Thursday, December 27, 2012

A DAUGHTER’S REDEMTION by GEORGIANA DANIELS


Title: A Daughter’s Redemption

Author: Georgiana Daniels
Publisher: Love Inspired (December 18, 2012)
Pages: 224

Robyn Warner is willed her father’s property after being estranged from him and her half siblings for several years. The cottages on the property are in dire need of repair. Robyn intends to fix them up herself, but the “handyman” that’s on location when she arrives, doesn’t intend on leaving until the job is finished.

Cabel Sloane is the cop “responsible” for Robyn’s father’s death. Before Dan took his last breath, Cabel made him a promise that Cabel intends to keep. When Cabel meets Dan’s daughter, Robyn, he can’t deny the growing attraction. The fear of her discovering the truth of who he is has him putting it off. Just when she musters up the courage to tell her …

A DAUGHTER’S REDEMTION by GEORGIANA DANIELS has a powerful beginning that will draw you in, as well as a satisfying ending with a few surprises along the way.





Friday, December 14, 2012

ALL IN GOOD TIME by MAUREEN LANG


Title: All in Good Time

Author: Maureen Lang
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers (April 1, 2013)
Pages: 400

I’m a huge MAUREEN LANG fan, so it was never in question if I was going to like ALL IN GOOD TIME. I have yet to read one of her novels that didn’t captivate me from the first page to the last.

Dessa Caldwell is on a mission. A mission that not many would believe to be a wise choice, but that hardly mattered to her. God has placed a calling upon her and she means to obey. Only problem is she needs to acquire a loan from Hawkins National Bank. The owner is less than happy to approve her much needed loan for the Pierson House, a refuge for prostitutes.

Henry Hawkins has a secret that has kept him at a distance from others. One he fears will destroy all he’s built over the years. When Dessa Caldwell enters his bank with the intentions of obtaining a loan for a crazy mission she is determined to carry out, Henry is not too pleased when his uncle tricks him into giving her the loan.

I have to say I fell in love with Henry and Dessa, and dare I say for a moment, Mr. Foster. MS. LANG has the most amazing knack for brining to life the characters in her novels that will have you turning the pages, and not wanting to set the book down.

MR. LANG does an amazing job at subtleties. Characters that seep into your heart, and change so gradually and realistically over the course of the book that you feel they are someone you know. Faith is gently sprinkled throughout, never preachy or forced. Just the right amount to get the sense of one’s belief and transformation without feeling as though you just stepped out of a sermon.

The drama and tension is tangible. As a writer, one of the things you are taught is to end your chapters with a hook. MS. LANG certainly has that down. I found it difficult to put the book down, taking me away from my daily duties as I thought, “just one more chapter”.

I loved the unique storyline, and how the ending came together. Once again MS. LANG has produced an amazing story, one that will stay with you for a very long time.



Monday, December 3, 2012

DEATH IN DAHLONEGA by DEBORAH MALONE



Title: Death in Dahlonega

Author: Deborah Malone
Publisher: Lamp Post Inc. (October 21, 2011)
Pages: 132

Trixie Montgomery and her good friend Dee Dee, adventure off to the north Georgia Mountains, to write a historical article for the magazine Trixie works for. It doesn't take long for trouble to start brewing. Dee Dee is caught red-handed holding a bloody pickax over John Tatum. Trixie is bound and determined not to let her good friend take the rap for a murder she is sure Dee Dee didn't do. Trixie will stop at nothing until justice is served.

I'm not a cozy mystery reader. I don't like slapstick comedy. I just can't get into the funny side of something otherwise serious.

Yet ....

DEATH IN DAHLONEGA by DEBORAH MALONE is a terrific read. It's very well written with many comical moments, as well as unique lines. MS. MALONE will have you turning the pages with a mystery that will keep you guessing. If I were a cozy mystery reader, I'd purchase each of MS. MALONE'S novels.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

SAFE HAVEN by NICHOLAS SPARKS



Title: Safe Haven
Author: Nicholas sparks
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Reprint edition (June 26, 2012)
Pages: 432

I’ve only read a few NICHOLAS SPARKS books, and each one was triggered by a movie. Not the typical way I pick out a book to read. The first was A WALK TO REMEMBER. Being one of my all time favorite movies, I just had to read the book to see how it was written. Unfortunately I was disappointed. Not that it wasn’t written well, or a good story, just too different from then the movie.

The next book by MR. SPARKS I read was, DEAR JOHN. I saw the movie trailer, and knew I had to see it. I made the mistake of rushing out to get the book to read beforehand, finishing it the day before I went to see the movie. Once again I was disappointed. They had changed something, in my eyes, something major. I couldn’t get past that. The movie also lacked the emotion the book did (what a surprise). The book was amazing. The movie okay. Perhaps I saw the movie too close to having read the book.

I have THE NOTEBOOK, but have yet to read it. Loved the movie. Have THE LAST SONG, have yet to read it. Loved the movie. I guess you might say I’m a little hesitant to read AND watch something by NICHOLAS SPARKS. If I don’t read a book before watching a movie, the chances of me reading it afterwards is slim. Yet each time I see a great movie like one of MR. SPARKS, I yearn to read the book.

As soon as I saw the trailer for SAFE HAVEN, I knew I’d have to see it. Once again I wrestled with the idea of reading the book first. The writer in me wants to read how a great movie is played out in words. So I did it. I purchased the book and read it. And loved it!

Katie Feldman slips into a small town in North Carolina, hoping to move in unnoticed. All she wants is to live out the rest of her life in peace. Meeting a man is the last thing she has on her mind. She’d doing just fine on her own, and that’s the way she prefers it.

Alex Wheatley is kind hearted and genuine. He’s also a widow and father of two young children. When Katie steps into his quaint family store, he’s immediately intrigued. Not only is she beautiful, she seemed to have a secret. One she isn’t about to let Alex in on.

SAVE HAVEN is definitely going on my list of favorite books. MR. SPARKS is an amazing story teller. I realize number one bestselling authors can get away with just about anything, but as an aspiring fiction author; it kind of annoyed me that he didn’t keep his point-of-views straight. One sentence was one character, and the next another. More than a handful of times I had to go back and reread it to figure out whose point-of-view it was. To the average reader this may not be an issue, but to a writer that has been taught to not head hop/switch POV without indicating doing so with a break, it’s distracting. I have to wonder why such a brilliant storyteller would do so. I admit there are a few times in many story that it might be helpful, but on the whole, it’s not good to do so.

Other then the head hopping, SAFE HAVE is an amazing story. Not a lull in the book, though I could have done without the overly descriptive details at times. I loved both characters, Katie and Alex. I was both surprised and pleased when the story shifted to Katie’s past. The characters were three-dimensional, coming to life off the pages. After seeing the movie trailer, I could only picture the cast from the movie, which wasn’t a bad thing. They fit the profile perfectly … minus their hair color. I really liked how the abusive relationship was played out. It painted a realistic picture of what too many women go through. I have to say, I did feel sorry for Katie’s husband at one point, wondering what happened in his life that caused him to do what he did.

SAVE HAVEN is a fast paced, entraining read that will tug at your heart, and cause your heart to race with a few twists and surprises.

Next on my list from NICHOLAS SPARKS … THE LUCKY ONE. Now on DVD, I’m still deciding whether to read the book before seeing the movie. I guess time will tell.









Saturday, November 10, 2012

HEART TO HEART by LURLENE MCDANIEL



Title: Heart to Heart
Author: Lurlene McDaniel
Publisher: Ember; Reprint edition (March 13, 2012)
Pages: 224

I didn’t fine HEART TO HEART by LURLENE MCDANIEL, it found me. Due to receiving a gift card to a bookstore I typically don’t shop at - way too expense – I searched for a book to purchase. My oldest daughter introduced me to several YA books. Each one I’ve loved. So much so that I’ve thought of one day writing a YA book myself. So it wasn’t a surprise to find myself searching the YA books at the store.

After reading the back cover of HEART TO HEART, I decided to give it a try, though I’d never read any of MS. MCDANIEL’S Books before. I was immediately drawn into the story. The writing was wonderful, the characters real to life, and the storyline unique and well thought-out.

Kassey Messecheck and Elowyn Eden are close friends. Kassey thought she knew everything about her best friend, so after a fatal car crash, Kassey was surprised to discover Elowyn had checked the donor box on her driver’s license.

