Monday, December 15, 2014


Title: The Desire: A Novel (The Restoration Series) (Volume 3)
Author: Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley
Publisher: Revell (September 2, 2014)
Pages: 336

Having gone through many years of infertility, THE DESIRE: A NOVEL (THE RESTORATION SERIES) (VOLUME 3) by DAN WALSH and GARY SMALLEY, immediately grabbed my attention.

THE DESIRE touches on a few of the trials and tribulations a couple experiencing infertility goes through. MR. WALSH AND MR. SMALLEY given readers a glimpse into areas many couples experience that are often not realized by others.

Allan and Michelle have been trying to have a baby, and time is proving that something isn't right. Allan seems content to let God do His thing, in His perfect timing. Michelle cannot stop thinking about the baby she so desperately desires.

Infertility – whether a first time experience, or one you've gone through in the past – is never easy. It comes with many challenges that require a great deal of trust and hope. Those that have never experience infertility, have little knowledge of what one going through it, deals with. Having books in both fiction and non-fiction is a way to help others gain a better understanding, which can lead to compassion for those going through it, making their journey less painful.

I loved that the THE DESIRE didn't take the typical approach to a couple going through infertility. The secondary characters, Doug and Christina, leave the reader wanting to know more about their story. Good thing another one is in the making.

Monday, November 10, 2014


Title: At Bluebonnet Lake: A Novel (Texas Crossroads)
Author: Amanda Cabot
Publisher: Revell (October 21, 2014)
Pages: 384

As soon as I saw the cover of AT BLUEBONNET LAKE by AMANDA CABOT, there was no question in my mind. I had to have it. The combination of being a fan of books with cowboys in it, and AMANDA CABOT’S writing, is what made it a no-brainier. 

Kate Sherwood’s life is nothing less than fast-paced. When she adventures with her grandmother to Rainbow’s End, a place that is slow-paced, and way behind the times -so not Kate - she has to wonder how she will survive an entire month there.

Greg Vange, the resorts handyman, is not who he appears to be. Not even close. Not that he has any plans of filling the pretty and intriguing Kate in on that tidbit.

Once again, AMANDA CABOT has done a good job in constructing a fine story. I have to admit, her series WESTWARD WINDS remains my favorite thus far. Each book in the series became better and better, with amazing plots, characters, and magnificent writing.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


Title: Tina Radcliffe
Author: Stranded with the Rancher
Publisher: Love Inspired (August 19, 2014)
Pages: 224

My first read by TINA RADCLIFFE was The Rancher's Reunion. The beginning remains one of my all time favorites. Of course, that put me on the path to seeking other books by the author. Stories involving a cowboy are without a doubt my favorites. When I spotted STRANDED WITH THE RANCHER by MS RADCLIFFE, I knew I’d be purchasing and reading it.

Beth Rogers has a plan. A carefully thought-out plan. One she had no intentions of altering. However, it seems God has a different plan altogether.

Dan Gallagher finds himself helping a friends, relative. A rather pretty relative if he was so inclined to admit. What he thought would be a ride to the airport, turns into something so much more.

If you are searching for a book with high peaks, and lots of action, STRANDED WITH THE RANCHER is not the book for you. However, if you are looking for an amazing, unique, heartwarming story, mixed with some old fashion chivalry, STRANDED WITH THE RANCHER is the book for you.

I didn’t rush through this book. Oh no, I took my time. Time to absorb each and every word. STRANDED WITH THE RANCHER is not your typical, predictable Love Inspired romance. MS RADCLIFFE is a magnificent writer. I was blown away with her great lines. She had me smiling and in awe, so many times throughout the entire story. Both the main and secondary characters were memorable. I thought I knew how the ending would unfold, but I was wrong. MS RADCLIFFE took the expected and flipped it to the unexpected. I loved every ounce of it.

I can only hope that there is another in the works about a certain someone’s brother. Please, oh please, tell me my thoughts are correct.

Saturday, October 25, 2014


Title: The Best of Me
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Reprint edition (March 26, 2013)
Pages: 368

I was anxious to write a review about THE BEST OF ME by NICHOLAS SPARKS due to the rollercoaster ride it became. I am an aspiring fiction author. I have been writing for years, learning the craft through fellow writers, reading endless amounts of fiction, and books on the craft of writing. With that said, I am picky when it comes to “writing rules”.

I admit I have not read a lot of books by NICHOLAS SPARKS, and may not have read any if not for watching the movie A WALK TO REMEMBER. As a write, I was curious to read in written form the amazing story I watched on screen. Anyone who is an avid reader, is typically drawn to watch the movie of the book they loved so much. Equally, most are disappointed with the changes made. Even though, most of us still feel the need to go and see the story unfold on the big screen.

I made the mistake of going to see DEAR JOHN, only a day after reading the book. It was fresh in my mind, so fresh that every detail that was not the same as the book in the movie, stood out bluntly. For that reason, I recommend to let as much time pass between completing a book and seeing the movie.

