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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Beside Still Waters



Loss might just be the hardest challenge in life we must overcome when we face it. It might be loss of life, a job, an unfulfilled expectation, an unanswered prayer or just a sense of lost direction of where we should head next. In Beside Still Waters by AnnaLee Conti, the third novel in the Alaskan Water Series, Violet Channing has had her fill of these losses. Giving up her dream to become a schoolteacher leaving her one year short of being a certified to care for her last remaining family member, she knows first hand how to handle the loss of both of her parents, her uncle and sadly within a couple of months her aunt. She is now left all alone. No family to speak of, and only a few pieces of her former life she can take with her, she knows she can't stomach going back to work in the garment factory. She responds to an ad in the paper for a teaching position of a young ailing child in the Alaskan wilderness.

She is more than thrilled and a bit apprehensive when she gets a letter notifying her to come to an interview with the grandmother who is attempting to fill the position. Jennie has lost her mother and now is faced with a heart condition that keeps her confined to bed and without the ability to attend school. It is the perfect job and a chance to leave all her losses behind her and instead head west from Boston to Alaska. She makes a wonderful impression on Mrs. Henderson who believes Violet is just what her granddaughter needs and offers to full fund her expenses to travel and also to prepare for the wildness life she is about to face. Brutally cold winters and a lot of uncertainty. Now it will take her a couple of weeks to travel first by train, then by steamship and then train again to get to Whitehorse Alaska. She meets an unlikely prospect in John Barston, a steamship captain bound for Whitehorse to prepare his own ship for travel after the winter storage and gives Violet an informative tour along the way.

They both learn a lot about not only the river they travel upon but also the railroad line which John is employed with as well. They seem to be well-suited for one another, but Violet soon realizes that she can't get involved with a man who will be working aboard a steamship while she remains employed as the Henderson teacher and caregiver. She has put her faith on the back burner due to the many losses she has had to face along the way, and wonders how God could be so cruel to leave her alone for so long and now with no family to speak of. It will be a true test of her faith if she can find it again and perhaps in the process will learn why she has had to face such adversities in someone so young. Then again perhaps God has never left and instead has been guiding her all the way.

I received Beside Still Waters by AnnaLee Conti compliments of Ambassador International Publishers. This is such an exceptional novel because it is richly filled with so much historical information from the gold miners who sought their own future in the Alaskan wilderness and how the railroad lines were laid at the cost of so many lives. Simply picking up the pieces of the life she has left, it shows great courage to reach out for an unknown future like Violet does. Some might frown on how quickly she finds love, but in reality, during those rough times, people didn't take long periods to court when the adverse conditions didn't allow for it. Sometimes you simply know the right person for you is the first person you meet along the path God has created for your future. I easily give this a 5 out of 5 stars and find myself desperately wanting to read the first two novels in this series!

For more information about Beside Still Waters, AnnaLee Conti or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:


You can find AnnaLee Conti on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Beside Still Waters, please visit Ambassador International Publisher's website. 


Monday, September 18, 2017

Wish Me Love



Did you ever have a blind date or a date that was so bad, you can remember it to this day? Have you ever had your heart break in a relationship? I am sure that most of us can respond to one if not both of the questions over the life of our dating relationships while trying to find that happily ever after we all want. In the novel Wish Me Love by Michele Ashman Bell, Charlotte Wells has been dealing with the heartbreak of her ex boyfriend and ex best friend. Seems like when she was looking forward to her happily ever after, the two of them found it first and left her high and dry. Now she has vowed that when love comes her way, whenever that is, she will hope it will be the one she has been waiting for.

Her best friend and co-worker Jack, convinces her to take a huge risk. Defying the odds, he tells her the only way she will ever find the right guy is to go on dates, even if they turn out to be flops. He challenges her to date 50 guys in hopes that the odds of finding Mr. Right will be in her favor. Unfortunately, it also places Charlotte as a volunteer tribute. She isn't sure that this is the right way to filter through the men who want to see if there is a love match there. Meanwhile Jack and Charlotte are offered a chance to start their own advertising company, since despite all their hard work at their current job seems to be taken by the owner of the company rather than giving credit where credit is due.

Charlotte begins the task by telling everyone she knows to set her up and provide phone numbers to guys that might be interested in dating her. The author used ideas garnered from those she asked to share their horror stories of dating as the inspiration for this novel and you can only imagine how some of those might go. Jack is trying to find a way to spend time with his financè Sylvia, who is currently swamped at her job and can hardly find time to make plans for her own wedding. Charlotte also decides to accept the challenge to fly to Brazil to her cousin's wedding as a way of getting a fresh perspective on her future, while also renovating her first fixer upper and soon to be home of her own.

I received Wish Me Love by Michele Ashman Bell compliments of Covenant Communications. First off, some insight into this novel. This is a Later Day Saints novel meaning the characters in this story are Mormons and thus their religious practices are prevalent in this novel. If you can set that aside if you're not a Mormon believer, like I did, than this is such an exceptional novel. The premise is amazing and you can only imagine the types of dates Charlotte will find herself on. I would easily give this novel a 4 out of 5 stars in my opinion, religious aspects aside of course. I love the friendship that Jack and Charlotte share because it reminds me of the same friendship I shared with my husband, even working together like Jack and Charlotte did as well.

For more information about Wish Me Love, Michele Ashman Bell or where you can pick this book up today, please click on the links below:


You can find Michele Ashman Bell on Facebook to stay up to date on her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Wish Me Love, please visit Covenant Communication's website. 


