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Monday, January 31, 2011

Small Wars - Giveaway and Review

Some say that when people go away to war they come back completely different, never to return to who they once were. Yet sometimes we fail to see the changes that affect not only the soldier, but the families of those that support them during their absence. Often times it takes such a toll on them as well that the war doesn't stop when the soldier returns home. That may be when the small wars begin.

As Clara marries into the British army to Hal Treherne, she believes that theirs will be a marriage and family that lasts forever. Hal's greatest desire in becoming a soldier is that he will be a part of the war that his father was and be the pride to his family by joining in the ranks of supporting his country.

Yet that isn't the text book scenario for Hal. He spends the majority of his time on the home front conducting interrogations as the war erupts over unification with Greece and not on the battle fields risking his life. Great for Clara and the girls but not so great for Hal. The tension slowly begins as you see the changes that take place between Clara and Hal as one pulls away and the other attempts to draw near.

It isn't until mines are planted on the beach on the base, that will launch Hal into his dream career and forever change the lives of him and Clara. In the newest novel by Sadie Jones, Small Wars, chronicles the lives of Clara and Hal as they attempt to navigate the turbulent waters of war in their own country but the war that is developing between them in their marriage. No amount of military training will prepare Hal for the moral compromise that lie beneath every battle he fights.

I received this book compliments of TLC Book Tours for my honest review and must say I felt I got a front row seat into the lives of what really goes on behind the doors of many military marriages. This one is a captivating 5 out of 5 stars. For more information on this book, the author and where to purchase a copy for yourself, click on the link below:

Thanks to TLC, they are offering a giveaway copy to one lucky follower of this blog. Here are your guidelines to enter.

1. Be a follower of Reviews From The Heart.

2. Must be a resident of the US or have a US shipping address.

3. I need a way to contact you if you are the lucky winner of the giveaway, so please include it with your comment. You can use the words (at) or (dot) instead of the symbols.

4. Leave me a comment and let me know why you'd love to win a copy of the book.

The giveaway will end on February 8th and I will notify the winner via email at that time.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Beyond the Rapids - Giveaway and Review

Imagine you are a believer living in a communist country. You live with the knowledge that anytime you could be imprisoned, tortured, or killed simply because you are a Christian.

Beyond the Rapids by Evelyn Puerto is the true story of Ukrainian pastor Alexei Brynza and his wife, Valentina, who endured persecution in a culture that was hostile to their faith as they struggled to raise their four children as believers.

From the Great Terror of the 1930s to the time when believing in Christ is no longer a crime, this close knit Ukranian family quietly persisted through the years, trusting God for everything. The Brynza's children, forced to choose between God and the communist system, wrestled with temptations of ambition, popularity, love and wealth. For periods of their lives, one or more gave in. But God heard the faithful prayers of Alexei and Valentina, and eventually the Bryzna family was able to not only survive while serving God, but to thrive. Their son in law, Igor Yaremchuk, adds his own testimony of coming to Christ with the help of miracles and atheistic propaganda.

I received this amazing book of the Bryzna's testimony of God's faithfulness in all circumstances compliments of the author Evelyn Puerto for my honest review. I loved this book, not only based on all the details of just how difficult life was for the whole family but in knowing my own friends that have immigrated here from the Ukraine and knowing personally from them just how difficult life was for them being Christians.

The book details how difficult it was for them and how many times God came through for them in miraculous ways. One of them was when Valentina had developed a painful lump in her left breast, not only had it doubled in size but turned black and green and developed a horrible smell. She prayed to God to help save her because she couldn't imagine her children enduring life without her. When she realized was a foolish prayer it was to God saying that she doubted His ability to care for her children without her presence, she changed that prayer.

As she prepared for surgery to remove that breast, she felt a peace in her heart. As the doctors performed her biopsy to see how difficult the tumor was, all that came out was pus. There was nothing left to remove and surgery wasn't necessary after all. There are so many examples of just how God constantly showed His hand to this amazing family and just how it strengthened and challenged their faith.

This book rates a 5 out of 5 stars! I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to build their faith and make it stronger. Sometimes just seeing difficulties in others is such an encouragement in our own lives and shows us that God really does love and care for all of us. As you sail through your own torrents in your life, God will meet you right where you are and guide you to the smooth water beyond the rapids.

For more information on this book, the author and where to purchase a copy of this book, click on the title below:

Thanks to the generosity of Evelyn Puerto, she has agreed to offer a giveaway copy to one lucky reader of this blog. Here are your guidelines:

1. Be a follower of Reviews From The Heart.

2. You must be a resident of the US or have a US shipping address.

3. I must have a way to contact you if you are the lucky winner, so please provide your email address. You can use the words (at) and (dot) instead of the symbols and please include it with your comment.

4. Leave me a comment and tell me why you'd love to win a copy of this book. The giveaway will end on February 7th. I will notify the winner via email at that time.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Health Care You Can Live With

Lately the topic of health care reform has been on everyone's mind. For those of us with insurance, to those of us who can't afford it, to those of us that are illegal but need it. So when the legislators got together and decided just how to reform it, do we, as the American people, who will receive it, really know just what it is that needs to change in the first place. In that case do any of the legislators that created the reform?

In the latest book, Health Care, You Can Live With, by Dr. Scott Morris, he takes us all in depth to look at the crisis our health care system is in, what the reform changes will mean, and what really needs to be done to fix what is broken.