Nevertheless, after seeing the trailer for THE BEST OF ME, knowing it is a NICHOLAS SPARKS story, I knew I would end up seeing it. I then had the urge to read the book first, knowing very well that it might be a mistake.

As I began to read THE BEST OF ME, I immediately had a problem with it. It was a ton of back-story, telling, and constant switching of pov’s (Character point-of-view). Not just unannounced switching. Not just in an unannounced paragraph, but within a paragraph – several time! Yikes. Really?

I am not one for giving “bad reviews”. Honesty without bad mouthing an author is what I strive for. And I am certainly not attempting to bad mouth here. NICHOLAS SPARKS is a number one bestselling author. However, that did not come with following writing rules. Equally so, I don’t believe it came from being a rule breaker, either.

What I’ve come to know about NICHOLAS SPARKS, is that he creates AMAZING stories. Is he the best writer? Not in my opinion. However, he creates such amazing material/plots/story lines, that you can forgive him for breaking the rules. Though I have to be honest, especially the constant unannounced shifts in pov, at times confused me as well as equally drives me nuts. I've come to realize that he breaks the rules better than most, in that it works better for him then other, perhaps due to his choice in words and content.

I have read a few books that didn’t follow the pov rules. Those books I HAD to stop reading. There just wasn't enough to give me reason to continue. With THE BEST OF ME – maybe in part knowing what the book was about from the trailer, and that I’d go see the movie, and that he produces amazing stories – I clawed my way through the first 120 or so pages. At about that point – though the pov shifts didn’t change – other things that were bothersome, did change.

The first 120 or so pages there is little dialogue – another craft rule broken. It was written in more of a narrative, back-story, informational dump kind of way – more rule breaking. But then the dialogue opens up, and the reader is taken into the here and now – no longer in the endless pages of back story.

THE BEST OF ME is to-date the first and only book that I’ve read that I nearly quit reading, and was very happy that I didn’t. WOW! I had not seen the ending coming. Not until near the end, and even that was played out in a way that left me guessing.

In reading the last pages, I could no longer contain the tears. I was moved, and in a huge way. The last chapters were several different scenes simultaneously happening, each building up in a way that will keep you on the edge of your seat. In the way that A WALK TO REMEMBER has resonated with me since the first time I saw the movie, THE BEST OF ME is sure to do the same. It is not a story one will forget. Days later, I found myself driving in the car, hit with emotions evoked by the characters of THE BEST OF ME, as if they were people I actually knew. That is a sign of an amazing storyteller whether or not they follow, or perhaps due to, breaking the rules of writing.

Amanda Collier and Dawson Cole’s story of past, present, and future is not one you will soon forget…if ever.


When I finished the book, I was left with so many emotions of such an amazing story. After seeing the movie, those feelings lessened with the confusion of the major changes. Why? Please tell me why anyone would do that. I can't say I will never read another of his books, or see another of his movies, but this is beginning to become a not so good pattern with his books vs movies. It's one thing to tweak what happened in a book for a movie, but to change MAJOR things. Things that made the book so amazing. Well, I am beyond words of how disappointed I am.

Sunday, October 12, 2014


Title: His Montana Bride
Author: Brenda Minton
Publisher: Love Inspired (September 16, 2014)
Pages: 224

Love the cover. Love the title. Love the author. Was there was ever a doubt that I would purchase and read HIS MONTANA BRIDE by BRENDA MINTON? Nope! Not a chance.

I get excited when I spot a new book by BRENDA MINTON. Of course I typically find out months before it is released, which is so unfair. If she were a writing machine, I would most likely never get to experience other authors, for I couldn’t resist reading book, after book, by MS MINTON.

Katie Archer is in Jasper Gulch for one reason and one reason only. To be a bridesmaid to her sister. The same sister she has been in the shadows of all her life.

The last thing Cord Shaw is searching for is a relationship. No, he has had his fill of finance’s. So why does organizing The World’s Largest Old-Tyme Wedding with a pretty lady, have him rethinking his vow to stay away from the commitment of marriage?

When it comes to BRENDA MINTON books, I feel like a broken record. Amazing writing. Amazing story. Amazing characters. Amazing, amazing, amazing.

I already know what the next one due out is, A RANCER FOR CHRISTMAS.  Hurry up December so I can get my next BRENDA MINTON book.

Sunday, October 5, 2014


Title: My Utmost for His Highest
Author: Oswald Chambers
Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Inc.; Reissue edition (January 1, 1963)
Pages: 375

After hearing references to MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST by OSWALD CHAMBERS on several occasions, I finally decided to purchase and read it. As I suspected, the meaning at times was hard to decipher. However, as I had also suspected, there were poignant words, which made for a mentally draining reading at time, and an emotionally inspirational one, other times.

Would I recommend MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST by OSWALD CHAMBERS. You bet I would. What I was able to take away by far succeeded what I found to be challenging.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


Title: Carly M Duncan
Author: Behind You
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (June 1, 2014)
Pages: 208

I have to begin by explaining a couple of things. One, I read and review books for authors. Why do I offer to do so? The number one reason would be I enjoy helping others. As an aspiring author, I know how tough it can be to get your work out there and what it means to the writer. I’m a Christian, and it is not my nature to be cruel. Therefore, I do my best to not trash someone’s work. At the same time, I will not say I like something that I did not.