Friday, September 15, 2017

The Promise Bride



Love Christian western romance novels? What about Christian murder mysteries? What if you could find both in the same novel? You might just want to pick up The Promise Bride by Gina Welborn and Becca Whitman. I really LOVED this first novel in the Montana Bride series, and features Emilia Stanek who wants a better life for herself, her two siblings and her father, working for Spiegel as a Customer Service Manager. Living in a run down tenement in Chicago in the late 1800's, she struggles with the filthy living conditions and what the outcome will be if they don't find a way to live. So she answers an ad for a mail order bride in Montana. A new life out west, clean air to breathe, and a man willing to take her entire family into his ranch home in the Montana Territory.

After spending the last ten months working, she finally has almost enough money for all of them to travel to Montana, until their landlord demands $30 to pay for the cost of the repairs he is charging all of his tenants. Her father, tells her to take her two siblings and he will follow them in three months. She agrees as only a last resort and hopes she can convince Phineas Collins to help her bring her father to Montana as soon as possible. Her marriage was by proxy and she can't wait to get to Montana to file the paperwork to make her legally his wife. Only the one thing she didn't plan for was to learn upon arriving by train that Finn, or Phineas was found murdered. The Sheriff tries to convince Emilia to take herself and get back on the train headed home since there is nothing for her in Montana.

Emilia knows she can't go back to living like she was, and this time she has to think of her family first. So she becomes determined to file her paperwork and try to work the ranch in hopes she can raise enough money to bring her father to Montana. Her siblings Luci and Roch just want to head home, but she knows they need to try to find a fresh start. What she is completely unaware of is that the person or persons who murdered Finn, might just try to kill her unless they find out why he was murdered, and that she will also inherit all of Finn's debts as well. Her first impression of the ranch is a far stretch from what she expected and to top if all of Sheriff McCall refuses to let her go about unprotected until he can bring the killer to justice.

I received The Promise Bride by Gina Welborn and Becca Whitman compliments of Zebra Books, a division of the Kensington Publishing Corporation and NetGalley. I really love the raw determination that Emilia has. To walk away from everything she knows and to take care of her siblings with a future she had hoped for is far from what she gets. Armed only with her willingness to rise above the tragic circumstances facing her, she will prove everyone wrong who ever thought she would need protection and that she would run back home when faced with adversity. Doesn't hurt to have a man standing by ready to lend a hand whether she wants it or not. I give this novel a 5 out of 5 stars and can't wait for the next book in the series but don't forget to check out the novella Come Fly With Me which proceeds this one.

For more information about The Promise Bride, Gina Welborn, Becca Whitman or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:


You can find Gina Welborn on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

You can find Becca Whitman on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on The Promise Bride, please visit Zebra Book's website. 


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Blink



I don't think there isn't anyone who doesn't know what the Rapture is? From Hollywood movies, to books, everyone has heard of it, but what remains to be seen is who believes it is a real event? In the novel, Blink by S.A. Jewell, it opens with the event known as the Rapture from the Bible. In less than a blink of an eye, millions from everywhere simply vanish leaving no traces behind that they were even there. Most of the disappearances have happened in the United States with relatively little coming from the Middle East or China. Now the world has to answer the one question lingering in everyone's mind, "Where did everyone go? Will it happen again?"

As the world begins its downward spiral into chaos, and while the economies all over the globe try to struggle with the implications of millions simply vanishing into thin air, there are a remnant that know precisely what has happened and why they have been left behind. Now they will be the target in the years ahead that usher in the seven years of tribulation or wrath of God on an unbelieving world that despite all these global catastrophes, refuse to acknowledge Him and instead reject Him even further. Just as the Bible predicts in countless books from Revelation, to Daniel to Ezekiel and even the New Testaments, time is running out for a world looking for answers.

Marcus Junius, a charismatic leader from Italy soon realizes how he can profit from what is happening around the globe, since the vanishings have not impacted the European Union as much and realizes that the leader who can control chaos and bring about prosperity and peace when the world is out of control, will be the one that they will look to for answers. Little by little he capitalizes on the situation and soon finds himself forming a Federation that promises peace, security and prosperity for the nations that join. He even manages to pull off the impossible when he gets Israel to sign a peace treaty for at least the next seven years to ensure that no one wipes this nation off the face of the earth. But is it really all that people expect or is there something even more sinister about to be unleashed on the world?

I received Blink by S.A. Jewell compliments of Ambassador International Publishers. Since I have been a fan of Bible Prophecy and Eschatology, I LOVED this novels perspective on the events prophesied to take place in the future. I would have liked to have seen this one broken into a series of books since the story line is so consolidated to wrap seven years into one novel. The perspective and subsequent passages from the Bible are wonderful and hopefully will lead the reader to do their own research to see what the Bible has to say. I would easily give this novel a 4.5 out of 5 stars and only wish the novel was more in depth instead of so consolidated in the events that happen during the Tribulation period.

For more information about Blink, S.A. Jewell or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:


You can find S.A Jewell on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Blink, please visit Ambassador International Publisher's website. 


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Mind Games



Nefesh Bria.

Hebrew for healthy soul.

When Nefesh Bria opens it's door in 18th century renovated building. Some of the tenants are less than thrilled to learn that a mental health clinic is opening its doors on the first floor. Along with a travel agency and art gallery, how does one deal with the potential crazy people that will be walking around within the facility. Some of them may stop at nothing to ensure that this business finds a new place to set up shop.

When Psychologist Natalie Marsh gets drawn into chasing down a young distraught woman, Heather Osbourne, who believes she is following the advice of her great-great-great grandmother who died accidentally when she fell from the properties 4th floor window. She believes if they can exist in the same realm, she might be better off. Thankfully, her suicide attempt is faulted by Natalie and her friends Stewart and Ainsley. Hoping she will get the help she needs, they work on creating positive impressions of their facility within the community.

