Saturday, March 8, 2014
Just when seventeen-year-old Ann Bennett believed she had everything going for her and she was truly at the top of her game, disaster struck that would change not only her life but the lives of her entire family. As a high school competitive swimmer Ann had hoped to clinch her final meet and show everyone just how good she really was. The butterflies she was used to feeling as nerves before each race, never bothered her until they began to attack her check and begin to bite as she was way ahead of all the other swimmers. It was at that moment that Ann died.
When the EMS crew revived her, tests would indicate that Ann had congenital cardiomyopathy, a defect she has had her whole life. It was the strain of swimming that caused her to have a seizure in the pool and then she went into cardiac arrest. She was truly lucky to be alive. But when Ann had hoped that she could be treated for the heart issue, she was dealt another hand of fate. She needed a heart transplant or she would die while possibly waiting for one. Each day until she received one, would truly be a wait and see game. A miracle. A day to be thankful for.
The strain is was having on her entire family was more than she could bear. Her parents decided to utilize the family beach house in Cannon Beach as a way to get away from everything and hopefully find a way to get back to some sense of normal if that was possible. Her parents were barely on speaking terms and were using the weekend as family time, while her dad would stay in the city during the week and work. It was a separation to see if they could work things out somehow and provide some peace to all their fighting when they were together.
Ann's youngest sister, Bree and her brother Cade were growing tired of all the special treatment Ann was getting having to pick up doing her chores so she could rest and not be strained in any way. While her brother looked forward to spending the entire summer at the beach, her sister Bree was more than resentful at having to give up her time with friends this summer just for Ann's sake. However instead of making things better, the in-fighting between everyone was simply growing out of control. It seems like nothing will help heal them until Emily, Ann's mother finds her grandmother's journals that outline the details of the success of their marriage. Quite simply, everyone must be willing to play The Winner's Game. But will there be enough time to restore what's broken in their family before fate intervenes for the last time?
I received The Winner's Game by Kevin Alan Milne compliments of Center Street Publishing, a division of Hachette Book Groups for my honest review. This is such an amazing story because of the depth Kevin goes through to show the feelings each of the family members is dealing with as each chapter rotates among all five. We get a sense of how they are dealing not only with the mortality facing them with Ann's heart, but also in coming to terms with how to move forward despite all the overwhelming odds working against them. Parents are fighting, kids are fighting, and Ann simply wants to be a normal girl for just the summer without people treating her any different. Is that even possible? I love the concept of the winner's game so much that we have incorporated it into our family. It truly is a life changing game! I personally rate this novel a 5 out of 5 stars and even cried when telling my husband about it. We both teared up as I told him how it all ended. That to me is a sign of a great novel when it can pull at your heart strings!
For more information about The Winner's Game, Kevin Alan Milne or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:
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Friday, March 7, 2014
"It's wrong to do nothing when you have the power to do something."
This isn't just an alien visitation. It's an all-out invasion. That's why I call them invaders."
Ben sat back in a daze. "It makes perfect sense."
"What do you mean?"
"Think about it. What better way to take over the world than without the inhabitants even knowing it's happening? If an alien race has cloaking technology, it would be the perfect invasion."
Drew nodded. "You're right. But their ability to cloak themselves goes beyond just being invisible. They can walk through walls and doors. It's like they are in some interdimensional state. What I don't get is how come they can see us but we can't see them. Oh yeah, I can't hear them at all. It's like watching a silent movie. I haven't figured it out yet, but they can affect the outcome of naturally occurring phenomena. Like make a tire go flat to cause an accident or maybe weaken a bridge support to make it collapse. It's usually the small things though. They do what they do is such a way that people would never suspect the event has been tampered with. They are extremely careful and crafty that way." (excerpt from Cloak of the Light.)
There seems to be an interest in aliens and other dimensions that parallel our own. At least that is what Drew Carter and Benjamin Berg believe for now. When a science experiment at the local college reveals the ability to gain insight and see into a parallel dimension running alongside our own, they don't know what else to believe the shadow-like figures really are. Since Ben has always believed in aliens, he convinces Drew that is precisely what Drew has been seeing with his ability to see faster than light travels.
However Drew also see's what he calls light invaders as well. They have the ability to wage war in a world that no one but Drew can see. He can't understand what their true purpose is, but when the dark invaders attempt to kill both himself and Ben, all he knows is he can't stand by and do nothing. His unique abilities of heightened senses have allowed him the ability to be one step ahead of the human race and he believes he must do all he can to convince others that there are aliens all around us that we simply can't see. The only person he isn't able to convince is a girl he met in high school Sydney, a church going girl, who believes there is more to what is happening than Drew is willing to admit.
