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Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Way To London

Sometimes you pick up a novel expecting one thing and get so much more. The Way to London By Alix Rickloff is one such novel. Set among the war that is just on the verge of breaking out, over indulged socialite Lucy Stanhope has followed in the ways of her promiscuous mother Amelia. It seems after her mother had given birth to Lucy, all she can do is find ways to hand her daughter off to a nanny or boarding school in order to fulfill her maternal expectations. But Lucy can see through all of that. As her mother bounces from one relationship to another, finding wealthy men who can serve her needs and fund her lifestyle choices, Lucy feels the consequences of those choices.

As the family heads to Singapore just before the attack on Pearl Harbor, her new stepfather expects something for funding all of Lucy's wild expenditures. After all he has no blood relation to her so he isn't about to be breaking any rules except infidelity to Amelia, but as long as the money keeps flowing, she isn't about to rock the financial boat. When Lucy is asked to distract a wealthy client of her stepfathers, things escalate to the point where they have asked that Lucy be removed back to London or risk the financial backing of the client to her stepfather. She doesn't realize what a blessing it might be in the long run.

So while heading back to London aboard a steamship they are torpedoed in the middle of the night on the eve of war, and she finds herself on a lifeboat waiting to be picked up and delivered back to London to live with her wealthy aunt. Unfortunately it will be a set of circumstances that will forever test her resolved that in the past has suited her needs but will she be able to temper her rash tongue that has always felt free to speak her mind regardless of the outcome. When she find solace in an American soldier she first met in Singapore, it seems like fate may have a role to play in where her future is heading even as war breaks out all around them.

I received The Way to London by Alix Rickloff compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers. While this is such a riveting story, there are parts of the novel that readers should be cautioned about. There is a handful of profanity used as well as the promiscuous lifestyle of Lucy's that causes her to use men as she fits if they can benefit her. But the real story is the way she comes to resolve all the pain she has built up around her to protect herself from being hurt any further. I love her fiery grit and determination that keeps her from being a victim but also keeps her from also letting in anyone to love her as well. I would give this book a 4 out of 5 stars based on my own review guidelines and really enjoyed this one so much I read it in one evening.

For more information about The Way to London, Alix Rickloff or where you can preorder a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Alix Rickloff on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on The Way to London, please visit Harper Collins Publisher's website.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Forty Autumns

What would it feel like to make a decision in one moment that would forever affect your life for the next forty years? Imagine your family having to make that decision for you? To lead a life of freedom or one of tyranny and oppression. I believe more of us need to learn the stories from those who lived without freedom. A historical journey into Germany's blackened past where at one conjuncture to defy freedom, a wall went up to separate one region of Germany for another. For what reason? Could it happen again?

In the novel Forty Autumns by Nina Willner, she shares her grandparents history which undoubtedly became her own legacy of a tough choice they had to face when totalitarian leaders ran Germany the way they saw fit. All about control. Taking away from the people at the conclusion of WWII, Germany tried to find a way to rise to the top again. In a nutshell all it did was point the world's eyes to the atrocities it was trying to hide while saving face to the world. Families were separated overnight. While others tried to escape in droves, most were shot without any sense of compassion or empathy, believing the propaganda they were being spoon fed made it justified. Overnight the wall went up in hopes of preventing any more East Germans from fleeing the country. With it any viable means of labor went with it.

This is one families journey through forty years. How they survived against the odds. How they learned to accept what was happening in order to stay together even though they didn't agree with it. How they managed to save one daughters life in an effort to give them the truth that could only come from the outside world away from East Germany. How one patriarch of the family Opa, vowed to do whatever he could to keep his family safe and protected even if it went against everything he believed and how one matriarch, Oma was the driving support behind keeping the family strong and loved, well-fed and held together in a city of their own that was falling apart.

I received Forty Autumns by Nina Willner compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers. I believe everyone needs to read this book, because it seems like our current nation is slowly striving to rewrite the history that needs to be told and shared, otherwise we will be doomed to repeat it. I clearly see signs in the works that this world might be headed to the very thing that should be left behind and that communism doesn't work. The power does not lie with the government but with the people. We need to know their stories and that is why this is such a critical book to be read and studied. I am horrified at the things we never studied in history. I guess to glaze over it in our history books in a very subtle paragraphs is an easy way to take out what should be known to those who faced it. These are the stories that should be shared. For this reason I am giving this book, a 5 out of 5 stars. There are some great historical notes following the book and some epilogues that highlight what happened later to those featured in the book. This has some amazing photos the author shares so you can honestly feel what it was like in those times.

For more information about Forty Autumns, Nina Willner or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can find Nina Willner on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest projects.

For more reviews on Forty Autumns, please visit Harper Collins Publisher's website. 

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Daughters of Ireland

Who wouldn't be interested in reading about the lives of three very different women living in Ireland with the Deverill Castle as the common setting? I was until I began reading The Daughter's of Ireland, at least that is what made me want to read the novel in the first place. To understand a few things, the novel takes place during 1925 to 1931 and involves the lives of three unusual women who have different motives for wanting essentially the same thing, true love and control. In the Edwardian period of history since marriages were built upon social status and wealth instead of love, most of the marriages involved affairs for either partner as long as they were keep discrete. So this happens with virtual every couple mentioned in the book. Even one such affair involved a homosexual relationship as well.

Keeping that in mind, I really wanted to see where this would go and if it could keep my interest enough to even finish the novel. Sadly it did not. The Deverill family was placed under the curse of Maggie O'Leary back in the mid 1600's that none of the Deverill family members would ever rest in peace until the land which the O'Leary's believed was taken from them was returned. Kitty Trench is married to a wonderful man Robert who has vowed to take on the illegitimate son he believes resulted from an affair with Kitty's father and another women. The child however belongs to Jack O'Leary a man Kitty has had a long standing affair with and had promised at one point to take the child and move to America and begin a new life for them. The child however is a product of another relationship with Bridie who gave the child up to be raised by Kitty whom she felt would offer a much better life because she was dirt poor at the time and raising a child was simply out of the question.

Now that her circumstances have changed and she finds herself with a large inheritance that will change things not only for her, but now she wants Jack back. She promised Kitty that she left him behind once and she will not leave Ireland without him. But she does when her plans to kidnap the child result in her almost being caught when Jack doesn't remember who she is. She then decides to head back to America to New York where she can simply start over again. The Deverill castle is now bought by Celia, a former Deverill before being married who wants to restore it to its former glory along with all her new husbands money to do it with. She tries to get Kitty's buy in to join her but Kitty is making her own plans to leave Robert, despite her conflicting feelings and running away her Jack and her lover Jack to start a new life in America. Oh what a tangled web they weave.

I received The Daughters of Ireland by Santa Montefiore compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers. While I wanted so much more from this novel, it simply did not deliver. Kitty sees and can communicate with the former Deverill ghosts even though others can not, the promiscuity between all the characters is hard enough to keep track of despite them wanting the very thing that stand right in front of them. It is a book format of the those desiring for the greener grass on the other side of the fence but missing what is right in front of them. I would have to give this novel a 3 out of 5 stars based on my own rating scale and hope others might find this book to be more enjoyable than I did.