Another reason I offer to read and review books for others is the opportunity to read an author I otherwise may not have. I typically stay in the genre I prefer, but every now and again I break that rule and offer to read something outside of what I like. That was the case with BEHIND YOU by CARLY M DUNCAN.

Heather’s family is anything but functional. So when tragedy strikes, her family is brought together, and repaired in ways they never imagined.

Not only have I never read one of MS DUNCAN’S books before, I had never heard of her. If I had not been asked if I wanted to read her book in exchange for an honest review, I doubt I would have ever purchased it. BEHIND YOU is not something I would typically read. Though decades ago, I use to read mysteries and thrillers, I now prefer to read Christian fiction, my favorite with a ranch or farm setting, where the hero typically wears a cowboy hat.

As I began to read BEHIND YOU, I did so with an open mind. I was surprised at how quickly I was drawn in. If there is one thing I’ve learned over the years, if an author has the elements it takes to make a good story, it matters little what the genre is.

MS DUNCAN is a remarkable writer. I didn’t want to stop reading BEHIND YOU. I loved the way she wrote in first person, starting each chapter with a different characters point-of-view. BEHIND YOU is a true page turner, a combination of MS DUNCAN’S amazing ability to write, and weave an astounding plot.

The entire book I kept guessing who might have done it. As I neared the end, I thought it wasn’t going to be revealed and I was preparing to be very upset. I can’t recall a story that had me guessing right down to the last line. Wow! I was not expecting that. I am a fan. What a great read.

Saturday, September 20, 2014


Title: My Stubborn Heart  
Author: Becky Wade
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (May 1, 2012)
Pages: 352
Before purchasing a book, I typically check the reviews on Amazon. Knowing they can be subjective, I don’t take too much stock in them. I read BECKY WADE’S book MEANT TO BE MINE, because of a friend’s suggestion, who knowing my love for cowboys, knew I would love it. Boy was she right. MS WADE suddenly became a favorite author of mine. So much so, I sought out other books by her, and ordered UNDENIABLY YOURS. With a large stack of books to read, I didn’t look into her other book. 
Not long after, I saw a post on facebook about MY STUBBORN HEART. I went to Amazon, and as I often do, looked at the one star review and then a five star one. Having read MEANT TO BE MINE, the one star review baffled me. Even though I couldn’t imagine I’d agree, and already having far too many books to read, I opted not to purchase it.
Sometime later, I spotted another post on facebook, and this time made up my mind to purchase it. After reading her amazing writing, I couldn’t imagine the one star review was accurate. At least not for my taste in writing and genre. 
I don’t recall ever being more happy about not letting my decision be swayed by a bad review. WOW! Even the best authors can have a “bad book”, and I feared it may be true with MY STUBBORN HEART because of the one star review, but I am happy to report that it is not the case. 
Kate Donovan’s life has been unsettled in a way that has her escaping from her ordinary life, to the solace of Redbud, Pennsylvania, with her grandmother.
Matt Jarreau is quiet and reserved, and with good reason, and no plans of changing. Working on restoring an old house, he never imagined it would lead to restoring his injured heart.
BECKY WADE’S writing is second to none. It is unique, witty, emotional, deep, moving, inspiring, and engaging. Her characters – every one of them, including the secondary characters – are three dimensional, tangible, distinctive, and memorable. Typically, if an author is good, a reader will enjoy one secondary character. But not so with MY STUBBORN HEART. I loved them all. I loved Kate’s sweet natured grandmother, but I was thrown into laughter many times with Velma’s distinctive personality, and outlandish comments.
MS WADE creates stories that are so realistic. So natural. She holds nothing back, yet maintains a clean, faith-based book. Not the kind of faith-based book that comes off preachy. No, it’s handled in a beautifully subtle way, with just the right amount of honest scenarios. She doesn’t write the expected, and each line is done with a natural flow. Her characters have flaws. Believable flaws. The characters journey through the book is done with seemingly effortless natural flow. I find myself laughing at her unique easygoing humor one minute, and tearing up with emotions in sympathy for a character, the next. 

I loved every chapter, every page, every word. I laughed, I cried. I read it easily, savoring every moment. Upon reading the last word, a sudden sadness came over me. Oh, how I will miss Matt and Kate.
I cannot wait to get started on the last MS WADE book I have to read, UNDENIABLY YOURS. I have no doubt I will be quickly emerged into a wonderful world of storytelling, and upon completion, will be waiting anxiously for the next to come out. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Title: 10K a Day, The Secret of Quality Speed Writing
Author: C R Myers
Pages: 64

I happen to run across 10K A DAY, THE SECRET OF QUALITY SPEED WRITING by C R MYERS, and couldn’t resist. After years of plugging away at writing, I have come to a point of realization that something is missing. There are several components that make up a great story, and if one of those is absent, the reader is left lacking the full potential of a great story.

