Wednesday, March 22, 2017

THE BUCKET LIST DARE by ANGELA BREIDENBACH, JESSICA FERGUSON , PAMELA S MEYERS, and LINDA W YEZAK

Title: The Bucket List Dare
Author: Angela Breidenbach, Jessica Ferguson, Pamela S Meyers, and Linda W Yezak
Publisher:  Gems (October 18, 2016)
Pages: 394


From the Back Cover

The Bucket List Dare -- Four stories of adventure...but do they dare to love too?

Four best friends--Texas A&M grads--challenge each other to revisit the bucket lists they made in college and tackle one daring item before they turn thirty. Living in different parts of the country and with birthdays on the horizon, the Aggie girls choose their adventure and work toward making it happen . . . with wonderful, unexpected results.

HER IMPOSSIBLE DREAM by ANGELA BREIDENBACH - Arabel Milligan, recently unemployed and with a new genealogical certification to her name, takes off for Scotland to discover the answer to a mysterious missing branch in her ancestral tree.

SAVE THE GROOM by JESSICA FERGUSON - Annie Flowers, a wedding photographer whose reputation is her pride and her job is her life, crashes the most extravagant wedding in the country.

WHAT LIES AHEAD by PAMELA S MEYERS - Kat Brownlee, an army veteran and amputee, has always dreamed of climbing the most challenging mountain she could find. Now that her life and body have been drastically altered--does she dare?

PAMELA S MEYERS sticks to proper writing, and not faltering from the rules of writing. WHAT LIES AHEAD is a unique story you are sure to enjoy.

SKYDIVING TO LOVE by LINDA W YEZAK - Jojo Merritt is a country veterinarian who has never jumped out of anything higher than a hayloft much less an airplane. How did that get on her bucket list?

As of today I have read just one other book by LINDA W YEZAK aside from SKYDIVING TO LOVE. The fact that I love, Give the Lady a Ride: Circle Bar Ranch Series, there is only one explanation, and that is that I am committed to reading other books and have not had the time to do so.

From the very first word of SKYDIVING TO LOVE, I was swept away in this amazing story. MS YEZAK is an amazing writing, with a remarkable talent for telling a story. Her characters are three dimensional, and are sure to win their way into your heart. SKYDIVING TO LOVE is the best short story I have EVER read. Most writers – in my opinion – cannot pull off a good short story. That is not the case with MS YEZAK. Everything about SKYDIVING TO LOVE is perfect.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

LONG WAY GONE by CHARLES MARTIN


Title: Long Way GONE
Author: Charles Martin  
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson (October 4, 2016)
Pages: 320


I admit I have only read a few books by CHARLES MARTIN’S, and each time I am blown away by his amazing writing, incredible ability to create a story, the depth of emotion, and perhaps most of all by the content of the plot. 

I recently tried to figure out what it is about MR MARTIN’S writing that has me reading them at a slower pace, yet keeps me engaged until the very end. That something I discovered is pace. MR MARTIN has all the great qualities of a remarkable writer. The only thing that one could consider lacking might be the pace, and or the peaks and valleys. Yet the amazing storyline, emotion, and message holds so much weight, along with his wonderful writing, the pace seems irrelevant. 

“No matter where you go, no matter whether you succeed or fail, stand or fall, no gone is too far gone. You can always come home.”

Cooper O’Conner up and left home, leaving his father and the only life he knows behind. Yet he didn’t leave empty handed. No, he took his father’s cherished guitar and life’s savings. Sadly, it didn’t take Cooper long to lose everything. 

When Daley Cross unexpectedly shows up in Cooper’s life, he has to wonder if it’s too late to tell her the truth about his past, or if he is ready to face it himself.

What a unique telling of a prodigal son. I believe the only reason I have not read more by MR MARTIN is due to the intense plots. They will affect you right down to the very core of your being, and is life changing. MR MARTIN’S stories will remain with you long after you have read the last word. Years later and I am still affected by, WRAPPED IN RAIN.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

ROCKY MOUNTAIN COWBOY by TINA RADCLIFFE


Title: Rocky Mountain Cowboy (Love Inspired 
Author:  Tina Radcliffe
Publisher: Love Inspired Large Print; Large Print edition (December 20, 2016)
Pages: 288


Oklahoma Reunion by TINA RADCLIFFE is one of my favorite reads, and I will now be adding ROCKY MOUNTAIN COWBOY to the list. I was held captive from cover to cover, it’s that good. The writing and story line is amazing. I LOVE Joe Gallagher! What a great character. MS RADCLIFFE has a unique gift for pulling off a stubborn and surly cowboy that you can’t help but love. And talk about great lines. Oh my, there were many funny and unique lines.   

Joe Gallagher never expected to see the woman he loved again, and certainly not on his ranch. She may have reason to be there, but that didn’t mean he had to like it. 

Becca Anshaw Simpson doesn’t blame Joe Gallagher for being angry with her. Heck, she’s angry with herself. She’d made a mistake. A huge one. But it was time to let the past go, and head for a better future for her and her daughter. 