For more information about The Daughters of Ireland, Santa Montefiore, or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Santa Montefiore on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on The Daughters of Ireland, please visit Harper Collins Publisher's website. 

Monday, August 28, 2017

To Wager Her Heart

Sylas Ruthledge has more than just a bit of a dilemma to face. Coming from a start up railroad company in Colorado to the Belle Meade Plantation of Tennessee, he finds himself out of his element. His is missing out on all the Southern genteel ways that might cause him to lose out on his bid to expand his railroad territory all on account of not being like all the other wealthy bidders. To call him an outcast is mild in comparison to some. The other thing that keeps him from being looked upon favorably is that his father was responsible for the death of more than a hundred souls when two railroad engines collided at Dutchman's Curve. He knows his father couldn't have been responsible because he knows what an experienced engineer he was. Now while in Tennessee he hopes he can find a way to clear his father's name.

His only help might just come from his most least likely of places. When Alexandra Jamison is forced by her wealthy socialite family to marry a man she clearly could never love, she is given an ultimatum by her father. If she refuses to marry a man as old as her father, she can find someplace else to live and with that it means she leaves everything behind including all her personal belongings. She will walk out the door with only the clothes on her back. The good thing is that she has managed to secure a job as a teacher for Fisk University, which teaches the Freedmen and women how to read and write among other things, but the pay isn't that good to allow her to purchase some things she will need along with at least more clothes.

So Sylas and Alexandra make a partnership that will benefit them both. She agrees to help teach Sylas the ins and outs of good business dealings as long as he isn't underhanded in his approach. She also agrees that once he obtains new information into the cause of the train accident, he will share what he learns with her. She lost her financè in that crash, while she managed to survive. Even though it goes against what she wants, she knows that without any money, or help, she might be forced to return home and beg for her families help. So she will assist him only until she can get back on her feet and get paid.

I received To Wager Her Heart by Tamera Alexander compliments of Zondervan Publishers and TLC Book Tours. This is the third novel in the Belle Meade Plantation series and if you love anything from that sweet Southern history with a refreshing romance mixed in, you will definitely want to pick up this novel. Alexandra's character is a spitfire, like a bit of Scarlett O'Hara from Gone With The Wind. She isn't about to forced to do anything that isn't what is in her heart even if it flies in the face of Southern society. I love her strong determination to keep Sylas at bay, even though she finds herself drawn to man who will do anything to win her heart in the most genteel and southernly ways! Definitely a 5 out of 5 stars in this readers opinion.

For more information about To Wager Her Heart, Tamera Alexander, or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Tamera Alexander on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on To Wager Her Heart, please visit TLC's Book Tour Page. 

Friday, August 25, 2017

The Lost Girls

There comes a time when you read the back of a book cover and think you have it all wrapped up and figured out until you begin reading it. Even though the clues allude to you along the way, you simply pass them by in an effort to uncover the story that speaks of loyalty and salvation as its themes to the characters you meet in the novel.

The Evan's family like most in the early 30's found solace and an escape to every day life by spending the summers at a remote Minnesota Lake house they owned. There they would reunite with other wealthy families from Williamsburg, the mayor, the lawyer, the doctor, and others in 7 simple houses that they each came back to like a reunion. While the husbands returned back to their 9 to 5 lives during the week, the wives would relax a bit and gather to share the latest news or gossip, until the men returned like clockwork at the close of business to be with their families once again.

In the novel The Lost Girls by Heather Young, the story toggles between a hidden secret kept by Lilith and Lucy Evans. Things there mother didn't want to know and they didn't want forgotten. Their story is shared in two vastly different time frames, one from 1935 and the other in 1999. Lucy chronicles what happened the summer they lost Emily, their youngest sister who was never found and forever changed the lives of not only the Evan's girls but those who stayed at the lake year round. For Justine, the grand-daughter of Lucy, she shares her own story of learning that when Lucy died, she left the lakefront home to her along with a substantial amount of money. It too would change her life and that of her daughters Melanie and Angela.

This is a memoir of what happened in 1935 and with it the consequences that Justine must face when  she learns the truth. Will she keep what she learns a secret or will she expose what should have never let lie in the past? How will she resolve to deal with the things she learns from her families dark past and what she will do with her own that is facing her. It is a lineal curse that is passed down from family member to family member or will she finally say the one thing that should have released all of them from their own deeply seeded pasts? You'll have to read the book to see how it all plays out.

I received The Lost Girls by Heather Young compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers. This was an ending I didn't see coming or maybe I did and simply choose to ignore it hoping for a better outcome. It does convey the sense of the loyalty between family members to keep a secret or expose it so it won't keep happening again. Then again it begs the question of the reader, how far would you go to protect your family? What would you be willing to risk when you see your family unraveling and you are the only one who can stop it or let it fall apart? There are discussion guide questions at the conclusion of this novel that is perfect for book clubs to enjoy and for this reader it gains a 4 out of 5 stars in my opinion.

For more information about The Lost Girls, Heather Young or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can find Heather Young on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on The Lost Girls, please visit Harper Collins Publisher's website. 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Other Alcott

I don't know of any girl who hasn't heard or read Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. In fact it is required reading in most homes because of the story line involving women who defy the odds despite grueling circumstances and forge ahead into an unknown future. With the success of her sister Louisa, now a well-known author in their small town of Concord, Boston, it seems that May Alcott (Amy March) is doomed to bear the guilt of living in her popular sister's notoriety even though she submitted her own drawings as illustrations. However while the book when on to be a world wide success, the reviewers were less than kind with their comments about May's illustrations. Enough so to crush her dreams if she only let them.

In the 1900's finding a suitable art school that would both teach and admit women was hard pressed to locate. May believed if she just had the right instructor to help her with human anatomy and refining her drawing skills, she might just make something of herself much like Louisa did. After all she didn't get published after her first novel. So perhaps it is just a matter of finding the perfect person to teach her. She befriends her ex-boyfriends childhood friend Alice who is wealthy beyond measure and never knows what it is like for someone like May who had to learn to make do with whatever they had, whenever they had it.

Alice inspires a dream within May that perhaps the perfect place to learn art is what the master's studied. In Paris, France. So manages to convince Alice and Louisa to join her, after all who wouldn't want to meet the author of Little Women on a world-wind tour of Europe, and that is something May can stomach as long as it meets her own objectives. She isn't about to let anyone tell her what she can and can't do, even her perspective suitor Joshua. She agrees that perhaps she isn't the one for him after all and packs up all her belongings and heads out on a ocean voyage to Europe. She just doesn't plan for her plans to change. With seasickness keeping her confined to her cabin most of the voyage, she finally thinks she can catch a breath of fresh ocean air, when she learns all passengers are confined to their cabins that to a smallpox outbreak on board. She also learns that Bismark has invaded Paris and most of the people there are starving, even eating rats if they can find them. So with a change of plans not letting these things deter her, she sets out more resolved than even to find her own life and her own future.