All Drew knows is that the light invaders are always present and helping in the battle against the dark invaders whenever Sydney or her church group is nearby. Even Sydney seems to radiate a blue flame like aura all around her and she seems to be illuminated in a way that offers a sense of peace and power that aid the light invaders. Now it's a race against time for Drew to aid Ben in rebuilding the device that will enable others to see into the parallel dimension before the dark invaders attempt to stop them.
I received Cloak of the Light by Chuck Black compliments of Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own unless otherwise noted. I LOVE this series as it explains precisely what an unbeliever would see if they had the ability to see into the spiritual realm. With no basis for any other explanation, it is logical that Drew and Ben would believe they are seeing aliens. This is such an amazing new series dealing with spiritual warfare and I especially love how Chuck explains his ideas using biblical references in each chapter at the end along with scripture verses to back up how his ideas came to life, such as angels using swords to further enhance the readers experience in enjoying this amazing fictional series!
I personally give this one a 5 out of 5 stars and can't wait for the next one to come out. This has definitely made it to my "watch list!"
For more information about Cloak of the Light, Chuck Black or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:
You can also find Chuck Black on Facebook to stay up to date with all his latest novels.
To read more reviews on Cloak of the Light, please visit Waterbrook Multnomah's website.
- Age Range: 12 and up
- Grade Level: 7 and up
- Series: Wars of the Realm
- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Multnomah Books (March 18, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1601425023
- ISBN-13: 978-1601425027
- Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Susanna Baylor has been a committed woman of God. She learned her lesson once before when she married Andrew and failed to gain her earthly father's blessing. Shortly after that she lost him and his brother in a wagon accident. With her young daughter, Rebecca, to raise along with her nephew Levi unless she can find a buyer for her cotton, she will have to sell off some of her land to get them through the next year. But when she loads up her wagon to head to town to sell it for four cents a pound, Mr. Littlejohn changes his mind and offers her two cents instead. Unfortunately for Susanna, she can't afford to take such a loss. Her only option is to drive the wagon load to the town of Jefferson where she has been promised four cents from the cotton buyers there. But how will she be able to do it with just Levi and Rebecca?
Under the counsel of her wise friend, she hires Henry Buckmeyer, who rumor has it has been born lazy his whole life. Susanna believes it will be a waste visiting Henry to hire him since he is likely to decline. But when her friends refuse to let her go alone unless she asks him, she has no other choice. Without the sale of the cotton, she will be forced to sell the land Andrew left to her and Levi. Lucky for her that Henry agrees with the exception that he can also bring along his tobacco and furs to sell when they arrive as well as his trusty dog, Blue for protection.
Knowing she doesn't have any other options, Sue grants Henry the permission to come along as hired help as long as he is willing to listen to her advice on what they should do and how soon they need to arrive in Jefferson. But what Henry doesn't count on is how determined Sue will be to have her way despite all the risks she is willing to take to get to Jefferson in hurry. What Sue doesn't consider is what it means to plan out the journey and realize that despite the odds that will challenge them at every turn, and that she may have to concede to Henry's knowledge of just how to get them all there safe and in one piece. It may be the hardest pill she has to learn to swallow in learning to agree to let Henry take care of her and her children and in the process realize that trusting God to know what is best in the end.
I received Vow Unbroken by Caryl McAdoo compliments of Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own. I love how determined and strong willed Susanna is, always looking out for what is best for her family and keeping her faith in God. She has made a vow to never marry a man again unless her earthly father has given his blessing as well as that man must be a believer in God satisfying her spiritual Father as well. But will a man be willing to do whatever Sue wants to get her to marry him and become the father to Levi and Rebecca in the process even if it means traveling to Tennessee to see her father? You'll have to see just how hard this journey is and what they all learn along the way by picking up this novel. This is the first in The Lone Star Series and one I rate a 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Now for the best part, thanks to the generosity of Howard Books, they are providing a giveaway copy to one lucky follower of my blog, Reviews From The Heart. Here are your guidelines to enter:
1. "Like" Howard Books Facebook page so you don't miss out on any of their amazing books!
2. "Like" Caryl McAdoo' Facebook Page! Trust me you will LOVE her novels!