Even though this new "Health Care Reform" that is suppose to go into affect in 2019, will not fix the problems we have. It will only provide some form of insurance to 30 million without, but not those who can't afford or for illegal citizens for that matter, those individuals will still be without.

Why is it, that even now when we go to seek medical care, doctors avoid asking us the real questions to get to the heart of our issues, instead of just our physical symptoms? How many times have you visited a doctor before, only to have them tell you that they can't find anything wrong but you know that there is?

In this book, Dr. Scott Morris, takes a long, hard, look at our medical care system and provides an in depth look at just what really needs to be addressed merely than providing a card access in the form of an insurance card so that you can get in the door of a health care center. What happens when your insurance won't cover the costs of what you need to help get you back on your feet again, or what happens if you lose your job and can no longer afford any health care coverage?

This is a great resource book for anyone who longs to understand the real problem behind why our current health care isn't working and what we can do, to make progress towards making it not only affordable but better for all involved.

I recieved this book compliments of B & B Media Group for my honest review and truly this was eye opening to me. Being a recent product of this disaster in health care in our own country, this provided me with some things I can do to ensure I am getting the best for the money I do spend. This one rates a 5 out of 5 stars!!

For more information on this amazing book, author and where to pick up a copy of this book for yourself, click on the link below:

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Search - Giveaway and Review

Bess Riehl is taking a long, hot journey to visit her grandmother who lives in Stoney Ridge, Pennslyvania. She sent word to her son, Jonah, that she desperately needed the help after suffering through a female surgery, and could he send Bess.

Bess, who is now 15 can't imagine just why she would want to spend the entire summer with her grandmother, but feeling like she needed to do the right thing despite how she felt, she made arrangements with her father to take the bus to her grandmother's farm.

Carrying only a picnic basket filled with her cat, Blackie, and a small snack, she wonders what awaits her when she steps down from the bus. When she looks around for her grandmother, Bertha, she catches the sight of her buggy veering around the corner. The buggy was tipped over so far, Bess worried that is might topple over.

Bess hadn't seen her Mammi in three years, and when she stepped out of the buggy, she was even bigger than the last time she saw her. When Bess inquires as to her health on the buggy ride home, Mammi mentions all she had done was have her teeth pulled. It isn't until then, that Bess realizes, that the mission of mercy she believed she was her to do, was all a lie. She was merely going to be another pair of hands for the summer and pick roses.

Yet when Bess meets a strange, tall, broad-shouldered boy with dark,roguish eyes, she suddenly saw here summer plans looking up.

In the latest book, The Search by Suzanne Woods Fisher, we are taken into the lives of Bess Riehl and a new cook in town called Lainey O'Toole, who believes God has brought her into the town of Stoney Ridge to discover how her decision about her past has impacted so many.

I received this book compliments of Litfuse Publicity for my honest review and have to say this book will not disappoint the reader. You are drawn into the simple life of Bertha and how this summer will change the lives of so many in the town of Stoney Ridge. This book rates a 5 out of 5 stars.

For more information on this book, the author and where to purchase a copy of the book, please click on the link below:

The Search by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Suzanne Woods Fisher's latest installment of the Lancaster County Secrets, The Search, is just out and to celebrate Suzanne is hosting The Search iPad Giveaway!

One Grand Prize winner will receive an iPad Prize Package worth over $500 and includes:

To enter, simply click on the icons below to fill out the entry form/s, then tell 5 or more friends about the contest. Oh, and enter soon! Winner will be announced on February 3rd at Suzanne's Everything is Coming Up Roses Facebook Party. (Did you know The Search takes place on a rose farm?)

Enter via E-mail Enter via Facebook Enter via Twitter

Facebook Party:

Join Suzanne for the Everything is Coming Up Roses Facebook Party on February 3rd! She’ll be announcing the winner of the The Search iPad Giveaway, hosting a book club discussion of The Search, giving away copies of all three books and HEAPS of other readerly prizes! Including roses delivered to your door for three months for you AND a friend! Be sure to join us on Thursday, February 3rd at 5:00 PM PST (6:00 MST, 7:00 CST & 8 EST) at Suzanne’s Author Page.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Rhythm of Secrets

Often times the more secrets we hide and lies we tell, we begin to lose focus on what really remains of the truth any longer.

In the newest novel, The Rhythm of Secrets by Patti Lacy, we are introduced to Shelia Franklin, who is happily married to a pastor of a well known church for the last 18 years. In one small phone call, Shelia's life begins to unravel. The voice on the other end of the phone is that of her son, she gave up for adoption that wants to meet her. That wouldn't normally pose a problem except that Shelia hasn't ever explained that part of her life to her husband. Lucky for her, he is headed out of town for a meeting when she makes arrangements to meet at an undisclosed location where she won't be seen as a pastor's wife by any one who would know her.

What follows during the lunch meeting with her son, set the table for an unexpected twist of fate that will come full circle when all of her deepest, darkest secrets will be exposed for the first time. Will Shelia survive intact with God's help?

I received this book compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review and found the book entertaining for how she has played out her life for so long hiding so many things from the people she has loved the most. This book rates a 4.5 out of 5 stars. At first, the chapters are confusing until you realize that each of the names that Shelia uses are parts of her life she has kept secret.

