Friday, December 27, 2013

A May Bride

I received a copy of A May Bride by Meg Moseley from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
She thinks she has prepared for her wedding all her life . . . but it seems she may have forgotten the most important part.
Ellie Martin, a country girl in Atlanta, has dreamed of a traditional wedding all her life-a wedding just like the one her younger sister is planning back home. Their single mom will pay for Alexa's wedding, but Ellie started her own wedding fund years ago. She only needs to find a groom.
At a wedding at her church, Ellie bumps into a man who's one of the guests. She's noticed him around the neighborhood, but today he introduces himself as Gray Whitby. They embark on a whirlwind romance, but her mother doesn't trust freewheeling men like Gray.
When Ellie risks her own future for her sister's sake, Gray feels betrayed. Will he always play second fiddle to Ellie's family?
Will Ellie and Gray reconcile their differences so her dream wedding can come true, or will the romance they've begun come crashing down?

This was a good book and very easy read.  Once I started reading it I didn't want to put it down. Ellie is very independent and does everything she can to make it on her own.  When she's caught gardening in a garden that isn't hers she meets the man of her dreams.  The only problem is he sees how her mother controls her even if Ellie's done everything to keep her out of her life.  When she's given the choice to stay on her mother's short string or marry Gray she has a harder time making the decision than she realized she would.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A December Bride

I received a copy of A December Bride by Denise Hunter from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Happily ever after begins today. The honor of your presence is requested at a December wedding.

What started as a whim turned into an accidental - and very public - engagement. Can Layla and Seth keep up the facade in Chapel Springs this holiday season - for the sake of her career . . . and his heart?

Under normal circumstances, Seth Murphy, the best friend of Layla O'Reilly's ex-fiance would be the last person she'd marry. But the news of their upcoming (and phony) nuptials convinces a big client that Layla may be high-society enough to work for his agency, a coup that would put her fledgling home-staging business on the map. Seth has secretly loved Layla for years, even when she was dating his best friend. Maybe she'll never forgive him for the way he hurt her back then, but he has to try. And Layla is willing to keep up their engagement farce until she's landed her client. For Layla, it's the chance to save her career. But for Seth, it's his last chance to win her heart. A year's worth of novellas from twelve inspirational romance authors. Happily ever after guaranteed.

This was a really good book and a quick read.  Layla has grown up being told she wasn't good enough.  After being with Seth for a couple weeks she begins to learn and believe she's worth more than she ever thought before.  Seth opens his big mouth and says he and Layla are engaged and will get married in less than 4 weeks.  What starts out as the worst thing he could have said ends up to be the best thing that ever happened to Layla.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Business with a Heart

I received a copy of Business with a Heart by Crystal Thomas from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Winner of a 2011 eLit Award, "Business with a Heart" is the story of a young woman who, rising in the corporate ranks, treads a winding path of business, personal life, and spirituality, learning that these segments of our lives are never far apart. Her search for a more fulfilled corporate existence is nearly stymied in the cross hairs of a demanding boss, resistant subordinates, and her own unfortunate oversights. While written in novel format, this book is filled with guidance, choices, and ideas to help you create your own style of "business with a heart." Author Crystal Thomas is a renowned speaker, coach, and author in the private club industry. She excelled at a young age as a general manager in the same industry. The following three decades of GM experience educated her on the need for a coaching organization that could support businesses in incorporating into the "heart" aspect - one that mutually benefited upper management, team members, and members/customers alike, while still advancing the bottom line. Hence, she founded Crystal Clear Concepts in 2005. In this book, you will see experiences similar to your own and Crystal's where the challenge of balancing head and heart is not an easy task, yet the results merit it an action worthy of full pursuit.  
I really enjoyed this book.  I like books that are written to teach you but do it through a story.  Crystal does a great job of giving you the basic lesson and then giving examples to drive home the point.  Every business owner and executive should read this book.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Killing Cupid

I received a copy of Killing Cupid by Laura Levine from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Love is in the air as freelance writer Jaine Austen begins a new job at the Dates of Joy matchmaking service--but between juggling her boss's demands, deflecting the advances of an eccentric suitor, and tracking down a calculating killer, she hardly has time to think about romance. . .

When Jaine lands a job writing web copy and brochures for matchmaker Joy Amoroso, she's excited for a chance to help the lovelorn just in time for Valentine's Day--until she realizes what "Dates of Joy" is really all about. Joy is a ruthless taskmaster who screams at her employees for the smallest infractions, pads her website with pictures of professional models posing as clients, and offers up convincing but empty promises of love in exchange for inordinate sums of money. And woe betide anyone who lays a finger on her heavily guarded stash of chocolates.

So it's no surprise when the chiseling cupid turns up dead at a Valentine's Day mixer. Aghast to find herself on the cops' suspect list, Jaine sets out to track down the killer. Who could it be? Joy's harried assistants, whose lives she made a living hell? Her younger lover? The handsome hunk of a client with a secret in his past? Or the furious Beverly Hills widow who forked over the last of her savings for a Prince Charming who never materialized?

Joy left behind a slew of enemies struck by her deviant arrows, so finding the culprit may prove harder than spotting that elusive caramel praline in a box of chocolates--and Jaine will have to flirt with danger to get to the truth...

This was a different book.  Janie has the 'luck' of being hired by Joy to create a brochure for her matchmaking company - Dates of Joy.  Joy ends up being a big fake who takes people's money after promising to set them up with the date of their life.  After a few days of putting up with Joy Janie is set up with Skip, who turns out to be old enough to be her grandfather.  At a Valentine's Day party Joy throws for all her clients Joy is poisoned by her favorite chocolates (that she doesn't share with anyone).  When Janie turns out to be the prime suspect in the murder she decides to find the real killer.  Everyone she talks to has a reason to kill Joy.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Murder on the First Day of Christmas

I received a copy of Murder on the First Day of Christmas by Billie Thomas from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Finding a severed hand at a client’s house might throw lesser decorators off their games. But Chloe Carstairs and her mother, Amanda, won’t let a little thing like murder keep them from decking the halls. With a body under the partridge’s pear tree and a dead Santa in a sleigh, they have to crack the case before the killer strikes again - this time much too close to home.

Filled with laugh-out-loud humor, romance and a delightfully difficult mother-daughter relationship, this new series from Billie Thomas offers a fast-paced caper as these two southern ladies try to keep their very merry Christmas from turning into the Noel from hell.