Wealthy entrepreneur Robert Chapman loves a bit of adventure and has hired Stewart's cousin Drew to take him treking on the John Muir Trail, but Ainsley and Stewart are tired of his boasting how wonderful all the perks and bonuses are of being asked to be the "trekmaster." They believe if Stewart could have those opportunities instead, they might just get out of the financial hole they believe themselves to be in. Ainsley convinces Stewart to get Drew drunk and with the recent string of burglaries in their apartment complex, they can stage an attack that will leave Drew unable to attend. While the initial attack is successful in breaking his leg, the complications from the event, now lead to Drew's death. Without figuring out a plan, they know it will be a matter of time before the police connect them to the crime. They need to find someone crazy enough to do this and they think they have found just the right scapegoat to take the fall.

I received Mind Games by Stephanie Black compliments of Covenant Communications. This is a great novel that takes a bit of time to ramp up and the reader it engaged. About the first 1/4 of the novel is spent introducing a lot of characters and setting the stage, but once that is out of the way, the story line begins to unfold and keep the reader wanting to finish the novel. This is a great novel that creates those moments of suspense where you think you might just have it all figured out, only to leave you second guessing your answers. Truly an exceptional novel once you get the beginning out of the way, hold on and I promise it will be worth the wait. I would give this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

For more information about Mind Games, Stephanie Black or where you can pick up a copy of this novel, please click on the links below:


You can find Stephanie Black on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Mind Games please visit the following book tour sites below: 

The Chesapeake Bride Giveaway and Review



I love great series of books that don't stop at the traditional 3 book trilogy that most do. It's like you get so involved in these characters, the small town of St. Dennis and the many people who live, work and fall in love there, all have their own stories created in their own novels. If you have never picked up any of the now eleven novels in the series, and love romances that are built on that small town feel along a beautiful and enchanting seaside community, you will want to pick up all of the books in the Chesapeake Diary series from Mariah Stewart.

In the Chesapeake Bride, the eleventh in the series, Cass Logan is an architect with a big vision of restoring the small community of Cannonball Island that has spent the last 200 plus years raising families, burying their loved ones and in most cases left behind as the ocean claimed more and more of the smaller islands. Now in disrepair and barely standing Cass' father, owner of Deiter Construction has purchased all 22 lots with the idea of building a new community. But with Cass' imagination and information she has gleaned from the oldest of residents who lived and loved those who made the island a home, she wants to restore as much of the original home as possible using the reclaimed materials and keep the original look and feel of the homes that were once built there.

With each encounter of a new person she meets from St. Dennis, her ideas and creativity are manifesting them in ways that has her winning the support of the surrounding town and even potential buyers before the homes have even broke ground. The only thing that she is certain about is that she isn't about to fall for local boy Owen Parker, whom she perceives as a player and heart breaker. When she runs into a potential huge delay in her project, a sunken vessel at the mouth of the river which would mean not being able to build docks for the homes she had originally designed, she has to rely on Owen whose been hired to salvage and determine the nature of the vessel and hopefully open the way up to continued work on the island home renovations. Not only that her father has placed the entire project in her hands and at this stage it seems like all hope might just sink!

I received The Chesapeake Bride by Mariah Stewart compliments of Simon and Schuster Publishers. I have read every single one of this books in the series and really LOVE this one as probably my most favorite. You have a single attractive adrenaline travel junkie, Owen Parker, who is not about to be rejected by any woman, including Cass Logan. Yet the more time they spend together, not doing the traditional date stuff, the more they begin to learn about the true person hiding behind the shell most see on the outside only. But like all good things, it can't just end with a happily ever after ending you'd expect. Nope this one has more debris than what is laying on the ocean floor that seem determined to keep our favorite characters separated. You'll find out how it all ends by picking up this novel, but I must warn you, be prepared for another potential sequel where things might wrap up there instead. Am I giving you a premonition or simply trying to create a desire to pick this one up? Only time will tell. I'd give this one a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion.

For more information about The Chesapeake Bride, Mariah Stewart or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:


You can find Mariah Stewart on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on The Chesapeake Bride, please visit Simon and Schuster Publisher's website. 

Thanks to the generosity of Simon and Schuster's Publisher, they are offering a copy of Driftwood Point, the 10th book in the series to one lucky follower of my blog. Here's all you need to do to enter to win.

1. Be a follower of my blog, Reviews From The Heart or "Like" my Facebook page, Reviews From The Heart. 

2. Be a resident of the US or have a US mailing address. No P.O. Boxes please!

3. Leave a comment either below on this blog post or on the Facebook page tell me why you'd love to win a copy of Driftwood Point. Please include your email address below along with your comment. You can use the words (at) or (dot) instead of the symbols. Facebook users, just leave me a comment and if you are chosen as the lucky winner, I will Private Message you for the information required. Blog Followers: No email address, means I have no way of reaching you to let you know if you are the lucky winner.

The giveaway will end on September 21st, so please be sure to enter as many times as you want. For an extra entry, share on your social media pages and I will give you an entry for each link you post and share on either Facebook or this blog post.



Tuesday, September 12, 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 NetGalley. 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 Zondervan Publisher's website.

A Place At Our Table



A handsome Amish volunteer firefighter. A single Amish girl working for her families restaurant. All they need is the right circumstance for them to meet so sparks can begin to fly and love begin to bloom. In this case, a fire is the catalyst that introduces them. As the Dienner family's barn is engulfed in flames, Jamie Riehl is part of the Amish fire department to respond. As they try to keep damage to a minimum, he learns besides the two horses trapped in the barn, her younger brother Nathan has not come out after trying to rescue them. All they can do is pray that Jamie can bring all of them to safety along with their firefighting team.