For more information on this book, the author and where to gain a first chapter peek, please read on below:

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Rhythm of Secrets
Kregel Publications (December 22, 2010)
Patti Lacy


Patti Lacy, Baylor graduate, taught community college humanities until God called her to span seas and secrets in her novels, An Irishwoman's Tale and What the Bayou Saw. She has two grown children and a dog named Laura. She and her husband can be seen jog-walking the streets of Normal, Illinois, an amazing place to live for a woman born in a car. For more information, visit Patti's website at, her blog at, and her Facebook daily Artbites.


Sheila Franklin has masqueraded as the precocious daughter of avant-garde parents in colorful 1940s New Orleans, a teen desperate for love and acceptance, and an unwed mother sent North with her shame.

After marrying Edward, Sheila artfully masks her secrets, allowing Edward to gain prominence as a conservative pastor. When one phone call from a disillusioned Vietnam veteran destroys her cover, Sheila faces an impossible choice: save her son and his beloved…or imperil Edward’s ambitions.

Inspired by a true story, The Rhythm of Secrets intermingles jazz, classical, and sacred music in a symphony trumpeting God’s grace.


“A vibrant journey across time in search of the greatest truth of all: grace.”—Tosca Lee, author of Havah: The Story of Eve and Demon: A Memoir

“No longer a ‘well-kept secret,’ Patti Lacy is a master storyteller who speaks to the soul with a powerful and unique rhythm, weaving a tale so emotionally rich that story and reader become one.”—Julie Lessman, author of The Daughters of Boston series and A Hope Undaunted
“Patti Lacy pens another beautifully written story in The Rhythm of Secrets. I couldn’t put it down!”—Melanie Dobson, award-winning author of The Black Cloister
“The Rhythm of Secrets is a stirring story of faith and endurance that will keep readers turning the page until every last secret is revealed.”—Tina Ann Forkner, author of Ruby Among Us and Rose House

If you would like to read an excerpt of Rhythm of Secrets, go HERE.

Women On The Verge of A Nervous Breakthrough - Giveaway and Review

Imagine due to the recession in order to make ends meet, you, your mom and your daughter all live together under one roof. You all have your own ways of doing things from preparing dinner, to how you live your life, to dating and relationships.

Now you have the ingredients to the perfect blend of a new novel Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakthrough by Ruth Pennebaker.

We are introduced to Joanie, the middle-aged mom who suddenly finds herself living with her daughter Caroline when her husband up and leaves her for something quite a bit younger than her. In the process of coping with her divorce, she learns to lean on her daughter in many ways. However, Caroline isn't ready to deal with taking care of her mother. She hasn't had time to process the reasons why her father just left their family. Now with her mother falling apart, she has to put her feelings on the back burner to help her mom.

Now without a place to stay, Joanie and Caroline decide to move in with Ivy, Joanie's aging mother, who is very set in her ways and beliefs in how everyone should be while living under her roof. She is outspoken and doesn't hold back in expressing her thoughts to Joanie or Caroline.

What transpires in the context of this novel, is just how they all come to understand one another and work towards uniting under the same roof and come to love the uniqueness that makes each of them special.

I received this book compliments of TLC Book Tours for my honest review and can honestly say, I loved it. It's down to earth and relevant for this time in most of our lives where so many of us are forced to "life boat" together under the same roof just to survive. The outcome is amazing when you can see it from the other side of the situation in watching it all unfold. I would rate this book 5 out of 5 stars. The only word of caution I would have for the reader is there is some profanity but I think it makes the reader understand the stress each of these women must deal with, and therefore does not take away from the storyline.

Thanks to the wonderful folks at TLC Book Tours, they are offering a giveaway copy to one lucky reader of this blog. Here are your guidelines:

1. You must be a follower of this blog, Reviews From The Heart.

2. You must be a resident of the US.

3. I must have a way to contact you so please make sure to include an email address with your comment. You can use the words (at) or (dot) instead of the symbols.

4. Leave me a comment and let me know why you'd love to win a copy. The giveaway will end on February 2nd and I will email the winner then.

For more information on the book, the author and where to get a copy of this book, click on the link below:

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dragons of the Valley

In the peaceful land of Chiril, ruled by King Yellat, he is informed of a plan to take over the lands and his kingdom by his rival King Odidoddex.

The only thing that hold his kingdom together are three mystical statues called, the Trio of Elements. When they are together and aligned as originally designed, nothing went awry. But when separated, physical changes erupted in the countryside, the ground sinks into deep holes, trees fall over and other disastrous anomalies occur.

Not only that but the artist, Verrin Schope, that created them from one stone, the same stone that Wulder had used the marvelous piece of marble as a cornerstone for the world He created. He too would literally come apart, his being dissipating and scattering. And each fracturing and reassembly took a toll on the artist's health.

So plans are laid forth to remove the statues and keep them from the enemies that would seek to use it's powers to their own purpose. The kimens, a small race of creatures no larger than a few inches tall, are enlisted to help the sculptors daughter, Tipper Schope as well as her friend, an artist named Bealomondore to guide them to their village to keep the statues safe.

When a large, seven foot tall leathery creature who is a hunter called the Grawl is hired by King Odidoddex to locate the kimen village and secure the statues, not all will be as easy to keep the land of Chiril safe.

