in your mouth, on your hands, rubbing on your feet. Susie does a spectacular job reliving the Dust Bowl years that hit our country hard. She used fiction to give raw imagery to what life may have been like for those living through this horrific time. Her artwork of words sculpts this book in to one you will not want to put down.

Con's: None!

Recommendation: If you enjoy historical fiction, pick up this book to read today! Even if you just like a good book to read, this is it!!

Opinions expressed are my own.

Review of You're the One That I Want by Susan May Warren

Nutshell: A former NHL hockey player, Owen Christiansen, finds himself in Alaska, working on a crabbing boat as far from home as possible. His boss and second in command, Scotty McFlynn, keeps to herself with a locked up heart that no one can penetrate. Circumstances thrust the two in to a life threatening situation where raw emotions are exposed and revelations come to light. But the past crashes in when Owen's brother comes looking for him. Owen and Scotty find themselves back in Minnesota as the prodigal son returns after being "missing" for months. Walk with Owen and Scotty as they learn what it means to be a children of God and what faith looks like when life is throwing rocks at you.

Pro's: This is the last book in the Christiansen Series and the first one that I have read. It was actually easy to jump in to and understand despite not reading any of the previous books. I enjoyed the plot and the ease of how the book read.

Con's: Lots of romance for my taste. Could have toned it down some.

Recommendation: If you like romantic faith fiction, you will enjoy this book.

Tyndale House Publishers sent me a complimentary copy to review for them. Opinions expressed are my own.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Review of Step by Step by Candace Calvert

Nutshell: Taylor Cabot is an ER nurse who is ready to move on from her past. With her survival list in hand, she's out to cross every single item off the list to feel like she is ready to walk forward with her life. With a new job, in a new city, she jumps in to the career she loves. She is starting to slowly pull away from the volunteer crisis team she volunteers on as she wants to put herself at a distance from Seth Donovan, the chaplain of the team and a good friend of her late husband. Journey with her as she learns of God's love and what it means and looks like to move on. This is the 2nd book in the Crisis Team Series.

Pro's: Action from the beginning that helps you jump right in. Good story line. Stand-alone book even though it is the 2nd in the series.

Con's: One thing I noticed right away is that there are a lot of thoughts/conversations by the characters where the sentences don't finish. At first it didn't bother me, but as the book continued, it was something that happened throughout the book and personally, it was hard to stay captivated and interested in the story when sentences/thought processes are not complete.

Recommendation: If you enjoy medical stories with some action thrown in, you will enjoy this book.

Tenderly House Publishers sent me this complimentary copy to review for them. Opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Review of Whatever Is Lovely by Waterbrook Press

Nutshell: Kids love to color, and I think adults (deep down) love it too! Adult coloring books are all the rage right now. Intricate detailed pictures that take fine motor skills to a new level. You will find all different types of adult coloring books out there, and this one takes coloring beyond just the colored pencils. In this book you will find not only beautiful art to color, but verses to meditate on. The idea behind it is that while you are creating beauty, you are thinking on the One who created beauty. You are meditating on the One who breathed life, who breathed scripture. You are listening to God. What better way to find quiet than to color and listen to Jesus?

Pro's: I love this idea. I love that God's word is woven in to picture format to create beauty from beauty. The introduction was very helpful and including a spotify playlist to listen to while coloring? Genius! I took it one step further and found other scripture surrounding the verse and wrote it on the page to think on as well.

 Con's: I found I can only do one thing at a time! I couldn't listen to music and focus on the verse at the same time. My brain could only manage one or the other. Not a negative to the book at all, just my own personal findings. :)

Recommendation: You don't have to be an artist to do this. No one is ever to old to color! My 11 year old daughter saw this and ended up with one for Christmas! What a great gift to give, or to give yourself!

Would you like to buy this book? Click here to be directed to the site.

WaterBrook Multnomah sent me this complimentary copy to review for them. Opinions (and coloring) are my own.