I didn’t purchase 10K A DAY, THE SECRET OF QUALITY SPEED WRITING to accomplish speed writing – though I do desire to write more words a day - but to incorporate the missing pieces to my stories.

As soon as I received my copy, I couldn’t resist the urge to read it. At just 64 pages, and desperately seeking the key to better my writing, I dug in, completing it in one sitting.

MS MYERS has constructed a quick and easy to read, understand, and implement book. She went from a SOTP (Seat of the pants.) writer, to an outline. Something I’ve been wrestling with for months.

Being a SOTP writer, I have struggled with whether to change my approach, and if so, how to go about it. With much research and advice, I’ve learned there is no right or wrong way to approach your writing, yet as much as I’ve been told being a SOTP or outliner is fine, I’ve come to discover my all out SOTP approach is not working. I need to incorporate plotting, greater character knowledge, and overall story familiarity before beginning to write to flush out the issues I have with my overall story.

What I’ve gained from MS MYERS book is fresh ideas to approach my story. A key moment was in reading “working with your brain, not against it.” It was eye opening to realize that, in not using the right approach, you are actually hindering your writing/making it more difficult and timely to accomplish your story.
Though I may not incorporate every idea MS MYERS has, to the extent that she does, I am left with a fresh look in how to approach my writing. At just 64 pages, I found 10K A DAY, THE SECRET OF QUALITY SPEED WRITING to be a wealth of information. Often, less is more, and that is certainly the case with this gem of a book.

Sunday, September 14, 2014


Title: Beyond I Do
Author: Jennifer Slattery
Publisher: New Hope Publishers (August 4, 2014)
Pages: 320

BEYOND I DO by JENNIFER SLATTERY is packed full of scripter and Christian learning, with a message on matters of choosing a life partner. 

Ainsley Meadows is searching for more. More than just a “marriage”. More than what her past threatens she could become.

Focused on his career, with a controlling family, Richard Hollis is determined to make Ainsley his wife.

Chris Langley has a plan. A plan that include big changes in his life. One that may prove to be the biggest mistake of his life, or the greatest decision he's made.

BEYOND I DO delivers a message for those seeking a relationship or are engaged. Marriage is an important, often daunting decision. One that will be with you the rest of your life, and not to take lightly. MS SLATTERY has woven together a story that will open your eyes to the impact choosing a life partner can have on your life, if not chosen with great thought and intent.

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

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


A novella is not an easy task to undertake, but that is what all three authors did in WILD WEST CHRISTMAS: A FAMILY FOR THE RANCHER/DANCE WITH A COWBOY/CHRISTMAS IN SMOKE RIVER (HARLEQUIN HISTORICAL)


A FAMILY FOR THE RANCHER is the first book I’ve read by JENNA KERNAN. I loved the storyline MS KERNAN created. Right away, it grabbed my attention.  

Dillen Roach did just fine by himself. Well, fine might be stretching it...just a bit. When he sent off a message to two different parties, he is shocked when he discover he sent them to the wrong individuals.

Alice Truett is given a mission. A mission that seems to be a misunderstanding. One that just may lead to something she never expected.


Truth be told, DANCE WITH A COWBOY by KATHRYN ALBRIGHT is why I wanted to read WILD WEST CHRISTMAS. I’ve previously read her books and loved them. THE ANGEL AND THE OUTLAW still holds a warm spot in my heart. MS ALBRIGHT is truly a gifted storyteller.

This is the first I have read of MS ALBRIGHT’S books that is not of Christian genre, and I have to be honest, I was a little surprised and worried. Especially when the first story in WILD WEST CHRISTMAS has cuss words on the first pages.

I soon realized my fears were unfounded. MS ALBRIGHT may have not woven in faith elements, but she also didn’t weave in anything that a Christian would find offense, or in question. For that, I applaud her. It is my belief that all authors could do the same.

Kathleen Sheridan is hesitant to see her in-laws. After all, the last time she saw them, they weren’t very welcoming.

Garrett Sheridan is on edge at that thought of seeing his brother’s wife. What was she up to, moving back to their little community? Even more perplexing, why hadn’t she come to visit his family?


This is the first time I’ve ever read anything by LYNNA BANNING, and I am terribly sadden to say that it will probably be the last. Not because is wasn’t good. No, just the opposite. It was amazing. What will keep me from purchasing her books in the future is the reason content.

I was shocked to see the word “Lord” and cuss words within the same pages. However, I do appreciate that she didn’t use foul language I loathe and that makes me cringe. The sexual content was far from the most explicit I’ve read, but I could have certainly done without it.

Gale McBurney is a private man. A man with secrets he keeps to himself. When he encounters the lovely Lilah Cornwell, all his plans to live alone is blow to the wind.  

Lilah Cornwell, shy around others, likes to keep to herself. She does fine with her writing, and the flowers she loves to grow. When a handsome cowboy arrives at her door, offering to fix and paint her picket fence, she can’t decided if she loathes or likes the man.