Arabeth ST. Clair has lived the latter years of her life lonely and isolated. But all of that was about to change when she receives a call that a donors heart is available. The last thing she expected was to meet the loved ones of the girl who donated her heart.

I highly recommend HEART TO HEART to kids and adults of all ages. There’s a great lesson to be learned from this wonderfully written story. It will tug at your heartstrings and bring you to tear.



Tuesday, November 6, 2012

THE MARRIAGE BARGAIN by JENNIFER PROBST



Title: The Marriage Bargain
Author: Jennifer Probst
Publisher: Gallery Books; Original edition (August 17, 2012)
Pages: 212

I’m certainly not lacking in words when it comes to THE MARRIAGE BARGAIN by JENNIFER PROBST. First thing you need to know, I’m an aspiring Christian fiction writer. I primarily read Christian fiction. I’ve read my share of secular books, and have loved many of them, despite the lack of faith, and added content I could do without.

Alexa KcKenzie needs money … and fast.

Nicolas Ryan needs a wife …. and fast.

When Alexa agrees to marry Nick, she does so because she needs his money to save her family home. He asked her to marry because he’s in need of a wife to seal a business deal. What Nick doesn’t realize is Alexa never really stopped loving him, though she won’t admit to it.

THE MARRIAGE BARGAIN by JENNIFER PROBST is the first book I’ve read by this author, and most likely will be the last. But that’s not for lack of good writing or storytelling. Whenever I encounter a book that has me divided between loving it and having issues with it, I typically lay it out in pros and cons.

THE PROS:
-Amazing writing.
-Wonderful, three-dimensional characters.
-Great plot.
-Great lines.
-Great tension between characters.

THE CONS:
-Foul language – Though not what I call the worst of words, and not so much that I’d have to stop reading it.
-The sexual content – Yes, that was too much/over the top … though it could have been worse.
-The ending – After such an amazing story, and great writing, the author dropped the ball the last few chapters. It just sort of fizzed out, or maybe “rushed” would be a better word. Very disappointing after such a great read. If you kill the ending of a book, you pretty much kill the book. The reader is left with the bad taste, taking away from all the previous good you read.

I really loved the story, and thought the writing to be outstanding. Though there was foul language, it was tolerable. What I didn’t like was the sexual content. I don’t regret reading THE MARRIAGE BARGAIN, because it reiterated what I already knew, but needed to be reminded of …

WHY I WRITE CHRISTIAN FICTION.

The books I read sit around in plain sight so I can read them whenever I have the opportunity to sneak in a chapter or two. I don’t think much about it in regards to my kids because I generally read Christian fiction or basically “clean” secular books.

You can image my surprise when my sixteen-year-old pointed to THE MARRIAGE BARGAIN sitting on the kitchen table and said, “Wow, nice Mom,” in a sarcastic tone. I was both embarrassed and pleasantly surprised by her comment. Embarrassed because of her knowledge of what was inside such a cover, and surprised that she cared. That she HAD noticed what I read. Noticed enough to recognize that THE MARRIAGE BARGAIN was not the kind of book I typically read.

In the past my youngest daughter would pick up the current book I was reading and start to jokingly read it. I never flinched. That would not be the case if she had picked up this particular book and just happened upon a sensual scene between the two main characters.

It saddens me that I won’t be purchasing MS. PROBST books in the future, mainly due to the sexual content, when she is such a wonderful writer and storyteller. I guess there is always hope that one day she’ll decide to write a “clean” story.





Friday, November 2, 2012

AGAINST THE TIDE by ELIZABETH CAMDEN



Title: Against the Tide

Author: Elizabeth Camden
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (October 1, 2012)
Pages: 368

AGAINST THE TIDE by ELIZABETH CAMDEN is not the first book I’ve read by her, nor will it be the last. The first was THE ROSE OF WINSLOW STREET, which was amazing. I immediately placed MS. CAMDEN on my list of favorite authors. When I was offered a chance to read and review AGAINST THE TIDE, I didn’t hesitate. I was both honored and excited.

Lydia Pallas has carved out the perfect life for herself after surviving childhood struggles. A nice place to call home, a job she’s proud of, everything in neat order … or so she thinks.

Alexander Banebridges, known as Bane, has a mission in life. And right now that mission requires the help of a beautiful female translator working for the U.S. Navy, and a friend of his.

As Bane and Lydia embark on a mission propelled by Bane’s past, he becomes painfully aware that the very thing he’s trying to stamp out has its grip on the woman he’s falling for. But Lydia if off limits. Bain’s doesn’t deserve happiness, much less a woman to share his life with. Not after what he had done ….

What I love about MS. CAMDEN’S books, aside from the amazing writing, great pace, wonderful lines, well thought-out, three dimensional, likeable characters, is her plots are intriguing, educational, and meaningful. Her stories stir up emotions, and leave you feeling as though you were right there, living beside the characters, fighting their battles. After reading the last word, I was intrigued to learn more about what I just read, along with a new understanding of the situation that occurred in the past.

Bane and Lydia seeped into my heart. I loved both characters. How often are you left feeling as though you personally know the characters and are greatly sadden when you flip over the last page? I was excited to discover Bane’s is in CAMDEN’S first novel, THE LADY OF BOLTON HILL. I can’t wait to get a glimpse into Bane’s earlier life.

If you want a great read, filled with a touch of mystery, intrigue, suspense, light, yet powerful romance, with just the right amount of faith woven in so naturally you don’t realize it’s there, then you’re sure to love, AGAINST THE TIDE.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A HEART MADE NEW by KELLY IRVIN



Title: A Heart Made New
Author: Kelly Irvin
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (October 1, 2012)
Pages: 336

A HEART MADE NEW by KELLY IRVIN is for those wanting a story about the life of a devoted Amish family, with a mix of faith, romance, suspense, and a few twists and turns.

Annie Shirack wants more than anything to marry David Plank, despite what he's going through. But David isn't so eager. He's been fighting cancer, and isn't willing to let Annie get too close. He fears hurting her if he were to die an untimely death, leaving her a young widow.

The characters in A HEART MADE NEW struggle with their faith, as often we do. Though bad things happen to good people, it's important to trust God through our trials and tribulations. A message worth hearing.

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

Monday, October 22, 2012

HEAVEN by ALEXANDRA ADORNETTO


Title: Heaven
Author: Alexandra Adornetto
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends; 1 edition (August 21, 2012)
Pages: 432

Since they first met it hadn’t been easy for Bethany Church, an angel, and Xavier Woods, a mortal. Despite the warnings from others, Beth and Xavier’s love couldn’t be denied. Making a brave decision to marry, crossing the line and doing what no others have done, a group of angels, the Seven, were determined to make them pay for their actions.

It all started with my daughter wanting to purchase, HALO. I have to admit the cover was intriguing, along with the synopsis. She read and loved it. Next it was my turn. I fell in love with the characters and the storyline. We waited impatiently for the next to come out, HADES, and finally, HEAVEN.

If I had to pick my favorite between the three, I guess I’d have to say it’s HADES, though the last half of HEAVEN is a close second (You can read my review for HALO and HADES on Amazon.). Overall I loved the trilogy. ALEXANDRA ADORNETTO is an amazing writer with a creative mind that produced an amazing storyline with three dimensional characters.

The first half of HEAVEN was a tad slow, but once you reach the middle it takes off. The slow pace was tolerable due to the wonderful writing. Having read the first two books in the trilogy, there was no way I wasn’t finishing the third one.

I loved the surprises and twists HEAVEN took. I hadn’t a clue how Xavier and Bethany’s story would unfold, but I loved how MS. ADORNETTO played it out. I could never have imagined what the author would do with one of the other characters I love, Gabriel. I’m anticipating with excitement a story about Gabe and Molly.









Monday, October 15, 2012

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

WE ARE NEVER EVER GETTING BACK TOGETHER by TAYLOR SWIFT



I remember when we broke up, the first time

Saying this is it, I've had enough, 'cause like
We haven't seen each other in a month
When you, said you, needed space, what?Then you come around again and saBaby, I miss you and I swear I'm gonna change
Trust me, remember how that lasted for a day
I say, I hate you, we break up, you call me, I love you

Oooh we called it off again last night
But Oooh, this time I'm telling you, I'm telling you
We are never ever ever getting back together
We are never ever ever getting back together
You go talk to your friends talk
To my friends talk to me
But we are never ever ever ever getting back together

Like ever...