It goes without saying that Joe Gallagher will remain with me for some time. I'm thinking there is going to be a story about Abby. Can’t wait.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

OUT OF THE ASHES by SANDI ROG



Title: Out of the Ashes
Author: Sandi Rog
Publisher: Tulpen Publishing (June 6, 2015)

Pages: 302

There are a handful of things that one needs to incorporate to make a great book, and OUT OF THE ASHES by SANDI ROG certainly has a few of them. The cover is the first thing that typically catches reader’s eyes. The second the title. Both I give MS ROG five stars. Another important aspect of a great book is the ability to capture the reader immediately. Another five stars for MS ROG. OUT OF THE ASHES has one of the best beginnings I have ever read. I couldn’t stop reading, wanting to know what would happen next. 

Amelia Taylor never plans to marry. Not because she doen’t have the opportunity, but because she can’t see beyond her past family history. 

Nathaniel Ward needs a wife, but not just any wife would do. Wealth has afforded him a ray of woman to choose from, but only will do, and he means to set out to find her. 

*Please see my profile for more information on this review.

Monday, October 24, 2016

THE RANCHER’S TEXAS MATCH by BRENDA MINTON

Title: The Rancher’s Texas Match
Author: Brenda Minton
Publisher: Lone Star Cowboy League: Boys Ranch (Book 1)
Pages: 224

I am a huge BRENDA MINTON fan. I have read just about every book she has published. She is an amazing writer, with witty and unique lines. Great plots, and characters you will fall in love with. 

I was a little confused why THE RANCHER’S TEXAS MATCH didn’t seem like the typical BRENDA MINTON book I read. It wasn’t until nearly the end that I discovered THE RANCHER’S TEXAS MATCH is a part of a series with other authors. Suddenly it all made sense.

Tanner Barstow helps troubled teens at the Lone Star cowboy League Boys Ranch. His own upbringing is why he hesitate when it comes to relationships.


Macy Swanson isn’t so sure about being thrown into motherhood. She loves her nephew, but isn’t sure she has what it take to raise the boy. After all, she is just one person. A boy needs a father figure as well.

Friday, October 7, 2016

AMERICAN EDURANCE: BUFFALO BILL, THE GREAT COWBOY RACE OF 1893, AND THE VANISHING WILD WEST by RICHARD A SERRANO

Title:   American Endurance: Buffalo Bill, the Great Cowboy Race of 1893, and the Vanishing Wild West
Author: Richard A. Serrano
Publisher: Smithsonian Books (October 4, 2016)
Pages: 272

To say that I am obsessed with cowboys, and the western days is an understatement. When I spotted AMERICAN ENDURANCE: BUFFALO BILL, THE GREAT COWBOY RACE OF 1893, AND THE VANISHING WILD WEST by RICHARD A SERRANO I just knew I had to have it. I have to admit this is not my typical read. I read fiction with a cowboy and ranch theme. I love both contemporary and historical. I have been a Little House on the Prairie fan for years. I yearn to live in those days – with the convenience of a computer of course.

What I expected from reading AMERICAN EDURANCE: BUFFALO BILL, THE GREAT COWBOY RACE OF 1893, AND THE VANISHING WILD WEST is insight to exactly what the title suggest. What I didn’t expect was to be pulled into the book like a well written novel. I was shocked to discover how many pages I was in after just beginning to read. It’s well written, and packed full of history, mystery and adventure.

I have lived my entire life just an hour from Chicago, in Illinois. To imagine something historical happening so near to my hometown is exciting. Even more so to read about it. It is hard to phantom that just one hundred and twenty-three years ago life was so vastly different then today. Only three years before my grandmother was born. I feel blessed to have run cross this amazing read. 


*Please see my profile for more information on this review. 

Sunday, October 2, 2016

STRUCTURING YOUR NOVEL: ESSENTIAL KEYS FOR WRITING AN OUTSTANDING STORY by KM WEILAND

Title:  Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story
Author: K. M. Weiland
Publisher: PenForASword; 7/18/13 edition (August 17, 2013)
Pages: 295

My writing journey has been a long one. Many years of ups and down. I thought at times I had it, just to discover my writing is severally lacking. There is something wrong, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. God revealed to me one issue at a time that what is missing/wrong. The next faze to my writing journey had been discovering exactly what that was, and what I need to do to fix it. That’s where STRUCTURING YOUR NOVEL: ESSENTIAL KEYS FOR WRITING AN OUTSTANDING STORY by KM WEILAND comes in. 

I will forever be grateful to MS WEILAND for STRUCTURING YOUR NOVEL: ESSENTIAL KEYS FOR WRITING AN OUTSTANDING STORY. I was so impressed with her insight on writing a great story, that I have now purchased a few of her novels. The proof of how much knowledge I gained from this amazing book is apparent in how many written notes, dogeared pages, and highlights are in my copy. To list all that I have would be writing the book.

From the back cover:
 About the Book
Is Structure the Hidden Foundation of All Successful Stories?

Why do some stories work and others don’t? The answer is structure. In this IPPY and NIEA-Award winning guide from the author of the bestsellingOutlining Your Novel, you will learn the universal underpinnings that guarantee powerful plot and character arcs. An understanding of proper story and scene structure will show you how to perfectly time your story’s major events and will provide you with an unerring standard against which to evaluate your novel’s pacing and progression.