MS BANNING is an amazing writer. I was blown away with the unique – at least to me – format she chose to write in. I have read first person, but I don’t recall ever reading first person in what I like to call “Cowboy” stories. It isn’t just the fact that she wrote in first person that makes her writing original. It’s the way she went about it. I loved that she started a new chapter with each person/point of view. The way she wrote, it was as if you are reading a personal journal, which was quite fascinating.

LYNNA BANNING spun together a complete story. Something not many authors are capable of doing in so few words. Truly amazing. Any author wanting to know what it takes to create a great novella, I’d urge you to read and study what MS BANNING has done in CHRISTMAS IN SMOKE RIVER. She has captured what it takes to write a complete and satisfying short story. Too often, they will start out fine, but soon turn into a rush of drama, action, and words. Often leaving you questioning the believability and feeling unsatisfied.

Now if only MS BANNING would try her hand at Christina fiction, I’d have a new favorite author. At the very least, keep all the foul language and sexual content out, and I’d be sure to purchase each she wrote.  

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

Friday, September 5, 2014


Title: Full Steam Ahead
Author: Karen Witemeyer
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (June 3, 2014)
Pages: 352

If you read my reviews for KAREN WITEMEYER, you might think perhaps I write all reviews with such excitement and praise, but that is not the case. However, that is the case with all the books I’ve read by MS WITEMEYER.

Where do I begin? FULL STEAM AHEAD by KAREN WITEMEYER is amazing! Each time MS WITEMEYER delivers not only a story well written, but an engaging, inspiring, intriguing, and compelling story.

Nicole Renard’s father requested that she find an heir for the family business. She is determined to not only carry out his wish, but to keep her family and their dowry safe. Something that proves to be life threatening and life altering.

Darius Thornton is focused - obsessed might be a better word. Obsessed with finding a solution to the horrific reality of boiler explosions. But that doesn’t mean he’s blind to the beautiful, intelligent, and determined Nicole Renard.

MS WITEMEYER always manages to create characters that are so tangible, you dread flipping to the last page where you will be forced to no longer be a part of their lives. Nicole and Darius are fascinating. I LOVED their quirks. I LOVED how they complimented one another, both in strengths and weaknesses. I especially LOVED how Darius has a flaw that didn’t just disappear by the end of the story. No, instead it was Nicole that helped to keep his weaknesses and flaws in check, without completely fixing them. I found that to be brilliant. Too often Christian fiction  doesn’t allow for specific flaws, and for the most part by the end of the story the flaws have been resolved. But that isn’t how life always plays out. Too often, we struggle with a weakness or flaw for the majority of our lives, never quite able to conquer them.

In FULL STEAM AHEAD, I was blown away with MS WITEMEYER’S ability to keep the reader, reading. She has mastered the art of ending a chapter - and beginning one – where the reader can simply not put it down. As an aspiring fiction writer, she inspires in me the desire to create such stories.

Every aspect of FULL STEAM AHEAD is brought full circle. MS WITEMEYER didn’t leave any unanswered questions, or pieces unresolved. To say the least, one is left completely satisfied.

Honestly, I can’t think of one book by MS WITEMEYER that I didn’t become fully engaged in, and wasn't left inspired and satisfied. Can’t wait for whatever she has in store for the future.


Friday, August 22, 2014


Title: With Every Breath
Author: Elizabeth Camden
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (August 5, 2014)
Pages: 368

Every book that I have read by ELIZABETH CAMDEN has blown me away. She is a phenomenal writer AND storyteller. There are those that write well, and those that create a good plot. But it’s those that can do both that produce a novel that a reader gets wrapped up in and will remember for a long times.

Kate Livingston is intelligent and ambitious. Hesitant, she gives in and accepts an offer for a job from the insufferable Trevor McDonough. A man she hasn’t seen since their high school days.

Trevor McDonough is good at keeping his distance from those that might hurt his wounded heart. That goes double for Kate Livingston. If she knew the secret he carried, she would think twice about the attraction she has for him.

As always, ELIZABETH CAMDEN produced a novel that is not only entertaining, but enlightening. I am not only left with a warm feeling you get from reading an amazing story, but filled with a new sense of knowledge and understanding about a subject I may not have pursued on my own.

WITH EVERY BREATH by ELIZABETH CAMDEN is not a novel you want to miss. I loved the characters growth. MS. CAMDEN does an amazing job transforming Trevor. Only a remarkable writer can do what MS. CAMDEN did with his character, and still have the reader loving him.  

There is no question that when I spot an ELIZABETH CAMDEN novel, I will be reading it in the near future.

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

Sunday, August 17, 2014


Too often Christian movies fail to show a realistic picture of a faith based life. The journey of a Christian is unique to the individual. A common misconception is that people of faith have not experience the trials and tribulations others have. That once they give their life to the Lord, it’s easy going.

What I love about THE SONG is the journey Jed King embarks on.  An aspiring singer who thinks his career is over before it starts, crosses paths with a woman of faith that inspires a song within, stirring up the passion he lacks.

Rose Jorden is a wholesome girl who is committed to her faith and family. Jed King promises a life of love that soon turns her world upside down.

THE SONG is packed full of one man’s trials and tribulations. It’s a story about aspirations, commitment, temptations, love, faith, hope, redemption, restoration, forgiveness, and new beginnings.