I'm really gonna miss you picking fights
And me, falling for it screaming that I'm right
And you, will hide away and find your piece of mind, with some indie record
That's much cooler than mine

Oooh you called me up again tonight
But oooh, this time I'm telling you, I'm telling you

We are never ever ever getting back together
We are never ever ever getting back together
You go talk to your friends talk
To my friends talk to me
But we are never ever ever ever getting back together

I used to think, that we, were forever ever
And I used to say never say never

(Talks)

Huh, he calls me up and he's like, I still love you
And I'm like, I'm just, I mean this is exhausting, you know likeWe are never getting back together, like ever

No!

(Sings)

We are never ever ever getting back together
We are never ever ever getting back together
You go talk to your friends talk
To my friends talk to me
But we are never ever ever ever getting back together

We, oooh, oooh, not back together, we
Oh, getting back together

You go talk to your friends talk
To my friends talk to me
But we are never ever ever ever getting back together

Sunday, September 30, 2012

10,000 REASONS - BLESSED THE LORD BY MATT REDMAN



Bless the Lord, oh my soul

Oh my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I worship your holy name

The sun comes up
It's a new day dawning
It's time to sing your song again
Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

Bless the Lord, oh my soul
Oh my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I worshhip your holy name

You're rich in love and you're slow to anger
Your name is great and your heart is kind
For all your goodness I will keep on singing
10,000 reasons for my heart to find

Bless you Lord!

Bless the Lord, oh my soul
Oh my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I worship your holy name

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Soon my soul will sing your praise unending
10,000 years and then forever more

Bless the Lord, oh my soul
Oh my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I worship your holy name

Bless the Lord, Oh my soul
Oh my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I worship your holy name (repeat 3x)

Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I worship your holy name (repeat 3x)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

THE DIRTY STREETS OF HEAVEN by TAD WILLIAMS

Title: The Dirty Streets of Heaven: Volume One of Bobby Dollar
Author: Tad Williams
Publisher: DAW Hardcover; First Edition edition (September 4, 2012)
Pages: 400

I hesitated in whether or not I should write a review for THE DIRTY STREETS OF HEAVEN by TAD WILLIAMS, after reading only a mere six pages. Typically I give a book, what I would consider a fair chance before stopping, by reading the first seventy or so pages. By page seventy there isn’t much hope for things to turn around. An author’s voice or writing style isn’t going to change at that point. Either you like it or you don’t. Like they say, writing is subjective.


I admit I’m a visual person, and thus I’m often either captivated or turned off by the cover of a book. The title is the next thing that will catch my eye. I don’t always read the synopsis, loving to be surprised, especially when it’s a book by one of my favorite authors. With a new author (new to me) I will often read the first page or two when provided to get a glimpse into their writing. I should probably also mention that I’m a Christian fiction writer and reader, though I do read some secular books.

With that said, here are my thoughts on THE DIRTY STREETS OF HEAVEN by TAD WILLIAMS:

Pros:
-Great writing
-Unique concept for a story
-Great cover
-Great title

Cons:
-Way too much foul language
-Not sure if I like where the storyline is going

The reason behind my stopping at page six was the foul language. I’m not so frail I can’t handle a little bad language, but when there are more then I can count on my hands in the first six pages, and what I consider the worst of words, I just can’t stomach it. With each foul word, I’m taken out of the story.

I could have not bothered to give a review at all, but that’s not me. What little I read, in my opinion, was good writing. For the author’s sake, I wanted to make that known. The other reason is to let those that would be offended by foul language, know that this would not be a book for them.

Review from Tad Williams website:

THE BOBBY DOLLAR BOOKS (2012)

Bobby Dollar would like to know what he was like when he was alive, but too much of his time is spent working as an extremely minor functionary in the Heavenly Host as an afterlife investigator and advocate for the recently departed. And now he’s stepped into the middle of something that has both sides very nervous — an unprecedented number of missing souls.

A new chapter in the war between Heaven and Hell is about to open, and Bobby is right in the middle of it. Someone has summoned a truly unpleasant Babylonian demon that’s doing its best to track him down and rip him to pieces. His opposite number on the case is arguably the world’s sexiest she-devil, and Bobby has feelings for her that Heaven definitely does not allow. And somehow he has to find out who he was before he becomes an unwitting pawn in a game of power that could end in the destruction of the entire human race.

Three books are planned for Tad’s new fantasy-fueled thriller series: The Dirty Streets of Heaven (September 2012), Happy Hour in Hell, and Sleeping Late on Judgment Day. Each book will be somewhat shorter than Tad’s usual epic length fare, and although part of a series, each may be read as a stand-alone novel.



Monday, September 17, 2012

CHRISTMAS ROSES by AMANDA CABOT


Title: Christmas Roses

Author: Amanda Cabot
Publisher: Revell (September 1, 2012
Pages: 172

Celia Anderson is recently widowed and has no thought of remarrying, especially not to the two men that have shown her interest in the past months. If she were to consider marriage again, it would be for love this time, not as an arrangement by her parents.

In search for his father, Mark Williams finds himself in a small town in Wyoming. What he hadn’t expected to find was a woman and child that win his heart. With his carpentry skills, Mark crafts a gift for Celia, along with a question, in hopes of winning her heart.

At only 172 pages, CHRISTMAS ROSES by AMANDA CABOT, is a quick read. A sweet and heartwarming story, just in time for Christmas with a surprise ending.



Friday, September 14, 2012

DAWN COMES EARLY by MARGARET BROWNLEY


Title: Dawn Comes Early
Author: Margaret Brownley
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (March 13, 2012)
Pages: 352

Kate Tenney fled the city she was raised in for what she hoped would be a new life. One that would earn her the respect she sought her entire life. Kate would need to prove to the ranch owner that she was worthy of inheriting her ranch, and learning to ride a horse first would come in handy.

Luke Adams is not one for fancy words, but when he meets the educated Kate Tenney, he’s willing to learn. But learning new words is not his greatest challenge. Convincing Kate that she shouldn’t throw her life way by accepting the ranch owner’s agreement to never marry in exchange for inheriting her land, is.

So what do you say about a book that blows you away, and that’s exactly what DAWN COMES EARLY by MARGARET BROWNLEY did. This is not the first book I read by MS. BROWNLEY, but it is the first book in fiction I’ve read by her, and it won’t be the last.

What an unbelievable blessing it is when you run across a book that contains every aspect of writing that is needed to produce a brilliant story. I am convinced that the top priority in a great book is good writing. Without it, no matter if the rest of the qualities are there, it will fail. I cannot finish a book that isn’t written well, or at the very least, okay.

I have read countless of what I call, cowboy books. I have a few authors that are my favorites, that I believe get it all right, and thus I can’t get enough of their books. I have now added MARGET BROWNLEY to that list.

DAWN COMES EARLY is different than other romances I have read. Typically the hero and heroine meet right at the start, and continue to encounter one another on a regular basis throughout the book. Stories that don’t have the main characters meeting often can cause me to lose interest.

What makes DAWN COMES EARLY unique is the amount of encounters the two love interest have in the first half of the book. Oh, he was there, but the main focal point was the heroin’s story. It took me awhile to realize the hero wasn’t coming back around every corner, and once I did, I couldn’t help but become immersed in the heroine’s story.

MS. BROWNLEY does an amazing job of weaving an incredible story, one that will not soon be forgotten. Every character is three dimensional, one that you will come to love, with individual personalities. The author’s attention to detail brings the story to life in an educational, fun, and realistic way. You are lucky to have one of those moments in a story where you reread a line because it’s that good. With MS BROWNLEY’S story, there were many. As an aspiring author, I ate up every word she wrote.

I loved how the author was able to create a character that allowed her to weave faith in, in a powerful, yet non-preaching way. It wasn’t the author who gave reference to scripture and prayer, but the character. I have read several books where the main character is a writer, but never have I read one as well done as DAWN COMES EARLY. The way MS. BROWNLEY referenced the main character’s fictional story she was writing at the beginning of each chapter, as well as throughout the book, was refreshing and exiting.

Every aspect of the story was remarkable, from the very first page, throughout the middle, right up to the very last line. I can’t wait for the next book in the LAST CHANCE RANCH series, THE BRIDES OF LAST CHANCE RANCH, WAITING FOR MORNING.