I received The Other Alcott by Elise Hooper compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers. I have found similar novels like this one where they expand on the lives of the secondary characters and in this case, this is May's story.  This is Elise Hooper's debut novel and I believe she does an great job in helping readers get to know the lesser known characters from the Alcott's Little Women novel. This is going to be a must read for fans of the original novel and I would give this one a 4 out of 5 stars in my opinion. There is even a Questions and Answers section for the author at the conclusion of this novel as well as Reader's Discussion Guide questions that would make this an wonderful book club novel.

For more information about The Other Alcott, Elise Hooper, or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Elise Hooper on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read other reviews on The Other Alcott, please visit Harper Collins Publisher's website. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017


If you have ever been part of the current dating scene, you can honestly say there is slim pickings out there. What if you imagined having met the perfect guy, developed a new application that would net you tons of money and in a short span of time, watching that same guy steal your invention and break up with you when you least expect it? That is the premise behind Emma's (Kate Micucci) life. She was on the cusp of inventing an app called Night Sky that would allow users to view the constellations by merely downloading the app. Only her boyfriend Luke decides to take all the necessary steps to steal it before Emma can do anything to stop him, including deleting all her files on her personal computer and he markets it as his own.

She believes the only people she can trust anymore are her tuxedo cat, Alex and a lovable yellow Labrador Summit. Too bad all the love that give her and the secrets she shares with them would make it possible to find suitable human boyfriends that would treat her with the unconditional love her pets do. The one benefit that came from her breakup was she can now have pets whereas before Luke was deathly allergic. Now she is back to the grindstone trying to figure out the next big thing for app developers and for her and her co-worker Nina (Hana Mae Lee (Pitch Perfect), come up with an astrology app that can determine your daily fates using the stars and planet line ups. So when Nina tells Emma that the Supermoon coming up will completely change her life, she isn't sure what to think. On that night, her pets Ajax and Summit, are transformed into humans until the next Supermoon about a month away, only Emma doesn't know it.

Ajax now the perfect personified version of a cat, calls himself Diego (Justin Chatwin), full of arrogance, pride and animal magnetism winds up on the read cat walk as the next super model that every women desperately wants, and Summit (Steve Howey) is your typical agreeable and likeable guy going by the name Sam. They both come to terms that only one of them is likely to wind up as Emma's new love interest and may the best pet or human win. This is when the movie really goes from being a romance, to a full scale laughable comedy as both pets are trying hard to make it in the human world and Emma is caught in the middle. Sean Astin stars as a fix it man, Carl, whose is to blame for letting Emma's pets out during the Supermoon and it is his heart that he has lost to Emma, but she is simply too blind to see him.

I received Unleashed by Level 33 Entertainment compliments of TetherGroup. This is one of those adult comedies that really manages to pull of exactly what you would think. The mannerisms of both Diego and Sam are their respective animals perfectly. There is a brief nude scene as Summit goes from a dog into a human walking off in search of clothes and you have to remember that this is an adult comedy. Aside from that part, I believe that most older teens would really appreciate this movie as my 18-year-old daughter, and husband and I all thoroughly enjoyed this movie which comes to theaters and on demand on August 25, 2017. This is one we both laughed and cried through and if you are looking for something a bit different, this one is a hit in our opinion. All of us, rated it 5 out of 5 stars.

For more information about Unleashed or where you can catch this movie in a theater or on demand near you, please click on the links below:

You can find Unleashed on Facebook for up to date information and more about the film.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Bounty Hunter

One of my favorite jobs in the police force has to be the K-9 unit. As an animal lover I would love a job working with a dog and being in sync with them they are part of who you are. Then again, I would hate to think of sending a dog into a situation where they might not make it out alive, thus saving yours. I don't think I could do it. However if you pick up the series of books through the Love Inspired Suspense division from Harlequin, you might just want to pick up Bounty Hunter by Lynette Eason, book 4 of the Classified K-9 Unit.

In each book, they go deeper into the lives of the team of classified K-9 handlers working together as a team to locate one of their own, Jake Morrow, whom they believe may have been kidnapped by a local crime syndicate or acting as a double agent. They have had no luck with following up the tips they have been receiving lately until a random call from a bounty hunter, Riley Martelli who has been shot at by the man they've been trying to find.

When the K-9 unit arrives, FBI Special Agent Harper Prentiss and her dog Star are the first to talk with Riley. At first the team is unsure of his motives, especially when he seems eager to collect the $100,000 reward money leading the capture of Jake Morrow. So Harper follows him and learns that Riley needs the money to pay for his nephew's medical bills after being shot by his father Van Blackwell, who murder Riley's sister and left Asher, his nephew in his custody and now care. He has a bullet wedged along his spine and until he has surgery, he can't walk. So between helping the FBI catch Jake, he is also following his own pursuit to find and bring Van Blackwell to justice, if he doesn't kill Riley first.

I received Bounty Hunter by Lynette Eason compliments of Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense and TLC Book Tours. This is a pocket paperback which means you can take this book anywhere to catch up on this suspense adventure and trust me, there is NEVER a dull moment. I can't wait to read the entire series and readers even get a chance to get a sneak peek at Book 5, Body Guard at the conclusion of this one. I really love the tight knit family of FBI K-9 handlers because they work so well together and even manage to aid Riley in his own endeavors when one of their own is threatened. I love how it all wraps up in the end on one hand but gets you ready for the next adventure on the other. Trust me, murder mystery lovers and animal lovers will want to pick this one up. I give this a 4 out of 5 stars in my opinion.

For more information about Bounty Hunter, Lynette Eason or where you can pick up a copy of Bounty Hunter today, please click on the links below:

You can find Lynette Eason on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Bounty Hunter, please visit TLC's Book Tour page. 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Beneath Copper Falls

Have you ever stayed up so late at night to finish a book? Perhaps even trying everything to keep your eye open including holding them open? Well that was my summary of how I spent last night as I began Beneath Copper Falls by Colleen Coble. Just the first three pages had my interest and I knew I was in for an adrenaline rush before my night was over. And yes, even as midnight approached I knew I had to finish this one. I had to know what was going to happen, I mean who can nod off to sleep while your characters fate hung in the balance, not knowing if they were going to live or die?


Me again.

Dana Newell was married after thinking she had found the perfect guy. But as we all know, there is no such things as the perfect guy. When all the warning sounds are going off around you, but you still believe you were meant to be. I mean she meet Garret through her brother Chris, when attending one of his military parties. They were good friends. She loved how focused on her he was never looking away and making her feel like she was the only one in the room for him. After countless threats, beatings and fearing for her life, she knew she had to escape. So she waited for her shift as a 911 operator to end, and she made her way back home to Washington, where her brother Chris was waiting for her. She knew he wouldn't let anything happen to her.