Jed King is a man with a past, struggling to follow in his father’s footsteps as he faces the price that often comes with a career in music. The uniqueness of THE SONG is the depiction of a realistic life. One of drugs, drinking, and other temptations that often comes with fame.

THE SONG is a great representation that some things are worth fighting for. You will be left with a sense of hope. Hope that no matter what we go through in life, as long we have God as our center, we can get through it.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


Title: Meant to be Mine
Author: Becky Wade
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (May 6, 2014)
Pages: 384

There are books that are good, and then there are ones that when you read the last word, you let out a long sigh. That would be a sigh that is quickly followed by a warm and tingly sensation, and what comes after reading an amazing book. that is exactly what happened with MEANT TO BE MINE by BECKY WADE.

A friend of mine read MEANT TO BE MINE and proceeded to let me know I MUST read it. She's read some of my writing, knows my fascination for cowboys. She knew the fact that the hero is a bull rider, would be enough to entice me. Needless to say, she was right.

Celia Park has had a crush on Ty Porter since the day she laid eyes on him in high school. Years later in Vegas, it didn't take long to realize her feelings for the cowboy hasn't changed.

Ty Porter is making a living doing what he does best - riding bulls. A few days in Vegas with Celia Park, gives way to his reckless side. Doing something that would change the course of their lives, and cause him to focus a hundred percent on his career and little else.

MEANT TO BE MINE is the first book I've read by BECKY WADE, and won't be the last. In fact, only minutes after finishing, I ordered UNDENIABLY YOURS, the first of the Porter brother's books. I can only hope MS WADE has another in the making for Jake Porter. My interest is already spiked regarding Ty's brother with so few words.

The very first page of MEANT TO BE MINE captured me, pulling me in. A slow reader, I stayed up late into the night, reading until I could no longer keep my eyes open, finishing some ninety pages. If I had the time to sit and read all day, I would have. When I had less than a hundred pages left, I woke the next morning realizing I wasn't about to get anything done until I completed this incredible story.

MS WADE knows not only how to write, but how to create a story that ropes you in and doesn't let you go. I LOVED the characters...all of them. Each is districted. What she did with the characters may not have worked for other authors, but for MS WADE, it did.

If I had to pick one quality of the story that made MEANT TO BE MINE stand-alone from other novels I've read, I would have to say it would be the uniqueness of the path the author took the characters on. There were several situations that were easily predictably, not that I had problem with it, because I didn't. But MS WADE caught me completely off guard by NOT doing what the reader would expect. Not once, not twice, but several times. And I LOVED it.

I can't wait for UNDENIABLY YOURS to arrive to read about Bo Porter, and looking forward to the story about Jake in the future. I guess I've just found myself a new favorite author.

Friday, August 1, 2014


Title: The Lawman's Oklahoma Sweetheart (Love Inspired Historical\Bridegroom Brothers)
Author: Allie Pleiter
Publisher: Love Inspired (June 3, 2014)
Pages: 288
If you look at my reviews, it’s no secret that I’ve read several of ALLIE PLEITER’s books. And yes, I have a few of my favorites. And yes, I prefer her historical over her contemporary. I have yet to read an author who has the ability to change her voice with each genre she writes, the way MS PLEITER, can.

I cannot begin to tell you how excited I was when I spotted the upcoming cover for THE LAWMAN’S OKLAHOMA SWEETHEART (LOVE INSPIRE HISTORICAL/BRIDEGROOM BROTHERS) by ALLIE PLEITER. My heart started to race, not just from the choice of the picture, but the title. You see, I am a cowboy/western/ranch, freak. Yes, I will admit to it.

As I began to read THE LAWMAN’S OKLAHOMA SWEETHEART, I was immediately drawn in. Not just drawn in to the first paragraph, or even the first chapter, but from the first page to the last.

Sheriff Clint Thornton is all about the law. When a team of bad guys attempt to harm his good friends sister, Clint will stop at nothing to insure Katrine’s and her brothers safety.

Katrine Brinkerhoff will never forget what the good Sherfiff did for her. But the lie he insist they keep to protect her brother, is nothing short of heart wrenching.

Clint and Katrine’s growing attraction is left unspoken. After all, they both have secrets that won’t allow their feelings for one another to take root.

MS PLEITER did an amazing job with THE LAWMAN’S OKLAHOMA SWEETHEART. I didn’t think her writing could get any better or different then what I’ve read in the past, but was I wrong.

Being a HUGE fan of western settings, I tend to be judgmental. I place THE LAWMAN’S OKLAHOMA SWEETHEART right at the top of my list of beloved cowboy stories. Up until now, two others of MS PLEITER’S novels were my favorite PLEITER books. They have just moved down a notch, being replaced with this amazing novel as number one.

MS PLEITER did an remarkable job with the plot, incorporating her typical witty lines that will leave you in wonder. The characters are distinct and three-dimensional. From start to ending I was captivated. Some books start out great, then fade a bit, then pick up speed in the end. THE LAWMAN’S OKLAHOMA SWEETHEART continued on a steady up climb, not stopping until the very last word.