Structuring Your Novel will show you:
•               How to determine the best techniques for empowering your unique and personal vision for your story.
•               How to identify common structural weaknesses and flip them around into stunning strengths.
•               How to eliminate saggy middles by discovering your “centerpiece.”
•               Why you should NEVER include conflict in every scene.
•               How to discover the questions you don’t want readers asking about your plot—and then how to get them to ask the right questions.


Story structure has enabled countless bestselling and classic authors. Now it’s your turn!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

COUNTING ON A COWBOY (A FOUR OF HEARTS RANCH ROMANCE) by DEBRA CLOPTON

Title:  A Four of Hearts Ranch Romance (Book 2)
Author: Debra Clopton
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (August 11, 2015)
Pages: 320

What’s not to love about a DEBRA CLOPTON book. If you didn’t catch the lack of a questions mark, that's because it is a statement. COUNTING ON A COWBOY (A FOUR OF HEARTS RANCH ROMANCE) is the second of three books. I don’t recall how I ended up with the second book in the series before purchasing the first. What I do recall is that I didn’t get far in reading COUNTING ON A COWBOY before I realized I needed to purchase the first and third. In reading COUNTING ON A COWBOY, I was intrigued by Tru and Maggie’s story, and knew I had to read their journey as well. Equally, I wanted to know Bo’s brother Jarrod’s story as well. 

Abby Knightly lost much, but is determine to get her life back. What that entails is moving to a new town. What it doesn’t require is allowing a man into her guilt filled and wounded heart.

Bo Monahan isn’t interested in a relationship, getting married, or having a family. And certainly not from someone who read his sister-in-laws article about their single cowboy town. When Abby Knightly enters into Bo’s life, and then an unexpected surprise is dropped off at his doorstep, he begins to rethink his idea a family.


I have been a huge DEBRA CLOPTON fan for years. I own just about every book she has published. I have come to expect a great story, with intriguing and heartwarming characters and have yet to be disappointed. In COUNTING ON A COWBOY I was pleasantly surprised by the twist of the expected taking on a different direction. Can’t wait to read about Tru and Jarrod.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

THE SADDLE MAKER’S SON (THE AMISH OF BEE COUNTY)

Title: The Saddle Maker’s Son (The Amish of Bee County)
Author: Kelly Irvin
Publisher: Zondervan (June 14, 2016)
Pages: 384

One thing you should know about me is that I am not a fan of Amish fiction. Therefore, for MS IRVIN to have me wanting to read anything she writes is quite the accomplishment. Which goes to prove if a book is really well written, someone outside of the genre may become a fan.

Rebekah Lantz struggles with her sister leaving the Amish faith. She needs to work on forgiveness, along with tampering down her independent ways.

Tobias Byler is haunted by his past. The last thing he wants is to sit back and watch his brother make the same mistake. Letter go of the woman Tobias once loved is proving to be easier then convincing Rebekah Lantz that she is the woman for him.

What do I love about MS IRVIN’S stories? What’s there not to love. She is an amazing storyteller, which is why I enjoyed THE SADDLE MAKER’S SON (THE AMISH OF BEE COUNTY). However, I have to admit, The Beekeeper’s Son will probably remind one of my all time favorite books.

I am in constant awe of MS IRVIN’S amazing writing. I recommend her to many people. One of the things I love about MS IRVIN’S stories is the way she intertwines more than once romance, both young and not so young.

*Please see my profile for more information on this review.


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

FROM THIS MOMENT by ELIZABETH CAMDEN

Title: From This Moment
Author: Elizabeth Camden
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (June 7, 2016)
Pages: 352

Oh my, what can I say about yet another amazing story by ELIZABETH CAMDEN? One thing I can say is each time I begin one of MS CAMDEN'S novels, the thought of whether or not it is going to be a good story doesn’t cross my mind. I know it will be, and sure enough I was not disappointed in FROM THIS MOMENT.

Stella West is not in Boston for her dream job, but on a mission. One that she has no intentions of giving up on until she has discovered what she came for.

Romulus White has overcome odds and made a decent life for himself. When the woman he has written to for several years to come join his magazine, suddenly shows up, he’s determined not to let he beauty and charm distract him from his commitment to not marry until the age of forty.

What do I love about FROM THIS MOMENT? The writing, the plot, the characters. When reading an ELIZABETH CAMDEN book I have come to expect to be educated in an entertaining way. Her subject matter is always of interest, as well as educating.

There are not many authors that can pull off a story that I not only love the hero, but the heroine as well. ELIZABETH CAMDEN is one of them. I LOVE both Stella and Romulus’ character. MS CAMDEN has this way of constructing her characters with flaws she turns into endearing qualities.

*Please see my profile for more information on this review.