In the latest book Dragons of the Valley by Donita K. Paul, we join forces with Tipper and Bealomondore to save the statues from falling into the enemies hands. Along the way the reader is taken into the enchanting realms and magical creatures that only the imagination of Donita K Paul could create on the pages of her novel. I received this enchanting book compliments of Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy for my honest review and was held spellbound from page one right til the end.

This one rates a magical 5 out of 5 stars and I can't wait to go back and pick up her Dragon Keeper's series of books. This series of books is for all age groups from 10 and up. For more information on this book, the talented author and where you can purchase a copy of the book, please click on the links below:

Donita K Paul's Website

Donita K Paul's Blog

Dragons of the Valley by Donita K Paul at

For more amazing reviews from some talented readers check out any of the links below:

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Neutering of the American Male - Giveaway and Review

Too often we fail to see the circumstances of our actions until it's too late. We get to the end and wonder just how we arrived in this turbulent time.

The world has been constantly changing and never before so exponentially than in our latest technological age. For hundreds of years, roles between a male and woman remained unchanged. Men were the hunters, providers and farmers, while women cared for the house, food and children. Just looking at the Amish community today shows just how far we have come.

Introduction to change began when World War 2 arrived and men were told to enlist for war. Women were called upon to take the place of the men and join the working force while still picking up the pieces at home while waiting for their men to arrive home. This was the first time most women began to work outside the home, yet they were needed to do this to ensure that the US would continue in the war efforts and succeed.

When men returned home, they returned to work and women were told to go back home and resume life once more. This time women didn't want to. They were now informed that they could do jobs just as well if not better than their male counterparts. Now the women's rights movement was launched.

Yet in this slowly eroding process the roles have seemingly become reversed and the role of each are called into question. Men begin to wonder just where they fit in as providers and leaders of their households and begin to question their man-hood. Women now see men as no longer needed to provide for their needs and can take care of themselves in the process. They aren't even needed to have children thanks to sperm banks now.

Yet was is happening is devastating if we look at the effects its having on our gender roles, and future generations. Just look at what happens when a father figure is missing from the life of a boy growing up. In the latest book by Jim Wysong, The Neutering of the American Male, he shows us this slow historical process that is having long term effects that should be questioned.

This is not just a book to validate men or women but written to show just how far we have fallen without realizing it. It's both a self help and historical book all in one and I for one, LOVED it! Never before did I see the things Jim mentioned until my husband and I sat down to review this amazing book.

It gave us great insight for conversations as a family, a couple and even for one on one reflection. As Christians, I think this book is more relevant than ever especially when you look at where things are headed with marriage and family values. I want to thank Jim for the opportunity to review this book with his compliments. This book rates 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion and shouldn't be passed up. I also want to let you know that he is offering a giveaway copy to one lucky reader of my blog.

Here are your guidelines:

1. Be a resident of the US.

2. You must be a follower of my blog, Reviews From The Heart.

3. I need a way to contact you if you are the lucky winner, so be sure to include your email address with your comment. You can use the words (at) and (dot) instead of the symbols.

4. Leave me a comment and tell me what you think about the current erosion of gender, marriage and family values.

5. I will select one winner on January 31st and will notify you via email for your mailing address.

For more information on this book, the author and where you can get a copy today, visit Jim's website below:


Colton Neely attempts to spend the fourth of July with his family and friends from the military like everyone else this day. However, he isn't prepared for what happens when the fireworks begin and he is immediately transported back to Faleejah where he is about to be captured. The one thing he doesn't expect is to see the eyes of his own daughter where the eyes of the young suicide bomber are.

When he has a flashback, he draws his weapon on her forgetting that he is safe and sound back home. When his commanding officer orders him to stand down, and has to tackle Colton to prevent a tragedy from taking place, he realizes that he is in need of help and can't commit anymore the services of a sharp shooter. Unfortunately Uncle Sam isn't about to let one of their best men just walk away.

Colton attempts to deal with PTSD while spending time with his parents and his 4 year old daughter McKenna on his ranch and heal from spending two months in captivity, what he doesn't expect to find is an alluring woman from the mall who captivates him in more ways than one. But what exactly is she hiding? Does he want to get involved to help?

In the novel Digitalis, the second in the Discarded Heroes series by Ronie Kendig, we find ourselves immersed in two worlds, one of Colton as he still works for black ops group code named: Nightshade and one in which he is attempting to find a life for himself and his daughter McKenna if only he can find out what Miss Piper Blum is hiding.

This action packed, edge of your seat novel was so amazing, I was captivated from the first page. Ronie Kendig once more takes the reader on an unforgettable journey and tells an incredible story in the process. I received this book compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review and must say hands down an exceptional 5 out of 5 stars. If you love military suspense action fictions with a touch of romance and mystery, then this is the perfect book for you.

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Barbour Publishing, Inc.(January 1, 2011)
Ronie Kendig


Ronie has been married since 1990 to a man who can easily be defined in classic terms as a hero. She has four beautiful children. Her eldest daughter is 16 this year, her second daughter will be 13, and her twin boys are 10. After having four children, she finally finished her degree in December 2006. She now has a B.S. in Psychology through Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. Getting her degree is a huge triumph for both her and her family--they survived!!