She even managed to score another job working as a 911 dispatcher and soon life would be perfect. She knew that Garret would know she went back to her hometown, but Dana felt that with so many people she knew looking out for her that she would be safe. At least until she began to see signs that Garret was back and he was going to make sure Dana would come home with him, even if it meant taking out those who stood in his way, one by one. She finds solace and comfort in Boone Carter, a former smoke jumper who was badly burned and found that true love doesn't exist. At least when his fianceè left him when she saw his face. Now he knows that no one can love him for who he really is, when all they can see is his scars. But even though Dana may not have visible scars, she still has them and soon her and Boone work together to ensure that Dana can defend herself if Garret gets too close. But will Boone become Garret's next target instead?

I received Beneath Copper Falls by Colleen Coble compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers and TLC Book Tours. This was one of the best murder mysteries I have read because one I was engaged I never wanted to turn my back on the action jumping off of the pages. It was heart-stopping, page turning, and trying to convince my eyes to read faster so I could know how it turns out. I love the interactions between Dana and Boone and love their friendship! That so many of us focus on what we see in people without getting to truly know them, but its on the inside the counts so much more. As the years go by and we age, we better hope that what we loved about someone is more than just skin deep! I wanted so much more and now will take a trip to my local library or book store to get all the Rock Harbor series novels. This is book 6 in the series! Who knew I could love a genre as much as I did this one! 5 out of 5 stars for keeping me wide awake til I finished and wanting more!!! A Discussion Guide is included for book clubs at the conclusion of this novel.

For more information about Beneath Copper Falls, Colleen Coble or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Colleen Coble on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Beneath Copper Falls, please visit TLC's Book Tour page.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Savoring the Seasons

One of my favorite settings for a novel is an small, quaint country English village. I guess I found my love for them after watching the movie The Holiday. But I became truly enchanted when I picked up the Chilton Crosse novels and found that love I had been missing. In each novel in the series, the reader gets to know each of the village's residents a bit more that live in Chilton Crosse and with Savoring the Seasons, by Traci Borum, the fourth novel, the reader gets to really know Julia Bentley who runs Rose's Bakery in town. Her ninety year old father does his part by sitting outside the bakery handing out samples to those that pass by, whether tourists or simply someone in town. In fact, the entire town knows how much of his life and love he has poured into the bakery.

The bakery has been open now close to 40 years and with that, the town decides to celebrate all the hard work that the Bentley's have put into their baking. Mrs. Pickering decides the best way to do that is to form small committees to complete the tasks need to pull this off as a surprise of a lifetime and the only thing they will allow Julia to do, is bake a cake. So as the town sets off to complete their assignments, Julia discovers Tristan Hannigan, the new delivery man for supplying the bakeries needs and feels immediately drawn to him. Until he shaves off his beard and she realizes he is more than a decade younger than she is. While she is 40, and he is only 29 going on 30, she wonders if there might be a possibility for them. For now, they agree to be friends, something everyone can do with more of, especially Julia who's life consists of waking up early to begin baking, and taking care of her elderly father.

Just reading about all the tasty treats Julia whips up since discovering an old cookbook left behind with all her mother's notes, makes the reader want to indulge in some as well. Just as it seems things might be looking up in the romance department for Julia, Tristan's mates from the University show up since he refused to attend their reunion and with it, Tristan's old ex who is drop dead beautiful who still seems to have a thing for Tristan. With the retelling of all their old school stories, Julia can't really contribute much except for smiling at this and that, and begins to wonder if the feelings she has for Tristan aren't just hopeful anticipation and perhaps the age difference between them is more than meets the eye.

I received Savoring the Seasons by Traci Borum compliments of Red Adept Publishing. The delightful thing about this novel is the quips of wisdom that opens up each chapter. While it might allude to baking advice it also parallels life advice as well. For example, "Don't take fresh ingredients for granted. Smell them, touch them, turn them over in your hand and really look at them. Appreciate their qualities and what they're about to do for your recipe. Don't get to busy that you forget to savor the small things." And that is just the theme of this novel. Savoring the Seasons in our lives. Too often we are consumed by our daily to do lists that we forget to engage in the people around us and before we know it, life has passed us by. I know if you love novels that take place with a small group of people that love and care for one another, pick up the Chilton Crosse series. For me, this one was well worth all 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion.

For more information about Savoring the Seasons, Traci Borum or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can find Traci Borum on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Their Pretend Amish Courtship

Fanny Erb wasn't looking for a husband. She was pretty set on what her future looked like and as long as it let her continue to work with horses, she was fine staying single. But as any Amish woman knows, marriage is something to all women should look forward to as well as beginning a family. But Fanny is different from all the other Amish women. Without a potential husband in the near future, her Mamm believes she could go to Florida to help out her ailing grandparents. Without any ties to her community aside from working with the English woman and her horses, Fanny has no excuse.

Noah Bowman dreams that one day his passion for baseball will be his future. Unfortunately as the last single men living in his parents home, they have made small concessions since he hasn't joined the church to allow him to participate in the local communities games as a pitcher. He believes his God-given talent shouldn't be wasted especially if he is offered a position on a professional team. When Fanny shows up at his door with a crazy proposal to pretend to court her, he refuses immediately. He knows it is dishonest and despite how well they both have things in common, he views Fanny as more of a friend than ever entertaining the notion she would one day be his wife.

When Noah learns that his mother and sisters have begun making plans for him to attend singings and picnics to meet new Amish girls, he wonders how far-fetched Fanny's plan really is. Yet when his mother demands he give up his baseball games, he knows he will do whatever it takes to continue in his passion of playing baseball. Who knows this way perhaps Fanny gets to stay home from Florida and continue working with the horses and he can continue to play baseball. Sounds like a perfect plan and they believe they have everything figured out, or have they?

I received Their Pretend Amish Courtship by Patricia Davids compliments of Harlequin Love Inspired and TLC Book Tours. From the beginning you could see where this would go, but the humor that accompanies trying to live out a life that begins as pretends soon forces them to see the things that they believe separate them are the very things that weave them together. It is entertaining from the reader's perspective to see just how this year will go and what kind of hoops these two will have to jump through. Will they keep their passions or will they be forced to give up the Amish lifestyle they have been raised with? You'll just have to read this one to find out. I'd give this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars and is a quick read at 220 pages. This is the fourth book in the Amish Bachelor's series.

For more information about Their Pretend Amish Courtship, Patricia Davids or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the link below:

You can find Patricia Davids on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest books.

To read more reviews on Their Pretend Amish Courtship, please visit TLC Book Tour's page. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Soldier Who Killed A King

"What would it have been like to live in the geopolitical center of the first-century world, when donkeys and camels were the cars and trucks, conversations over goblets of wine were the social media, and religious conflict influenced every facet of life? What would it have been like to live under pagan, political domination of Roman tyranny, while also under the oppressive ritualistic control of hypocritical religious bigots? What would it have been like to live in the very week that this dark, confused world was invaded by heaven - a week when history shifted from BC to AD?

The Soldier Who Killed A King by David Kitz, is a gripping story that offers its readers front row seats from which we can see the action. It's a hidden camera on the helmet of the primary witness of the history-altering drama when the Sovereign of the Universe, quietly riding a lowly donkey, overthrew the pomp and dominion of the most powerful kingdom this world has ever known. More than that, it's a look into the mind and heart of a man, not unlike you or me, who wrestled with the meaning and purpose of life.