This was a book that took me a while to get into.  There are a lot of characters and I had a hard time keeping up with who was who.  Amanda and Chloe are interior decorators that are very busy decorating large, over the top houses for Christmas.  The start with Saul's house and continue on to his neighbor Nancy's house.  There has been a long standing fight between the two to have the first Christmas party of the neighborhood.  They both wanted themes that take Amanda and Chloe weeks to finish.  During each of the Christmas parties someone is murdered.  Of course the police start the suspect list with anyone who was invited to both parties.  Since Amanda and Chloe decorated both houses they're top on the list.  They resolve to find out who the real killer is and in the process get themselves into a lot of trouble.  I have to give it to them they connected dots I didn't see coming.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Rosemary and Crime

I received a copy of Rosemary and Crime by Gail Oust from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Piper Prescott, a transplanted Yankee living in the South, has got her sass back.  She might be down, but don’t count her out.  “Change of life?” she asks.  Bring it on.  Recently divorced, Piper decides to pursue a dream she’s secretly harbored: owning her own business, Spice it Up!, a spice shop in her adopted hometown, Brandywine Creek, Georgia.  But Piper’s grand opening goes awry when the local chef who’s agreed to do a cooking demo is found stabbed.  Not only did Piper find the body, she handled the murder weapon and doesn’t have a witness to her alibi, making the case look like a slam dunk to brand new police Chief Wyatt McBride.  Desperate to uncover the truth—and prove her innocence—Piper enlists the help of her outspoken BFF Reba Mae Johnson to help track down the real culprit.  The pair compile a lengthy list of suspects and work to eliminate them using their own creative brand of sleuthing techniques including stakeouts, breaking and entering, and one very unorthodox chocolate pie. When Piper narrowly avoids being a victim of a hit-and-run, she knows she’s getting closer to the truth, but can she catch the killer and clear her name before she becomes the next victim?
This was a very easy read that made it hard for me to put down.  The farther I got into the story the more I was afraid that Dr. Doug the vet was going to be the one who killed Mario.  Piper and her BFF Reba Mae are great at getting themselves into situations that only small town folks could come up with.  Thankfully Piper goes from the most avoided person in town to the most liked.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Murder and Moonshine

I received a copy of Murder and Moonshine by Carol Miller from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
All small towns have secrets—and plenty of them—as every small town waitress knows. Daisy is no different. A young, recently-separated waitress at H&P's Diner in sleepy southwestern Virginia, she hears more than her fair share of neighborhood gossip while serving plates of hash and peach cobbler. But when a reclusive old man, Dickerson, shows up at the diner one day, only to drop dead a few minutes later, Daisy quickly learns that some secrets are more dangerous to keep than others—especially when there’s money and moonshine involved.

Daisy finds herself caught between whiskey and guns; a handsome ATF agent and a moonshine-brewing sweet talker; and a painful past and a dangerous present. Not sure any longer who she can trust, Daisy must turn sleuth while also protecting her sick mother and keeping a handle on Aunt Emily, her goading, trigger-happy landlord. There's trouble brewing in her small town, and before it passes, many secrets will come to light.
This is a good book that kept me guessing from the beginning.  Daisy is a small town girl that can hold her own in any situation.  Her family was done wrong by the ATF 5 years ago but she hasn't forgotten any of it and Ethan Kinney finds this out the hard way.  They work together to get to the bottom of Fred's murder, but not before other friends and family get hurt.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Critical Reaction

I received a copy of Critical Reaction by Todd M. Johnson from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

When a Warning Siren Screams in the Desert Night, the Worst Has Happened

After turning out plutonium for the Cold War, the shuttered Hanford Nuclear Facility's poisoned buildings may be a bigger risk than ever. The men who guard the facility from sabotage or monitor its buildings are told the dangers are under control. But then the worst happens--a thunderous explosion in the dead of night.

Kieran Mullaney survived the blast, but when threats and silence meet his attempts to discover what really happened, he reconnects with an old friend--inexperienced lawyer Emily Hart. Convinced Hanford is hiding something, they also realize their case is sunk without more help.

Emily's estranged father, Ryan, has the courtroom experience they need, but he's grown jaded and weary of the profession. Still, it's a chance to rebuild ties to Emily, and the deeper he digs, the stranger--and more dangerous--the case gets.

I really enjoyed this book.  There were a lot of characters to get to know but that kept things interesting.  There were several times that I can't believe Ryan and Emily didn't give up the case.  I think the more they found out the more they believed in Kieran and the need to get to the bottom of what happened at LB5.  Reading this makes me wonder if there are things like this going on and we don't know about it.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Innocent in Las Vegas

I received a copy of Innocent in Las Vegas by A.R. Winters from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Private investigator by day, blackjack dealer by night, and cupcake-addict extraordinaire, Tiffany Black has just landed her first case. Casino owner Ethan Becker has been murdered, and Tiffany needs to find the real killer.

What should have been a simple matter of talking to a few suspects gets out of hand, and soon Tiffany finds herself fielding violent casino goons, a mysterious new bodyguard and strange masked men. Her poker-playing Nanna and pushy parents want Tiffany to settle down and get a nice husband, but Tiffany just wants to stay alive and solve the case, preferably with a few more cupcakes for good luck...

This was a good book that once I got into was hard to put down.  I was very surprised by the ending and didn't see it coming for sure.  Tiffany got her first case as a PI trying to prove that Ethan Becker's dancer turned millionaire's wife is innocent.  This might sound easy but a smoking gun has been found in her bedroom and everyone know's she married Ethan for his money.  Why wouldn't she kill him?

Monday, November 4, 2013

Until Death

I received a copy of Until Death by Alicia Rasley from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Accident? Suicide? Or Murder?
Searching for the answer may just get her killed.
The last thing Meg O'Brian wants is further contact with her ex-husband, Don, and his young trophy wife. She's ready to move on, to start a new life, maybe with a new man who knows nothing about her past failure at love. But now Don is dead, possibly murdered, putting their 15-year-old son's financial legacy and emotional security at risk for the second time in the year since the divorce.
Meg must investigate Don's tangled business affairs and turn up the heat on his tawdry widow. Unfortunately, the only one who can help her discover the truth is the man who destroyed all her illusions two years ago—her cynical, burnt-out-on-matrimony marriage counselor, Mike Warren, the guy who knows her history all too well and won't hesitate to use it against her.
This was a slow book getting started.  It wasn't as suspenseful as I had expected.  Meg lived a pretty boring life as an accountant who's husband ran off with a 20 something bleach blonde.  Now he's dead and the police are saying it was suicide.  Meg doesn't believe that at all and makes it her quest to find out the truth.  Finding out that her ex-husband didn't leave anything for their son helps to fuel her fire for the truth.  She has only one person she can turn to for help and he happens to be the marriage counselor the she and he ex used for marriage counseling a year before.  He's not her first choice because obviously the counseling didn't help to save the marriage.  Her route for tracking down the killer goes better in her head than it does in real life.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fifteen Minutes

I received a copy of Fifteen Minutes by Karen Kingsbury from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Zack Dylan made a promise to God and his college sweetheart as he left his family’s horse farm in Kentucky to compete on the popular reality television show Fifteen Minutes: If he makes it, the fame won’t change him.