Monday, July 4, 2016

NO OTHER WILL DO by KAREN WITEMEYER

Title: No Other Will Do
Author: Karen Witemeyer
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (June 7, 2016)
Pages: 368

One of the comforts of having a favorite author is not hesitating in purchasing and starting a new book by them. There is no doubt you are going to LOVE it, and it is worth every penny you spent. That is exactly how I feel about author KAREN WITEMEYER. I eagerly await her next novel, and anxiously begin reading it, knowing I will be drawn in from the first to the last word. That is exactly what happened with NO OTHER WILL DO.

Emma Chandler is the founder of Harper's Station, a women's colony that offers a fresh start for woman in need. Emma, along with her aunts, provide a safe haven for woman that are abused or abandoned by a man.

Malachi Shaw entered Emma Chandler’s life through unusual circumstances. In only a few short years he is forced to leave. A decade later, he returned to his “aunts” and Emma’s side, when called to rescues them from a man attempting to run them out of town. Malachi has never forgotten Emma, or she him. Upon seeing one another, time did little to damper their feelings.

If there is a checklist of must haves for a great story, MS WITEMEYER is a master at checking off each item. Her stories have interesting and meaningful plots. Her characters are well thought-out and three dimensional. Characters you will connect with and fall in love with. Not only the main characters, but the secondary characters as well. MS WITEMEYER’S writing is refreshingly unique, with great lines.

Always looking for the next KAREN WITEMEYER book.


*Please see my profile for more information on this review.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

THE PROMISE OF A SOUND MIND, GOD’S PLAN FOR EMOTIONAL AND MENTAL HEALTH by EDDIE SNIPES

Title: The Promise of a Sound Mind: God's plan for emotional and mental health
Author: Eddie Snipes
Publisher: GES Book Publishing (August 31, 2012)
Pages: 256

The first book I read by MR SNIPES was I CALLED HIM DANCER, and it remains one of my all time favorite stories. Therefore, you may be surprised to know that MR SNIPES is not only a great fiction writer, but non-fiction write as well. THE PROMISE OF A SOUND MIND, GOD’S PLAN FOR EMOTIONAL AND MENTAL HEALTH is the second non-fiction that I have read by EDDIE SNIPES and it won’t be the last.

THE PROMISE OF A SOUND MIND, GOD’S PLAN FOR EMOTIONAL AND MENTAL HEALTH is packed full of great information. A MUST read for everyone. Those struggle in different aspects of their lives, as well as though that think they have it all together. My copy is packed full of highlights, underlines, side notes, and dog-ears pages. UGH, I wanted to copy the entire book and send it to everyone I know.

I am a volunteer in the prison and jail ministry through my church. THE PROMISE OF A SOUND MIND, GOD’S PLAN FOR EMOTIONAL AND MENTAL HEALTH is a must read for those that are incarcerated. I have no doubt I will be making several purchases in the future to send to others.

Here are just a few great lines from this amazing book.  

Page 21:
“If I believe God is directing my steps, I must learn to rejoice in the good and the bad. I say “Bad” from the perspective of human nature but the truth is that nothing is bad if we are walking in God’s plan.”

Page 170:
“When we see the glory of God’s purpose in our lives, we will also hear the calling to come and follow.”

Honestly, I could quote just about the entire book, it’s that great. Don’t miss out. You will be blessed. It will enrich, educate, and enlighten you.


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

A LOVE WORTH GIVING: LIVING IN THE OVERFLOW OF GODS LOVE by MAX LUCADO

Title: A Love Worth Giving: Living in the Overflow of God's Love
Author: Max Lucado
Publisher: W. Publishing Group (April 16, 2006)
Pages: 214

I admit it. I LOVE devotionals. The only part I don’t like, but have overcome is when they are dated. Though I typically read every day, I don’t like feeling as though if I miss a day I am behind and need to make it up. What I love about devotionals is the little snippets of goodness each day. Typically not too much or too little, which allows you to absorb the words and gain much more from them.


A LOVE WORTH GIVING: LIVING IN THE OVERFLOW OF GODS LOVE by MAX LUCADO isn’t a devotional per say, yet it had the feel of a devotional. One with more substances to each chapter, rather than each day. MAX LUCADO is a brilliant writer. I have enjoyed everything I have read by him thus far. In my copy of A LOVE WORTH GIVING, I have many highlights as well as underlines and notes and comments. 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

THE RANCHER BODYGUARD by BRENDA MINTON

Title: Her Rancher Bodyguard (Martin's Crossing)
Author: Brenda Minton
Publisher: Love Inspired (May 24, 2016)
Pages: 224

What can I say; I am forever a BRENDA MINTON fan. What’s there not to love about her books. As soon as one goes on sale, I snatch it up. If I am in the middle of reading a book, I read faster so I can get to MS MINTON’S book. Even if I have my next read planned out, I set it aside to sneak in hers. 

Boone Wilder has a job to do, and he doesn’t intent on messing it up. Not when it involves a pretty woman he is trying to deny being attracted too. 

Kayla Stanford doesn’t need a bodyguard. Especially one as handsome and sweet as Boone Wilder. What she needs is a fresh start. To feel as though she is loved. 