Every aspect of the writing process in a novel is important. However, the wrong ending can ruin all the good efforts one puts into a story, literally going from becoming a great book, to leaving a sour taste in your mouth. It’s a shame that the last few pages of a story can hold the power to destroy a book. Sadly, something I’ve experienced firsthand.

However, that was not the case in THE LAWMAN’S OKLAHOMA SWEETHEART. As the story ended, I was a bit surprised the author chose that route, but not in an unpleasant way. I was satisfied with the way it ended.

But then I started the prologue! MS PLEITER spared nothing in taking her story to a whole other level. It’s done beautifully, with believability that brought me to tears. It warmed my heart, and made me want to cheer, and love the story all the more. Truly one of the best endings I’ve ever read. 

So taken I was by the story, I desire to purchase the other books in the series to read about the other men I encountered in THE LAWMAN’S OKLAHOMA SWEETHEART. Looking forward to any future – what I like to call “cowboy books” – by MS PLEITER.

Saturday, July 26, 2014


Title: Faith Departed (Remnants Book 1)
Author: Elizabeth Maddrey
Publisher: HopeSprings Books (March 1, 2014)
Pages: 195

I was interested in reading FAITH DEPARTED by ELIZABETH MADDREY when I discovered it was a story about infertility, a subject that spikes my interest. I could easily relate to much of the main characters journey.
Twins, June and July are tough woman, but experiencing infertility has presented a challenge for them. Each sister has their own story. One that threatens to test their bond as sisters, twins, and friends.

FAITH DEPARTED is a wonderful account of experiencing infertility. It gives readers that are starting their own journey of the trials and tribulations of conceiving, a realistic perspective of what one may go through on a day-to-day basis. For those that have gone through such a process, they will easily connect with the characters and what they are experiencing in a way that will bring some peace in knowing others experience the same.
ELIZABETH MADDREY is a wonderful writer, who spins a realistic journey of infertility in not one, but from two different characters perspective, which makes FAITH DEPARTED unique, and powerful.

What a wonderful gift FAITH DEPARTED makes for those that are experiencing infertility, have gone through it, or to help those in one’s life that are currently experiencing infertility to gain a better understanding and compassion for what they are going through.

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

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

RUSTY SPIGOT, DIRTY WATER (An Introspective journey for the Offender.)by MICHAEL FARLIN

Title: Rusty Spigot, Dirty Water (An Introspective journey for the Offender.)

Title: Rusty Spigot, Dirty Water (An Introspective journey for the Offender.)
Author: Michael Farlin
Publisher: WestBowPress (January 14, 2014)
Pages: 108

I wasn’t sure what I was in for when I ran across RUSTY SPIGOT, DIRTY WATER (AN INTROSPECTIVE JOURNEY FOR THE OFFEREND) by MICHAEL FARLIN. What I soon discovered is a treasure. Not only for those that are incarcerated, but those that have been, about to be, involved in the ministry, and for those that know of someone in any of the above situations.

RUSTY SPIGOT, DIRTY WATER may be only 108 pages, but don’t let the amount fool you. It’s packed with honest life perspective on having been incarcerated. I have many highlights and notes throughout.

A few notes I took along the way:

-An honest account, in a realist way on prison, life, and faith.
-Speaks straight talk. No fancy words or dancing around the facts.
-Persevere over the discouragement and disappointments. It will all be worth it.
-Straight truth without being preachy.
-Because MR FARLIN has been incarcerated, and not afraid to speak honestly, makes it very powerful. 

I highlighted several powerful insights throughout the book. Here are just a couple:

Page 44-45 – “All Jesus is asking is that you believe in Him, His truth and power and His ability to take your life into a whole different reality that it is now. It can and will happen, but you have to do your part.”

Page 66-67 – “If you can get clean and mean it, do it! It will get messy, but that’s because you may not know how to handle life when your mind is not altered. Getting clean and sober in prison was the best place to do so.”

MICHAEL FARLIN also is a speaker. I am excited to meet and hear him in person at our monthly prison and jail gathering at the church I attend. I am ordering several copies of RUSTY SPIGOT, DIRTY WATER to share with others. Those in the ministry as well as those that are incarcerated. If you know of someone that is incarcerated or in the ministry, this wonderful book will make a great gift that may open one’s eyes and change lives, possibly even saving one.

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

Thursday, July 17, 2014


Title: Forgiveness, Finding Peace Through Letting Go
Author: Adam Hamilton
Publisher: Abingdon Press (August 1, 2012)
Pages: 160

Honestly, I can’t remember where I heard about FORGIVENESS, FINDING PEACE THROUGH LETTING GO by ADAM HAMILTON. If I had to guess, I would say it was a recommendation in another book I read.

Don’t let the size of FORGIVNESS fool you. It’s packed with great information. Most of my copy is highlighted, underlined, notes written within, and pages dog-eared. I copied a few pages to share with others. They were so intrigued, they purchased the book themselves.