This degree has also given her a fabulous perspective on her characters and how to not only make them deeper, stronger, but to make them realistic and know how they'll respond to each situation. Her debut novel, Dead Reckoning released March 2010 from Abingdon Press. And her Discarded Heroes series began in July 2010 from Barbour with the first book entitled Nightshade.

This is the second book in the series.


Step into the boots of a former Marine in this heart-pounding adventure in life and love. Colton “Cowboy” Neeley is a Marine trying to find his footing as he battles flashbacks now that he’s back home. Piper Blum is a woman in hiding—from life and the assassins bent on destroying her family. When their hearts collide, more than their lives are at stake. Will Colton find a way to forgive Piper’s lies? Can Piper find a way to rescue her father, trapped in Israel? Is there any way their love, founded on her lies, can survive?

If you would like to read an excerpt of Digitalis, go HERE.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Wylds - Giveaway and Review

Chris is a boy that lives in a future world where precious metal is the most valuable thing in the world. So important that he would steal it to survive.

Chris lives in a junk yard with other kids, whose job it is to steal metal wherever they find it. The circus ring leader is a man called Iggy, who collects the stuff the kids steal. When Chris is chased into an old church he meets a lady priest who encourages him to learn to read beginning with the Bible. It is the one thing that is priceless in this world.

When Chris awakens to a dream of a war in the future world with robots destroying his world, he begins to wonder if the lady in the church can help him with it's meaning.

Chris tells her that he left his father long ago when his rules became too much to follow, and subsequently wonders if he can go back.

In the DVD, the Wylds, the viewers are taken into a futuristic journey of the prodigal son whose goal it is to reach the Celestial City and find his father. However he is told to beware of the path that is wide and those that would seek to deceive him along the way. The Wylds is a DVD that is geared to families looking for alternatives with a message of hope. It is produced by a company called Good Outlaw Studios and while it has a great message and storyline, some of the effects are cartoonish at best.

I would rate this movie at a 2 out of 5 stars just based on the message and storyline alone. Its special effects are along the lines of Spykids and leave a lot open to the imagination. Yet for me, this was not a movie I couldn't recommend with higher ratings,but it may be a movie that you would enjoy. It is an approved Dove family film.

I received this DVD compliments of Good Outlaw Studios for my honest review and thanks to the generous folks at Good Outlaw Studios, they are offering a giveaway copy to one lucky reader of this blog. Simply leave a comment and let me know the reason why you'd love to win a copy. The giveaway will end on 1/30/11. You must be a US resident to enter. Please also include your email address with your comment. I will be emailing you once the giveaway is over.

You can also visit the website directly for more information and reviews here.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Angel Harp

It is a terrible thing when dreams dies.

Everyone wants to be happy, I suppose. I don't know if I would call that a dream.

My husband is gone now. The circumstances aren't important. At least I don't dwell on them. They're too painful. Suffice it to say he is gone.

I knew that it was indeed a terrible thing when dreams dies. I had bien in to lethargy and despondency and loneliness. I had let hope slip away. I had allowed my dreams to fade.

As I stood looking out on that bright sunrise, I thought to myself that maybe it wasn't too late. Some of my dreams were gone forever. I could never get my husband back.

But I could not let them all die. There were still dreams worth dreaming. When you let your dreams die, however, you also lose your ability to dream. You don't only lose the dreams themselves, you stop dreaming altogether. You forget that it's possible to dream, and that life's dreams are good things. After making what I call I decision, I found I couldn't even think of a dream I wanted to do something about. That scared me. Had I really sunk so low?

If that were true, then I hadn't only let my dreams die, I had allowed a part of me to die with them. I wasn't willing to accept that.

I was determined to dream again.

These are just the beginnings of a new adventure that Marie Buchan is about to undertake. She remembers a time when her and her husband made plans to venture to Ireland and Scotland and just lose themselves in the land. Really experience something beyond the tourist towns and sites, but to gain a sense of community.

Being an avid harp player and teacher, she brings along her harp, she calls Journey, interesting enough and begins an adventure that will teach her dreams are alive if we are but willing to take a step to make them come true.

In the latest book Angel Harp, by Michael Phillips, he takes readers on a journey along Scotland's beautiful shores. He tells the story of one woman's talent, passion and dreams, set in stunning Scotland. He brings the country to life as no mere tourist can. This book will captivate readers as it shows in brilliant detail that dreams do come true when faith never fades.

I received this book compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review and in doing so, something changed within me. I found it within myself to begin dreaming again and realizing that no one dream is ever too silly to begin to make come true. This book is a classic 5 out of 5 star ratings.

For more information on the book, the author and where to get a first chapter sneak peek, please read on:
This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Angel Harp
FaithWords (January 26, 2011)
Michael Phillips


Michael Phillips has been writing in the Christian marketplace for 30 years. All told, he has written, co-written, and edited some 110 books. Phillips and his wife live in the U.S., and make their second home in Scotland.


Widowed at 34, amateur harpist Marie "Angel" Buchan realizes at 40 that her life and dreams are slowly slipping away. A summer in Scotland turns out to offer far more than she ever imagined! Not only does the music of her harp capture the fancy of the small coastal village she visits, she is unexpectedly drawn into a love triangle involving the local curate and the local duke.