Overnight, Zack is the nation’s most popular contestant, a country singer with the looks and voice of a young Elvis. As his star rises, Zack is asked to compromise and quiet his beliefs, and also some­thing more. Something Zack could never have imagined. Just as America is falling in love with Zack, just as he’s on the verge of winning it all, his choices lead him to the brink of personal disaster.

At the same time, Reese Weatherly, a thera­peutic horse instructor, is no longer sure about her relationship with Zack, or the wedding they had dreamed about. While Zack advances from one round of the competition to the next, an offer comes to Reese—one that will take her to a home halfway around the world.

Then Chandra Olson—reigning diva pop star and one of the Fifteen Minutes judges—intervenes. Chandra has suffered so much public pain and pri­vate agony since her days as a Fifteen Minutes contestant. Now she wants just one thing: meaning.

Can Chandra’s private losses help Zack find his way, or will his fifteen minutes of fame cause him to lose the life he once loved? Fifteen Minutes is a story of character, compromise, and the cost of having it all. A story that raises the question: Who are the real winners?

I really liked this book.  It shows the way we look at celebrities and how hard it must be for them - living everyday in a prison cell that is celebrity.
Zack swears to his family and girlfriend that he won't change if he makes it on Fifteen Minutes.  He keeps telling himself that he hasn't changed.  After about 3 weeks on the show he gets to know Chandra Olson, one of the guest judges on the show.  She's lost her parents and fiance to her fame after she won Fifteen Minutes.  She tries to show Zack how much he's changed and how much he has to lose.  He starts to think about everything that's happened and realizes she's right.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Rosemary Cottage

I received a copy of Rosemary Cottage by Colleen Coble from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Amy came to Rosemary Cottage to grieve, to heal, maybe even find love. But there’s a deadly undertow of secrets around Hope Island….

The charming Rosemary Cottage on the beach offers Amy Lange respite she needs to mourn her brother, Ben. She’s even thinking of moving her midwife practice to the Outer Banks community. It’s always been a refuge for her and her family. She also wants to investigate Ben’s disappearance at sea. Everyone blames a surfing accident, but Amy has reason to wonder.

Coast Guard officer Curtis Ireland has lost a sibling too. His sister, Gina, was run down by a boat, leaving him to raise her infant daughter. If anyone knew who little Raine’s father was, Curtis could lose his beloved niece. Yet he can’t help being drawn to Hope Beach’s new midwife, Amy. He even agrees to help her investigate what happened to both Ben and Gina.

Can two grieving people with secrets find healing on beautiful Hope Island? Or will their quest for truth set them at odds with each other…and with those who will go to any length to keep hidden things hidden?

This is the second book in The Hope Beach Series.  I really like Colleen's writing style.  Her stories are very intriguing and have enough characters involved that I never see the ending coming.  She builds up her characters so well that I feel like I'm friends with them.  Amy and Curtis have so much in common that it gets in the way of the relationship they each want with the other.  Amy's parents sure don't help matters any.  I do admire Amy in the way she does what she knows needs to be done to find out the truth about what happened to her brother.

Friday, October 25, 2013


I received a copy of Jude by Jeff Nesbit from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Jude Asher first called on outside forces to change his destiny as a child. Now a wealthy entrepreneur with his star soaring, he's prepared to make his most daring bet ever to reach the pinnacle of earthly power. Jude's twin brother, Thomas, has chosen a different path as a reporter for The New York Times. As much as he's tried to cut himself off from his brother's trajectory, he finds himself drawn back in ... and troubled by the secret that only he knows.

Surrounded by principalities and powers, each brother must choose their own path—for good or for evil.

This was a very different book than I've ever read before.  Jude and Thomas are twins that are in the foster system until they're 17.  Thanks to Jude they're adopted by a wealthy couple and their lives are forever changed.  They become wealthy beyond all their dreams.  The wealth they inherit is never enough for Jude and he goes on to become the wealthiest man alive.  Thomas on the other had still works and doesn't have any desire to have more money.  Yes he enjoys what he has and can do with the money but he doesn't live for it like Jude.  Money isn't the only thing Jude can control.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Promise

I received a copy of the Promise by Gary Smalley and Dan Walsh from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

For the last five months, Tom Anderson has been without a job, a fact he's been hiding from his wife Jean--and everyone else. He leaves each morning, pretending nothing has changed, and spends his disheartening day rotating through two coffee shops and the library, using their wi-fi to search for a job on the internet. The stress of keeping this secret is beginning to put serious strain on his marriage and it looks like the legacy that began with his father is still at work, slowly destroying the bond between Tom and Jean. Can their mutual trust--and love--be restored?

This is the second book in the Restoration Series by Gary Smalley and Dan Walsh.  Tom Anderson has lost his way and doesn’t want anyone to find out about his mistakes. He has been living a lie for several months and is terrified of the impact his deception will have not just on his wife, Jean, but also on his father, Jim. Meanwhile, Jean struggles to live with a husband who has changed into a cold and angry man. When the secrets eventually come tumbling out, Tom fears the worst. However, with the help of his great-uncle Henry, Tom learns to accept the grace of God and to focus on the future. Walsh’s and Smalley’s ministerial backgrounds take The Promise from merely a family-based novel to an insightful drama of faith about the challenges, and the different ways people handle them, in today’s marriages.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Critical Pursuit

I received a copy of Critical Pursuit by Janice Cantore from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Officer Brinna Caruso has built a reputation at the precinct as the cop to call when a child goes missing. For Brinna, it’s personal because she was once one of them. Brinna and her K-9 search and rescue dog, Hero, will stop at nothing to find a missing child, no matter the stakes.

Detective Jack O’Reilly isn’t ready to return to his homicide duties, after losing his wife to a drunk driver. He’s on the downside of his career, and bent on revenge, when he’s assigned as Brinna’s partner. While on patrol, Jack struggles between his quest for personal justice and his responsibility to those around him, especially his partner.

Skeptical of Jack’s motives, Brinna isn’t sure she can rely on her new partner, whose reckless abandon endangers the safety of those around him. But when a man surfaces with an MO similar to the criminal who abducted Brinna twenty years earlier, Brinna and Jack must cast aside previous judgments and combine efforts to catch the kidnapper, and finally allow Brinna the peace stolen from her as a child.