3. Be a resident of the US or have a US shipping address. Please No P.O. Boxes.
4. If you have a Twitter account, make sure you follow Howard Books and "Tweet about this giveaway using @Howard_Books @CarylMcAdoo in your tweet!
5. Leave a comment below telling me why you'd love to win a copy of Vow Unbroken along with your email address. You can use the words (at) and (dot) instead of the symbols. But if I don't have your email address, I can't notify you if you're the lucky winner. Trust me, you don't want to miss this one!
I will notify the winner by email once the giveaway ends on March 20th to give you plenty of time to enter. .Remember you gain an entry for every one of the guidelines you complete and you can enter as many times as you'd like. Simply leave comments on Howard Books and Caryl McAdoo's Facebook if you have already "Liked" them.
For more information about Vow Unbroken, Caryl McAdoo or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:
You can also find Caryl McAdoo on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.
To read more reviews on Vow Unbroken, please visit Howard Book's website.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Just when Dr. Lisbeth Hastings thinks her life can't get anymore complicated than what it is as a first year resident trying to stay ahead of her game, she finds herself thrust into an ancient history she had only read about before. Losing her mother 23 years ago during an archaeological dig, she has taken over the helm studying to follow in her mother's footsteps as a doctor. Only where her mother excelled, Lisbeth is struggling with trying to appease everyone she can. But when sleep deprivation finally begins to take its toll and a young child she provides a hurried diagnosis for ends up dying, Lisbeth is given a two week reprieve to get her head straight or face more serious consequences.
Doubting her ability whether she will ever be able to make her mother proud, Lisbeth uses the two weeks to join her father while he continues to search for her long lost mother in a cave in Tunisia called the "Cave of Swimmers. He believes he may have uncovered clues to point to where she may have gone, which Lisbeth writes off to a medical diagnosis of perhaps Alzheimer's. But when she wanders into the cave looking for her father, she happens upon some ancient cave paintings of colorful swimmers on the wall. When she places her hand on one of them, she is immediately transported beneath the ground to third-century ancient Carthage in Rome where she is about to be sold as a slave to proconsul Aspasius. Fortunately for Lisbeth being fluent in a variety of languages allows her to speak Latin, the language of this time in history.But just before the deal is about to be sealed, Cyprian Thascius claims victory of her sale instead which Lisbeth isn't too happy with.
When she learns that Cyprian has done her a favor, all she can think of is how to escape and find her way back to her father, who now has lost both his wife and daughter in the Cave of Swimmers. But what Lisbeth will soon discover is that her medical skills will enable her to help heal what is impacted the poor people of Carthage, a deadly plague that if left unchecked will spell doom for the town. But she is about to discover an alliance she never dreamed she would, when she realizes that her mother is the famed healer of Carthage and working as a slave for Aspasius, a violent and temperamental ruler for Carthage who is targeting the destruction of all the Christians. Now she must find a way to escape along with saving her mother before time runs out for them both!
I received Healer of Carthage by Lynne Gentry compliments of Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own. This is the first novel in the Carthage Chronicles Series and one that employs a variety of genres to make this one an amazing read and one you will want to follow along in the journey that Lisbeth must undertake. First she must deal with her own inadequacies as a failing doctor and discover that she truly does possess talents that can help people even if she doubts herself. Taking a modern doctor and thrusting her back in time, is a wonderful premise that really works for this series. She can understand simple medical issues that can be cured if only enough time were available like the discovery of citrus and even antibiotics but she must utilize what she has available to help cure the plague that is ravaging the city. I easily rate this novel a 5 out of 5 stars and can't wait for the next one in this series, which you get a sneak peek at in this one along with a reader's discussion guide that is perfect for book clubs.
Now for the best part, thanks to the generosity of Howard Books, they are providing a giveaway copy of Healer of Carthage to one lucky follower of my blog, Reviews From The Heart. Here is all you need to do to enter:
1. "Like" Howard Books Facebook page so you don't miss out on any of their amazing books!
2. "Like" Lynne Gentry's Facebook page! Trust me you will LOVE her novels!
3. Be a resident of the US or have a US shipping address. Please No P.O. Boxes.
4. If you have a Twitter account, make sure you follow Howard Books and "Tweet about this giveaway using @Howard_Books @Lynne_Gentry in your tweet!