The boyhood friends have been estranged as adults because of their mutual love of another woman (now dead) some years before. History seems destined to repeat itself, with Marie in the thick of it. Her involvement in the lives of the two men, as well as in the community, leads to a range of exciting relationships and lands Marie in the center of the mystery of a long-unsolved local murder. Eventually she must make her decision: with whom will she cast the lot of her future?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Angel Harp, go HERE

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Love On Assignment - Giveaway and Review

Charlotte Hale's caught between a rock and a hard place. When her editor, Mr. Arnold Phifer, presents her with a request to become one of the first female reporters for the Rhode Island Reporter, she jumps at the chance. However what Mr. Phifer is asking of her was to become a spy on a religious fanatic, an enemy of the American way of life. This was indeed a worthy endeavor for herself and for the publication.

If she could pull it off, she'd would make an instant name for herself. She'd have a career. A future. But as appealing as a journalism career might be, it didn't compare to the importance of paying off bills. She needed that peace of mind. With her sister's disability requiring expensive doctor visits for which she struggled to pay, she needed the job. All she needed to do was become a governess for Professor Daniel Wilmont of the Newport Gazette and search for evidence against him, find his Achille's heel.

However what she finds isn't what she expected when he turns out to be honorable and inspires her to rediscover her own faith in the process. Will she use this information to move her forward in her career or will she in turn find the love and faith she felt was lost in Daniel Wilmont?

In the second novel by Cara Lynn James, Love on Assignment, once more takes us, the reader into the difficult decisions that her main characters are challenged and faced with in the early 1900's in Newport, Rhode Island. Sometimes in the process what we search for isn't what we find after all.

I received this book compliments of TLC Book Tours for my honest review and loved this book as much as her first novel. The strong, yet soft female characters that Ms James uses to convey her story provides women with a true self of what it is to become a woman of God and faith. I rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars. For more information on this book, the author and where to purchase a copy of the book, click on the title below:

Thanks to the generous folks at TLC Book Tours, they are offering a giveaway copy of this book to one lucky follower. Here are your guidelines:

1. Be a follower of this blog, Reviews From The Heart.

2. Be a resident of the US or provide a US shipping address.

3. Provide an email address so that I may contact you when the giveaway ends. You may use the words (at) and (dot) instead of the symbols in your comment.

4. Leave me a comment and tell me why you'd love to win a copy. The giveaway will end on January 25th and I will notify the winner by email.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Someone To Blame

Often times, circumstances befall us that are so tragic, they leave us gasping for answers to questions we struggle with. Why? is often the most asked.

Why did the accident have to happen?

Why didn't I do something to prevent it from happening?

Why did God allow this to happen without intervening?

These are just some of the questions that haunt and plague the dreams and lonely hours of Matt and Irene along with their remaining daughter, Casey Moore. Attempting to leave behind the tragedy that claimed the lives of Daniel and Jesse, both brothers, whose unfortunate chain of events would lead a family down a terrible path.

Yet God sometimes allows us to suffer through the hardest of times so that we can gain a sense of compassion for others by seeing it through our own eyes. As is often said, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever died.

However when a strange boy comes to town with a dark past and an evil presence about him, the town can only begin to wonder if he isn't the reason for all the things going terribly wrong since he arrived to Breakers, a small waterfront community.

In the book, Someone To Blame by C.S. Lakin, I found myself questioning how I myself would respond to any of the situations she takes the reader through in this book, and how I myself need to use the circumstances of trials and sufferings in my own life, propel me forward with a renewed sense of compassion for others. I would rate this book a wonderful 5 out of 5 stars. What a great life lesson is hidden within it's pages, like a treasure just waiting to be found.

I received this book compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review. For more about the author, a sneak peek at the first chapter, and where to get a copy of this book, read on:

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Someone To Blame
Zondervan (September 21, 2010)
C. S. Lakin


C. S. Lakin is a novelist and professional copyeditor and writing coach. She is currently working on her eleventh novel, a contemporary family saga drawn from the biblical story of Jacob. Someone to Blame(Zondervan), an intense relational drama and winner of the 2009 First Novel contest, released in October 2010, and she is also the author of the allegorical adult fantasy series The Gates of Heaven, featuring The Wolf of Tebron and the upcoming release The Map Across Time (March 2011). She is currently completing her tenth novel and developing a dog memoir of epic proportion.


In the wake of heartrending family tragedies, Matt and Irene Moore move with their fourteen-year-old daughter, Casey, to a small town. Their goal is to get far away from the daily reminders that leave each of them raw and guilt-ridden. Their hope is to find redemption, repair, and renewal. Instead, the threads that hold them together unravel even more.

Breakers, a small community perched on the rocky coast of the Pacific Northwest, is draped with cold isolation that seems to mirror the hearts. As they settle into their new life, old grief settles with them. Matt is always on edge and easily angered, Irene is sad and pensive, and Casey is confused and defiant. They've once more set the stage for calamity. Into this mix comes Billy Thurber, a young drifter with his own conflicts, whose life unexpectedly entangles with the Moores'.

His arrival in Breakers parallels a rash of hateful and senseless crimes, and soon the whole town -- eager for someone to blame -- goes after Thurber with murderous intent. Out of this dangerous chaos, however, the Moore's find unexpected grace and healing in a most unlikely way.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Someone To Blame, go HERE.

Friday, January 14, 2011


God will use the worst of circumstances to bring about the most unexpected and best in our life. Serendipity is when happiness sneaks in unplanned.

