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Monday, June 26, 2017

Trusting Grace

"Grace Bidwell pushed her way through the busy mercantile store in the bustling town of Bozeman, certain that it would be the most beneficial place to post a HIRED HELP sign for everyone to see."

I love looking at the opening sentence of novels I read. I often times think back and wonder given that opening sentence is it enough to make me want to read further and how much thought do authors give in deciding how any novel will begin. For me, a serious lover of anything pertaining to the western romance genre, I absolutely LOVED, Trusting Grace by Maggie Brendan. This is the third novel in the Virtues and Vices of the Old West series, with The Trouble with Patience and A Sweet Misfortune leading the way.

Grace Bidwell is a young widow who is taking care of her father who has suffered what they believe might be a stroke, and tries valiantly to run the farm while he recovers. But Grace knows she will need help not knowing when her father might recover and she simply can't manage to run the house and get the potatoes in the ground to have a healthy harvest. She just hopes she can find a man suitable to help.

Robert Fraiser is trying his best to be a father to three young children he just learned are now his. After losing his wife, he realizes she never trusted him enough to let him know she had them. Now that his sister-in-law is done trying to care for them with four of her own, Robert struggles to find a job to help get them all at least into a suitable boarding house. But it may take awhile. The children, Tom, the oldest, Becky and Sarah know that they have been a burden to Robert and try and figure out a way to find money to get them off of sleeping wherever they can find room under the stars and living in a wagon, hunting off the land to provide any food for all of them. When Robert lands a job working for Grace, he doesn't tell her about the children, because he wants to provide for them on his own. Yet he doesn't realize that Grace has longed for children she believes she will never have since losing her husband and now caring for her father. Seems like they both have issues with trust that they will need to resolve if any of them have hopes for a better future.

I received Trusting Grace by Maggie Brendan compliments of Baker Publishing Group and Net Galley. I love that Grace is a strong and determine woman who believes she can manage on her own, yet cares so deeply for her family, friends and a delightful trio of young children she finds on the street in town. She truly has a beautiful spirit and self-esteem but it will take both her and Robert working on their own issues of trust from past marriages before they can ever hope to make something of the feelings developing for all of them including the children. My favorite has to be Sarah, whose child like faith in God is so pure and honest that she never fears God and his angels are watching out for them all. 5 out of 5 stars and now I have to go back and read the previous two novels in this series. This one can be read as a stand alone as I did, but believe that the characters you meet in this novel has their own stories to share in the previous novels in this series.

For more information about Trusting Grace, Maggie Brendan or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Maggie Brendan on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Trusting Grace, please visit Baker Publishing Group's website. 

Friday, June 23, 2017

Just Look Up

For some busy, just trying to cross off all the items off their daily "to do" list would make them feel accomplished, but not for Lane Kelley. To say that she lives for her job would simply be an understatement. She lives and breathes her job as a potential promotion as creative director looms before her based on the success of her presentation. She knows her ability to tap into exactly what the client needs and aside from the nervousness residing within her, she knows she shouldn't be at all worried. I mean everything in her career has lead up to this one pivotal moment in her life, so the fact she spent every waking moment practicing her speech and presentation should count for something. It has all lead up to this moment to sell her idea to a tech saavy company known as Solar.

Just as she is about to face her fears, she is interrupted by a phone call from her assistant conveying to her, she has to take this call. Even the company head is looking her way wondering if she will pass this up for a phone call. However when Chloe tells her its from her family and she NEEDS to take that call, she wonders what could be so important that it couldn't wait for a couple of hours. Her brother Nate has been in a serious motorcycle accident and it doesn't look good. Despite her well-meaning intentions, she is told not to wait and get home right away. It is a home she walked away from years ago and despite all their attempts to lure her home and away from her job, she had never looked back. Now it seems with the only choice but to head home, she might just be giving up her promotion. Her company will give her a couple of days but they expect her back by Monday.