Even though the barn is a complete loss, Jamie was able to bring Nathan out of the barn after being trapped inside when a beam fell on him. Had they not gotten there in time, it would have been the second death in the Dienner family that fire has taken from them. Jamie doesn't realize it at the time, but Simeon, their oldest son and brother died fighting a fire when a house collapsed on him and they were unable to get him out. Now Nathan wants to be a firefighter when he is old enough but it is something Kayla is trying to discourage him from doing. She can't lose another brother and she believes Jamie is just filling his head with ideas that he shouldn't be considering. When he realizes the dilemma he works with Kayla and her family to not only help with the barn raising, but giving them time to decide if Nathan can join the program to train as a firefighter.

It seems a common thread for both of them, the love and loyalty of family, and while neither of them is looking for a relationship, they at least agree to be friends. Kayla's past relationship was the clincher in making her never want to trust in men again. While he maintained a status as her boyfriend, he never made her a priority, choosing his friends and interests instead of spending time with her. But with her connection with Jamie, they seem suited well for one another, even if his job does pose a very real threat that he might not make it home one day, they agree to see where things might lead on their own, but until an unexpected tragedy occurs, it will leave them completely at a loss on how to find their way back to the feelings that brought them together.

I received A Place At Our Table by Amy Clipston compliments of Zondervan Publishers and NetGalley. I really LOVED this novel and read it in hours, simply because the action is so intense and you're rooting for your favorite characters and then tragedy strikes and you wonder if they will remain apart with just the right elements making everything one big mess. As a reader, you are immensely invested in the story and it feels as real to you as if you are standing alongside them as a friend. That's what makes a great novel in my opinion and the reason for a 5 out of 5 stars. There are some great discussion guide questions at the conclusion that would make this a must read for book clubs. This is also the first novel in the Amish Homestead Series, and I can't wait to see what's next in the series.

For more information about A Place At Our Table, Amy Clipston or where you can preorder a copy of this novel due out in November of 2017, please click on the links below:


You can find Amy Clipston on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on A Place At Our Table, please visit Zondervan Publisher's website. 


Monday, September 11, 2017

Rule of Law



Did the President knowingly send Navy SEALS to their death?

That is the very answer people want to know, especially the twenty families of the Navy SEALS that died when a rescue mission went horribly wrong. Did our own government know facts ahead of time that would have spared lives or were they simply in the wrong place at the wrong time?

Veteran trial attorney and critically acclaimed, award-winning author Randy Singer takes us into the heart of political corrupt, legal battles and underhanded deals in his latest political thriller Rule of Law. Using his expert knowledge of law he spins a novel based on critical issues lurking on the horizon in 2016. Is the president above the law in matters of foreign policy? Should the CIA be fighting shadow wars with drones and Special Forces in countries where we have not declared war? And what happens when the lives of service members are sacrificed for political gain?

While the characters in the novel are complete fiction it is hard to match the entertainment value of the real world. All historical references, political, military and legal, are based on actual events. Most of his stories are inspired by real life and because he has filed counterterrorism lawsuits on behalf of clients who were kidnapped and tortured by the Houthis. This is what makes this novel believable to the point you find yourself questioning if this didn't happen already? Perhaps during Benghazi? In this novel a team of twenty Navy SEALS is sent on a covert mission monitored real time in the situation room in Washington, and suddenly it goes horribly wrong.

The team find themselves clearly outnumbered and their intel is flawed. All twenty members lose their lives but before they can send in an extraction team to claim the bodies, the president pulls rank and abandons them. Washington is more than shocked when the bodies of those men are suddenly broadcast on TV in the most horrible way. Suddenly information winds up coming to a team of attorneys that the president may have had for knowledge that this was a suicide mission and she chose to proceed anyway. The novel is the based on that courtcase that plays out in front of everyone in the nation. Will they be able to take the president to court over her mistake at putting men's lives at risk acting as if she is above the law? Find out!

I received Rule of Law by Randy Singer compliments of Tyndale House Publishers and Litfuse Publicity. This is a lengthy book so be prepared to spend some time getting familiarized with all kinds of law terms and court protocols pertaining the the government and military campaigns. There is simply so much the American public doesn't know about the branches of government and where those executive powers begin and end. I thoroughly enjoyed it although I believe it could have been a bit shorter. Some processes just kept repeating themselves and found myself wishing it would just get on with it already. For that reason I am giving this one a 4 out of 5 stars in my own opinion. Fans of anything legal and military based will love this one!

For more information about Rule of Law, Randy Singer or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:


You can find Randy Singer on Facebook to stay up to date on all his latest novels

To read more reviews on Rule of Law, please visit Litfuse Publicity's Book Tour Page.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Unshakable Trust



I've heard it stated that once trust is broken, it can be the hardest thing to repair. That is probably true because no one wants to deal with the "I told you so's!" when it happens again through no fault or perhaps fault of our own. In fact it was the first lesson I learned in my second marriage. I was hell bent on people having to earn my trust before I just gave it to them. However my future husband told me if I do that, you are treating everyone else that comes into your life as if they were the one's that broke your trust to begin with. Everyone has to be given a 100% in your life and you adjust accordingly. We all can agree that once trust has been violated, it is hard to mend those fences. In fact, it begs to ask the question is it even possible to do?

Well in Joyce Meyer's latest book. Unshakable Trust, she reminds readers in how to find the joy of trusting God at all times and in all things, because when we place our trust in man, it will be likely broken at some point because we are expecting perfection and no one can give us that perfection but God in our lives. Even I can agree that I am far from perfect so why would I anticipate that my trust would be an different. Trusting God is the best way to honor God and the benefits of doing so are countless and amazing. I could tell you story after story of putting my trust in God even when I didn't trust myself and have seen the incredible benefits in doing so. In fact God's ways almost defy human explanation. Trust is not an obligation we owe to God. It is a privilege that He makes available to us. When we do this, we open the door to a life of peace, joy and fruitfulness in our lives. It enables us to live without fear, worry, anxiety, fear, reasoning or debilitating stress. God wants us to lean on Him at all times and in all things, not just the ones we aren't getting our own way in.