Jack and Brinna don't know it in the beginning but they both need each other.  They're both wrestling with issues in their past that they blame God for.  Because of these issues they've both turned their back on God and have been struggling ever since.  Getting involved in a missing child case is the best thing that happens to both of them.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


I received a copy of Derailed by Neta Jackson and Dave Jackson from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
After marrying Estelle, the love of his life, ex-cop Harry Bentley’s apartment feels too cramped, especially since he’s now raising his grandson. God seems to provide the perfect solution—a two-flat that would also provide an apartment for his elderly mother. But when plans go awry, Harry has to go back to work as a detective, receiving a bizarre undercover assignment that sends him across the country by train and raises suspicions about his own son’s involvement in a major drug cartel.
It feels like God keeps switching signals—left, right, stop, go? Each time Harry thinks he’s following God’s leading, his plans get derailed and he’s left frustrated, wondering why God isn’t helping out.
Perhaps the only thing going right is he and Estelle are getting to know their new neighbors . . . but discover a block so disconnected one woman almost died unnoticed. Determined to make a difference, Harry and Estelle begin reaching out to their neighbors one plate of cinnamon rolls at a time.
This is the second book in the Windy City Neighbors series. It focuses on the Bentley family as they move onto Beecham Street.  Harry's still new to the following God thing and struggles with all the changes that happen to his perfectly planned life.  He learns looking back on everything that God had a plan and it was a better plan than Harry saw coming.  He's given a second chance to be a father and husband and he takes the chance to live up to the man God wants him to be.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The 13: Stand

I received a copy of The 13: Stand by Robbie Cheuvront, Erik Reed and Shawn Allen from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
The battle for America continues. . .but this time it’s from within. Having given up his soul’s fight against God and surrendered his life to Him, CIA operative Jon Keene works with the Prophet to heal the wounds of a broken America. But a new plot is brewing inside the borders of The 13 that could cripple the already vulnerable nation and bring the US to the brink of civil war. Then on the eve of what seems to be the end of America, a crisis occurs that rocks the entire world to its foundations.
This is the follow up book to The 13: Fall.  I know these are fictional books but with the way the things are going with our government right now they don't see so far fetched.  I think everyone should read the books and think about where our country is headed.  I know we aren't in Jon Keene's position but we are the voters who put our leaders where they are now.  The book is suspenseful and very hard to put down.

Monday, October 7, 2013


I received a copy of Trapped by Irene Hannon from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
When librarian Laura Griffith's sixteen-year-old sister disappears on a frigid February day, leaving only a brief note behind, Laura resolves to do whatever it takes to track down the runaway teen. That includes recruiting ATF agent turned PI James "Dev" Devlin to help. But the deeper he digs, the more he begins to suspect that something sinister is at work in the girl's disappearance. And the closer he gets to uncovering the truth, the clearer it becomes that the situation isn't just dangerous--it's deadly.
I really like this book.  It was easy to get into and kept me wondering what was going to happen next.  It was very unpredictable which is something I like in a book.  The relationship between the partners at Phoenix Inc. is great to see especially when it's three men.  They all can read each other like no one else and it's a great asset to the company and it's clients.  Darcy and Laura end up really benefiting from the men's bond with each other.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Noticer Returns

I received a copy of The Noticer Returns by Andy Andrews from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Perspective is a powerful thing.Andy Andrews has spent the past five years doing a double take at every white-haired old man he sees, hoping to have just one more conversation with the person to whom he owes his life.Through a chance encounter at a local bookstore, Andy is reunited with the man who changed everything for him – Jones, also known as “The Noticer.”As the story unfolds, Jones uses his unique talent of noticing little things that make a big difference. And these “little things” grant the people of Fairhope, Alabama, a life-changing gift - perspective. Along the way, families will be united, financial opportunities will be created, and readers will be left with powerfully simple solutions to the everyday problems we all face.Through the lens of a parenting class at the Grand Hotel in Point Clear, Alabama, Jones guides a seemingly random group to ask specific questions inspired by his curious advice that “You can’t believe everything you think.” Those questions lead to answers for which people have been searching for centuries:How do we begin to change the culture in which we live?What is the key to creating a life of success and value?  What if what we think is the end…is only the beginning?What starts as a story of one person's everyday reality unfolds into the extraordinary principles available to anyone looking to create the life for which they were intended.
I've loved all of Andy Andrews books.  This one was no exception.  I just wish that I could meet someone like Jones that could help me to find the proper perspective.  This book does help me to try to look at things differently in my life.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Welcome to Last Chance

I received a copy of Welcome to Last Chance by from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Lainie Davis has never had anyone to count on but herself. Will that change when she finds herself stranded in Last Chance, New Mexico?
The red warning light on her car dashboard drove Lainie Davis to seek help in the tiny town of Last Chance, New Mexico. But as she encounters the people who make Last Chance their home, it's her heart that is flashing bright red warning lights. These people are entirely too nice, too accommodating, and too interested in her personal life for Lainie's comfort--especially since she's on the run and hoping to slip away unnoticed.
Yet in spite of herself, Lainie finds that she is increasingly drawn in to the dramas of small town life. An old church lady who always has room for a stranger. A handsome bartender with a secret life. A single mom running her diner and worrying over her teenage son. Could Lainie actually make a life in this little hick town? Or will the past catch up to her even here in the middle of nowhere?

Lainie has been on her own since she was 14 and she seems to have done a fair job so far.  What she doesn't know she's missing welcomes her in Last Chance.  She doesn't know how to ask for help or rely on anyone else.  The longer she stays in Last Chance the more love she feels and the more she likes it.  Each time she has the chance to get really close to anyone she turns tail and runs.  I don't think she realizes this until Steven comes home and Lainie sees herself in him.  Lainie has several chances to see how everyone in town takes care of everyone else no matter if they're related or not.  She finds it hard to leave when she knows Nick is after her.  I rally liked this book because it showed how when you let go you can grow with the help of everyone around you.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Rich in Love

I received a copy of Rich in Love by Lindi Peterson from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Three magnificent mansions share a cul-de-sac on a beautiful Florida bay. But for three unforgettable couples, the exclusive neighborhood opens their hearts to the humble richness of hope, love, and faith.
When Ann Thomas is summoned to Florida for the reading of the will for the father she never knew, her life is forever changed. She learns she has a half-sister, she has the chance to inherit millions, and her name is really Angelina. Brett Hamilton, CPA, is assigned to help Ann spend a lot of money in a short period of time. As soon as his ‘assignment’ with her is over, he’s headed to Peru to be a missionary, something he’s felt called to do his whole life. Ann still lives with the pain of having a mother who chose world missions over her.  Can Ann risk giving her love to someone who might give it back, or should she ignore her growing feelings towards Brett to keep her heart safe?
This book frustrated me at first.  Ann went to the reading of her father's will and found out that she has a half-sister.  She didn't ask any questions that I sure would have.  Her mother wouldn't talk about her father ever while she was growing up.  Why?  She doesn't find out until after her 30th birthday.  That wouldn't have worked for me.  I'd been asking tons of questions and driving her crazy until I found out something.  Ann does finally start asking questions and getting the answers she needs.  She also gets the opportunity to do something that any woman would love - the chance to spend 1 million dollars on herself.  I love that Ann finally listens to the voice of God.  Then she can finally follow her heart.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Blood And Bone