As I have stated in many reviews I’ve written on books I have read by BRENDA MINTON, she is a brilliant writer that creates amazing characters. She often blows me away with great lines. In THE RANCHER BODYGUARD there were a few amazing lines that I had to dog-ear in the book in two places. Page 78 and 217

Can’t wait for the next. Yes, that’ s me. Impatiently waiting. 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

A MAN CALLED OUTLAW KM WEILAND

Title: A Man Called Outlaw
Author: K.M. Weiland
Publisher: PenForASword Publishing (October 1, 2007)
Pages: 354

How do we come to read a book? A suggestion from a friend? Happen to come across it on the internet? Spotted it on the shelf at the store? However one comes to purchasing a book and reading it is not as important as the outcome. Just the same, here is how I came to read A MAN CALLED OUTLAW by KM WEILAND.

I happened upon A MAN CALLED OUTLAW due to reading a non-fiction by KM WEILAND. My thinking was if she is able to give great advice on writing a novel, it is worth seeing if she can produce the type of stories she has aided others to write.

Shane Lassiter never knew his biological father. Nathaniel Wilcock stepped up and did the job. A man Shane owes everything to yet questions his morals.

Anne Cassidy refuses to sell her land. Not to the man that threatened to destroy her, or any other man. She was willing to even refuse the man she loved.

I have this bizarre love hate relationship with A MAN CALLED OUTLAW KM WEILAND. Well, perhaps hate is too strong of a word. For many chapters the switching from the past to future, and the number of characters had my head swimming. If not for the amazing writing, I would have given up early on.

The amount of characters and now soon they were introduced was an issue. The switch from the past the present at times was an issue as well. Even more so due to the same character names in both. The more I read, the more it became apparent that I could not stop reading A MAN CALLED OUTLAW.

Despite the fact that switching from past to present can be a tad confusing, I love this approach to a novel. Author MAUREEN LANG did this brilliantly in THE OAK LEAVES and ON SPARROW HILL. Living in the past and the present, getting a glimpse into both just to have it all come together in the end is something you won’t get in a novel that takes place in only one time frame.

To be honest, I would have loved to have a better ending. Or perhaps a second book to continue where A MAN CALLED OUTLAW left off. I wanted closure, though one may argue that MS WEILAND did just that.

What I loved about A MAN CALLED OUTLAW is the connection to the past and the present. The unique way the author wove them together. MS WEILAND did an amazing job of adding the element of surprise. There were a few things that I thought I knew what was going to happen, just to be shocked to discover something else.


Brilliant writing and a unique approach to a storyline will have me reading more books – both fiction and non-fiction – by KM WEILAND.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

CHANCERS: ADDICTION, PRISON, RECOVERY, LOVE: ONE COUPLE’S MEMOIR

Title: Chancers: Addiction, Prison, Recovery, Love: One Couple's Memoir
Author: Susan Stellin and Graham MacIndoe
Publisher:  Ballantine Books (June 7, 2016)
Pages: 448

I have more books in my pile of books to be read then I want to admit to. Yet when I ran across, CHANCERS: ADDICTION, PRISON, RECOVERY, LOVE: ONE COUPLE’S MEMOIR by SUSAN STELLIN AND GRAHAM MACINDOE, I ordered it. That it is a memoir and had the word prison is what drew me in.

When Susan Stellin asked Graham MacIndoe to shoot her author photo for an upcoming travel book, she couldn’t have imagined in her wildest dreams the journey it would lead her on. 

I’m not sure what I expected when I ordered CHANCERS: ADDICTION, PRISON, RECOVERY, LOVE: ONE COUPLE’S MEMOIR by SUSAN STELLIN AND GRAHAM MACINDOE. What I didn’t expect was a beautifully written, honest account of two people’s lives.

CHANCERS flips between SUSAN STELLIN AND GRAHAM MACINDOE’S story of their life as they travel through their relationship. SUSAN and GRAHAM have distinct voices, yet maintain coherency in writing style.

CHANCERS is a fascinating read, one you won’t be able to put down. SUSAN gives an honest look into the experience of having someone you love addicted to drugs. GRAHAM gives a harsh account of the reality of what drugs can do to one’s life. A fascinating walk through addition to drugs, experiencing withdrawals, prison, and the system we count on to be just.

I have been volunteering in prison ministry since 2004. In all I have witness and been informed of by inmates, GRAHAM brought the experience from the view of one going through it to life, not hiding the ugly and brutal truth. 

CHANCERS is written like a great novel. Suspense, hope, love, uncertainty, and intrigue makes it hard to put down. I highly recommend CHANCERS: ADDICTION, PRISON, RECOVERY, LOVE: ONE COUPLE’S MEMOIR, and would gladly purchase other books written by SUSAN STELLIN AND GRAHAM MACINDOE.


*Please see my profile for more information on this review.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

THE TEXAS RANCHER’S RETURN (BLUE THORN RANCH) by ALLIE PLEITER

Title: The Texas Rancher's Return (Blue Thorn Ranch) 
Author: Allie Pleiter
Publisher: Love Inspired (February 1, 2016)
Pages: 219

THE TEXAS RANCHER’S RETURN (BLUE THORN RANCH) is not the first book I have read by ALLIE PLEITER, but it is the first I have read by her that included a cowboy.