Hurry up January and get here!



Monday, September 10, 2012

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

BEES IN THE BUTTERFLY GARDEN by MAUREEN LANG


Title: Bees in the Butterfly Garden

Author: Maureen Lang
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (June 22, 2012)
Pages: 433

Since the age of five, Meg Davenport grew up in an exclusive New York boarding school. For all she had in a proper bringing up, she lacked in a family. It wasn’t until her father passed away that she discovers his secret…one that would drastically change her life.

Ian Maguire was Meg’s father’s mentee, one Ian looked up to since the age of nine. He always had feeling for the man’s daughter, but knew he was never to act on them. After all, Ian was everything her father was sheltering her from.

I wasn’t sure what I expected when I purchased BEES IN THE BUTTERFLY GARDEN by MAUREEN LANG. The cover is beautiful, and if I had read the back of the book, I would have been prepared for what awaited me between the covers. MAUREEN LANG is one of my favorite authors, so I wasn’t concerned.

BEES IN THE BUTTERFLY GARDEN is written with the quality of writing I’ve come to expect and love in MS. LANG’S books. I was pleasantly surprised to discover the storyline to be nothing like I imagined.

BEES IN THE BUTTERFLY GARDEN includes tension, danger, light romance, humor, faith, friendship and suspense. The characters are well thought-out, each with a distinct personality, set in the late 1800’s. I loved how each chapter started out with a few line from MADAME MARISSE’S HANDBOOK FOR YOUNG LADIES, or THE CODE OF THIEVES. Not only did they pertain to the chapter, they were quite interesting.

MS LANG is an amazing story teller, who brings her characters to life. You won’t be disappointed in BEES IN THE BUTTERFLY GARDEN, appropriately named, or any of the other novels she written.











Sunday, August 26, 2012

WATER FOR ELEPHANTS



I have wanted to see this movie since it came out in the theaters. I missed that opportunity, and anxiously awaited its arrival at the store…and purchased it. But before I did so, I bought the book. Big mistake. I was determined to read the book before I watched the movie. Not an easy task when I have the movie sitting on my shelf and several books I’m committed to read and review. Last night I gave in and popped it into the DVD player.


Wow, it was everything I hoped for and move. LOVE it! I love both Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon, so I was sure I’d like it, if for no other reason than having the two of them as the main characters.

Admittedly, I was a bit nervous, hearing there was some abuse of animals. That always gets to me. Other than that, there wasn’t a bad scene in the movie. It was fast paced, kept my attention, never lagging, with a wonderful ending.

Product Description

ACADEMY AWARD® Winners Reese Witherspoon* and Christoph Waltz** join Robert Pattinson (The Twilight Saga) for this epic tale of forbidden love based on Sara Gruen’s acclaimed best seller. Against all odds, a veterinary student (Pattinson) and a beautiful circus performer from a bygone era (Witherspoon), meet and fall in love through their shared compassion for a special elephant. But their secret romance incurs the wrath of her dangerously volatile husband (Waltz).

Thursday, August 23, 2012

KISSED YOU GOOD NIGHT by GLORIANA

As an inspirational romance writer, this video and song screams a scene begging to be written in a novel.



I dropped you off


Just a little after midnight

Sat in my car

Till you turned off your porch light

I should have kissed you

I should have pushed you up against the wall

I should have kissed you

Just like I wasn't scared at all


I turned off the car

Ran through the yard

Back to your front door

Before I could knock

You turned the lock

And met me on the front porch


And I kissed you

Goodnight

And now that I've kissed you

It's a good night, good night, baby goodnight


You couldn't see me

Watching through the window

Wondering what went wrong

Praying that you wouldn't go

You should have kissed me

You should have pushed me up against the wall

You should have kissed me

I was right on the edge and ready to fall


So I turned off the car

Ran through the yard

Back to your front door

Before I could knock

You turned the lock

And met me on the front porch


And I kissed you

Goodnight

And now that I've kissed you

It's a good night, good night, baby goodnight


I turned off the car

Ran through the yard

Back to your front door

Half scared to death can't catch my breath

Aren't these the moments we live for


And I kissed you

Goodnight

And now that I've kissed you

It's a good night, good night, baby goodnight

It's a good night, good night, baby goodnight

It's a good night, good night, baby goodnight

It's a good night, good night, baby goodnight



Monday, August 20, 2012

SOME NIGHTS by FUN

SOME NIGHTS by FUN inspires me as a writer. The lead singer has so much emotion in his voice and actions as he sings. He inspires me to create scene as emotionally charged as he sings SOME NIGHTS.



Some nights, I stay up cashing in my bad luck; some nights, I call it a draw


Some nights, I wish that my lips could build a castle

Some nights, I wish they'd just fall off


But I still wake up, I still see your ghost

Oh Lord, I'm still not sure what I stand for

What do I stand for? What do I stand for?

Most nights, I don't know anymore...


This is it, boys, this is war - what are we waiting for?

Why don't we break the rules already?

I was never one to believe the hype - save that for the black and white

I try twice as hard and I'm half as liked, but here they come again to jack my style


That's alright (that's alright).

I found a martyr in my bed tonight.

Stops my bones from wondering just who I, who I, who I

a-a-a-am, oh who am I, m-mm, m-mm.


Well, some nights I wish that this all would end

'Cause I could use some friends for a change

And some nights I'm scared you'll forget me again

Some nights I always win (I always win)


But I still wake up, I still see your ghost


Oh Lord, I'm still not sure what I stand for

What do I stand for? What do I stand for?

Most nights, I don't know...


So this is it? I sold my soul for this?

Washed my hands of that for this?

I miss my mom and dad for this?


No. When I see stars, when I see stars, that's all they are

When I hear songs, they sound like a swan, so come on

Oh, come on. Oh, come on.


That is it, guys, that is all - five minutes in and I'm bored again

Ten years of this, I'm not sure if anybody understands

This one is not for the folks back home; I'm sorry to leave, mom, I had to go

Who the fuck wants to die alone all dried up in the desert sun?


My heart is breaking for my sister and the con that she called "love"

But when I look into my nephew's eyes...

Man, you wouldn't believe the most amazing things that can come from...

Some terrible lie


The other night, you wouldn't believe the dream I just had about you and me

I called you up, but we'd both agree

It's for the best you didn't listen

It's for the best we get our distance...



Saturday, August 18, 2012

RAISING BEEF CATTLE FOR DUMMIES by NIKKIE AND SCOTT ROYER



Title: Raising Beef Cattle for Dummies

Author: Nikkie and Scott Royer
Publisher: For Dummies; 1 edition (July 3, 2012)
Pages: 360

If you could have seen the look on my families face when they spotted RAISING BEEF CATTLE FOR DUMMIES, by NIKKIE AND SCOTT ROYER, sitting on my desk… We may live in a small suburban community, but cattle are not permitted. That left one blaring question…what on earth was I doing with a book on how to raise cattle.

I’m an aspiring Christian fiction writer, and one that loves a good story that often includes a ranch or farm, where the hero wears a cowboy hat and boots. My reason for ordering this book was to gain knowledge for my stories. And yes, a not so hidden dream to one day living on a ranch or farm.

RAISING BEEF CATTLE FOR DUMMIES has everything you expect to find in a DUMMIES book. It’s packed full with everything you’d need to know and more, about raising cattle, including diagrams and charts. As always with DUMMIES, it’s written in simple terms.

As an author doing research, RAISING BEEF CATTLE FOR DUMMIES can provide you with the correct verbiage for cattle names, such as the list on page 24. You can also come up with little tidbits to incorporate into your story, for example a steer curling their lips, as on page 326.

I spotted on the cover the name of the authors farm, and looked up their website. There you can find a video about the Royer Farm Fresh Beef, Lamb, and Pork, getting a glimpse into what they do. After watching the video, I was reassured that the book was written with not only knowledge, but heart.

So whether you are new to cattle raising, or would like to start from scratch, or just looking to gain knowledge of what’s involved with raising cattle, RAISING BEEF CATTLE FOR DUMMIES is the book for you.