Lane knew one day that motorcycle would lead Nate into an accident and that is exactly what has happened. He had been out riding with his best friend Ryan Brooks, who also crashed, but he was the lucky one. Her brother remained in a coma. Lane and Brooks had grown up together and it should be no surprise that he is one of the first people to greet her at the hospital. He always seemed to be the one to protect her even when people and friends teased her about being fat, nicknaming her Pudge, but now that person no longer exists even shedding all those pounds in an effort to leave her past behind. But for Ryan, Lane has always been the one person who knew him the best and even despite their rough childhood, they shared something more than what meets the eye. Now all he has to do is convince himself that he can't share his feelings with Lane since it is only a matter of time before she heads back to her busy job in the city and once again walks out of all their lives.

I received Just Look Up by Courtney Walsh compliments of Tyndale House Publishers. This is such a coming of age in reverse story as Lane has to deal with her lack of self esteem and bullying when she was in school, not only from those in her class but those in her family as well. Even her heart's desire in hoping to land a husband was taken away from her and now she must do what she can to get back to work as quickly as she can or else her entire identity will be lost again, but was it ever her true self anyway? I can understand so many things from Lane's point of view from becoming so consumed by work that it fills up every ounce of time and you don't see it happening. You trade off one success to make up for past failures and I love that Ryan has never lost hope in her and teaches her that life awaits outside of work once again and that family is what you make of it. 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion.

For more information about Just Look Up, Courtney Walsh or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Courtney Walsh on Facebook, to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

You can read more reviews on Just Look Up by visiting Tyndale House Publisher's website. 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Dark Deception Review and Giveaway

Looking for a great murder mystery, suspense thriller? Then look no further than Nancy Mehl's latest novel, Dark Deception, which is the second novel in the Defenders of Justice Series. It must be read in order because the case begins in the first novel Fatal Frost. As readers take a look at the ongoing serial killer case known as the Blue Eyed Killer or B.E.K. for short, the case is just beginning for Kate O'Brien who survived the attack that should have claimed her life. She is the only witness who can identify the serial killer and now it is her turn to be a witness in putting the man behind bars.

He took the life of her twin sister Kelly, which is one of the reasons why he has been caught. Before this mistake, all the cases were cold because B.E.K. left no traces of evidence behind. It has baffled the efforts of not only the FBI but also the local police as well. She is relying on the strength from the officer responsible for ensure she remains alive and protected but will help her endure her testimony while facing the man who killed her sister and tried to kill her, U.S. Marshall, Tony DeLuca. Just as the trial is about to get underway with her testimony the courtroom erupts in gunfire as the prosecutor is murdered right before her eyes and just as he is about to kill her, Tony is able to stop the man.

As evidence begins to mount against the man convicted of being the B.E.K., Kate takes the offer to join the witness protection program and for the last four years things have been relatively calm. She has started a new life and a new name for herself. But Tony is asked to bring Kate back in, as a witness as the man convicted of multiple murders is seemingly let go for evidence that has now been tampered with rendering the conviction and arrest out of their hands. Now the killer has been released and Tony needs to find her and bring her in before the killer can locate her. It will truly be a race against time as the killer draws closer to her and the body counts begin to rise. But have they caught the right man?

I received Dark Deception by Nancy Mehl compliments of Bethany House Publishers and TLC Book Tours. This is such a great series and I only wish I had read the first novel before jumping into this one to understand not only the killer's motives, but also the efforts of the police to arrest the man they believed to be B.E.K. Rest assured, this one has another sequel at least before they catch the elusive killer and in the meantime, the body counts will continue to rise and a twisted reason for the killer to keep Kate close will be revealed. I can't wait for the third novel in this series. It had me hooked at the very beginning and couldn't put it down til I figured out what was going to happen. Such a great story line and by far one of the best murder mysteries I have read in a long time. For me, this one rates a 5 out of 5 stars.

Now for the best part, thanks to the generosity of TLC Book Tours and Bethany House Publishers, they are giving a copy of this novel away. Here is all you need to do to enter:

1. "Like" Nancy Mehl's Facebook page. 