Margaret or "Magpie" Rose is a wonderful, unique lady with a strong sense of self. She spends her life bartering for the things she needs and helps others along the way. She has dedicated her life taking care of others and now lives in Carver's Holler, a very small town comprised of men. She is the last remaining woman after an illness wiped wives and children out. The men were fortunately working when it hit. After the quarantine ended only Maggie and 14 men remained.

She takes care of them as if they are her family now, and they all begin to learn to take care of one another. When an unexpected snow storm brings more than bad weather, God is about to bring a change of circumstances into Maggie's life.

Todd Valmer is dropped off at a train station in an unknown city looking for a doctor to help his mother who collapsed on the train. Now struggling in a snow storm, he attempts to locate the only doctor. What he stumbles upon her doorstep, she is more than gracious at helping him. She is the only person in town who can help him take care of his mother. But when he learns she isn't a doctor, he attempts to set out in a blizzard even though it may kill him.

In the novel, Serendipity by Cathy Marie Hake, we learn the subtle art of compromise and at seeing serendipity work in the lives of Maggie and Todd. Both of them have a need that the other desperately wants and given enough time, perhaps bartering will be what truly brings them together.

I received this book compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review and once again applaud the author for creating a strong but soft woman character known as Maggie that all women can relate to. She craves romance and fairytales but also understanding the importance of hard work and working together. I give this book a 5 out of 5 stars.

For more information about this book, the author, and where you can get a first chapter glimpse, please read on:

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Bethany House (August 1, 2010)
Cathy Marie Hake


Known for surfing across the kitchen on a dropped dill pickle slice, waterskiing on sea anemone spit, and using Right Guard® as hair spray; she considers herself living proof that God does, indeed, possess a healthy sense of humor.

Cathy loves classical music, romantic getaways with her husband, and Diet Pepsi Free®. "I need chocolate to survive, love my friends, and enjoy a deep personal relationship with the Lord. Although an extrovert, I'm very conservative on a personal level."

In her writing, Cathy attempts to capture a unique glimpse of life and how a man and woman can overcome obstacles when motivated by love. In her inspirational pieces she enjoys the freedom of showing how Christ can enrich a loving couple's relationship.

Cathy Marie Hake is a registered nurse who worked for many years in an oncology unit before shifting her focus to perinatal care. The author of over twenty novels, she lives with her husband and two children in Anaheim, California.


Todd Valmer should have known better. A farmer who's been through several disasters, he travels to Virginia to fetch his widowed mother to cook and help him around his Texas farm...or that was the plan until she keels over on the train and they get kicked off.

Maggie Rose barters for a living and also makes soaps, lotions, and perfumes with a special rose recipe passed down from mother to daughter for generations. She hasn't wanted to marry...until that handsome Texan shows up.

Her heart skips a beat, and when he proposes, a hasty marriage follows. What ensues, however, is a clash of culture and a battle of wills--and it's clear they both mistook instant attraction and infatuation for love. As their marriage loses its sparkle and fills with disillusionment, Todd and Maggie must determine what is worth fighting for. He dreams of a farm. Maggie wants to fulfill the family tradition with her rose perfumes.

Todd's mother, however, has entirely different plans for her son that do not include Maggie. In light of their hasty marriage and mistaken dreams, is there any hope of recapturing their love and building a future together?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Serendipity, go HERE.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Courting Miss Amsel

Edythe Amsel comes to the quiet small town of Walnut Hill, Nebraska searching for a new life for herself. After spending years raising her siblings after her mother died and her father slipped into a non-existent father, she is embracing a change that a teaching position will offer her.

Since graduating teaching school, Miss Amsel offers the children of Walnut Hill a different way of teaching than others that came before her. The first lesson is to rid the school room of the old switch used to punish children who make mistakes. The second lesson is to teach them that by making mistakes are the way to learning. There should be no fear in the classroom. Yet even when she tries to encourage her students, the Town Council isn't happy with her teaching things outside of basic reading, writing and arithmetic and they make their concerns known to her.

Joel Townsend has spent his time, farming and raising his nephews Robert and Johnny as best as he can since their parents both passed away. Yet despite his best intentions, he can see a change in the boys since the new schoolmarm has been teaching this year. They are more than eager and willing to attend school and once Joel meets Miss Amsel, he begins to once more have feelings for a woman he didn't think was possible.

Yet just what is it that Edythe is running from? Her landlady Mrs Kinsley, aims to find out and spends her time praying for Edythe to learn to let go of controlling things and let God take the lead. She also becomes a true friend for Edythe, especially when one boy in class aims to take his childish pranks to a whole new level to get rid of the teacher.

In the latest novel by Kim Vogel Sawyer, Courting Miss Amsel, is a delight to read. This novel is a classic in my opinion and I found it enjoyable to take my time reading. I loved the strong and independent thinking offered by the character of Miss Edythe Amsel, yet remaining soft and caring to the students that come to love and admire her. This is the third book I've read of Kim Vogel Sawyer and I savor each one of them that I get the opportunity to read. What a pleasure again and a perfection 5 out of 5 stars.