I received a copy of Blood And Bone by Don Hoesel from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
A decade after Serpent of Moses, Jack is married to Espy and back teaching at Evanston University. They have two sons, one of whom has cystic fibrosis. Despite this challenge, life is comfortable. But that all changes when the CIA, while combing through the papers of the late Gordon Reese, uncovers the secret of Elisha's bones. Jack's world is then turned upside down by an urgent call from his old friend Duckey, who's been alerted to the CIA's probing by one of his former contacts. Jack and his family escape from their home just ahead of the CIA, and he decides to do what he should have done long ago: recover the bones and destroy them. Except the bones aren't where he left them.
So now Jack is in a race, for the last time, to find the bones. And he's not the only one. Pitted against both the CIA and an organization that will kill to protect their secrets, Jack and Espy follow hard-to-decipher clues across the globe before arriving in the catacombs of Paris for a final showdown that will either save their family--or tear apart everything they hold dear forever.
This is the 3rd book in the Jack Hawthorne Adventure series.  This is a really good series that I highly recommend.  Jack and Espy reminded me of Indiana Jones because they kept getting themselves into trouble but always finding a way to keep ahead of the 'bad guys'.   I really liked how Jack and Espy worked together.  It just goes to show that we need each other in more ways that we realize.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Serpent of Moses

Serpent of Moses by Don Hoesel is the 2nd book in the Jack Hawthorne Adventure series.
Moses built and lifted up the brass serpent, healing the afflicted Israelites of snakebites.
King Hezekiah called the serpent Nehushtan. Long thought destroyed, it's been buried for millennia, secreted under the region's shifting sands.
Now the Israeli government wants it back and they will stop at nothing to get their hands on it. Yet they're not the only ones who covet the Nehushtan.
Archaeologist Jack Hawthorne travels to Libya intent on recovering the sacred object, but one does not cross the Mossad and expect to walk away without a fight. Jack and his friends must find the priceless "snake of brass upon a pole" before those who are also hunting it find them...and silence them forever.

Just three years after the recovery of Elisha's bones, Dr. Jack Hawthorne has given up teaching and resumed the practice of archaeology, although his frequent absences have put a strain on his relationship with Esperanza. Things heat up when Esperanza receives a call from an antiquities dealer with troubling news about Jack, and her fears are confirmed. Jack has gone to Libya in search of another biblical artifact: the Nehushtan, the serpent staff of Moses.

After Jack arrives in Libya, he soon discovers he isn't the only one searching for the Nehushtan. Later, in attempting to steal it, he finds himself in the hands of a man who just might be his match. Jack and his friends must stay one step ahead of the Libyan government, an overambitious member of the Vatican hierarchy, and an Egyptian assassin--if they stand any chance of staying alive long enough to recover the staff.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Elisha's Bones

Elisha's Bones by Don Hoesel is the first book in the Jack Hawthorne Adventure series.
Every year, professor of antiquities Jack Hawthorne looks forward to the winter break as a time to hide away from his responsibilities. Even if just for a week or two. But this year, his plans are derailed when he's offered almost a blank check from a man chasing a rumor. Billionaire Gordon Reese thinks he knows where the bones of the prophet Elisha are--bones that in the Old Testament brought the dead back to life. A born skeptic, Jack doesn't think much of the assignment but he could use the money, so he takes the first step on a chase for the legendary bones that will take him to the very ends of the earth. But he's not alone. Joined with a fiery colleague, Esperanza Habilla, they soon discover clues to a shadowy organization whose long-held secrets have been protected . . . at all costs. As their lives are threatened again and again, the real race is to uncover the truth before those chasing them hunt them down.
I've found a new series and I can't wait to read the next book.
The bones of the prophet once raised the dead to life... but they vanished from history in a whisper. Now Jack Hawthorne, part-time skeptic and full-time professor of archaeology, is enlisted to sift them from the sands of time. Bankrolled by a dying man of unlimited means, Hawthorne's hunt spans the globe and leads him into a deadly conspiracy older than the church itself. And he soon discovers those sworn to keep the secret of the bones will do anything to protect them.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Fear Has A Name

I received a copy of Fear Has A Name by David C Cook from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
How Far Would He Go To Keep Them Safe?
It was more than a break-in. More than a stalking. It was personal. When a stalker targets his family, journalist Jack Crittendon must uncover who the person is and what his motives are—if he is to protect the ones he loves. It will lead Crittendon into a world of behind-closed-door secrets and faith gone awry, as does his investigation of a missing pastor, whose apparent suicide is more than it appears. Each move Crittendon makes weaves him tighter and tighter into a web of lies, greed, hypocrisy, sin, and danger. He believed he’d never give in to fear. But that was before. And holding on to his faith won’t be easy. Nor will keeping his family safe, and ending the terror. Because that might require him to step over lines he never dared to cross.
This was a different kind of book than I normally read.  It had a couple story lines going at the same time and it took me a while to figure out how they were related.  Jack was mixed in the middle of both stories.  He had to deal with his own family's worst nightmare while also figuring out what happened to Evan, a pastor gone missing.  In the end Jack and Evan both realize that they aren't in control of their lives but God is if they'll just believe.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Home Run

I received a copy of Home Run by Travis Thrasher from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Baseball star Cory Brand knows how to win. But off the field, he’s spiraling out of control. Haunted by old wounds and regrets, his future seems as hopeless as his past. Until one moment—one mistake—changes everything. To save his career, Cory must go back to the town where it all began. His plan is simple: coach the local Little League baseball team, complete a recovery program, and get out as fast as possible. Instead, he runs headfirst into memories he can’t escape ... and the love he left behind. Faced with a second chance he never expected, Cory embarks on a journey of faith, transformation and redemption. And along the way, he discovers a powerful truth: No one is beyond the healing of God.
This was a really good book.  I would have liked to had to know more of what happens with Cory and his family at the end.  It kind of left things up in the air.  Cory seemed to me to be the typical great athlete - arrogant and self centered.  It's nice to know there are people out there like J. T. that have the heart for broken people and can get through to them.  If it wasn't for J. T.'s friendship I don't think Cory would have come around.

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Family That Stays Together

I received a copy of The Family That Stays Together by Deborah Plummer Bussey from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
When a television celebrity becomes suspect in the murder of her ex-fiance, sister sleuths Kathy and Tina rally to support their family friend.  Soon they end up in trouble.  Will family ties be strong enough to protect a suspected murderer?
This book wasn't what I was expecting at all.  At time I really had to concentrate to keep up with the story and where it was taking me.  I will admit the ending was a total surprise and I actually had to read the last few pages twice to make sure I read what I thought I had.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Dangerous Depths

Dangerous Depths by Colleen Coble
Leia ditched a promising medical career to settle on a secluded island of Hawaii. She ditched Bane, too, and he's come to the island to find out why. He's also in search of a fortune rumored to lie offshore. But an act of sabotage that pushes Bane closer to Leia plunges them both into a tangle of emotion--just as a series of threatening events grip the island.
Theft, a friend's death, a bizarre intruder, hints of a second treasure...and even murder--how can they sort it all out when everyone on the island has something to hide?
This is the last book in the Aloha Reef Series.  This was another book that I had a hard time figuring out who the bad guy was before it was reveled.  In my opinion it seemed to have left a lot unsaid.  I wonder if she had thought about doing a follow up book on everyone in the series.  