Since we all have a tendency to be self-reliant and independent, it usually takes us quite a while to learn how to trust God. Part of that difficulty stems from our unpleasant experiences that often teach us that people cannot always be trusted. But God's ways are far above those of people, and His Word teaches us that His character is such that He cannot lie or deceive. In this book, Joyce will show you how to learn to trust without borders and have faith beyond reason. Total trust in God should be our goal. Hebrews 11:6 states, "without faith it is impossible to please Him." Faith and trust are so connected that we cannot separate them. It maintains His presence in our lives and connects us to Him in a very powerful way. Yet we also have an enemy, Satan, who continually seeks to prevent us from enjoying a relationship with God and the life He offers us. Satan tempts us with worry, fear, and anxiety, reasoning, stress, doubt and everything else that will get our mind off of God and cause us to lead self-absorbed lives in which we desperately try to take care of ourselves.

I received Unshakable Trust by Joyce Meyers compliments of Faith Words, a division of Hachette Book Groups. The only antidote for these miseries is complete trust in God. The best part of any of Joyce Meyer's books is that she shares her own personal struggles, often times laced with a bit of humor and gives you just the right advice as if your own Momma were dishing it out. It's straightforward, honest, and cuts right through the worlds own perverted self help ways to get us out of whatever we are going through. She can show you how to rebuild trust that is broken even if we can no longer converse with those that caused us to mistrust. She tears apart those world myths that too many of us fall for as well like 'don't assume that because you been hurt by someone that everyone will hurt you!' This was mine mantra for so long. God will not only heal you, but He will restore all those lost years of your life when you place your faith and trust in Him. For that reason, I give this book a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion and believe that we could all do with a dose of learning how to really TRUST again!

For more information about Unshakeable Trust, Joyce Meyers or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:


You can find Joyce Meyers on Facebook to stay up to date with all her teaching and books.

To read more reviews on Unshakable Trust, please visit Faith Words' website. 


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Murder in the Dog Days



Seems like the latest trend these days for group or team building activities is what is called Locked Rooms. A crime has been perpetrated within the confines of a locked room. The groups task is to find out what happened, solve the crime and answer all the questions of the crime scene. Seems like everyone these days thinks because they watch enough television crime shows, they can solve it as quickly as a 60 minute episode. But we all know that is not the case.

In Murder in the Dog Days by P.M. Carlson, Maggie Ryan is once again called out to a crime scene involving a reporter who at the last minute decided to forgo the plans with his family and finish up on a story while they all headed out to a summer picnic. Unbeknown to them, when they returned, they find Dale Colby, Olivia's colleague dead in a pool of his own blood in a locked room. So what happened? Who did it? What was the motive? Is this going to be the last of such murders?

Fans of P.M.Carlson's series, Maggie Ryan, will undoubtedly love this one. This is the 6th book in the series and takes Maggie back into what she does best, piecing together clues and trying to figure out just who did it. Readers will be tasked to do the same and hopefully figure it out before the end. Since this was my first time picking up a Maggie Ryan book, I wasn't sure what to expect. The one thing I can tell you is that readers are supposed to know more about Maggie as I am sure the subsequent novels invite the reader into a more in depth knowledge of her techniques and her own history that brings her to solve each of these cases. For me, this one just didn't make me want to finish it all in one sitting. It was a kind a book I could put down for a bit, and pick it back up and try to re-engage in the plot line and crime solving. For me, that's not a good sign.

I did receive Murder in the Dog Days by P.M. Carlson compliments of Crum Creek Press and Partners in Crime Tours. This book was 274 pages which if the story doesn't maintain the readers attention enough to keep them wanting to finish, it means elements are missing. The need to care for the characters or victim. I really wanted this one to work for me, because I love the idea of a woman detective with the stomach to handle to gore but also the intelligence and ability to handle dealing with the people she is likely to encounter. For me, this just have those. I would rate this one a 3.5 out of 5 stars in my opinion. It may be that one needs to read the previous 5 to understand more than I seemed to be getting out of this one and even took the entire day off of work to sit down and read it. Unfortunately it just didn't keep my attention and thus the reason for my rating.

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Murder in the Dog Days

by P.M. Carlson

September 1-30, 2017 Book Tour

Synopsis:

Murder in the Dog Days by P.M. Carlson
On a sweltering Virginia day in 1975, reporter Olivia Kerr, her husband Jerry Ryan, his very pregnant sister Maggie and her family decide to have a beach picnic. Olivia invites her colleague Dale Colby and his family to join them. At the last minute, Dale decides to stay home to pursue an important story. But when the beach-goers return, they find Dale lifeless in a pool of blood inside his locked office.
Police detective Holly Schreiner leads the investigation, battling Maggie—and demons of her own.