2. Be a resident of the US or Canada. Please No P.O. Boxes.

3. Leave a comment below telling me why you'd love to win a copy of Dark Deception. Don't forget to include your email address so I can notify you if you are the lucky winner of this giveaway. You can use the words (at) and (dot) instead of the symbols if you wish.

I will notify the winner of this giveaway by June 30th by email so don't forget to include it.

For more information about Dark Deception, Nancy Mehl or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Nancy Mehl on Facebook to stay on top of her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Dark Deception, please visit TLC Book Tour's page. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Assault

If you love anything dealing with the supernatural from a Christian perspective, then you need to check out the Harbinger Series. Each cycle of the series takes the talents of well-known Christian authors and gives them the opportunity to expand on an ongoing series with very different characters point of view. Think of it, like a television series but in this case each author is adding their own spin to the continuing saga that is plaguing a unique set of characters from vastly different backgrounds. This cycle of the Harbinger series is the second one and incorporates the stories of The Revealing by Bill Myers, Infestation by Frank Peretti, Infiltration by Angela Hunt and The Fog by Alton Gansky.

In the series, Bill Myers writes as Brenda, a street-hustling tattoo artist who sees images of the future. Frank Peretti writes as the Professor, the atheist ex-priest who is ruled by logic. Angela Hunt writes as Andi, the professor's brilliant but geeky assistant who sees inexplicable patterns and Alton Gansky writes as Tank, the naive, big-hearted jock with a surprising connection to a healing power. So instead of the four talented authors writing one novella together, this comes together like a television series. There is an overarching storyline into which they each plug their own novellas, with each story written from our characters point of view.

In The Revealing, the team is gathered together under the direction of Bill Myers and they find themselves searching for the Spear of Destiny, which is coveted by those who seek it because it is said that those that weld the instrument that was used to plunge into the body of Jesus Christ on the cross still retains some supernatural properties and now the hunt it on for those who want to keep it hidden and those who want it found. In The Infestation by Frank Peretti, the team is thrust back into their pasts to deal with situations that were never resolved and this time an unseen fungus is attempting to infect the world without anyone knowing what is happening. When one of the team is affected will they be able to figure out a way to stop it before it kills them?

In Infiltration, the team discover a secret plot by those that they have been following are now all connected to their various discoveries and now they are being hunted one by one by something that no one can see but involves going back into their pasts before they were united as if they never met. They will have to convince each other that they do have a connection in some future event if they hope to succeed in not only keeping the team together but keeping them alive. Finally in The Fog, Alton Gansky takes our team to the top of a high rise building as a fog rushes in with the ability not only to kill on ground level but it begins to rise and with it the body counts continue to climb as well.

I received The Assault by Bill Myers, Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt and Alton Gansky compliments of Baker Publishing Group and Net Galley.  I have absolutely LOVED this entire series and even though these individual books were written before, they are collected in groups of four known as the Cycle of the Harbinger series. Readers even get a sneak peek at the coming Cycle Three at the conclusion of this collection. These must be read in order not as individual stand alones otherwise as a reader, you would be completely lost by not understanding each characters motivation in working together to solve what is happening not only to them as individuals but also to the world in an effort to save them all. In this one, The Fog was my absolute favorite. There is just something creepy about a fog that can rise until it claims every last person it touches. 5 out of 5 stars again in my opinion and can't wait to read the next one.

For more information about The Assault, Bill Myers, Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt, Alton Gansky or where you can pre-order a copy of this book due out in August of 2017 , please click on the links below:

You can find Bill Myers on Facebook to stay up to date on all his latest books.

You can find Frank Peretti on Facebook to stay up to date on all his latest books.

You can find Angela Hunt on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest books.