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Black Sands

Black Sands book 2 in the Aloha Reef Series by Colleen Coble.
As a volcano on Hawaii begins to rumble, sudden, inexplicable tragedies bring an unlikely couple together.

Annie Tagama has always been content to bask in the glow of her brother and sister and to quietly assist her father in his volcano research. Annie has a secret crush on Mano Ohana, though he's never noticed her. Her devotion turns to disdain after a mistake by Mano kills her beloved brother.

But when her younger sister goes missing, she's forced to turn to her former love, now her sworn enemy, for help.

Mano Ohana made a fateful mistake that cold night. A mistake that probably cost the life of his best friend, Tomi Tagama. But the night before he is to bring Tomi's belongings to his family, Mano discovers his friend is still alive--but he's in serious danger. Worse, the danger threatens to spill over to the rest of the Tagama family-and the entire Hawaiian islands.

This is a great book about forgiveness and accepting the truth.  I had a hard time guessing who was behind the disappearance of Leilani and was completely surprised when it was revealed.  Mano had a hard time admitting to his weakness but like all of us we have weaknesses that we need to learn to live with.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

God's Gift

God's Gift by Dee Henderson.
Missionary work in Africa was the most difficult and faith-affirming labor James Graham had ever faced, and warm, homey presents from a Good Samaritan back home gave him hope to carry on. But an injury halted his work and sent him home to Chicago. There, James met Rachel Ashcroft, who'd sent those thoughtful gifts, and he was intrigued by the sadness that shadowed her features. Bringing the light back into Rachel's face gave him new purpose, but was this respite only temporary? Or could James release his past and open his heart to receive Rachel's gift of love?

I've been looking for new authors and I found Dee Henderson.  I look forward to reading more of her books.  Reading this book gives me a new perspective on people who live life with constant pain.  I don't know how I would do if I was in that position and I really hope I don't have to find out.  Having the great friends that James and Rachel have are a great blessing to them both.  They both have a problem with limitations, but with the help of great friends will learn to accept what they can and can't do each day.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Distant Echoes

I just finished reading Distant Echoes Aloha Reef Series, Book 1 by Colleen Coble.
In the land of aloha and paradise, dark secrets lurk just below the surface.
When a tragic accident downs a tourist boat off the coast of Hawaii, dolphin researcher Kaia Oana is one of the first in the water, risking her own life to try and save others. She’s enlisted to help the U.S. Navy find out what really happened – utilizing her specially trained dolphins to help
Kaia and Lieutenant Commander Jesse Matthews team up in the investigation – but as they edge closer to the truth about the incident, their own lives are threatened. Will a spirit of grace and forgiveness prevail or will it be overshadowed by the distant echoes of past pain and the imminent danger from a cold-blooded killer?
Set on the breathtaking Hawaiian island of Kauai, this novel provides an intoxicating mix of romance and suspense with the rhythms of island life.
I got hooked on this book very easily.  The use of some of the Hawaiian language did throw me a little until I realized there was a glossary of Hawaiian terms in the back of the book that also helped with how to pronounce them.  The characters were very well developed and easy to relate to.  I loved Nani the dolphin that Kaia had raised and the thought of being able to communicate with her.  There were several twists that I didn't see coming which is always nice.  I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Winter Turns to Spring

This book focuses on Brad and Ashley Hanes, young newlyweds who are facing their first season of winter. Opposite work schedules, differing views on finances and when to start a family, and Brad’s selfish and immature habits are forcing the young couple apart, causing them to question why they ever got married in the first place. It will take a whole lot of help—mostly from their nosy but well-meaning neighbors—for Ashley and Brad to pull their marriage out of the winter blues and into a hopeful spring. As usual, the residents of Deepwater Cove will pop in and out of the story to delight readers. They’ll encounter Cody and see his continued independence and growing friendship with Jennifer; Patsy and Pete’s escalating romance; and Charlie, a recent widower who is taking on the challenges and excitement of his golden years with zeal.
I really enjoyed this series.  Getting to know each couple was like getting to know old friends again.  Having everyone work together when times get bad and always looking out for the well being of your neighbors and friends is so nice.  I really would like to see every neighborhood be like this again.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Falling for You Again

Charlie and Esther Moore have been married nearly fifty years when the contented life they’ve built together begins to crumble. Esther has been forgetful recently, but it’s rarely a problem until the day she puts her car in drive instead of reverse, flying off the end of the carport and into the backyard. Esther’s accident and declining health shatter their reverie, and the couple must come to terms with all the paths their lives have not taken if they ever hope to pull their marriage out of winter. As always, the quirky characters of Deepwater Cove will pop in and out of the story and delight readers.
I've really been enjoying this series of books.  Each on focuses on a different couple and their marriage problems, but shows how everyone around can help you (whether you want them to or not).  In each book the couples have had problems that with some work they've been able to overcome.  This book ends differently but still shows us that life still goes on.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Summer Breeze

In book two of this fiction series based on the best-selling non-fiction book The Four Seasons of Marriage, readers meet the blended family of Derek and Kim Finley. Kim has a set of twins—one boy and one girl—from her first marriage; Luke has recently been diagnosed with diabetes, and Lydia is acting out as a result of the attention now being showered on Luke. To complicate matters, Derek’s overbearing mother comes to live with them. With all that’s going on in their lives, Kim and Derek’s communication begins to break down and their marriage slowly moves into winter. Although the second book will focus on Kim and Derek, readers will also encounter all their favorite characters—Patsy Pringle, Pete Roberts, Steve and Brenda, Esther and Charlie—as well as some new ones, like the proprietor of the new sandwich shop that’s moved in next to Patsy’s beauty parlor.
I can totally relate with Kim in the mother-in-law department.  Being married to an only son can really make marriage life hard when the mother doesn't know how to be accepting.  I really like that everyone learns how to 'fish' and learns so much about each other while also learning to be accepting of their differences.  This is a great lesson to take from the story.  There is also the element of you don't know what you have until you've lost it that the whole community learns the hard way.