Don't Miss These Great Reviews:

"An ingeniously plotted, fair-play, locked-room mystery, one of the best we've encountered." — Tom and Enid Schantz, The Denver Post
"A dandy locked room murder…The investigation is a dangerous one… [the] solution both surprising and satisfying" — A Suitable Job for a Woman
"A satisfying, fast-paced whodunit that also explores a range of social issues, especially the violence of war and its aftermath." — Cynthia R. Benjamins, Fairfax Journal
​“[Maggie Ryan] has been a role model for women since the beginning and I loved watching her merge marriage and children with her talent for solving mysteries!” — Margaret Maron

Book Details:

Genre: Traditional Mystery
Published by: The Mystery Company / Crum Creek Press
Publication Date: April 2014
Number of Pages: 271
ISBN13: 978-1932325379
Series: Maggie Ryan and Nick O'Connor #6
Purchase Links: Amazon  | Barnes & Noble  | Smashwords  | Goodreads 

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Read an excerpt:

“I don’t understand!” Donna Colby cried out. Her self-control cracked. She reached toward Holly in appeal, tears starting. “It was bolted! How could anyone—even if Dale let them in, they couldn’t bolt it again after they—”
“Yes, Mrs. Colby.” Holly broke in, firm and reassuring, to deflect the outburst. “We’ll check into it. You can depend on it.”
‘Thank you,” said Donna with a little choking sound.
“Now, what did you do when you realized the door was bolted?”
“Well, he usually takes a nap. I thought maybe he was asleep.” Donna Colby was trying to revert to her numbed monotone again, but a tremor underlay her words. “Then Maggie went to look in the window and came running back in and said hurry up, we had to get the door open. So she did, and—” She stopped. The next part was the unspeakable, Holly knew. Donna Colby turned her face back to the pink flower on the back of the sofa, tracing the outline with a forefinger. “All that blood,” she murmured. “I just don’t… Why?”
“I know, Mrs. Colby.” Holly tried to keep her voice soothing in the face of the incomprehensible. A husband and father lay twisted in the den. Why? Tell me why. And the others, so many others. A flash of reds at the back of her eyes. A blue-green stench. A tiny whispered beat, ten, eleven. Twelve. No more. Hey, cut the bullshit, Schreiner. Just get the details. Ain’t no time to wonder why, whoopee we’re all gonna die. Holly flipped to a new page, keeping her voice colorless. “What did you do when you got the door open?”
“We all ran in—I don’t remember, it was so—I couldn’t—the blood. Maggie went to him. Sent Olivia to call an ambulance. Told me to keep the kids out, take them to the kitchen.”
Holly noted it down. This Maggie sounded like a real take-charge type. “Okay. And then what?”
“I don’t remember much. She made me leave, take care of the kids.”
“What was she doing?”
“I don’t know. There was so much…” The word escaped Donna and she stared at Holly in mute terror before finding it again, with an almost pitiful triumph. “Confusion. The men came back. Maggie will tell you,” she added hopefully, trying to be helpful. All her life, probably, being nice had kept her out of trouble. But now she’d hit the big trouble, and Holly knew that no weapons, even niceness, could help now.
* * *
Excerpt from Murder in the Dog Days by P.M. Carlson. Copyright © 2017 by P.M. Carlson. Reproduced with permission from P.M. Carlson. All rights reserved.
  P.M. Carlson

Author Bio:

P.M. Carlson taught psychology and statistics at Cornell University before deciding that mystery writing was more fun. She has published twelve mystery novels and over a dozen short stories. Her novels have been nominated for an Edgar Award, a Macavity Award, and twice for Anthony Awards. Two short stories were finalists for Agatha Awards. She edited the Mystery Writers Annual for Mystery Writers of America for several years, and served as president of Sisters in Crime.

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Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for P.M. Carlson. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card AND 5 winners of one (1) eBook copy of MURDER IS ACADEMIC. The giveaway begins on September 1 and runs through October 1, 2017.
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I'll Have What She's Having



When Harry Met Sally.

Sleepless in Seattle.

You've Got Mail.

Three iconic romantic comedies that may not have been such a huge hit when they were first released in theaters noting the competition among movies released at the same time, but these three movies are the ones that most women will often tell you they love. They are the ones they can watch over and over again. We have our favorite lines or moments from each film that makes them unforgettable. At the time they were in the works, female directors were almost as extinct as dinosaurs and when someone like Nora Ephron comes along, she will face not only harsh criticism from her fellow male directors, but also writers too! Romantic comedies are one of the hardest things to direct and write a screen play for. There has to be the perfect mix of comedy and chemistry between the lead actors.

In the book, "I'll Have What She's Having," by Erin Carlson, we get a sneak peek not only into the making of these fabulous movies but also into what it took to breath life into them and make them the legacy movies women still love even today. This book takes you into the lines made famous by each movie including the title of the book from When Harry Met Sally. In fact if you are a fan of any or all of these movies, you will absolutely adore this book. Readers will learn what actors were going to play the parts but at the last minute gave them up. How very different these movies would have been had they not been played by the originals. You'll learn how hard it was to find a houseboat to shot Sam's house in Sleepless in Seattle. Did you know that the roof top scene on top of the Empire State Building wasn't even shot on location?

In You've Got Mail, you will learn that Fox Books was filmed at an iconic Barnes and Noble, and that the construction scenes are from those very days of building the store, even though the close up shots were filmed on a studio backlot. You learn that The Shop Around the Corner was just another storefront on 106 West 69th Street for Maya Shaper Cheese and Antiques that they were about to use and repaint while filming all the outdoor shots of the bookstore. You'll learn that AOL did not originally coin the phrase "You've Got Mail" until the movie went into production and someone else did it for them so that they could have it. There is just so much wonderful information gleaned from this book that fans will want to pick it up. Be warned, however, it might just be followed up with watching all three movies back to back like I did!

I received I'll Have What She's Having by Erin Carlson compliments of Hachette Book Groups. This is such a must have book for fans of any or all three iconic romantic comedies. There are the famous lines we all love to quote and perhaps my all time favorite was from You've Got Mail, "Don't you just love fall in New York? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address." While there were many great moments, the book does end with the tragic death of Nora Ephron who passed away June 26, 2012 but she left behind a world full of strong women characters, hope and a whole lot of love. I easily give this book a 5 out out of 5 stars in my opinion.