Gunner Buckton is back home to help his grandmother with the ranch that has been in his family for years. What he was not counting on is locking horns with the pretty looking Brook Calder.

When Brooke Calder happens to run across a buffalo in the middle of the road – rather bison – she isn’t prepared to move it out of her way, any more then she is ready to deal with the man it belongs to. Brooke would do anything for her daughter, but stepping foot on Buckton’s land makes her wanting to please her daughter a bit of a challenge.

I have read enough ALLIE PLEITER stories to know she is constant in delivering great lines. MS PLEITER knows how to put a story together, always coming up with great plots. Looking forward to reading the next in the Blue Thorn Ranch series.



Monday, April 4, 2016

UNTIL THE DAWN by ELIZABETH CAMDEN

Title: Until The Dawn
Author: Elizabeth Camden
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers; 1 edition (December 1, 2015)
Pages: 352

What can I say differently about UNTIL THE DAWN then I have about every other book I have read by ELIZABETH CAMDEN? When an author writes as well as MS CAMDEN, it can be difficult to invent new ways to give praise.

Sophie van Riijn volunteers for the Weather Bureau, reporting the readings she finds each day on top of the Dierenpark mansion. Taking the readings gives Sophie a sense of accomplishment and worth. That is until the return of Dierenparks owner attempts to threaten it all.

Quentin Vandermark is not happy about the contraption placed on his family mansion, and intends to do something about it. In time, Sophie van Riijn seeps into his harden soul, and threatens to turn his whole world upside down.

Pros:
Brilliant writing.
Educational.
Exciting.
Heartwarming.
Three-dimensional characters you will love.
A plot that will keep you reading.
Adventurous.
Surprises.
Satisfying.

Cons:
Not one thing!
Well, perhaps that it ended.

Aside from being in awe of MS CAMDEN’S amazing writing, I find the depth of here plots mind blowing. Each time I begin to read one of her novels, I know I am going to be enlightened beyond my expectations. Not only am I educated on specific subject matters, but in a way that is enjoyable, effortless, and natural.

Another astounding ability MS CAMDEN has is to never go in the direction the reader predicts the author would go. I LOVE that about her stories. It is refreshing to have the unpredictable happen, yet in a way that is always satisfying.


Yes, I am a HUGE ELIZABETH CAMDEN fan.

*Please see my profile for more information on this review.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

THE RANCHER’S FIRST LOVE by BRENDA MINTON

Title: The Rancher's First Love (Martin's Crossing)
Author: Brenda Minton
Publisher: Love Inspired; Not for Online edition (February 23, 2016)
Pages: 224

THE RANCHER’S FIRST LOVE by BRENDA MINTON:

Remington Jenkins is back in Martin’s Crossing, and has his eye on Samantha Martin. He may be able to preach a good sermon on Sunday morning, but convincing Sam she should give them a second chance is proving to be a challenge.

Sam Martin is shocked to see the handsome cowboy she fell in love with nearly a decade ago, walk into the hospital she works at. Rem seems to be a changed man, but can she ever trust the man with her heart again?

I have written many reviews for books by BRENDA MINTON. For THE RANCHER’S FIRST LOVE I will write a list of pros and cons.

PROS:
Amazing writing.
Three dimensional characters that you will fall in love with.
A great storyline. Love how MS MINTON handled it.
Unique and amazing lines that will have you in awe.
A beginning that will grab your attention.
An ending that will leave you satisfied - aside from not wanting it to end.

CONS:
Zero

That pretty much sums up THE RANCHER’S FIRST LOVE. 

Can’t wait for the next.


Sunday, March 6, 2016

WITH THIS RING?: A NOVELLA COLLECTION OF PROPOSALS GONE AWRY




Title: With This Ring?: A Novella Collection of
Proposals Gone Awry
Author: Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina
Jennings, Melissa Jagears                
Publisher: Bethany
House Publishers (January 5, 2016)
Pages: 368


WITH THIS RING?: A NOVELLA

COLLECTION OF PROPOSALS GONE AWRY

The Husband Maneuver by KAREN WITEMEYER

THE HUSBAND MANEUVER by KAREN WITEMEYER is the
reason I wanted to read, WITH THIS RING?: A NOVELLA COLLECTION OF PROPOSALS
GONE AWRY. I have enjoyed every single book MS WITEMEYER has written. Well,
that isn’t entirely true. I didn’t “enjoy” every one…I LOVED every one, and THE
HUSBAND MANEUVER was no expedition.

The Hawkins foreman, Daniel Barrett is ready to
leave his job on the ranch to start his own business. It’s for his own good, in
more ways than one. He’d never have a chance with Marietta as long as he
continues to work for her father.

When Marietta Hawkins discovers Daniel Barrett - aka
Dead-Eye Dan - intends to leave her father’s ranch for his own place, the
wheels in her brain start to spinning. No way is she going to risk losing the
man she loves.

I remembered Dead-Eye Dan and Marietta from MS
WITEMEYER’S previous book. It was fun to see the characters come to life with a
story of their own. I loved the scene at the watering hole. MS WITEMEYER is a
master at creating unique, loveable, and three-dimensional characters. Her
plots are always thought out and captivating.