Friday, June 21, 2013

It Happens Every Spring

Meet the characters that live, work, dream, and love in the community of Deepwater Cove. Bestselling authors Gary Chapman and Catherine Palmer team up to show how four married couples, all in different stages in life, experience the joys and hardships of marriage as examined in Gary Chapman’s The Four Seasons of Marriage. In book one, Steve and Brenda face a common problem among middle-age couples: empty nest syndrome. Steve works too much, and with their two children out of the house, Brenda feels lonely and unfulfilled. In order to save their marriage, the two must learn to reconnect. Readers are also introduced to many charming characters, like Cody, the mentally challenged homeless man that shows up on Steve and Brenda’s porch; Pete, who owns the Rods ‘N’ Ends tackle shop; and Patsy Pringle, who owns the Just As I Am beauty parlor, where much of the action takes place. The series is based on the marriage principles found in Gary Chapman’s nonfiction book The Four Seasons of Marriage.
I've read several of Gary Chapman's books and enjoyed them all.  This series is no exception.  The characters are easy to get to know and very easy to relate to.  This book focuses on Steve and Brenda but everyone in the town plays a part in helping to heal the couples marriage.  I like the small town that they live in and how everyone takes care of each other.  Many of the neighbors seem overly nosy but who doesn't have a family member or neighbor that isn't?

Thursday, June 13, 2013


I received a copy of Avenged by Janice Cantore from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
When Officer Carly Edwards finds three young gangbangers shot execution style, she and her husband, Sergeant Nick Anderson, head of the gang unit, fear Las Playas may be on the verge of a gang war. The Las Playas PD is put on high alert as tensions escalate between rival gangs, especially after Carly confiscates weapons from a gang leader and learns they were stolen from a military base along with explosive devices.
But something isn’t adding up, and Carly suspects there might be more going on. As she prepares to testify at a major trial, Carly’s reputation is shredded by a reporter apparently trying to discredit her professionally. Facing pressure on all fronts, Carly must rely on faith and trust God in a deeper way during one of the biggest struggles of her career.
This book had a lot of police lingo that kind of made it hard for me to follow.  I did enjoy the book overall and liked that I couldn't guess the ending like I thought I could part way through the book.  Reading this gave me a new perspective into the lives of couples who both work in the police force.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Dance

I received a copy of The Dance by Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Combining the literary talents of bestselling author Dan Walsh and the relationship expertise of bestselling author Gary Smalley, The Dance is the first novel in The Restoration Series.Readers will get caught up in these flawed but sincere members of the Anderson family as they rediscover genuine love and start a transformation that ultimately affects all of them. Based on the principles behind Smalley’s bestselling The DNA of Relationships, Walsh expertly weaves proven relationship advice to restore a marriage into this powerful novel.
This is a fictional story but has the lessons of a non fiction marriage book.  I've read some of Walsh's and Smalley's books and really like their fictional work the best.  This is the first book in a series about the Anderson family.  I'm looking forward to the next book.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Darkness Before Dawn

I received a copy of Darkness Before Dawn by Ace Collins from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
On the same night she discovers she is pregnant, twenty-eight-year-old nurse Meg Richards’ husband is killed in an auto accident caused by a drunken teen. James Thomas, the teen, comes from one of the most influential families in the community. He’s a star athlete and glamour boy at the local high school. Angered by her senseless loss, Meg blames God for what has happened and considers a decision that could change her life even further—until the D.A. intervenes.

The results of the brutal trial enrage Meg, leading her down a frightening path of retribution. When the opportunity for revenge comes unexpectedly, will Meg follow through? Or will the remnants of her faith lead her in a different direction?

This is a really dark book.  I can totally understand why.  I'm not sure how I would've reacted if I was put in Meg's place.  I do like to think I wouldn't have let the hate consume me like it did her.  In the beginning I was hating Jim as much as Meg, but the more she took her revenge the more I began to feel sorry for him and hate how Meg was acting.  I really like how the book ended I just wish it would have followed Meg and Jim a little longer to see how they impact drinking and driving with the teens in their area.  I really think Collins was clever with the name of the book.  

Monday, May 13, 2013


I received a copy of Grounded by Neta Jackson and Dave Jackson from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Grace’s fiance, bothered by her outspoken stance on purity and her near constant travel, has broken off their relationship. Exhausted and unwilling to continue her current tour, she books a flight home. Traumatic events result in a paralyzing fear of flying. Stuck at home due to a major snowstorm, Grace begins, for the first time, to connect with the residents of Beecham Street. Will she recover her faith and overcome her fears, or will she give up her career? Grounded in Chicago is an uplifting, contemporary tale in an urban setting featuring characters courageously wrestling with the real spiritual and practical issues of average people.
I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to the next one in the series.  All the characters were very easy to relate to and were developed very well by the authors.  I loved how Grace learned to lean on God through out the book.  She learned lessons that I think we all have to learn at some point to be able to live a full life.  I really hope that Grace makes the right decision when it comes to her future.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Pastors' Wives

I received a copy of Pastors' Wives by Lisa Takeuchi Cullen from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Pastors’ Wives follows three women whose lives converge and intertwine at a Southern evangelical megachurch. Ruthie follows her Wall Street husband from New York to Magnolia, a suburb of Atlanta, when he hears a calling to serve at a megachurch called Greenleaf. Reeling from the death of her mother, Ruthie suffers a crisis of faith—in God, in her marriage, and in herself. Candace is Greenleaf’s “First Lady,” a force of nature who’ll stop at nothing to protect her church and her husband. Ginger, married to Candace’s son, struggles to play dutiful wife and mother while burying her calamitous past. All their lives collide during a fateful event that threatens the survival of all that is precious to them, each will ask herself: what is the price of loving a man of God?  Inspired by Cullen’s reporting for Timemagazine, Pastors’ Wives is a passionate portrayal of the private lives of pastors’ wives, caught between the consuming demands of faith, marriage, duty, and love.
The book was a little slow starting for me, but as we got into each of the lives of the women the story really took off.  Candace is by far the strongest character in the book but also the most feared and admired.  All the women live with a fear of their true self being found out.  In the end once everything's out in the open is when they all find true happiness.  

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


I received a copy of Talon by Ronie Kendig from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Air Force veteran Aspen Courtland wants her brother back—dead or alive. Instead she adopts his combat tracking team dog, Talon. But after the attack that separated dog and handler, Talon is afraid of his own shadow. Military Intelligence Operative Dane Markoski has spent his life running from the truth. Now it’s the only thing that can save him—and rescue Austin Courtland—if he dares to face the past. Dane and Aspen need each other to untangle the web of lies. . .and they both need Talon. But can Talon overcome his fear—or will he put everyone in danger?
This is the second book in the A Breed Apart series by Kendig.  I read and enjoyed the first book in the series and this one was just as good.  Both books have a glossary of terms/acronyms that are a little daunting.  I'm not familiar with military terms and did have to refer to the glossary.  Don't let the military terms deter you from reading these books.  Kendig does a great job of building the characters and putting in twists that you don't see coming.  