As you read the thoughtful eyewitness account of Marcus Longinus, the Roman centurion, the soldier who killed a king, you'll feel his anxiety and anguish as well as the exult in his ultimate answers because - despite the differences of time and culture - his story is our story." ~ Dr. Barry Buzza

The Soldier Who Killed A King by David Kitz is a work of historical fiction. Like other works in this genre, there are points where imagination is essential in order to round out the characters and fill n the details missing from the historical record. However every effort has been made to tell this story in the biblically accurate manner. Frequently, when the story narrative intersects with the biblical account, direct quotes from the Bible are used. This book marks the week of Christ's suffering, death and resurrection, a pivotal week in human history. Time and date entries at the head of each chapter acts as road markers as you work your way through the week. Most historical and biblical scholars situate this epic drama during the Passover week of AD 30, and if this is so, then we can pinpoint the many events to within minutes of this occurence.

I received The Soldier Who Killed A King by David Kitz compliments of Kregel Publications. This is such a wonderful book because as the foreward states, you feel like you are seeing these events as they occurred through the eyes of the Roman centurion. As you near the crucifixion, the reality of what really happened begins to cause your chest to tighten as if you were actually there. You feel the nails being pounded into the flesh of Jesus even though he uttered no words while this barbaric death was performed. This is one of the reasons I love biblical fiction because it takes those notable events from the Bible and takes the reader right into the heart of the action. I will be keeping this one tucked away in my permanent library and well worthy of all 5 out of 5 stars.

For more information about The Soldier Who Killed A King, David Kitz or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can find David Kitz on Facebook to stay up to date on all his latest works.

To read more reviews on The Soldier Who Killed A King, please visit Kregel Publication's website. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Altar Egos DVD Giveaway and Review

So what does one do when taking over an existing church from his father's legacy? Well you'd think based on the lack of church attendance, you would consider making some changes to invite more people to want to join right? Well that is precisely what Pastor John (Robert Amaya, Courageous and Moms Night Out) wants to do. During the service the existing church choir makes it difficult for anyone to stay focused and awake including the elderly organist so he begins to look for ways to increase church attendance. His biggest obstacle is Mary Margaret, the head chairperson on the church board who believes that change isn't something that the church requires. She begins to question whether he is the right man for heading up the church after all.

She takes it upon herself to organize a strike against his leadership beginning with the removal of the church choir, which has the remaining church members in a fuss. They want the choir back. Mary Margaret has also called for a church board meeting to discuss Pastor John's removal and subsequent replacement. If only he could find a way to attend that meeting. He convinces his thespian son, Jack to help him find the perfect disguise so he can go unnoticed as an elderly man in their meeting. However Jack doesn't think his dad can pull it off simply because he looks like an older man. So Jack dresses up as an elderly man, called Frank while his dad goes under the name Milo and they walk the mall trying out their disguises.

Well the role play is a success in one right, they now find themselves committed to joining the church members for meetings, a Christmas party and even a dinner meeting with the potential new pastor all while remaining in disguise. I won't reveal all the high jinks and humor that comes along with this, but you can tell from the movie's title, this one was well thought out. The theme of loving the unlovable, reconciliation and change versus tradition will be one the entire family will enjoy. This movie also stars Erin Bethea, (Fireproof).

I received Altar Egos compliments of Bridgestone Multimedia Group and LEV3L Digital. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and know that if you are looking for a great comedy that is perfect for the entire family, you will want to check this film out. It is Dove Family Approved and I can't wait for you to see it. I would easily give this movie a 4 out of 5 stars. Check out this exclusive film clip below:

Now for the thanks to the generosity of Bridgestone Multimedia Group and LEV3L Digital, they are giving away a copy of this DVD to one lucky winner. Here are your guidelines to enter:

1. "Like" Altar Ego's Facebook page.

2. Be a resident of the US or have a US mailing address.

3. Leave a comment below telling me why you'd love to win a copy of this movie along with your email address. You can use the words (at) and (dot) instead of the symbols.

4. Share this link on at least one social media site of your choice and post that link in the comments.

I will notify the winner of the giveaway on August 29th by email. If you don't include your email address I have no way of contacting you if you are the lucky winner.

For more information about Altar Egos and where you can pick up a copy of the DVD which releases on September 5, 2017, please click on the links below:

You can find Altar Egos on Facebook to stay up to date with all the movie fun.

To purchase tickets, access videos, photos, downloads, news, theaters, and more, visit Altar Egos website.

Gathering the Threads

"His Mamm called her the Thread Gatherer. Mann believed life was like an heirloom quilt that life ripped at the seams, and gatherers were rare. But Ariana took the frayed pieces and worked with them until the quilt could fulfill its purpose once again. Quill had seen her do it. At least once she had done it for him, when he was eighteen and his Daed died of a heart attack."

Gathering the Threads by Cindy Woodsmall is the third book in the Amish of Summer Grove series, and for this reader, I hope there is more. The best part of this novel that I really had to share is that at the beginning the author took the time to walk the reader through the previous novels to get them caught up to where this one begins. It is a rare jewel to find this in a series novel, but one I hope more authors will follow suit with.Ties That Bind and Fraying at the Edge are the first two in this series and should be read before picking this one up as it conveys so much more than a simple summary of the first two novels.

Ariana Brenneman is far from the Amish girl that her community remembers anymore, especially her boyfriend Rudy. Even her parents are struggling to figure out just how to get back the Amish girl they have raised, but not the daughter by birth. It was through an accident at birth that Ariana and Skylar Nash were switched and both grew up being raised by parents that were not theirs until they recently discovered the grave error. Since spending months with her English family, Ariana has been exposed to things she never knew before living among the Amish and never once questioning the ways they lived and believed, until now. Being forced by the ministers, her parents and boyfriend, they believe such correction is necessary to help Ariana return to her former life. She can't.

The only people that seem to understand her confusion is her best friend Quill Schlabach, also a former Amish man, Skylar, and her brother by being raised Amish Abram. They understand her confusion about trying to fit back into a society just because that is how you were raised but now are longer the same being exposed to reading the Bible for herself and understanding how the ministers in her community were manipulating things to work for themselves and not the community. It draws a line in the sand between the Amish upbringing she loved, and the new knowledge of what God has provided. Her parents are now faced with the prospect of being shunned if they can't control her defiant daughter, and her boyfriend Rudy isn't so sure he can wait for a girl that may no longer be who she was. This will be a true test of loyalty, love and faith for everyone if they hope to find a lasting peace among them all.

I received Gathering the Threads by Cindy Woodsmall compliments of WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers. In accordance with the new FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, you should assume that every book reviewed here at Reviews From The Heart was provided to the reviewer by the publisher, media group or the author for free and were received, unless specified otherwise. I really love how this book took into consideration all the things going on for Ariana, being challenged in her faith and standing up for what she believes God wants for her in her life, even if it means losing everything she ever knew. She knows she can never go back to that person, because that person no longer exists. Armed with a sense of love and faith, she tries to convince her family and friends of the life she has now embraced and that it might just mean walking away from everything she had ever known even if it separates her from her Amish family. I only hope that there might be more in this series as there are so many other relationships I would love to see expanded on at the conclusion of this one. This has been one of my favorite series by Cindy Woodsmall and well worth 5 out of 5 stars.