Website: http://www.royerfarmfresh.com/  

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

HER HOMECOMING COWBOY by DEBRA CLOPTON



Title: Her Homecoming Cowboy

Author: Debra Clopton
Publisher: Love Inspired (July 24, 2012)
Pages: 224

Wow, what a great story. One would think a person could only read so many of what I like to call “Cowboy stories”. I don’t know if I’d ever tire of them…as long as they are well written, with a fresh plot and characters, and that is exactly what DEBRA CLOPTON has accomplished in HER HOMECOMING COYBOY.

Annie Ridgeway has wrestled with the idea long enough. Now she needs to act on it, even if it goes against her sisters dying wish. Even if it means picking up what little she has and moving near the cowboy in question.

When a woman with a kid shows up in Colt Holden’s life, the last thing he expects is to discover he’s the kid’s father. The kid may think of him as his bull riding hero, but Colt isn’t worthy to be call his daddy. Not when he’d committed such a horrible act. One he couldn’t forgive himself for.

I’ve read every single book by MS CLOPTON. Each is just as good as the next. Her characters are unique, with well thought-out situations. She always has that right amount of tension between the hero and heroine. I marvel at the great lines she delivers.

Page 144:

“When Annie stepped into view, her silken golden hair glistening, his stomach tightened, his heart suddenly plunged to his boots, and his hands dampened. He knew without calling the doctor that he had a major aliment.

Oh yeah, he was sick all right. Sick in the head. What had he been thinking? That she was beautiful, full of fire and coals, and spunk.”

Okay, I’m ready for the next one. Bring it on.

Monday, August 13, 2012

CRAZY GIRL by ELI YOUNG BAND




Baby why you wanna cry?


You really oughta know that I

Just have to walk away sometimes



We're gonna do what lovers do

We're gonna have a fight or two

But I ain't ever changing my mind



Crazy girl, don't you know that I love you?

I wouldn't dream of going nowhere

Silly woman come here let me hold you

Have I told you lately I love you like crazy, girl?



I wouldn't last a single day

I'd probably just fade away

Without you I'd lose my mind



Before you ever came along

I was living life all wrong

The smartest thing I ever did was make you all mine



Crazy girl, don't you know that I love you?

I wouldn't dream of going nowhere

Silly woman, come here let me hold you

Have I told you lately I love you like crazy, girl?

Like crazy, girl



Crazy girl, don't you know that I love you?

I wouldn't dream of going nowhere

Silly woman come here let me hold you

Have I told you lately I love you like



Crazy girl, don't you know that I love you?

I wouldn't dream of going nowhere

Silly woman come here let me hold you

Have I told you lately I love you like crazy, girl?



Like crazy

Crazy girl

Like crazy

Crazy girl





Friday, August 10, 2012

THE RANCHER’S SECRET WIFE by BRENDA MINTON

 
Title: The Rancher’s Secret Wife
Author: Brenda Minton
Publisher: Love Inspired (July 24, 2012)
Pages: 224

BRENDA MINTON is one of my favorite authors. I’ve read just about every book she’s written, and love them all. THE RANCHER’S SECRET WIFE was no exception. As soon as I saw the cover I was hooked. The title was an extra bonus. Those things are important tools to draw me in with books by other authors, but when it comes to MS MINTON’S books, I know what awaits me inside.

Cheyenne Jones is just stopping by Dawson, Oklahoma to check on the man she married six months ago. She has no plans of sticking around, even though she has no one to count on and nowhere to go. When the grandmother of the man she came to see, insist Cheyenne opens up the old Barber Shop in town, she finds the offer too hard to refuse.

Reese Cooper is known for taking in strays, but when he up and marries a woman he only knew for a few hours, his family doesn’t know what to make of the news.

When Cheyenne unexpectedly shows up at Reese’s parents, he isn’t about to let her walk out and face life alone. Not when he can take care of her…or can he? Even if they did have an agreement and even if that agreement didn’t include love.

I just love Reese Cooper. Then again I love all of BRENDA MINTON’S heroes. I really like her heroines as well, which isn’t always the case when I read a book by other authors. In THE RANCHER’S SECRET WIFE, MS MINTON delivered many amazing lines that had me sighing.

I loved the uniqueness of Reese’s situation. I now have a new found awareness of those with his “disability”. I can’t tell you how many times I said, “Wow, I never thought of that challenge.” Many of us have thought briefly about what it would mean to lose our eyesight, yet in reality we have no clue.

You know when you read that special line in a romance novel that sends tingles down your spine. In THE RANCER’S SECRET WIFE, I felt that sensation so many times I lost track. Reese was that tender.

I can’t wait for the next relationship to blossom in Dawson, Oklahoma. If you have yet to read about the other wonderful characters in this quaint town, do yourself a favor and pick up the other stories.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

HOMEFRONT HERO by ALLIE PLEITER


Title: Homefront Hero

Author: Allie Pleiter
Publisher: Love Inspired (May 1, 2012)
Pages: 288

I must say that ALLIE PLEITER continues to amaze me with her historical novels. Her writing style for them is so different then her contemporary, yet there is still that touch of Allie, that makes her books so great with the wonderful lines she delivers.

Leanne Samples is a Red Cross nurse with a job ahead of her that doesn’t include a handsome Captain who doesn’t intend to stick around. When she gets a glimpse into the real Captain John Gallows, her heart softens towards the man.

John Gallows may be injured, but there’s no way he’s going to let that stop him from getting back on active duty. This nonsense of being the poster boy for the war effort won’t cut it. When faced with an opportunity to knit a pair of socks in trade for his early medical release to active duty, he takes it. The last thing he expects is to fall in love with the woman giving him knitting lessons.

HOMEFRONT HERO is a delightful read with a unique storyline. ALLIE PLEITER was able to incorporate her skills and knowledge of knitting to the story to add authenticity. The hero was not your typical hero, with an injury that made his character come to life.

HOMEFRONT HERO is not only an pleasurable read, but educational. I really enjoyed learning about the Red Cross, the knitting of socks during the war, and the devastation of the influenza epidemic. The way MS. PLEITER wove different aspects of the characters journey, was remarkable. The story seemed to evolve more than your typical Love Inspired book, with an ending that was phenomenal.



Monday, July 30, 2012

JOY TAKE FLIGHT by BONNIE LEON


Title: Joy Takes Flight

Author: Bonnie Leon
Publisher: Revell (July 1, 2012)
Pages: 324

Kate Evans, an Alaskan bush pilot, is living her dream, marrying the man she loves, Dr. Paul Anderson. They’ve been through a lot and survived, so it should be easy going from now on…or so she thinks.

Kate and Paul are thrilled to discover Kate is pregnant. Demons from Paul’s past surfer, disrupting their lives. Kate wants one thing and Paul another. It doesn’t take long for their lives to start to unravel, Kate fears she’ll lose the man she loves.

JOY TAKE FLIGHT by BONNIE LEON is filled with genuine details of Alaska in the 1930’s, packed with suspense. JOY TAKE FLIGHT is the conclusion to the Alaskan Skies series. If you haven’t read the first two, you’ll want to do so.

Friday, July 27, 2012

INESCAPABLE by NANCY MEHL


Title: Inescapable

Author: Nancy Mehl
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (July 1, 2012)
Pages: 336

When Lizzie believes she is being stalked, then fired unfairly from her job, she has no other choice but to run back to Kingdom, Kansas, the very place she ran from years ago. Kingdom holds many bad memories, but she is hopeful she can make a new life for her daughter and herself.

Lizzie’s father doesn’t welcome her home, but thankfully a kind friend steps in and gives her a place to live and a much needed job. Just when Lizzie starts to accept her roots, she discovers the threat she ran from followed her home to Kingdom.

With little faith, and danger threatening, Lizzie finds her way back to God, and the community she once walked away from filled with shame.

INESCAPABLE by NANCY MEHL is packed full of suspense and mystery, with well thought-out characters, and great attention to detail.



Tuesday, July 24, 2012

JENNA’S COWBOY HERO by BRENDA MINTON


Title: Jenna’s Cowboy Hero

Author: Brenda Minton
Publisher: Steeple Hill (2009)
Pages: 277

I started reading BRENDA MINTON’S books after she’d been writing for several years. I’ve enjoyed her writing and stories so much, I’ve gone back in time, purchasing her older ones.

When former football player, Adam Mackenzie arrives in Oklahoma, after having a camp for underprivileged kids placed in his hands after the death of his cousin, the last thing he expects is to meet an independent mother of two, whom happens to be a war vet.