5. Leave a comment below telling me why you'd love to win a copy of Healer of Carthage along with your email address. You can use the words (at) and (dot) instead of the symbols. But if I don't have your email address, I can't notify you if you're the lucky winner. Trust me, you don't want to miss this one!
I will notify the winner by email once the giveaway ends on March 17th to give you plenty of time to enter. .Remember you gain an entry for every one of the guidelines you complete and you can enter as many times as you'd like. Simply leave comments on Howard Books and Lynne Gentry's Facebook if you have already "Liked" them.
For more information about Healer of Carthage, Lynne Gentry or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:
You can also find Lynne Gentry on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.
To read more reviews on Healer of Carthage, please visit Howard Book's website.
Just what does a beautiful sewn blue quilt have to do with the latest serial murders running rampant in Florida? Just another mystery waiting to be discovered by best-selling author Barbara Cameron in her latest novel Scraps of Evidence that joins the Quilts of Love Series as book 14. The readers of this novel are bound to a true treat if you have read any of Barbara Cameron's novels. There is always an element of mystery and suspense to keep you reading long past it's time to head for bed because of your compelling urge to know who did it.
Join Detective Tess Villanova as she teams up with her new partner who just happens to be amazingly good-looking as well as single, Detective Logan McMillian from Chicago. Now they must work together when the latest case reopens the serial murder case when Tess lost her best friend as the first murder victim. Working hard to try and find the killer, when the latest body turns up, Logan gives the case a whole new perspective and a fresh set of eyes.
Like most colleagues that work together and spend so much time together, you get to know someone in ways you never would if you had met in a bar, and this gives Tess and Logan time to unwind and compare notes over lunches and dinners working their case. What they find is that they have more in common than simply being partners working together and the more time they spend with one another the more things begin to heat up and not just in the romance department.
I received Scraps of Evidence by Barbara Cameron compliments of Abingdon Press and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation and the opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own unless otherwise noted. The best thing about any of the novels you find in the Quilts of Love series is why they do have a common thread running through them, you can pick up any of them and read them. They are not linked in any way other than having a quilt at the central theme. I've been a huge fan of Barbara Cameron's novels and was thrilled to read and review this one. I love the romantic tension that builds up between Logan and Tess and you just hope by the time you get to the end, they both come around to realize love is in the air. I easily give this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars in my opinion. Included in this novel at the conclusion are some excellent discussion questions just perfect for book clubs as well as sneak peek into the next book in the series A Sky Without Stars.
For more information about Scraps of Evidence, Barbara Cameron or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:
You can also find Barbara Cameron on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.
For more reviews on Scraps of Evidence, please visit Litfuse Publicity Book Tours.
- Series: Quilts of Love (Book 14)
- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Abingdon Press (January 21, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1426752784
- ISBN-13: 978-1426752780
- Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 0.7 inches
- A Kindle Fire HDX
- Scraps of Evidence by Barbara Cameron
- Tempest's Course by Lynette Sowell
- Aloha Rose by Lisa Carter
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Tuesday, March 4, 2014
The part about being a book reviewer that I love the most besides reading amazing books, is discovering talent I would have never discovered before, which leads me to authors whose ability to write does more than simply tell a story. They take you there by the hand and create a place so vivid and rich in details that you feel like you are part of the story itself. That is just what I discovered when I picked up Stephanie Landsem's latest novel, The Thief. It is the second book in her Living Water Series and after reading this one, I will DEFINITELY being going back to read The Well.
Stephanies's writing style is like that of best selling author Tosca Lee who takes a simple character found in the Bible and takes us on the journey of just how they arrived to that historical point in the story we all remember them from but now they aren't just a supporting character, they are the part of the headliners.
Stephanie begins the novel of The Thief with the character known simply as Mouse, a young boy who makes his living in Jerusalem stealing jewelry, coins and whatever he can lay his hands on to support his family. His older brother Cendron has been born blind and barely makes enough begging to help support his family. His father spends all his time, losing money playing dice and getting drunk, while their mother drinks herself into a stupor and fails to even cook and clean. Without Mouse's thieving, the family would be out on the street and hungry.
Mouse's ally is an elderly man named Dismas who takes Mouse under his wing and teaches him how to work the system to avoid getting caught. If you are caught stealing, you are publically flogged and cast out. If you use a knife or rob at night, it means death by stoning, something Dismas and Mouse have to make sure that doesn't happen to them. While spending the day, stealing, Mouse sees a crowd of people enter Jerusalem with a man they believe to be a prophet with claims he can heal the blind and sick. Cedron vows to do whatever it takes to see this man they call Jesus to see if he can in fact heal him of his blindness so he can help provide for his family as a believer in God. But when things don't go according to plan for Mouse, he vows to find a way to give up his life of stealing before he gets caught.