For more information about I'll Have What She's Having, Erin Carlson or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:


You can find Erin Carlson on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest books.

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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Promise of A Letter



Could the promise of a letter really get the lives of the Raber men to change forever? Seeing as there is so much division between the two, especially when Roman, the youngest, decided to up and leave the Amish community in Birch Creek, Ohio without ever saying goodbye. No note. Nothing. Now that he's been trying to live among the English and get into college as an Engineer, he receives word that his grandmother has passed away. The one and only person who really was family to him. She died. He wasn't there. Is it possible to go home again?

Roman wasn't sure what to expect when he packed up what little he owned and headed by to Birch Creek. All he knew was that he needed to see his grandmother's grave and tell her how sorry he was for not being there for her. Perhaps things might have had a different outcome. Perhaps even today, she might still be alive. He just didn't expect to see his father while standing at her grave. He said nothing in passing. No expressions on his face. He just handed Roman a letter and walked away. It was a letter from his grandmother. One last request. That he reconcile with his brother Daniel and then he could do whatever he needed to do with his life. But Daniel got the same letter in regards to the terms of reconciling with his brother, he just never expected to see him back so soon. But it was the one thing both brothers could do was to find a way to fulfill their grandmother's request, but it might take an act of God to heal the bitterness and pain inside them both.

Leanna Chupp went against what most people might think for an Amish woman. She didn't cook. Couldn't cook. Wasn't good with sewing or any of the household tasks most would expect. In fact she left her house pretty much the way she did every single day. Bed unmade, dishes in the sink, and time to do that later. At almost six feet, she didn't look like most Amish women either, but her family loved her for what she was. Talented at anything with a motor or moving parts. Thankfully her father raised her to do what she loved and she had a great job working for Daniel Raber, until he fired her. Without explanation. She would later learn that some of the elder ladies in the community had taken to gossiping about Leanna that she was having an affair with Daniel, since the two worked to closely together at his shop and often late into the evenings. While his wife Barbara never considered it, with being pregnant and hearing the rumors herself, she began to wonder. That is just the very reason that Daniel came to the decision even though doing this would put his business far behind getting the orders fulfilled.

I received The Promise of A Letter by Kathleen Fuller compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers and NetGalley. This is such a heartwarming novel of reconciliation and of unconditional love as the central theme. It shows us that we don't have to forget the pain, but with God's help we can move forward and let the healing begin. We don't need to understand the why's of doing it, and that is the question that Roman and Daniel are challenged with since their grandmother had passed, there was no way to ask anything of what lead to this decision to reconcile. However once the men have a chance to solve their own personal pain, can they begin to build upon the pain that pulled them apart and be honest despite the hurt it might cause to finally achieve resolution. I absolutely LOVED this novel and can't wait for what is coming next in this series from Kathleen Fuller. I give this one a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion.

For more information about The Promise of A Letter, Kathleen Fuller or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:


You can find Kathleen Fuller on Facebook to stay on top of all her latest books.

To read more reviews of The Promise of A Letter, please visit Thomas Nelson Publisher's website. 


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

No Regrets



The one statement most of us dreads, is that we are dying. Perhaps dying before we have even had the chance to do some of those things we always thought we would have time to do. So what do you do when you get that kind of news, perhaps even personally, or a family member does? All of us wants to live a life so that when we look back, we can see it was a life well-lived. Filled to the brim. A life without regrets. Perhaps those that get that devastating news are the ones living their life to the fullest. Making every single moment count. Because in all reality they don't know when that last day will be. But doesn't it affect us all? No one knows when our last day might be. We might go without any warning or we might go over time.

How can you take the time right now to learn to make the most of your life. To love deeply and unconditionally. To let the past stay behind. Forgive those who have wronged you and for whom you still might be carrying resentment against. How to choose life. To choose joy. To choose love and live a life with no regrets! In Robin M. Bertram's book, No Regrets, she shares her own personal journey of her own death where she began to take an honest look at her life, do an inventory and change some of the things she wasn't content to spend whatever days left, doing. You will learn in this book, how to live every moment as if it were your last. To see things through a biblical perspective and live the way God would have you spend that moment in time. To see blessings instead of disappointments with the things that happen to us and most of all, to participate in a thirty day Love Challenge, which is something of an intentional challenge for all of us. To live like we were dying. How very different our own lives would be.

We have the opportunity NOW to look at our life and make a change. To live a life now without any regrets so when we are facing our final days, we can look back in satisfaction, knowing we lived our life well and hopefully lived it for Christ! It will change your life in ways that will express the importance of living today with greater joy while making every moment really count. It will encourage you to develop an intimate prayer life, to develop a willingness to forgive, to embrace every good gift you've been given with a thankful heart and to live your life to the fullest because no one is guaranteed a tomorrow. Through Scripture combined with the insight gained from real-life stories with victorious outcomes, No Regrets will encourage you to forgive, to love, to mend broken relationships, and to begin building a legacy now so that when that days comes, there will be a strong spiritual legacy to leave behind.

I received No Regrets by Robin M. Bertram compliments of Charisma House. This book will help you overcome those "If only..." moments, and using the Pillars of Abundant Living, scriptures that will give you comfort, wisdom, and insight during your own personal journey. The Intentional Living section at the conclusion of each chapter are several keys that will help you become more intentional in living your life for Christ and embracing today. The Shareworthy section are text boxes scattered throughout each chapter to expand on the ideas in this book that are worthy sharing on your social media platforms, and the 30-Day Love Challenge is a way to personally evaluate your own love walk on a daily basis for thirty days to get an honest picture of where you are and where you can grow. This is such an inspirational book and one that would be a great gift to anyone dealing with their own personal adversity. I love that this book can inspire us even now to take greater responsibility for the life we choose to live each day, and for that reason well worth 5 out of 5 stars.