Some of my favorite gems within the pages:

“Forgiveness is believing that the future can be better than the past. The past can’t be changed, but God can do something redemptive with it.” Page 122

“You can choose to harm everyone because you were hurt, or you can choose to harm no one because you were hurt. Either way, it’s a choice.” Page 123

I loved the whole concept, “Just RAP: REMEMBER your own shortcomings, ASSUME the best of people, and PRAY for them.” Page 76

I could go on and on in what I gained from reading FORGIVENSS. I highly recommend this amazing little book for everyone. None of us has escaped being hurt by someone at one time or another in our lives, or hurting another, whether knowing or unknowing.

I hope that one day MR. HAMILTON’s book will be available in soft cover, so I can share it with those through the prison ministry I’m involved in. Don’t miss out on this book that will help to change your life for the better. I will definitely be seeking out more books by ADAM HAMILTON.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

AT THE EDGE OF A DARK FOREST (A Fairwilde Reflections Novella) by CONNIE ALMONY

Title: At the Edge of a Dark Forest (Fairwilde Reflections)
Author: Connie Almony
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (February 20, 2014)
Pages: 180

I feel almost speechless. As if no words I conjure up could do justice to the way I feel about, AT THE EDGE OF A DARK FOREST (A Fairwilde Reflections Novella) by CONNIE ALMONY. To say that I didn’t want it to end, is an understatement. If I had the ability, I’d make this amazing story into a movie. A movie that would no doubt become one of my favorites.

I have a special place in my heart for the retelling of fairytales. Beauty and the Beast being at the top of the list, right beside Cinderella. I tend to latch onto any movie that comes out with a new version of one of the classics I loves so much. Though I have read a few such stories, I don’t recall reading one that captured me the way AT THE EDGE OF A DARK FOREST has.

Cole Harrison is a bitter man, but not because he is lacking of worldly possessions. The wall he has built up around his heart has left him a man not many dare to get close to.

Carly Rose is put into a situation she has little choice but to endure. Her love for her father has her encountering a mission and a man that seems at first appearances, impossible.

I can’t provide much of a synopsis for this story, for in doing so I would write a good portion of the book. I, a slow reader, with little time, finished this amazing story in just two short days. Every time I attempted to put it down, it silently called to me. My emotions reeling from only completing it moments ago, are nearly too raw to express the horde of feeling it has created.

I guess it goes without saying that I am now a fan of MS ALMONY. Her writing is amazing, just as her storytelling. I was engrossed, inspired, intrigued, laughed, and cried. The author created many great lines that caused me to smile, my skin to have goose bumps, and my eyes to tear up.

AT THE EDGE OF A DARK FOREST is a clever and unique retelling of Beauty and the Beast. MS ALMONY took an unlikely twist to the storyline, yet kept the core of the story alive. I have never encountered a retelling of a story that kept the basic elements, with such a unique twist. I loved every word. Every scene. The beginning, the middle, and the end. It never disappointed. Not for a second.

Aside from the unique storyline, I LOVED how MS ALMONY incorporated bits of the original story through the characters. It was absolutely brilliant, adding to the overall charm of the story and characters. Though they referred to Beauty and the Beast, you never felt as though the story was mimicking it…yet it was so similar…in a unique way.

I love every character, each unique and three-dimensional. I love how MS ALMONY brought to the story things that you typically wouldn’t find in faith based fiction. The Christianity was relevant to life, subtle, yet so powerful. 

Okay, enough. I could go on and on. Do yourself a favor – get this book. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Title: Gathering Shadows (Finding Sanctuary
Author: Nancy Mehl
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (May 6, 2014)
Pages: 320

What you need to know about me before reading my review are two things: One, I’m not a fan of Amish stories. Two, I’m not a fan of mysteries. Therefore, the fact that I LOVED GATHERING SHADOWS (Finding Sanctuary 1), speaks volumes about NANCY MEHL’S writing and ability to tell a story.

Wynter Evans, a reporter, heads to the small town of Sanctuary, after discovering a photograph of a young man that resembles her abducted brother. Zac, the stations photog, is assigned to tag along to capture the story in pictures, while Wynter does so on paper.

Rueben King, the mayor, means to make sure Wynter and her photographer don’t cause any undue harm to the people of Sanctuary, respecting their privacy. What he didn’t expect is to have a growing attraction to the beautiful reporter.

MS MEHL’S writing is superb. I was captivated from the first to the last, page. As a writer, I know that it is an author’s goal to end a chapter in such a way the reader can’t stop. Though many accomplish it for the most part, MS MEHL takes it to another level. She NEVER left it easy to stop at the end of one. I had to force myself to put the book down in the middle of a chapter when I needed to attend to other things, because I knew once I got to the end, I would HAVE to continue on.

The faith aspect is light, yet powerful. The characters strong, and two-dimensional. The storyline keeps you interested, with an ending you would not have guessed. Though the end was satisfying, it left me wanting to read more. I can’t wait for the next in the series. I have a feeling Zac, the photog, will become a main character, and for that I am excited. I also would love to hear more about Wynter and Rueben, and Wynters, brother.

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