I received The Thief by Stephanie Landsem compliments of Litfuse Publicity and Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own. I literally was transported to the streets of ancient Jerusalem during the Feast of Tabernacles and became on the people witnessing everything that happened. It was so life-like and real I had a hard time believing I was simply reading a novel in the comfort of my living room. I can only hope a screen-writer grabs this one and turns it into a movie because it is simply that great. If you ever wanted to read a truly exceptional novel about living in Jerusalem as the famed thief from the Bible, you will definitely want to pick this one up. Trust me! YOU DON'T want to miss this one. I easily give this one HANDS DOWN 5 out of 5 stars!!! I can't wait for her next novel The Tomb coming soon.
For more information about The Thief, Stephanie Landsem or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:
You can also find Stephanie Landsem on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.
To read more reviews on The Thief, please visit Litfuse Publicity Book Tour's Page
- Series: The Living Water Series
- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Howard Books (February 25, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1451689101
- ISBN-13: 978-1451689105
- Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 1 inches
Best-selling author Tosca Lee had this to say of the book: Filled with memorable characters, The Thief is a tale of hopelessness turned to hope, of high stakes made higher, and ultimate love. What happens when a character at the lowest rung of society crosses paths with the most well-known figure in history? The story of The Thief. I couldn't stop reading.
Stephanie is hosting a Kindle Fire HDX and book giveaway at her website. CLICK THE BUTTON to find out more and enter to win.
Find out what readers are saying HERE. (Click the REVIEWS bar.)
Jack Crittendon has a new mission, as an investigative reporter for The Dispatch, he is turning the tables on the man he just interviewed Leonard Bendickson III, CEO of Demler-Vargas, the fiberglass manufacturer in Trenton City. Since taking the helm as CEO thirteen years ago, Bendickson has steered the Fortune 500 company to unfathomable heights. The $7.9 billion corporation has consistently surpassed Wall Streets expectations on its way to becoming one of the world's most prolific manufacturers of fiberglass - all kinds of fiberglass. Although Demler-Vargas has been the subject of complaints about air pollution from Trenton City neighbors over the years, Bendickson insists the company has worked diligently to comply with OSHA and the EPA.
But there is something sinister and unsettling when Jack discovers that those around him that he knows are dying from similar symptoms. He wondered just what the truth was. Were pollutants from Demler-Vargas hurting employees and neighbors? Were they what killed Travis Randall's mother and made his father, Galen sick? But if Demler-Vargas was hiding something, wouldn't OSHA and the EPA caught on and stopped them? Was Bendickson lying, or was he running a clean shop as he claims?
The more Jack tries to uncover the truth, the more it seems that someone is out to make sure those secrets stay buried. When it gets personal however, and his wife and mother-in-law become victims of a random car accident, Jack begins to dig deeper into the truth. He is aided by Derrick Whittaker, on of Jack's best friends who has been assigned that beat and together they slowly begin to uncover things that don't make sense, especially when their editor, Cecil Barton, will only allow them to spend no more than a hour a day working on this investigation. He seems to think that in the past, Amy Sheets has tried to do much the same thing, but now has moved away to be closer to her aging parents and discovered nothing. But is that really the reason why she is no longer working at the office?
I received Poison Town by Creston Mapes compliments of David C. Cook Publishers and Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed are strictly my own. This could be any real company today as chemicals continue to surface in our food sources and water supplies that are being linked to certain types of cancer and illness that seem to multiply the closer people come to living next to these manufacturing plants. In this case, it is more than just the poisons from the fiberglass plant that are infecting people, it's also greed and justice that are tearing families and businesses apart. But will Jack's now dormant faith come to light in time to save them all or will he fall victim to the same fate as everyone else? You'll have to pick this one up to find out. This is the second novel in the Crittendon Files and I'd rate this one a 4 out of 5 stars. The first novel in the series is Fear Has No Name in which the reader gains insight into the back story of the issues between Jack and his wife.
For more information about Poison Town, Creston Mapes, or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:
You can also find Creston Mapes on Facebook to stay up to date with all his latest novels.
To read more reviews on Poison Town, please visit Christian Fiction Blog Alliance's book tour page.