You can find Alton Gansky on Facebook to stay up to date on all his latest books.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Amish Cooking Class: The Blessing

There is such support for one another for those who live within the Amish community and often time it even extends to the Englisher's who reside within the city limits as well. That is what has always drawn me to Amish fiction is their strong faith and sense of community support. In Wanda Brunstetter's Amish Cooking Class series, The Blessing is the third book in the series that revolves around Heidi Troyer and her husband Lyle who live in Walnut Creek, Ohio. Learning that they may never have children of their own, Heidi decides to teach Amish cooking classes in small groups of 5 to supplement their income and to give her something to do. This is her second class she is preparing to teach and this time with different hopes.

She hopes that Kendra will follow through on her desire to give her baby up to the Troyer's to adopt since as a young mother she certainly can't afford to raise a young child on her own with her parents tossing her out once they learned she was pregnant. So in Heidi believes this might be her last class before she becomes a full-time mother. Again, she has 6 people signed up to join her class, Lisa Brooks is taking the class to inspire additional ideas for her catering business, Todd Collins is taking the class under the premise of wanting to learn how to cook, but has secret motives as a food critic, who wants to see just how good this food could be.

For Bill Mason, he's signed up because as the owner of a cabin he and a few buddies visit during hunting season, his cooking has left something to be desired and he hopes it might teach him to make something else that his friends won't complain about. Nicole Smith is the youngest and she is taking the classes to learn to cook as the oldest child trying to help out her family since her mom left for another man and alcohol, while leaving her to help raise her two younger siblings and still work on finishing up school. At least this gives her a much needed break from her family's expectations. For Allie Garret, her husband provided the cooking lessons as a gift to learn how to make some different dishes for her family. What they don't all realize is that this will be more than simply learning how to cook some delightful Amish meals but that they will also work towards helping one another out when they each have a need and all part of God's plan.

I received Amish Cooking Class: The Blessing by Wanda Brunstetter compliments of Net Galley and Barbour Publishing. Besides getting what I would call 6 different mini novels in one is the delicious mouth-watering recipes that conclude this novel, each of them being the very meals or dishes that the cooking class learns. I only wish I had an lovely Amish woman like Heidi to teach me how. It's almost like a therapy session for them as each person begins to share their burdens to one another and soon find themselves being helped along the way by one another. This is one of my bucket list items to spend a weekend on an Amish farm and learn more about their way of life and cooking by living off of what they grow and can make in most cases. I just don't think I'd be able to keep up. This is a wonderful series and worthy of 5 out of 5 stars.

For more information about Amish Cooking Class: The Blessing, Wanda Brunstetter or where you can pre-order a copy of this novel due out in early August 2017, please click on the links below:

You can find Wanda Brunstetter on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Amish Cooking Class: The Blessing, please visit Barbour Publishing's website. 


I am sure everyone has played the game Hopscotch, a childhood game using chalk and some rocks as markers. Mostly it was a game girls played but even boys got into the hang of it as well. In the book, Hopscotch by Steve Cushman, the premise revolves around a hopscotch that is drawn just at the entrance at a hospital in Greensboro, North Carolina. The book revolves around several characters viewpoints in what they see and feel when they encounter it. The hospital board and CEO want it removed as they see it as graffiti. A child facing leukemia sees it as an invitation to spend just a bit of time outdoors instead of being stuck in her hospital room by well-meaning but over protective parents.

For a war veteran who has lost his legs during the war, the game reminds him that he can no longer enjoy what most people take for granted every single day. For a hospital janitor who receives several calls from the hospital administration to remove it, he sees it as a way to give hope to those who have lost their way. Every time he removes it, it comes back the next day. For an elderly couple, the game reminds them of a romance that created a marriage that spawned 60 decades but now has had Alzheimer's steal way the husband's precious memory. For another child Mike, who is nicknamed Metalhead Mike, for the steel plates used to repair his skull fracture, he is faced with coming to terms with his parents death in a car accident that left him with fragments of a memories he find pieces of beneath the covers of his bed.