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The House That Love Built

I received a copy of The House That Love Built by Beth Wiseman from Booksneeze in exchange for an honest review.
Brooke has only loved one man, her late husband. Owen’s rebuilding after a painful divorce. Can a mysterious house bring them together for a second chance at love?
In the charming town of Smithville, Texas, Brooke Holloway is raising two young children on her own, supporting them by running the family hardware store. The last thing on her mind is falling in love. But she’s intrigued when a stranger moves to town and buys the old Hadley mansion. She’s always heard that house holds a secret—maybe even a treasure—and she can’t wait to see inside. When she meets the new owner and they spend time together, she can’t deny the attraction. Could God be giving her another chance at happiness? Or is she betraying her late husband’s memory by even thinking that way?
Owen Saunders bought the Hadley place to spite his cheating ex-wife. She’d always wanted to restore an old house in Smithville. Now he’s going to do it without her. But if anything needs restoration, it is Owen’s heart. Then he meets Brooke and her kids and finds himself tempted by love. Can he bring himself to trust a woman again?
Throw an eccentric uncle into the mix, along with the town’s teenage troublemaker, and even a finicky cat—and one thing becomes clear: God is bringing them all together for a reason.
This is the first book I've read of Beth Wiseman's.   I really enjoyed all the characters she brings together in the book.  She does a wonderful job of showing how hard it is to forgive but also how much you’re life benefits from it.  Learning to move forward with your life is never an easy thing and with each other to lean on everyone was able to find out how easy it is to be ‘family’.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Intentional Parenting

I received a copy of Intentional Parenting by Sissy Goff, David Thomas and Melissa Trevathan from Booksneeze in exchange for an honest review.

This is about you, not just your child.
Regardless of age, parenting requires a certain amount of uncertainty. But you can be certain that your children look to you to help them discover who they are. And you can only offer that to the degree that YOU know who you are.
Over the years, Sissy Goff, David Thomas, and Melissa Trevathan have helped countless families through their ministry known as Daystar Counseling in Nashville, TN. Due to the unique setup of Daystar, each is frequently counseling not only the child but the parent as well. Having both perspectives provides an opportunity to speak into some of the most common struggles that parents face in today's fast-paced society.
Intentional Parenting is built around 12 chapters that each dispel some of the most common parenting myths and reminds all parents of truths that can empower them to be not only the parents that their children need but that God has called them to be.
The book helps you discover first who you are and then takes that healthy person into a discovery of being more intentional, playful, consistent, merciful, and connected to your children.
Understanding your child. Understanding you.
This book covers topics for all ages of children and has great examples for each.  I haven't read a book that I can apply concepts immediately like this in a while.  If you have doubts as a parent this book is for you.  If you've reached a point that you've given up this book is for you.  Really this book is great for all parents no matter how old you or your children are.

Thursday, March 28, 2013


I received a copy of Razed by Paula Wiseman from NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.
Bestselling Christian author Paula Wiseman presents "Razed," book one in her new Christian Fiction series... Doug Bolling lost his wife of twenty years just as their stormy marriage was beginning to thrive, and he bitterly blames God. He tries to reconnect with his son, but it seems Mark is only interested if the relationship comes wrapped in religion. Mark claims he's just following God when he moves his family, including Doug's grandsons, further away, first to pastor, then to attend seminary. With frustrated resignation, Doug turns his attention to building a new life and a new home for himself and interior designer, Cassandra Grayson. The conflict erupts as Mark is preparing to leave for the mission field in Kenya. He delivers an ultimatum, cutting off all contact between his kids and their grandfather. God may have ripped away his wife and his son, but Doug draws the line at his grandchildren. Mark's attempt to force him to choose between the woman he loves and the grandkids he adores, drives Doug to one fateful desperate act, even if it means destroying his relationship with his son.
This was a really good book.  I just hate how it leaves you hanging.  I could really relate to both Doug and Mark throughout the book.  We all have family that we have trouble relating or getting along with.  Doug and Mark have a much harder time communicating than I've ever had with anyone.  Reading this does put many of the struggles I've had with others into perspective and makes me glad I've never let things get as bad as Doug and Mark have.  I'm really looking forward to the next book in the series.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Heart Like Mine

I received a copy of Heart Like Mine by Amy Hatvany from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
When a young mother dies under mysterious circumstances, those she leaves behind begin looking for answers in the past—and find a long-buried secret they could have never imagined.

Thirty-six-year-old Grace McAllister never longed for children. But when she meets Victor Hansen, a handsome, charismatic divorced restaurateur who is father to Max and Ava, Grace decides that, for the right man, she could learn to be an excellent part-time stepmom. After all, the kids live with their mother, Kelli. How hard could it be?
At thirteen, Ava Hansen is mature beyond her years. Since her parents’ divorce, she has been the one taking care of her emotionally unstable mother and her little brother—she pays the bills, does the laundry, and never complains because she loves her mama more than anyone. And while her father’s new girlfriend is nice enough, Ava still holds out hope that her parents will get back together and that they’ll be a family again.
But only days after Victor and Grace get engaged, Kelli dies suddenly under mysterious circumstances—and soon, Grace and Ava discover there was much more to Kelli’s life than either ever knew.
Narrated by Grace and Ava in the present with flashbacks into Kelli’s troubled past, Heart Like Mineis a poignant and hopeful portrait about womanhood, love, and the challenges of family life.
This is a different book than I read before.  The story is told from 3 different points of view.  Grace, Ava and Kelli all give their perspective on things.  This sometimes made it hard for me to keep up with the story.  Grace and Ava each were basically just giving their side of the story and letting us know how they felt.  But with Kelli's part sometimes aligned with the others and went back to past.  It did help to understand why things happened it just was difficult to keep up at times.  I did like how the book ended with everyone trying to be a family despite everything that had happened.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Nine Minutes Past Midnight

I received a copy of Nine Minutes Past Midnight by Ernest F. Crocker from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Dr. Ern Crocker, called out to a medical emergency, became aware that God was working alongside him. In Nine Minutes Past Midnight, we hear this amazing life-changing story, which led Dr. Crocker to compare notes with many other doctors from around the world, about their experiences with God in medical emergencies and situations. Together, Dr. Crocker's story, and the testimonies of other medical professionals, including US doctors, create this inspirational account of how God interacts and intervenes in the world of medicine today. Our hope lies with God, not our circumstances! Sift through the stories of real-life doctors and medical professionals who have experienced the work of God first-hand, in both quiet, clear ways, as well as in dramatic fashion. Crocker has captured a powerful record of how a personal God interacts and intervenes in the lives of doctors, their patients, families and friends, to produce radical life change.

This was an interesting read.  Not only am I not familiar with Australia, I'm not familiar with medical terms.  Ern did a good job of explaining medical terms in layman's terms so that I could get the idea of what was wrong with the person.  I think it's interesting the more Ern searched for doctors that have experienced miracles the more friends he made and more opportunities came his way.