Jenna Cameron is doing just fine on her own. The last thing she needs is a man in her life. But here he is. Big, and strong, and not at all what the media made him out to be. She has a five year, and beyond plan, which doesn’t include marriage. No. She’s been down that road. Well, almost. She isn’t about to let another man hurt her.

JENNA’S COWBOY HERO by BRENDA MINTON is well written (like all of her books) with wonderful characters. I just love both Jenna and Adam. In many of the books I’ve read with a ranch setting, the hero typically works on the ranch or a rodeo. In JENNA’S COWBOY HERO, Adam was born in the county, but soon moved on to “bigger and better things”, to peruse a football career.

I loved Jenna’s character, the uniqueness of her situation, but loved Adam’s, more. Their falling in love was subtle and sweet. That Adam was placed into a situation he never would have put himself in was a wonderful storyline. So many things that he didn’t think was him, turned out to be just what he needed.

I enjoyed having Clint and Willow, Jenna’s brother and sister-in-laws, in the story. I enjoyed their story in A COWBOY’S HEART, and it was fun to see Clint interact in his sister’s life.

Impatiently waiting for BRENDA MIINTON’S next release.







Saturday, July 21, 2012

STARTERS by LISSA PRICE


Title: Starters

Author: Lissa Price
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (March 13, 2012)
Pages: 352

The main character in STARTERS by LISSA PRICE has the same name as of my oldest daughter. That’s what first drew me to the book. My daughter later received the first chapter while exiting the movie theater. It intrigued her enough to ask me to purchase it for her. She didn’t get very far before putting it down. She expressed that she was confused by what was going on.

Every book my daughter has asked me to read after her doing so, I’ve enjoyed. So when she didn’t take to STARTERS, I let it sit in my pile of books to be read for some time before finally gave it a try.

Callie Woodland is on a quest to keep her brother safe, clothes on his back, and food in his stomach. They lost their parents years ago, and have been on their own ever since. In an attempt to make a life for the two of them, Callie decides to rent out her body to Prime Destination.

After Callie completes her rental time, she’ll walk away with enough money to purchase a house and necessities. Yet all is not what it seems at Prime Destination, and soon Callie finds herself in the middle of a mysterious plot. It’s no longer about her brother and her survival, but the lives of every teen.

STARTERS drew me in right away with wonderful writing in first person. In the beginning it’s hard to grasp what’s going on, but stick with it. The outcome will be worth it. I found it hard to put down, never a dull moment. STARTERS is packed full of mystery, suspense, and even a little romance. What a unique plot, with a surprise ending. I definitely see movie written all over it.

I was surprised to discover this is the first book in a series, and look forward to reading the others.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

THE ACCIDENTAL BRIDE by DENISE HUNTER


Title: The Accidental Bride

Author: Denise Hunter
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (January 3, 2012)
Pages: 304

THE ACCIDENTAL BRIDE is the first book I’ve read by DENISE HUNTER, and it won’t be the last. I spotted the cover of this book sometime ago, and instantly wanted to read it. The title was intriguing, as well as the blurb on the back cover. Sadly, it sat on my bookshelf for some time before I was able to get to it, having other books I was committed to reading first.

Shay Brandenberger is struggling to raise her daughter on her family ranch after her husband up and left, then late succumbed to an early death. Despite her determination and prayers, she’s about to lose the only home she’s ever known.

Travis McCoy is back in Moose Creek, Montana after more than a decade. Little did he know he’d be roped into being the groom for the Founders’ Day wedding reenactment. And the bride is no other then Shay, the woman he ran out on the day he was to be married back when they were teens.

Thrown together, Shay and Travis make the best of a bad situation. At least that’s how Shay sees it. Travis is hoping for something entirely different. A lifetime with the woman he never stopped loving.

Right from the first page I was sunk. DENISE HUNTER is an amazing writer, with a talent for weaving together a remarkable story with a unique plot. I read THE ACCIDENTAL BRIDE in only a few shot days, not able to put it down. What a great twist on the convenient bride scenario.

I took forward to reading more of MS HUNTER’S books in the future. Next on my list of books to purchase is A COWBOY’S TOUCH. The first story in A BIG SKY ROMANCE.



Saturday, July 14, 2012

THE COWBOY NEXT DOOR by BRENDA MINTON



Title: The Cowboy Next Door
Author: Brenda Minton
Publisher: Steeple Hill (May 1, 2009)
Pages: 224

It never fails. As soon as I start a BRENDA MINTON book, I can’t stop. And when I get to the end, I’m ready for another. THE COWYBOY NEXT DOOR was no exception. I loved getting immersed into Lacey and Jay’s lives.

Lacey Gould is a strong woman, in spite of her past…or maybe because of it. Since she escaped to Gibson, she’s slowly been putting her life back together. A life she’s dreamed of.

Jay Blackhorse, an officer of the law, knows all about Lacey Gould’s past. He and Lacey may be from two different worlds, but she isn’t the only one with a past. With secrets better left alone.

Lacey’s sister shows up with a baby in Gibson, then Lacey’s mother. Jay and Lacey’s growing friendship is soon snuffed out. Lacey may have forgiven others in her life, but she has yet to forgive herself. Jay made a promise to a girl years ago, and doesn’t know how to let go.

Will they both let go of their past and hurts, and allow love to blossom?

Once again BRENDA MINTON has written a page turner, with well thought-out characters that will walk into your life and win your heart. It’s a real pleasure when you run across a great line in a book that has you reading it over. But when you come across several, it’s a real treat, and THE COWYBOY NEXT DOOR is just that.

Next on my list of BRENDA MINTON books…REKINDLED HEARTS.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

THE SOUL SAVER by DINEEN MILLER


Title: The Soul Saver
Author: Dineen Miller
Publisher: Barbour Books (May 1, 2012)
Pages: 320

THE SOUL SAVER by DINEEN MILLER is not your typical Christian novel. At least not like any I’ve read. What first captured my attention was the idea of a Spiritually Mismatched Marriage between the main character and her husband.

Lexie Baltimore’s husband, Hugh is an atheist. Not only is Lexie a believer, she has a gift as well. Through sculptures in her studio, she forms unknown faces from visions God gives her in her dreams that will send her on a mission to save a soul.

Pastor Nate Winslow, lost his wife a year ago, and nothing about his life has been the same since. He had made a deal to save his only child. A deal that would haunt him daily.

Hugh Baltimore has his sights set on a career he’s been working on for years. Unlike his wife, God doesn’t fit into the picture. But when evil lurks, Hugh can’t deny there might be something to this faith thing his wife is so adamant about.

After mentioning WINNING HIM WITHOUT WORDS:10 TEN KEYS TO THRIVING IN YOUR SPIRITUALLY MITSMATCHED MARRIAGE, a non-fiction book DINEEN MILLER co-authored, in THE SOUL SAVER, I was pleasantly surprised to discover I had a copy sitting on my bookshelf. The very next day I started reading it.

DINEEN MILLER has written a brilliant novel, one I took note of her prose. The plot is intriguing, and keeps you turning the pages. A light mystery entangled with an equal amount romance. I’m looking forward to her next novel.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

GOD’S GENTLE NUDGES by CONNIE CAMERON


Title: God’s Gentle Nudges, Inspirational Stories of How God Lovingly Leads Us Closer to Him

Author: Connie Cameron
Publisher: WinePress Publishing (July 5, 2005)
Pages: 168

I received GOD’S GENTLE NUDGES by CONNIE CAMERON as a gift, and immediately put it at the top of my stack of non-fiction to read. Each morning, along with reading a chapter out of my Bible, I read a story or two out of GOD’S GENTLE NUDGES.

CONNIE CAMERON opens her heart to reader about God’s gentle nudges in her life in this beautifully written book. It’s a collection of stories of inspiration, joy, encouragement, and tears. Stories that will warm your heart and inspire you to make positive changes in your own life.