5 stars

Her Dearly Unintended by REGINA JENNINGS

HER DEARLY UNINTENDED is my first read by REGINA
JENNINGS. I was immediately captivated and brought into the story.

Josiah Huckabee comes to the rescue of Katie Ellen
Watson when the only bridge to her farm is washed out. They soon find themselves
in the midst of a stranger, and pretending to be married. Though Katie might
find it difficult to keep up the charade, Josiah finds himself not bother by
the situation.

4 stars

Runaway Bride by MARY CONNEALY

I must say, I love when a hero comes to the rescue
of the heroine, and that is exactly what happens in RUNAWAY BRIDE by MARY
CONNEALY.

Big John Conroy is hired to help Carrie Halsey escape from a dangerous man intent on making her his wife. A promise he intends to keep. What he didn’t
expect is to make another promise to the woman he is falling for.
3 stars

Engaging the Competition by MELISSA JAGEARS

ENGAGING THE COMPETITION by MELISSA JAGEARS

When Harrison Gray discovers Charlotte Andrews is to marry another, he dropswhat he is doing and heads out to her place. An unexpected situation places
them together, and when Charlotte breaks his much needed glasses, it is a start
to setting aside their difference that allows them to give in to their feelings
for one another.

4 stars

*Please see my profile for more information on this
review.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

INTERTWINED: A CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE NOVEL

INTERTWINED: A CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE NOVEL by JENNIFER SLATTERY caught me off guard. Not the typically genre I read, the last thing I expected was to be captivated by so many aspect of this wonderful book.

Tammy Kuhn is a single mom, struggling to deal with the bitterness of a hurtful divorce. Her job is demanding of her time, making it difficult to find a good sitter for her kids. Believing in what she is doing for others, Tammy continues to seek childcare as she works on call.

Nick Zimmerman is a father of two. Two boys he is in constant battle to see. His ex-wife is doing her best to let Nick  know what a horrible father he is, while Nick struggles to win custody. Just when Nick thinks things may get better, tragedy strikes – twice.

I don’t know where to begin. As a writer I found myself engrossed in everything MS SLATTERY wrote between the covers of INTERTWINED. The writing is superb. The story telling amazing. Her choice of words took my breath away. MS SLATTERY followed every writing rule there is to the T.

Two things about MS SLATTERY’S writing that stood out to me is her ability to evoke the natural feeling as though you were in each scene. She brought forth the details in a way that didn’t weigh down the story, instead enhanced it. Not being a detail person, that is saying a lot.

The other thing that struck me, is her ability to take you in the opposite direction you assumed the author would go. Several times I felt I KNEW what was going to happen next, just to have it go in another direction. Not just a couple of times, but many. Not only that, it was done in a subtle and natural way. It was not jarring nor did it feel as though it was forced.

Now that I think of it, I have to point out two more things. The way MS SLATTERY wove in faith so naturally, non-preachy, yet so powerful is astounding. I was blown away by her characters flaws. They were not over the top, yet real. Not once did you feel like, yeah, right.

Yes, I will be purchasing books by JENNIFER SLATTERY in the future.


*Please see my profile for more information on this review.

Friday, January 29, 2016

INCARCERATION NATIONS: A JOURNEY TO JUSTIC IN PRISONS AROUND THE WORLD

Title: Incarceration Nations: A Journey to Justice in Prisons Around the World
Author: Baz Dreisinger
Publisher: Other Press (February 9, 2016)
Pages: 336

INCARCERATION NATIONS: A JOURNEY TO JUSTIC IN PRISONS AROUND THE WORLD caught my attention immediately. I have been involved in prison ministry since 2004. I have experienced firsthand the injustice. The works of power, dehumanizing, greed, politics, injustice, repercussion from what we are born into, and the affects of such doings.

Before purchasing a book, – unless it is of a favorite author – I scan the reviews. The first one I go to is a one star. I like to know the best and worst of what people are saying before making a decision. Next, I will take a peek in the book. This gives me a glimpse into the authors writing. The voice, the flow, their knowledge of the basic rules of writing a book. Due to a one star review, I was a little leery about ordering INCARCERATION NATIONS, but the subject matter was too vital to pass up.

In my younger years, I thought introduction were optional. Later in life, I found that to be far from the truth. Quite often, they are a crucial part of the story. INCARCERATION NATIONS has an introduction you don’t want to miss. From the first page, I was hooked. I don’t recall being so quickly drawn into a non-fiction, to a point I felt I was reading a great novel. MS. DREISINGER is without a doubt a gifted writer.

INCARCERATION NATIONS is a MUST read - for everyone. For those working in the system, inmates – present and former – victims, and all others. The issues surrounding our locked up nation has spiraled out of control. To a point we MUST stop and rethink what we are doing. We must put an end to this madness.

*Please see my profile for more information on this review.