For more information about No Regrets, Robin M. Bertram or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:


You can find Robin M. Bertram on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest books.

To read more reviews on No Regrets, please visit Charisma House Publisher's website. 


Monday, September 4, 2017

Here's Some Happy



I read on social media somewhere that someone believed that coloring books are dying out. Whether that is true or not, I love coloring. It is a way to pass the time. It allows me to slow down and take a moment to simply breathe, cast aside my worries for a moment and just allow God to speak to me as I color. While there may be a coloring book out there geared for just about everyone and their personal interests, I wanted to share one of my favorites. It is called Here's Some Happy by Gina Graham and it has something unique that most coloring books don't.

First of all, it is hard cover. That is perfect because you don't always have the perfect surface to color on and this make portability while coloring more manageable. I just love the weight of it too! It's solid, a reminder of what my spiritual life should be like. Within this coloring book are plenty of wonderful pictures to color, but also scriptures geared to spark a sense of personal prayer time while meditating on the coloring. This is the perfect time to just escape and get some alone time with God. I love putting on some upbeat praise or worship music while I am working on my pages. This coloring book is meant to be a prayer journal as well. Whether you choose to use a page for every prayer or simply a way of capturing something you feel God is laying on your heart, there is a perfect place to capture that.



When I was selecting my picture to color for this post, I happened upon the Psalm 4:8 "I will both lie down in peace and sleep; For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." This is perfect for me, as I have been dealing with a horrible case of tonsillitis for three weeks and sleep has been skipping me. Not only that but with all the flooding in Texas, its a reminder that while I have a place to lay down that is warm and dry, many tonight don't. They have lost everything. But as children of God, we know that there isn't anything God can't do. He can move financial resources where they are best needed and even material things can be replaced. Perhaps it was His way of waking the world up to what is important in this life. Life. Not things. Not money. Not our jobs but those we love and who love us. This journal entry I made was my personal prayer for those in Texas, a reminder that we still serve a God who cares and has not left them. New days are coming and with it, the promises of His unfailing love and provision.

I received Here's Some Happy by Gina Graham compliments of Faith Words, a division of Hachette Book Groups. This is such a great way to keep all those Scriptures, thoughts and prayers in one place and you can look back to see how God has answered those needs as He reminds us to stay faithful. There is something fun in this journal for everyone to enjoy. I could even see doing this with your children together and adding both of your prayers as a way of teaching them how to journal and use their creativity at the same time. What a great gift as well to someone who could use a little happiness in their life right about now. The pages are single sided so depending on the type of media you use, it might bleed through. I use Prisma Coloring Pencils so I had no issues. I would easily give this a 5 out of 5 stars.

For more information about Here's Some Happy, Gina Graham or where you can pick up a copy of this coloring journal today, please click on the links below:


You can find Gina Graham on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest books.

To read more reviews on Here's Some Happy, please visit Faith Words Website. 


Friday, September 1, 2017

The Cottingley Secret



Do you believe in fairies?

There are those that believe that just because you might have never seen them, doesn't mean they don't exist, even for those who have claimed to have seen them.

Until I picked up The Cottingley Secret by Hazel Gaynor, I had never heard of the Cottingley fairies and thus this is what excited me about this book. It is written in two time periods, one present day and the other a story read by the present day Olivia Kavanagh about the two young girls who played a prank that last more than 70 years. The story was written by Frances Griffiths in 1917-1924 which later became its own published work entitled Notes on a Fairy Tale. It would be published until many years later but it was the story of how Frances first found the fairies while sitting in a beck near a waterfall and caught them out of the corner of her eye. She knew without proof no one would believe her and like most 9-year-old girls at the time, she desperately wanted to tell her oldest cousin Elsie.

It was Elsie's idea to stage a stunt using her talented artistic skills in creating such life like details of fairies and stage a photo to look like Frances was interacting with them right in front of her. It was enough to convince her Aunt and Uncle as well as her own mother that fairies did exist and just outside their back door. For others in the Cottingley village it gave them hope at a time when the world was dealing with the war not knowing if husbands, fathers or sons would be returning. It is the very reason that Frances and her mother came to stay at the Cottingley cottage. To wait out the return of her father and husband from the war going on. Even well reknown Arthur Conan Doyle was convinced that the photographs of the fairies were proof they existed.

As Olivia Kavanagh takes over the inheritance left to her by her grandfather, an old bookstore with the name of Something Old, it is a place that draws a different life for Olivia. Believing that her future is already planned out with a future fiancè in London, she finds herself more drawn into the fairy story that she is reading bit by bit along with visiting her grandmother in a nursing home suffering from dementia whose time is very limited. She only hopes that in the weeks to come she can make headway to figure out how to make the bookstore profitable again and what to do with the blue cottage that her grandparents made a life together in. She is slowly running out of time, if only magic was real and the wishes of fairies could make it all better.

I received The Cottingley Secret by Hazel Gaynor compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers. This is such an enchanting book from falling in love with all the things you'd be expected to find in an old bookstore to the enchanted life of two girls looking for magic and hope in world filled with fear and uncertainty. I really LOVED this entire book and the way it toggled between the time periods drew me in even further. The details that follow in the author notes and the photos that captivated a world during the war really completed the entire story for me. It does beg to ask the question, do you believe in fairies? There are plenty of people on both sides that could argue their point very convincingly, but just because you don't see it, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. For me, this one easily garners a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion. There are some great insights and discussion questions at the conclusion of this novel that would make it a definite book club selection and one for my permanent shelf.

For more information about The Cottingley Secret, Hazel Gaynor, or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:


You can find Hazel Gaynor on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

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