For more information about Gathering the Threads, Cindy Woodsmall or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Cindy Woodsmall on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Gathering the Threads, please visit WaterBrook Multnomah Publisher's website. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Writing Desk

Are you more of a fan of contemporary romances or historical romances like traditional regencies? If you're like me, you truly enjoy them both equally. The latest novel by Rachel Hauck gives romance lovers a bit of both in The Writing Desk. It parallels two vastly different time periods from the late Regency period to present day all revolving around a single piece of furniture, a writing desk. For Tenley Roth, she has been compared to her great-great-grandfather and father Conrad Roth for having the flair to turn out best selling novels. With her latest novel Someone to Love written during the time when she lost her father, she poured out all her emotions into her characters and of course the literary world is loving it. But with every best seller comes the next one and Tenley has just a few short months before her deadline and she is faced with writers block.

Besides facing an unexpected engagement and last minute proposal from her boyfriend Holt Armstrong, she didn't exactly say yes or no to him and has taken his ring and kept it in the same Tiffany box it arrived in. She is facing another dilemma when Holt offers her a trip to Paris to work on his screenplay alongside an award winning actress thinking it may relive whatever has kept her from writing, while at the same time, she is asked by her estranged mother Blanche Hastings to help care for her now that she is facing a cancer diagnosis and must endure chemotherapy treatments with no one else to help her. The only thing keeping Tenley from immediately coming to her mother's aid is the fact she walked out on her and her father and never looked back and now she wants Tenley's help as if nothing happened. Faced with such a choice she believes heading to Florida to care for her mother might give her the time she needs to resolve any issues with her mom in case she should lose her battle with cancer and not have a second chance. Holt however decides to head to Paris without her.

As the novel toggles between present day with Tenley and Blanche, it also goes back in history to Birdie Shehorn, a wealthy American socialite who has been tasked with finding a suitable match to keep the family at the top of the social ladder and possibly the next to replace the Astor family. But Birdie has a fondness for writing but can't seem to find a suitable publisher to take her seriously since when would someone like her need money? She manages to run into Gordon Phipps Roth, a man who is famous for all his romance novels and she believes if she can convince him to consider her writing, maybe she might stand a chance. However her mother keeps her bound to her own plans for marriage and arranges a suitable match with Alfonse Van Cliffs, who will take them to the top of the social ladder. But Alfonse isn't looking for a love match, but more along the lines of the same desires her parents have. If only her childhood friend Elijah Percy who is soon to become the next Earl of Montague, and has his own sets of plans to wed Rose Gottlieb to help shore up his weakening financial state due to mismanagement from his fathers business plans. Why does marrying for love have to be so complicated?

I received The Writing Desk by Rachel Hauck compliments of Zondervan Publishing and TLC Book Tours. In accordance with the new FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, you should assume that every book reviewed here at Reviews From The Heart was provided to the reviewer by the publisher, media group or the author for free and were received, unless specified otherwise. I absolutely love that as a reader, you feel like you are getting two complete novels in one. With Birdie's saga as well as Tenley's they both share a love for writing that transcends generations and ties them both with unexpected surprises found in The Writing Desk. I love Birdie's true determination to stand up to both her mother and father against what society deems is acceptable for her social status as well as Tenley coming to terms with her issues with her mother and being held to such a high standard based on the literature both of her great-great-grandfather and her father. Whether now or the Gilded Age. Women want to be safe, free and loved. They want to provide for their children. In the Gilded Age, woman wanted to climb the social ladder. In the modern age, women want to climb the corporate ladder." But as they will both see, they are not cut out for what the world has in store for them and instead will follow their own hearts even if it means they stand alone instead of with the crowd. I easily give this a well deserved 5 out of 5 stars and includes discussion questions that make this a perfect book club selection.

For more information about The Writing Desk, Rachel Hauck or where you can pre-order a copy of this novel due out in July of 2017.

You can find Rachel Hauck on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on The Writing Desk, please visit TLC Book Tours page.

Friday, August 11, 2017


I am beginning to love regencies more than almost any other genre, in part because society was so vastly different then than it is now. Women for the most part has no real role other than securing the best marriage match that will grow their own fortunes. It was all about society, propriety and wealth and the higher you climbed the more that was expected of you. Women for the most part were considered property unless their dowry allowed a marriage that would generously benefit all parties.

Take the traditional regency romances, we've all come to love like that of Pride and Prejudice, Downton Abbey or others and place it along a rich coastline filled with its own legends and stories, castles and myths like King Arthur and Camelot and the greatest love between Arthur and Gwenevere and you have the basics for the novel Havencross by Julie Daines. For the Cardinham family they had the title and prestige and up until their son John died, all was well. They had left for London in hopes of leaving that part of their past behind, their family home of Havencross in the small country village of Cornwall. But amid rumors of her father's soiled reputation they were forces to head home. It seems her father was seen having an affair with another woman and much to the families dismay, everything that they had hoped for was now in ruins. Even the match Elaine had secured with Lord Chiverton seemed lost as well.

She had left behind all her childhood memories, those she shared exploring the cliffs and caves, once rumored to house magical mysteries of Merlin and Camelot. Even those old castle ruins spurned many of their own legends and the childhood love she once had for Gareth Kemp were best kept in the past. She needed to figure out how she was going to find a future and with Gareth being less the above poverty, still working in the tin mines. So once more she wished upon the hand of Merlin's to find a way out of her mess. She wasn't expecting to find a wounded woman in one of the caves in need of medical attention, but the only help closest to her was the Kemp's and she would have to try and convince Gareth to help even if he refused to believe her childhood stories.

I received Havencross by Julie Daines compliments of Covenant Communications. There is something amazing about this novel. Perhaps because it contains tidbits of everything we love. Regency fans will love everything about this book and even fantasy fans will love the connection with King Arthur along with some mysterious smuggling that seems to be happening right in their own backyards, but for now, those remain a secondary concern. With Gareth's hard work, he is no longer a nobody and is in position to marry above his previous social standings and unfortunately the only woman he has loved is finding herself in her own possible marriage proposal from a man she had thought forgotten about. Mystery, adventure, romance and even a bit of magic will find its way into a reader's heart by the conclusion of Havencross and now Julie Daines will be a watch author for me, one that will go on my must have list. This one easily garners a 5 out of 5 stars in this readers opinion.

For more information about Havencross, Julie Daines or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Julie Daines on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novesl

To read more reviews on Havencross, please the sites below on this blog tour:

*August 7th:
*August 8th:
*August 9th:  
*August 10th:  
*August 11th: 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Shattered Tree

"He crawled as far as the shattered tree and lay there, faint from the effort. But he knew he had to keep moving. When he stopped, when the sweat dried on his skin, he'd begin to shiver again, wracking his body until his teeth chattered. There wasn't enough left of his uniform to keep his warm, and his captors, God help them, had taken his boots. Good English leather. He'd stolen them himself from a corpse.

