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.


Saturday, July 5, 2014


Title: Single Dad Cowboy
Author: Brenda Minton
Publisher: Love Inspired (May 20, 2014
Pages: 224

Anyone who has read my reviews in the past knows that I am a huge BRENDA MINTON fan. I have to admit, I was not impressed with the title of SINGLE DAD COWOY (Though anything with the word “cowboy” in it, has my attention.) But oh boy was I in for a treat. As the saying goes, don’t judge a book by its cover, I guess the same could be said about the title.

Harmony Cross moved back to her family farm with one purpose in mind, and one purpose only. To get her life back in order. To find the person she once used to be. And that person didn’t include a man. A man was the last thing she needed in her life - ever.

Dylan Cooper has a plan. A plan that will not only get the matchmakers off his back, but help Harmony Cross obtain the independence and space she wants. If only he’d realized having an agreement to help one another as friends, would take a different turn.

As always the case, MS MINTON created an amazing story, with great writing and characters. I have to say, I do believe SINGLE DAD COWOY is now marked as one of my favorites. I loved both the main characters, Harmony and Dylan. Do I dare admit I fell in love with Dylan Cooper? The lines MS MINTON came up with had my heart melting and soaring all at once. This is why I read cowboy romances!

BRENDA MINTON blended a magical combination of chivalry, strength, stubbornness, persistence, confidence, sweetness, and gentleness in Dylan Cooper. Harmony’s inner conflict was carried out realistically to the end, in an unique way.

Often once the main characters kiss, that’s it. Not so in SINGLE DAD COWOY. Each time was refreshing, and realistic. I loved that the author was able to produce the “first kiss” several times throughout, and not only bring it to life, but continue their relationship as a “non-couple” in a believable way.

Me: Impatiently waiting for the next BRENDA MINTON book.


Tuesday, July 1, 2014


July 2014 New Releases
More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.
Biblical Fiction:
In the Field of Grace
by Tessa Afshar -- Destitute, grief-stricken, and unwanted by the people of God, Ruth arrives in Israel with nothing to recommend her but Naomi's, love. Her loftiest hope is to provide enough food to save Naomi and herself from starvation. But God has other plans for her life. While everyone considers Ruth an outcast, she is astounded to find one of the most honored men of Judah showing her favor. Long since a widower and determined to stay that way, Boaz is irresistibly drawn to the foreign woman with the haunted eyes. He tells himself he is only being kind to his Cousin Naomi's chosen daughter when he goes out of his way to protect her from harm, but his heart knows better. (Biblical Fiction from River North [Moody Publishers])
Contemporary Romance:
A Plain Love Song (The New Hope Amish)
by Kelly Irvin -- Adah Knepp wants nothing more than to sing and play the guitar and write her own songs. That's a dream that will never come true in her strict Amish community. But then she meets Jackson Hart, and all of a sudden she finds the chance for a different kind of life. But pursuing her dreams means turning her back on her family and community--and saying goodbye to Matthew, the gentle Amish farmer she can't get out of her mind. Is it worth giving up the only home she's ever known to pursue her dreams? (Contemporary Romance from Harvest House Publishers)
When I Fall in Love (Christiansen Family)
by Susan May Warren -- Hawaii was the last place Grace Christiansen ever imagined she'd vacation, much less fall in love. But when her family surprises her with a cooking retreat in paradise, she is pulled-or maybe yanked-away from her predictable, safe life and thrown headfirst into the adventure of a lifetime. (Contemporary Romance from Tyndale House)
Contemporary Women's Fiction:

Hope Deferred
by Elizabeth Maddrey -- Can pursuit of a blessing become a curse? June and July and their husbands have spent the last year trying to start a family and now they're desperate for answers. As one couple works with specialists to see how medicine can help them conceive, the other must fight to save their marriage. Will their deferred hope leave them heart sick, or start them on the path to the fulfillment of their dreams? (Women's Fiction from HopeSprings Books)
The Tidewater Sisters
by Lisa Wingate -- Tandi Reese and her sister, Gina, have always been bound by complicated ties. Amid the rubble of a difficult childhood lie memories of huddling beneath beds and behind sofas while parental wars raged. Sisterhood was safety . . . once. But now? Faced with legal papers for a fraud she didn't commit, Tandi suspects that her sister has done something unthinkable. With Tandi's wedding just around the corner, a trip to the North Carolina Tidewater for a reckoning with Gina was not part of the plan. But unraveling lies from truth will require confronting strained sibling bonds and uncovering a dark family secret that could free Tandi from her past or stain her future forever. (Novella) (Women's Fiction from Tyndale House)
Historical Mystery:
Murder at the Mikado (A Drew Farthering Mystery)
by Julianna Deering -- Just as Drew Farthering thinks his life has found smooth waters, Fleur Landis, an old flame, reappears in his life. She's married now, no longer an actress, and he expects she'll soon disappear--until she comes to him in dire need. The lead actor in her old troupe's production of The Mikado has been murdered, and Fleur is the police's number one suspect. Drew would love nothing more than to just focus on his fiancé, Madeline, and their upcoming wedding, but he can't leave Fleur in the lurch--even if she did break his heart once. As Drew, Nick, and Madeline dive into the murder, they discover more going on behind the scenes of the theater troupe than could ever have been imagined. Nearly everyone had a motive, and alibis are few and far between. It's Drew's most complicated case yet. (Historical General Fiction from Faith Words [Hachette])
Historical Romance:
Captured By Love
by Jody Hedlund  -- Michigan Territory, 1814. A voyageur and a young woman swept up in a time of upheaval and danger discover firsthand the high price of freedom. The British Army has taken control of Michilimackinac Island and its fort, forcing the Americans to swear an oath of loyalty to the crown in order to retain their land. Pierre Durant is a fur trader who returns after being away from the island for years, only to find the family farm a shambles and those he cares about starving and at the mercy of British invaders. Pierre is drawn deeper into the fight against the British--and into a relationship with Angelique MacKenzie, a childhood friend who's grown into a beautiful woman. She now finds herself trapped by the circumstances of war and poverty, and the cruelty of her guardian, Ebenezer Whiley. As tensions mount and the violence rages on, Pierre and Angelique must decide where their loyalties rest and how much they'll risk for love. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker Publishing Group])
Groom by Design (The Dressmaker's Daughters, #1)
by Christine Johnson   -- Dressmaker Ruth Fox gave up her dream of a husband and children long ago. Her family's floundering dress shop, her ailing father and her two younger sisters require Ruth's full attention. Though the handsome new stranger in town is intriguing, Ruth is certain he wouldn't look twice at a plain spinster of twenty-six. Sam Rothenburg's connection with the shy young woman next door is immediate, but he knows Ruth will be crushed when she discovers his real purpose in town. Sam is secretly working to open one of his father's large department stores in Pearlman, Michigan, which will surely put Ruth out of business. How much is Sam willing to sacrifice to claim Ruth's heart? (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin]
A Hero in the Making (Brides of Simps)
by Laurie Kingery -- Nate Bohannan won't let anything stand in the way of his grand plans in California. Even if it means traveling there with unreliable huckster Robert Salali. But after a destructive bender in Simpson Creek, Texas, the unscrupulous Salali runs out, leaving Nate to carry the blame-and the debt. He can fix broken furniture...but can anything fix the despair in café owner Ella Justiss's eyes? When her café was destroyed, Ella felt sure she'd lost her dreams along with it. Yet somehow Nate's cheerful care and optimism fill her with hope again. When danger threatens, will Nate be the hero Ella can finally trust-and love? (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
The Warrior's Vow
by Christina Rich -- Swept away from her home and into the desert, Abigail is as much a prisoner as she is a princess. A ruthlessly ambitious captain of the palace guard intends to force her into marriage and rule Judah through her. Yet the badly beaten soldier Abigail rescues offers another choice-if she dares trust him.  (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
Annie's Stories (Ellis Island)
by Cindy Thomson -- The year is 1901, the literary sensation The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is taking New York City by storm, and everyone wonders where the next great book will come from. But to Annie Gallagher, stories are more than entertainment-they're a sweet reminder of her storyteller father. After his death, Annie fled Ireland for the land of dreams, finding work at Hawkins House. But when a fellow boarder with something to hide is accused of misconduct and authorities threaten to shut down the boardinghouse, Annie fears she may lose her new friends, her housekeeping job . . . and her means of funding her dream: a memorial library to honor her father. (Historical Women's Fiction from Tyndale House)
Military Suspense:
Operation Zulu Redemption: Overkill
by Ronie Kendig -- In this FREE TEASER episode, readers meet the Zulu team. In the aftermath of their first highly successful op, the first all-female special ops team, known as Zulu, discovered that innocent civilians-women and children-died at their hands. Zulu was set up to take the devastating fall. Fearing for their lives, the Zulu team vanished. With new identities and spread across the globe, they live in relative but isolated peace-yet still haunted by the past. Five years after that horrific night, they've begun to hope they might be safe and the tragedy forgotten. Until two of them are murdered.  (Military Suspense from Barbour Publishing)
Operation Zulu Redemption: Collateral Damage Part 1
by Ronie Kendig -- Five years ago, six soldiers made American military history as the first all-female Special Forces team, named Zulu. A tragic mistake in Misrata, Libya, leaves twenty-two dead and Zulu fleeing for their lives. Now Jessica Herring and Candice Reyna are dead at the hand of an assassin. Keeley Shay clings to life in a hospital. The last three Zulu members are forced into a fight for answers, for redemption, and for their very lives. They must track down who hit the team and deliver justice to the enemy-before the interference of Sam Caliguari and relentless Army intelligence analyst Lieutenant Francesca Solomon gets them all killed. (Military Suspense from Barbour Publishing)
Operation Zulu Redemption: Out of Nowhere - Part 2
by Ronie Kendig -- Zulu continues the fight! The remnant of the first all-female Special Forces team, Zulu, will do whatever it takes to determine what really happened that night five years ago-when a trap entangled Zulu in the deaths of twenty-two innocent people in Misrata, Libya. With Lieutenant Colonel Trace Weston and Boone Ramage leading the way, Annie Palermo, Téya Reiker, and Nuala King are training harder and stronger, digging deeper for clues, and tracking down leads in the U.S. and Europe to clear their names. Just when things start to turn for Zulu, one of the team is targeted by one of the world's most deadly assassins. Then another vanishes. Zulu wanted the truth, but they didn't know it might cost every one of their lives. (Military Suspense from Barbour Publishing)
Romantic Suspense:

Seagrass Pier (The Hope Beach Series)
by Colleen Coble -- Elin Summerall was one of the lucky ones. Not only did she get a heart transplant, but the donor was a perfect fit. A miraculously perfect fit. But when Elin begins having violent flashbacks-and vivid dreams of being strangled-she realizes that she has been the recipient of more than just a new heart . . . Elin is remembering her donor's murder. Her strange affliction has attracted some unwanted attention: from the press, from the authorities . . . and from the killer himself. Now, living alone with her young daughter and aging mother, Elin is being stalked-by a man she's only met in her nightmares. (Romantic Suspense from HarperCollins Christian Publishing [Thomas Nelson & Zondervan])
Firewall (Deadly Force)
by DiAnn Mills -- After a whirlwind romance, Taryn Young is preparing to board a plane at Houston International Airport, bound for a dream honeymoon, when a bomb decimates the terminal. Injured but still alive, she awakens to discover her husband is missing and they're both considered prime suspects in the attack. Further, the FBI is convinced her husband isn't who he appears to be. Agent Grayson Hall's number-one priority is to catch those responsible for the day's act of terror. All evidence is pointing to Taryn and her new husband. But his instinct tells him her pleas of innocence are genuine. With both their lives and reputations on the line, and the media outcry for justice increasing with each passing minute, Taryn and Grayson have no choice but to trust one another . . . and pray they can uncover the truth before they become two more casualties. (Romantic Suspense from Tyndale House)
Shake Down
by Jill Elizabeth Nelson -- To clear his imprisoned father's name, Shane Gillum must find evidence hidden in a Martha's Vineyard cottage. But he arrives to find the "vacant" property being prepped for sale by real estate agent Janice Swenson. Is she tied to the notorious owners? Or is she in over her head as the "accidents" on the property grow increasingly dangerous? And who is the saboteur targeting-Shane with his search, or Janice with her dark, hidden past? With so much at stake, trusting Janice is a huge risk...but keeping silent about the cottage's mysteries could mire them both in a deadly scheme. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin]).
Historical Speculative Fiction:

Shenandoah Dreams
by Lisa Belcastro -- What if she met the man of her another century? (Speculative Fiction/Historical from OakTara Publishers)