My favorite stories are:

Chapter 10, page 39, I STILLL CHOOSE “MOM”
Chapter 15, page 69, A WRITER’S PEP TALK FROM GOD
Chapter 25, page 117, GIVE AND IT WILL BE GIVEN
Chapter 29, page 131, WALKING TESTIMONIE
Chapter 30, page 137, A “DEGREE” OF FAITH
Chapter 31, page 145, JUST PASSING THROUGH

I have placed GOD’S GENTLE NUDGES on my list of books to share with others in hopes that it will touch them like it has me.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

SHORT-STRAW BRIDE by KAREN WITEMEYER



Title: Short-Straw Bride

Author: Karen Witemeyer
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers; 1 edition (June 1, 2012)
Pages: 368

I could barely hold in the excitement when I heard the title of KAREN WITEMEYER next book, SHORT-STRAW BRIDE. When I first laid eyes on the cover it only fueled my enthusiasm. This is her fourth book, and each one has proven to be equally as well written with a storyline that will keep you turning the pages faster than a humming birds wings.

Travis Archer is committed to defending the land his father asked him to when he was just a young man himself, along with protecting his three brothers. Travis spent over a decade doing exactly that, allowing few to enter their land. Neither he nor his brothers had ventured off Archer land, except the one time Travis was forced to in order to save a damsel in distress.

Meredith Hayes hadn’t been able to stop thinking about the Archer boy who saved her from the jaws of a trap years ago. Unlike she’d heard all her life, he was gentle and kind, setting her free and carrying her home to safety. Years later when she hears his land and his family may be in danger; she sets off to warn him without a thought to her own safety or reputation.

I loved the prolog, setting the scene of what was to come. It was fun to get a glimpse into Travis and Meredith’s first encounter, as well as what they were like as kids.

Travis is rugged, honest, loyal, hard working, and will defend his own in a heartbeat. Meredith is strong, determined and willing to make sacrifices for those she loves. I loved both of the main characters. The interaction between the two was just the right dose of feistiness and attraction.

I believe SHORT-STRAW BRIDE to be a unique twist on the “marriage of convenience” story. Not only are you treated to this wonderful story about Travis and Meredith, but given a glimpse into what I hope to be the next book in the Archer series, about Jim and Cassie. I’m filled with excitement and anticipation in discovering Crockett and Neill’s story as well.

As always, I wait with bated breath for the next KAREN WITEMEYER novel to hit the shelves.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A COWBOY’S HEART


Title: A Cowboy’s Heart

Author: Brenda Minton
Publisher: Steeple Hill (February 1, 2009)
Pages: 224

A COWBOY’S HEART by BRENDA MINTON, is not the first book that I’ve read by her, and it certainly won’t be the last. I have read several, and have yet to be disappointed. When picking up a BRENDA MINTON book, I’m certain to be taken on a journey with a cowboy I’ll fall in love with.

Willow Michaels is a strong and independent woman that has a past that has caused her to become that way. She guards her heart, and plunges into making her dreams come true. Dreams that don’t include a certain cowboy.

Clint Cameron is used to taking care of everyone in his life. You might say he’s a fixer, always there for those he loves, making things right. Only problem is, not everyone wants to be fixed.

Willow and Clint both have a life long history of character traits they need to work on. Can they do it together, is the question at hand.

Once again BRENDA MINTON has created characters that walk off the pages and into your heart. I smile at many of her original lines. She’s at the top of my list of authors I strive to one day write half as well, creating remarkable characters with unique stories, and brilliantly written.

As with any BRENDA MINTON books, A COWBOY’S HEART will immediately draw you in, keep your interest throughout, and hold you tight in the end. One you won’t want it to end. One with no room for improvement or alterations. Something my aspiring writers mind wants to do in many novels I read.

After discovering BRENDA MINTON’S writing, I devoured each new book that came out. I’m now going back in time, reading all that I had not read. Next on the list…THE COWBOY NEXT DOOR.





Friday, June 22, 2012

MY BATTLE WITH CHRONIC FAIGUE SYNDROME by BECKIE BUTCHE

Title: My Battle With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Author: Beckie Butcher
Publisher: iUniverse (March 12, 2012)
Pages: 52

MY BATTLE WITH CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME by BECKIE BUTCHER is an honest account of her battle with this horrific disease. She’s brutally honest of family, friends, and acquaintances ignorance to the debilitating disease.

MY BATTLE WITH CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME is a quick read, yet will open your eyes to a disease many are experiencing and others know little about. I thought it to be simply about “being tired” when in fact it’s so much more.

MS. BUTCHER gives some eye opening advice for those of us not dealing with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, as well as how to approach others that are going through their own trials and tribulations.

The message is clear. Treat others the way you’d want to be treated. Don’t judge others unless you’ve walked in their shoes. Never give up hope. Keep the faith. A little kindness, compassion and love can go a long way.

I invite you to take a look at this video I came across on Youtube. http://youtu.be/r0w9-eQ_fKQ



Thursday, June 14, 2012

CHAMELEON by JILLIAN KENT


Title: Chameleon (The Ravensmoore Chronicles)
Author: Jillian Kent
Publisher: Realms (May 15, 2012)
Pages: 304

If you love a good murder mystery set in the early 1800’s, CHAMELEON by JILLIAN KENT is the novel for you. It’s well written with well thought-out characters, and descriptive details. You’ll feel as though you’ve stepped back in time.

Lady Victoria Grayson is swept into a new and exciting world. After being isolated with a childhood illness for most of her life, she is finally living what she had only read and dreamt of.

Lord Witt‘s wartime profession as a spy, taught him that all are not who they claim to be. When the Regent request Lord Witt to investigate Lady Victoria’s physician brother, Lord Ravensmoore, Witt could not have guessed he’d be taken with his sister.

It’s not long before Lady Vitoria and Lord Witt find themselves in the middle of a plot targeting the lords of Parliament. Together their feelings for one another will be tested, as well as their faith.
CHAMELEON is heavy on mystery, intrigue, and scandal with a light sprinkling of romance.

CHAMELEON is as much about Lady Victoria and Lord Witt, as it is about Victoria’s brother, Lord Ravensmoore. As soon as Mercy came into the picture, I sense the next book in this series would be hers. What a great introduction to the next book.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

OUT OF A FAR COUNTRY by CHRISTOPHER YUAN AND ANGELA YUAN


Title: Out of the Far Country
Author: Christopher Yuan and Angela Yuan
Publisher: WaterBrook Press (May 3, 2011)
Pages: 240

I came across OUT OF A FAR COUNTRY by CHRISTOPHER YUAN AND ANGELA YUAN on Amazon. I was intrigued, and wanted to get a better understanding of what a gay man goes through, as well as his parents. Discovering Christianity was involved, sealed the deal.

OUT OF A FAR COUNTRY sat on my bookshelf for months. While at a meeting at church, a man that joined our group mention a book a friend of his wrote that may be of interest, seeing we were involved in the prison and jail ministry. The title he mentioned sounded familiar, along with the author. When I returned home I rushed to my bookshelf to see if it were indeed the same book, and to my delight it was.

The very next day I began to read OUT OF A FAR COUNTRY. Each morning I read a chapter out of my Bible, a chapter of non-fiction, and fiction throughout the day. OUT OF A FAR COUNTRY is like no other non-fiction I can recall reading. I couldn’t put it down. It’s probably the faster I’ve read a non-fiction book.

Christopher Yuan had a secret, one he’d been carrying around for some time. When he decided to reveal that secret, that he’s gay, his mother shows him the door.

Angela Yuan loves her son, but being gay… Her first instinct is to give him an ultimatum. Be straight or get out. Angela was consumed with depression, disappointment, and sense of hopelessness. With every intention of ending her life, she sets out to say her good-byes to her son.

OUT OF A FAR COUNTRY is a quick, easy read that is well written. One you will have a hard time putting down. I loved going from Christopher’s point-of-view to Angela’s. I even learned something new about an old song.

This book is several stories in one:
A gay mans journey in life.
A mother’s journey with a gay son.
A journey through addictions.
A journey through imprisonment.
A redemption of a marriage.
The journey of faithless to faithfulness.

I highly recommend OUT OF A FAR COUNTRY to everyone, whether you know someone who is gay, you are, or aren’t a Christian, you know someone that’s incarcerated, you know someone that has little hope in their marriage, or someone with an addiction. This is a true story of hope and redemption.

My hope is that people will pickup and read this book despite…or maybe because of, the gay aspect.

Friday, May 25, 2012

SET FIRE TO THE RAIN by ADELE



"Set Fire To The Rain"






I let it fall, my heart,

And as it fell you rose to claim it

It was dark and I was over

Until you kissed my lips and you saved me



My hands, they're strong

But my knees were far too weak,

To stand in your arms

Without falling to your feet



But there's a side to you

That I never knew, never knew.