I received Hopscotch by Steve Cushman compliments of Livingston Press. The game Hopscotch touches each person in the book differently yet is a common factor in bringing some of the patients and staff together. It is a reminder of a simple time when the worries of life haven't robbed them of their childlike hope for something better. It reminds us that life is but a vapor and can disappear at any moment. A reminder for us to cherish the time we have now, instead of waiting on tomorrow. It gives us hope that for the moment, life is on pause, while we can enjoy of few minutes to escape the real life and simply remember that childlike faith once more. For me, this book rated a 4 out of 5 stars and is a simple read with 146 pages. Great story and a reminder for us to not forget to live each day!

For more information about Hopscotch, Steve Cushman or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the link below:

Friday, June 16, 2017

The Buffer Zone Diet

"I've lost the same twenty pounds over and over, and I always gain it back again, plus a few extra pounds. What's wrong with me? "

Men and women from all over the world are ready to get off the diet rollercoaster but don't know how. They are fed up with counting calories, carbs, and fat grams, and obsessing over every bite and sip. They lose weight, only to regain it when they start eating normally. Ever hopeful, they try another new diet, only to be disappointed again.

Every year there is a hot new diet craze that promises to melt off pounds by eating this but not that: Paleo, Atkins, South Beach, Cabbage Soup, Cookie Diet, Weight Watchers, and more. They all tell you something different: eat protein, but not carbs. Eat carbs, but not fat. Eat fat, but not carbs. No wonder so many people are confused about health and nutrition and every expert seems to have a different perspective. Fred Cuellar knows exactly how you feel and his own experience with dieting left him frustrated, baffled and heavier than before, and he wondered why diets never work in the long run. This led him to seek answers to the questions millions of people ask on a daily basis: Why can't I lose weight and keep it off?

Millions of us are dieting, yet obesity levels keep on rising, but why? Fred was determined to figure out the solution to the diet problem and create a formula to lose weight permanently, in a way that is easy and sustainable. It's called the Buffer Zone Diet. He explains the science behind weight loss and gain, while debunking several myths about what we should or should not eat or drink using himself as a guinea pig. With much trial and error, he devised a method to lose weight and maintain a healthy body, all without deprivation, hunger , or will power. Dieting is actually making you gain weight. It is what the diet industry doesn't want you to know.

The Buffer Zone isn't a diet book. You will not be required to measure carbs, count fat grams or starve yourself. Instead you will be given a specific method to timing your meals to lose weight and, best of all, keep it off. You will be amazed at how attuned you will be with your body and give yourself the nutrition you need for optimum weight loss. With guidelines in learning to understand emotional hunger from true physical hungry and our goal shouldn't just be losing weight, but to be healthy.

I received The Buffer Zone Diet by Fred Cuellar compliments of Max Vera Publishing and The Cadence Group. I think there isn't one of us that hasn't tried some form of diet in our life time and I was truly inspired at the approach this author took to his research on a personal level that he shares quite openly in his search to figure out what works and what doesn't and perhaps more importantly, why. This is a science that I hadn't considered but yet it makes logical sense. It is timing out your meals between 8-10 hours from the end of your final meal of the day to breakfast the next day. You decide when you will have  the largest meal of your day and incorporating two primer meals to get you through to your next meal. It can be lunch as your big meal of the day with breakfast and dinner being your primer meals, always stopping 3 hours before bed and allowing at least 10-14 hours between last and first meal each day.

He believes the problem doesn't lie with what we eat, although that is important, it is how many times we eat during the day and how much food we do eat. He believes there is a science in the timing of our meals and that most of us eat between 21 meals each week along with upwards of 49 snacks a week. That is what is making us fat along with the content of what we eat. I am impressed with his research particular detailing his own weight loss failures and finally success! He even provides you with examples of how you can begin to incorporate this into your life and still have things like pizza and donuts! I give this a 4 out of 5 stars in my opinion and you still need to determine calorie counts of food to come up with a daily plan of what works for you.

For more information about The Buffer Zone Diet, Fred Cuellar or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can find Fred Cuellar on Facebook to stay up to date on all his latest information.

You can pick up a copy of this book at Amazon or other retailers near you.