He grimaced, afraid to look at his torn feet. He'd lost too much blood from other wounds. The one in his leg had mercifully stopped bleeding, and the cut in his hairline had clotted over, but the damage had been done. He was light-headed from lack of food, finding it hard to concentrate. A crow couldn't find enough to eat in this countryside after four years of war. He'd be dead soon if he didn't reach his own lines."

Welcome to the latest Bess Crawford mystery by Charles Todd, the Shattered Tree. It all takes place in France in October of 1918, where a lone man is discovered wounded. He is taken to a local hospital where nurse Bess Crawford tends to his wounds before he is taken elsewhere to recover. But since he can't tell anyone who he is or where he is from, he remains a mystery patient. Until one night he is attacked by another patient and in his stress, he utters protests in German. Bess is concerned that this man might be a German spy, but why is he wearing a French soldier's uniform and missing all identification? As she is sent to attend a man along with a doctor in a trench, she is caught in the crossfire of a sniper's round and finds herself a patient. She begins to follow the mystery man to the very same location she is being sent to recover, only know she has a possible name he is going by Phillipe Moreau, which is French, but why does he seem so fluent in German?

That is the best part of any Bess Crawford mystery is the slow unraveling of clues as she uses her recovery time in Paris, to figure out who this man is. Why is he running? What is he hiding? As she gets closer to the truth, those around her wind up their own victims of being stabbed. How can it be the wounded man who clearly is unable to walk much less attempt murder of anyone including an attempt on her own life again. She must figure it out before she is sent back to the aid station in France again or before more people wind up wounded or even murdered. Will she be next?

I received The Shattered Tree by Charles Todd compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers. This is such an extraordinary series and even though they are ongoing, you don't need to read them in order to appreciate the mystery aspects of the novel. It's like a Sherlock Holmes book, each mystery is unique and original and always involves nurse Bess Crawford, like a historical Nancy Drew of sorts! This is one of my favorites of the novels I've had the pleasure to read and review. I give this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars and can't wait for the next one, Casualty of War coming soon. At the conclusion of this one, readers will find discussion guide questions, an interview with the author about this novel and more about the Bess Crawford series. This is the 8th novel in the Bess Crawford series.

For more information about The Shattered Tree, Charles Todd or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Charles Todd on Facebook to stay up to date on all his latest novels.

To read more reviews on The Shattered Tree, please visit William Morrow's website.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Included in Christ

The Book of Ephesians from the Bible is perhaps one of my favorite books. There is so much wisdom to be gleaned and it is a surprisingly short book at that. Yet don't be confused that just because it is short, doesn't mean that there isn't much to learn. In fact, Paul probably used so many concise specific topics that not only applied to the people living in Ephesus, but also is very relevant to us in our current modern day age. Ephesians is a letter from Paul that you can understand best by thinking about seven operative or most important words in this short study. These words happen to be vivid verbs. The seven words in the 8 week study of Ephesians surely change you. It represents deeply transformation material. The hope is that after you finish this study people will begin to wonder and ask if you are a different person.

To complete this study you will need, a Bible ( one that you love the most will benefit you the best and everyone has their preferred choice), something to write on and with. Even though this study comprises eight weeks, five days each, keep your own pace and what works best for you. God may be calling you to spend time on something in this book that might be relevant to what He wants to teach you and what you are going through. I guess what anyone needs in completing any Bible Study is an open mind and a willing heart. This book can be used in an individual, couple or even a small group study through the book of Ephesians.

Each chapter in this book will ask you to think carefully about the crucial verb in each section and to picture a scene in our mind about this verb, such as 'how does a person understanding this verb live?' You first begin to answer the question bu first identifying their opposites or contrasts to enhance how we make sense of our new identity in Christ. You will begin with a shadow narrative about the particular verb you are studying. How that applies to your life, what are you doing or should be doing  and then using your five senses see if you can develop a short story about how He is currently writing about this verb in your life. These can be positive or negative and can be things you want to share or just keep to yourself. By the end of the study you will quickly identify ways your Shadow Narratives prevent you from fully embracing and fully inhabiting God's Word and you will have new stories to tell, your Savior story, to truly learn from the Scripture.

I received Included in Christ by Heather Holleman compliments of Moody Publishers and Side Door Communications. Each of this daily and weekly studies are to help you understand how you can become a new creation in Christ and embrace that and learn to let go of the old you, the former person who is trying to keep you from all Christ has in store for you. Think of it like spring cleaning for your soul and its about time to learn to let go of that excess baggage we've been carrying and lighten our loads and embrace the joy that comes from having a Christ centered life. These are perfect for small group studies or even a couple's study that will enrich your relationships in ways you never dreamed possible. I would give this a 4 out of 5 stars in my opinion.

For more information about Included in Christ, Heather Holleman or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can find Heather Holleman on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest information.

For more reviews on Included in Christ, please visit Moody Publisher's website.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Murder Games

Serial Killers.

We have all heard about them.

They need for notoriety and the belief that they will be the greatest in the history of murderers. They all have their own mode of operation or MO, and some prefer their methods over what others might choose. For some it is personal. For others simply a way to mete out their own satisfaction for justice in a system that seems to favor criminals while the guilty go free on technicalities. There are also two types of serial killers, those who want to get caught and those who really want to get caught. Some just are seeking publicity and others want to be famous. In the end though, even the very best serial killers make stupid mistakes that get them caught when they aren't even looking.

Enter The Dealer or at least that is the name that the media, the Mayor and the police detectives are labeling the latest serial killer to land on New York City's streets just in the midst of a critical election year so everyone is using this to their own political agenda and the focus is on Dr. Dylan Reinhart, a well known author and college professor who is what some might call the expert on criminal behavior. Perhaps it is the Dealer's decision to invite Dylan into his sick games as the body counts begin to rise and with each is left a cryptic card, one of 52 from a standard deck of playing cards. Only these cards are a message, one that will give a clue to who the next victim is, beginning with Jared Loudin who ran a large hedge fund. It was there that the games began.

It will take a true master who gain access into a serial killer's thought process and perhaps that is why Dylan is chosen. Since it has been somewhat of a personal invitation, he is willing to place his bets he can solve this crime before too many cards have been dealt from the deck. With pressure from the Mayor's office and working with Detective Elizabeth Needham, they will begin the race against a stacked deck to solve this killer's identity. Will he be able to convince the Dealer to lay down his cards or will all bets be off and possibly have his own hands to deal instead.

I received Murder Games by James Patterson and Howard Roughan compliments of Little Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group. In accordance with the new FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, you should assume that every book reviewed here at Reviews From The Heart was provided to the reviewer by the publisher, media group or the author for free and were received, unless specified otherwise. This is another exceptional novel for fans of James Patterson. I mean for fans of anything like Criminal Minds, CSI or any other criminal murder mystery, then you would probable love this novel. It was the idea of the playing cards being left at each of the murders that had me interested. I do need to caution readers about a couple of things. It is a murder mystery so the crime scenes are there but not to graphic. There is some strong language but most of it is implied meaning the words are used with symbols representing the actual words. Thus implied. The main character Dr. Dylan Reinhart is married to his domestic partner Tracy and they are attempting to adopt a child from Africa. Thus another need for disclosure for those that might from on that content. Since book reviews are slated to offer a peek at what's really inside, thus my need for full disclosure on what you will find inside. That being said, I would rate this novel a 4 out of 5 stars in my opinion. Readers also get a sneak peek at his next novel, The Store, at the conclusion of this novel.