All the things you'd say

They were never true, never true,

And the games you play

You would always win, always win.



[Chorus:]

But I set fire to the rain,

Watched it pour as I touched your face,

Well, it burned while I cried

'Cause I heard it screaming out your name, your name!



When I lay with you

I could stay there

Close my eyes

Feel you here forever

You and me together

Nothing is better



'Cause there's a side to you

That I never knew, never knew,

All the things you'd say,

They were never true, never true,

And the games you play

You would always win, always win.



[Chorus:]

But I set fire to the rain,

Watched it pour as I touched your face,

Well, it burned while I cried

'Cause I heard it screaming out your name, your name!



I set fire to the rain

And I threw us into the flames

Where it felt something die

'Cause I knew that that was the last time, the last time!



Sometimes I wake up by the door,

That heart you caught must be waiting for you

Even now when we're already over

I can't help myself from looking for you.



[Chorus:]

I set fire to the rain,

Watched it pour as I touched your face,

Well, it burned while I cried

'Cause I heard it screaming out your name, your name



I set fire to the rain,

And I threw us into the flames

Where it felt something die

'Cause I knew that that was the last time, the last time, ohhhh!



Oh noooo

Let it burn, oh

Let it burn

Let it burn







Tuesday, May 22, 2012

HIS LITTLE COWGIRL by BRENDA MINTON



Title: His Little Cowgirl

Author: Brenda Minton
Publisher: Steeple Hill Love Inspired (September 1, 2008)

Pages: 224

I feel like a broken record, but it’s true. I always become fully involved when reading a BRENDA MINTON book, and HIS LITTLE COWGIRL was no exception.

The last thing Cody Jacob’s expects when he makes a stop to ask for forgiveness from a girl he met years ago is to discover he’s a father. At the top of his career as a bull rider, a little cowgirl and his mother have him rethinking what’s important in life.

Bailey Cross has every right not to trust Cody Jacob after he ran out on her years ago. With her father sick, and growing bills, Bailey is forced to accept Cody’s help. Something she’s not accustom too. After all, she’s been taking care of herself and their little girls for close to six years.

BRENDA MINTON has the most amazing ability to create three dimensional characters that walk off the pages, and into your heart. I loved Cody’s struggle with his addiction, as well as what Bailey’s father went through, creating some very tender moments. It’s not often I tear up on a LOVE INSPIRED book. That’s one of the things I love so much about MS MINTON’S writing, is her willingness to hit on tougher subject matters.

I was introduced to BRENDA MINTON’S writing after she’d been published for a few years. I recently purchased the older books she written that I had not read. I love the way she creates a story that much. It’s been fun to go back in story time and now read about some of the characters that are in current books.

OF POSEIDON by ANNA BANKS


Title: Of Poseidon

Author: Anna Banks
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (May 22, 2012)
Pages: 366

OF POSEIDON by ANNA BANKS is only the second mermaid book that I’ve read, though this one is more about a merman, I guess you’d say. The first one I read, I was sorely disappointed with, but that was not the case with this one.

Galen is a prince from where he comes from, a world under water. He’s on a mission, one that takes him on land to interact with humans.

While on vacation with her friend, Emma encounters Galen…and then a shark. Right away there’s an attraction. But things are not what they seem.

This was my first read by ANNA BANKS, and I know it won’t be the last. She left a cliffhanger of an ending that had my jaw dropping. I must read the next book as soon as it hits the stores.

I found OF POSEIDON to be a wonderful read. Unique, well written, with distinct characters, and wonderful lines. I’m becoming more and more a fan of first person point of view. What I’ve come to like even more is flipping between the main characters in first person, which OF POSEIDON did.

OF POSEIDON reminds me of TWILIGH, with a distinct difference. Where Bella is whinny and weak to a point, Emma is strong, independent, spunky, and stubborn. Galen on the other hand is just as endearing as Edward.

The beginning went off with a bang, and eventually subsided. Though there was a lull in the middle, it was written well enough with great lines, and wonderful characters, you never strayed far from wanting to find out what happen next.

My fifteen-year-old daughter picked this book out, and proceeded to read it in three quick days. Thought I didn’t read it quite as fast, it was fast paced. I’m glad that I had the opportunity to read it and can’t wait for the next.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

GRIEVING GOD’S WAY by MARGARET BROWNLEY

Title: Grieving God’s Way, The Path to Lasting Hope and Healing
Author: Margaret Brownley and Haiku by Diantha Ain
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (July 10, 2012)
Pages: 224

I decided to read GRIEVING GOD’S WAY by MARGARET BROWNLEY not because I was grieving a loved one, but for a greater understanding of what others go through. Though I know it’s inevitable that one day I too will grieve a loved one and therefore benefit from MS. BROWNLEY’S book, I never imagined the connection to the ministry I’m involved with.

I volunteer in the prison and jail ministry through my church. When one has a loved one incarcerated, and especially with a very long or life sentence, one goes through a grieving process.

To call GRIEVING GOD’S WAY a devotional is limiting. It’s packed full of insight and honest emotions on handling death, as well as a great tool for going through hardships. This wonderful devotional teaches you not only is it okay to grieve, but expected. Though everyone’s grieving is unique, there is a process. A process we must go through to come out on top and not stuck in the depths of despair.

From page 90, Day 42:
“The world as we know it has ended, and all we want to do is hibernate. If we give into the weight of depression our souls will crumble. If we hold on to our pain too long we will be crushed.”

MS. BROWNELY has opened her heart up to readers, sharing her journey of the loss of her son. Unfortunately the older we get, the more we experience death. I recommend that everyone gets a copy of this amazing book so they can be better prepared to support friends as well as equip themselves for when the time comes that they too lose someone.





Wednesday, May 16, 2012

YES! THE PRAYER GOD LOVES TO ANSWER by DON NORI SR.

Title: Yes! The Prayer God Loves to Answer
Author: Don Nori Sr.
Publisher: Destiny Image Publishers (June 1, 2010)
Pages: 192

I have to be honest, when I received YES! THE PRAYER GOD LOVES TO ANSWER by DON NORI SR., I wasn’t impressed with the cover, nor the title. The old saying, don’t judge a book by its cover, certainly comes to mind in this case.

This is the first book I’ve read by MR. NORI, but it won’t be the last. He certainly has a gift for getting across a point in a way that one can grasp easily. My copy is covered with highlights galore and dog-eared pages. I’m heavily involved in the prison and mail ministry through my church, and have made a mental note to send a copy of this amazing book to each of the guys I write to behind bars.

YES! THE PRAYER GOD LOVES TO ANSWER is a must read for everyone. This is the way we need to live our lives. This book will answer unanswered questions for so many. There are many great things in this book I could quote, but I will leave you with one.

“Success is not an accident; it is a series of right choices that result in both achieving of your goals and the unfolding of your destiny. You control both. You decide the direction of your life, your future, your destiny.” And “Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved.”

I could go on and on with one inspiring message after another, but then I’d have to type out the entire book.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

CAYMAN SUMMER by ANGELA MORRISON


Title: Cayman Summer
Author: Angela Morrison
publisher: CreateSpace (April 19, 2011)
Pages: 298

I’ve been waiting a long time to read CAYMAN SUMMER by ANGELA MORRISON. I read her first book in the series, TAKEN BY STORM, a few years back and couldn’t wait for the next. But wait I would. Due to a change in publishers it took longer than expected. Next would be UNBROKEN CONNECTION. I enjoyed that one as well. With stacks of books to read, I finally was able to read CAYMAN SUMMER.

I wouldn’t say the TAKEN BY STORM series is packed full of surprises and adventure, yet it will keep you turning the pages. I love the story of Michael and Leesie. Throughout this series they’ve become lifelike. Michael is so endearing, and Leesie solid and pure. I love the way the story moves for Michael’s point-of-view to Leesie’s. From chatspot log, to dive log, to most private chapbook. It’s well written, and a quick and easy read.

I loved both Michael’s and Leesie’s journey, how two opposites worlds come together to become one. The TAKEN BY STORM series is one without a predictable outcome. Up until the very end I had no idea how two very different worlds would mesh together. It sadness me that their story is over. I’ll miss them.