Saturday, January 16, 2016

HER COWBOY HERO (REFUGE RANCH) by CAROLYNE AARSEN

Title: Her Cowboy Hero
Author: Carolyne Aarsen
Publisher: Love Inspired (January 1, 2015)
Pages: 218

I admit that I have only read a few books by CAROLYNE AARSEN, but what I have come to realize is she creates great story lines. I love her plots. She is a wonderful writer, though to be truthful I didn’t connect well with the characters in previous books because I felt the deep point of view was weak. That was the only element I felt missing.

HER COWBOY HERO (REFUGE RANCH) by CAROLYNE AARSEN is well written, and a great story line. In the past I may have had a problem with DPOV in MS AAREN’S stories, but that was not the case in HER COWBOY HERO. I loved the plot. I got a sense of what the main characters secret was, so when she finally revealed it I thought, that better not be it. I will not give away any more for those that have yet to read it.

Keira Bannister never stopped loving Tanner Fortier. When he shows up at her family ranch, she is torn between letting her feelings for him surface and keeping them tampered down…where they belong.

Tanner Fortier knew when he headed home he was risking being hurt all over again. Keira Bannister broke his heart once, he wasn’t sure he had it in him to be around her again, yet he needed answers. Needed to know why she disappeared and never returned his calls


It is safe to say that I am a growing fan of CAROLYNE AARSEN.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

CATCH OF A LIFETIME by CANDEE FICK

Title: Catch of a Lifetime
Author: Candee Fick
Publisher: Bling! Romance (November 2, 2015
Pages: 230

I am smack dab in the middle of giving CATCH OF A LIFETIME by CANDEE FICK four or five stars. Let me begin by saying I am not a football fan – thus the only reason I may not give it five stars. Therefore CATCH OF A LIFETIME had one huge strike against it when it came to me reading this book. However, let me also add that MS FICK in a phenomenal writer, for one would have to be to keep a non-fan of a plot, reading.

Cassie Parker is starting a new job, a new school, and a new life. What she didn’t figure on was that starting new meant being placed right in the middle of her worse nightmare.

Falling for Cassie Parker could quite possibly mean putting Reed Worthington’s job on the line. His team is not only hit with a game changing situation, so is Reeds personal life.

Not being a football fan, I have little – and I do mean little – knowledge about the game. MS FICK managed to make me feel as though I was in the misty of the playing field. She was able to spin together authenticity in a way that many authors cannot pull off. Never have I felt as though a story was so true to real life in such an authentic and effortless way. A true sign of a great write.

CATCH OF A LIFETIME is a complete story from start to finish. The writing is brilliant. I especially loved the ending. I hadn’t seen it coming, yet it was believable and done masterfully. MS FICK incorporated all the elements needed to produce a great story. I would not hesitate to read another of her book.


*Please see my profile for more information on this review. *Please see my profile for more information on this review. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

SPEAKING WELL: ESSENTIAL SKILLS FOR SPEAKERS, LEADERS, AND PREACHERS by ADAM HAMILTON

Title: Speaking Well: Essential Skills for Speakers, Leaders, and Preaches
Author: Adam Hamilton
Publisher: Abingdon Press; Gld edition (October 20, 2015)
Pages: 96

SPEAKING WELL: ESSENTIAL SKILLS FOR SPEAKERS, LEADERS, AND PREACHERS is not the first book I have read by ADAM HAMILTON, and certainly won’t be the last. In fact I just completed The Call: The Life and Message of the Apostle Paul, before this one and it won’t stop here. MR HAMILTON has a whole list of great titles, diving into important topics.

What I love about MR HAMILTON’S books is the simplistic, yet powerful and impactful way he delivers a message, and SPEAKING WELL: ESSENTIAL SKILLS FOR SPEAKERS, LEADERS, AND PREACHERS is no exception.

As my role as a leader continues to grow, I am finding myself to do more and  more of what I never imagined I would do…speaking in public. If there is one thing I learned early on, it is that I am one that needs to be prepared, no matter how quick/short my talk is to be. In fact, perhaps the shorter the talk, the more important the words you chose become.

Upon receiving SPEAKING WELL: ESSENTIAL SKILLS FOR SPEAKERS, LEADERS, AND PREACHERS, I was surprised at how thin and tiny it is, despite a reviewers comment on that fact. Having read MR HAMILTON’S writing before, it didn't deter me. Once I dove in, my thinking was affirmed.

SPEAKING WELL: ESSENTIAL SKILLS FOR SPEAKERS, LEADERS, AND PREACHERS is packed full of great information. Precise and right to the point. The perfect combination of information, instructions, and a plan for execution. I love the ending of each chapter, with a shot and simple bullet point.


Each chapter provides key information to giving a great speech. The first chapter to really hit home was chapter Three, FIND THE RIGHT STARTING POINT. As a writer it has been drilled into me the importance of grabbing your readers from the first word to get their attention enough that they want to continue reading, resulting in purchasing your book. For whatever reason I never made the connection to the concept in relations to giving a speech. MR HAMILTON’S one of two approaches is good, but for me the second had the reaction of a light bulb turning. In less than a month I am to give a quick rundown of one of the ministries I am a leader in. This is not the first time I have done this, so I realize the importance of the power needed to implement in a few words. I now have a guideline of how to execute my words thanks to MR HAMILTON’S wonderful little book on SPEAKING WELL.