For more information about Murder Games, James Patterson or where you can pick up a copy of this book, please click on the links below:

You can find James Patterson on Facebook to stay up to date with all his latest novels.

To read more reviews on Murder Games, please visit Little, Brown and Companies website. 

Monday, August 7, 2017

The Unexplainable Church - Bible Study

How does the grace of God work harder within us? How do we promise its fruit in our lives? Can we accept the grace of God as an intellectual assent and not experience any of its effects? Many Christians rest in the assurance of God's grace to take them to heaven, yet experience little of its ramifications in their daily lives. Or they yearn for more. There is a stirring in their soul, ushering them to experience the fullness of God's grace in their lives. But how?

This fifty-day journey is an invitation to walk alongside a man who never got over the awe and wonder of God's grace. For years he had sought God's favor through a religion of works, spiritual disciplines, knowledge and service. Then he met Jesus, and after approximately a decade of understanding Jesus as the Messiah, he finally came to the realization of the fullness of His grace. And he was never the same again. Rather than resting on a bed of laurels at the gift of grace he had been given, he strove even harder to ensure that God's grace to him was not in vain. He accepted the divine invitation and most likely met his Savior with a clear conscience and no regrets.

In The Unexplainable Church by Erica Wiggenhorn, readers will use this study guide to work their way through the Acts, chapter 13-28 over fifty days to discover the invitation that not only went out to Paul and his disciples after the ascension of Jesus but also to those who began believers at that time, and the beginning of what we know now as the church age believers. It helps us all understand our own unique place we have not just to be followers of Christ, but understanding the importance the role of the church plays in spreading the gospel message. Each day's study begins with a thematic title and Bible passage that should take you about 20-30 minutes to complete. The version used in this study is the English Standard Version, but you can use any version you are most comfortable with to do this study. You will encounter questions in blue working through your daily assignment. These questions are geared to help you stop, pray, collect your thoughts, and write out the answers.

Writing responses will take you into a deeper understanding of these passages of scripture to see how they can apply to your life today. On certain days, you will come across blue frames and these are your time to be creative, draw, doodle or ponder and ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you in the quietness of your heart. Bible Study is not meant to be a task to complete. Instead, it is an avenue for building a relationship with God. This resource can be used in small group Bible studies and the leader's guide for this study indicated which questions work best for groups. You can access this resource through the website provided in this book as well as additional resources that will take you deeper into the daily studies if you want to as well.

I received The Unexplainable Church by Erica Wiggenhorn compliments of Moody Publishers and Side Door Communications. In accordance with the new FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, you should assume that every book reviewed here at Reviews From The Heart was provided to the reviewer by the publisher, media group or the author for free and were received, unless specified otherwise. Each days study can be completed in as little as 30 minutes or less and is designed to take you into a deeper study of the early believers that make up the age of church age believers which began when Jesus left and sent His Holy Spirit to begin to minister into the hearts of those willing to be open to His message. I especially love this study in Act because we have a common place with the invitation of the early church age believers. We are still adding to them daily and it helps to understand the various roles the church plays in making this the success that it has in the world today. It helps us all understand the individuals roles we all play to continue this ministry until we are called home. I easily give this a 4.5 out of 5 stars and I especially love the additional resources that can be found online that can incorporate this into a small group Bible Study.

For more information about The Unexplainable Church, Erica Wiggenhorn or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can find Erica Wiggenhorn on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest books.

To read more reviews on The Unexplainable Church, please visit Moody Publishers website. 

Friday, August 4, 2017

A Game For All The Family

The thing about psychological thrillers is that you will undoubtedly get fans who love it or will be stuck like a deer in the headlights, not quite sure what just happened. That is to be expected. On the heels of such novels like The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl, fans of this novel by Sophie Hannah, A Game For All The Family will be one of two. Either you will love it or you will be completely lost by what happened. That's what makes things like this novel work. You aren't supposed to make sense of it sometimes.

So how to describe this novel without giving too much away. You have a family that has sold their home and is moving into a new one complete with a new future ahead. For Justine Merrison, she has walked away from a career in the entertainment industry and is beginning a new one. One doing absolutely NOTHING. As she likes to explain. No where to be, no deadlines, no one to report to. Even the simple task like taking her daughter Ellen to school is an option, not required as the bus can take her to the prestigious school they have picked out. For her husband Alex, he travels quite a bit, so having a place in any one city is not a necessity. Another option.

But now enter the unexplained which readers hope will be explained later in the novel. Don't want to give it all away too soon right? They pass by a row of houses that don't look like the place anyone would ever want to live. They are run-down and in the midst of a busy freeway as well. But for some reason, Justine feels a pull to a particular house without understanding the reason why. Her daughter and husband think she has lost it, and soon once it is long gone in the rear view mirror, things begin to get back to normal. The family moves into a home called the Speedwell House as most homes in London don't really have house numbers but house names instead. Everything is as it should be and soon they all settle into what some would call a routine sense of normal. Until Ellen arrives home four months later from school with her latest assignment for English, writing a story. It is what is in the story that has Justine puzzled, as most readers would simply laugh it off as a fictional tale. But it is something about the names and the way she has laid out a family tree, that begins the tale of "what is going on?" in the novel.

Ellen begins to be withdrawn and her mother, wonders that is going on. She is definitely not the same daughter that she had more than four months ago. After countless attempts to discover what is going on, she learns that her best friend has been expelled from school under a misunderstanding about a coat she loaned him. As Justine goes to confront the head administrator at the school, she learns that no such child has existed at this school, therefore, no expulsion of a student she claimed was her best friend, George. Readers will then toggle between the story Ellen has written over time, in succeeding chapters, about a family of 5 that lived in this house and in which one of the daughters has murdered a childhood friend.

I received A Game for All The Family by Sophie Hannah compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers. In accordance with the new FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, you should assume that every book reviewed here at Reviews From The Heart was provided to the reviewer by the publisher, media group or the author for free and were received, unless specified otherwise. Don't get lost dear reader, hang in there til the end, where as most great novels, it all begins to make sense. You are taken back to look at everything and now see it with a different perspective but that is where things begin to accelerate until the end. I wasn't too happy with how it ended, leaving me wanting more than just what happened. But I let you make the decision for yourself. I would give this one a 4 out of 5 stars and the book does contain some strong language and a same sex storyline with one of the characters which some readers may not care for. One must disclose this if you are going to do an honest review right? I mean that is what I look for when reading a book review.

For more information about A Game For All The Family, Sophie Hannah or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can find Sophie Hannah on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on A Game For All The Family, please visit William Morrow's website.