I received this book compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review. For more information about the novel, the talented author and where to get a first chapter peek, please read on further:

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Courting Miss Amsel
Bethany House (January 1, 2011)
Kim Vogel Sawyer


Kim Vogel Sawyer is the author of fifteen novels, including several CBA and ECPA bestsellers. Her books have won the ACFW Book of the Year Award, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and the Inspirational Readers Choice Award. Kim is active in her church, where she leads women's fellowship and participates in both voice and bell choirs. In her spare time, she enjoys drama, quilting, and calligraphy. Kim and her husband, Don, reside in central Kansas, and have three daughters and six grandchildren.


Edythe Amsel is delighted with her first teaching assignment: a one-room schoolhouse in Walnut Hill, Nebraska. Independent, headstrong, and a strong believer in a well-rounded education, Edythe is ready to open the world to the students in this tiny community. But is Walnut Hill ready for her?

Joel Townsend is thrilled to learn the town council hired a female teacher to replace the ruthless man who terrorized his nephews for the past two years. Having raised the boys on his own since their parents' untimely deaths, Joel believes they will benefit from a woman's influence. But he sure didn't bargain on a woman like Miss Amsel.

Within the first week, she has the entire town up in arms over her outlandish teaching methods, which include collecting leaves, catching bugs, making snow angels, and stringing ropes in strange patterns all over the schoolyard. Joel can't help but notice that she's also mighty pretty with her rosy lips, fashionable clothes, and fancy way of speaking.

When Edythe decides to take her pupils to hear Miss Susan Anthony speak on the women's suffrage amendment, the town's outcry reaches new heights. Even Joel isn't sure he can support her newfangled ideas any longer. And if he can't trust her to know how to teach the boys, how can he trust her with his heart?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Courting Miss Amsel, go HERE.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Pirate Queen

Everyone's definition of treasure is unique. Some spend their whole lives looking for it, some actually dig for it and then there are those that uncover it along their life's journey.

Saphora Warren is one of those people. She is well-liked and admired by all her friends, her kids look up to her as a role model and mother, while her husband, Bender Warren, a prestigious doctor, ignores her. Yet her she spends her day, planning for their home to be featured in Southern Living magazine while her husband disappears for a round of golf, leaving her to make a name for their family, while he earns the money.

Now that the kids are grown and making lives for themselves, Saphora is about to discover her own treasure when she makes plans to leave Bender after the closing of the party for Southern Living. Bags packed and ready to go, she is all set for the new life ahead of her when her husband arrives home with news that he is dying of cancer.

Shocked and still not ready to deal with this latest issue from her husband, she is unsure what to do, until he asks her to take him to Oriental, a small community where the have a house on the lake. This was where she was planning on making her new start and now she finds she has a new issue to deal with regarding Bender. This is about to take her on a whole new hunt to find missing treasure she never knew existed.

In the novel The Pirate Queen by Patricia Hickman, we take a journey ourselves into the lives of people dealing with the cancer of Bender Warren. In the process we discover that the things we think will make us happy aren't the true treasures of life. When Bender begins to discover God in the process he has many questions that are waiting to be answered.

I received the book compliments of WaterBrook Multnomah for my honest review and found myself captivated by the many people in the lives of Saphora and Bender. The strength that emerges from Saphora is amazing for a woman who has lived the life she has in the story, yet with unconditional love and hope, she makes an amazing discovery. I rate this book at 5 out of 5 stars!

For more information on this book, the author and where to purchase a copy, please click on the link below:

Friday, January 7, 2011

Son of Hamas

There is so much information in the media about Islam extremists and the confusion into the world of the Muslim religion. In a thrilling biography, Mosab Hassan Yousef, takes us into his former world of Hamas and the life he led prior to coming to Jesus Christ.

In Son of Hamas, Mosab tells of his upbringing as the prominent son of one of the highest leaders in Hamas when it first began back in the mid 1950's and why peace in the Middle East continues to pose a problem. Even though he has now found Jesus Christ as his personal savior and become an outcast in his own hometown and with his family, Mosab takes us all on the thrilling inside look into a place few have been and lived to tell the story.

We learn through his personal accounts of what it's like when you live in the midst of the personal crisis surrounding the Palestinians and the Israelies people, what is was like being accused by your own country of being a spy and the horror of the prisons locked deep underground that few ever see and live to tell about.

This was an eye opening book for me to see the ladder of religion for most of the Muslim people and just what each step is as they climb closer to Jihad and their religious beliefs. It also took me into the eyes of the people that ran the prison camps both on the Israeli side as well as for the Hamas extremists and just how they think in regards to what is happening all over the world. The bigger picture is how one many who could be so deep inside Hamas could find Jesus Christ as his savior and risk his own death in telling this story and why even now he can't go back.

I received this book compliments of Tyndale House Publishers for my honest review and couldn't wait to read about a complete extreme transformation of a persons soul. I was not disappointed and commend the courage of Mosaf Hassan Yousef for telling his story through this book. I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants a greater understanding of the life in the Middle East and the Hamas organization in general. This book rates a hands down 5 out of 5 stars.

For more information on this book, the brave author and where to purchase a copy of the book, please click on the link below:

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Girl In The Gatehouse

Mariah Aubrey has come back to her distant relatives home after her father has sent her away. Her Aunt Francesca Prin-Hallsey has allowed her to stay in the estates gatehouse that is no longer in use along with her companion Miss Dixon.

Feeling a bit like an outcast at the start when her carriages arrives, her aunt refuses to greet her arrival. Forced to pay for the repairs for broken and missing windows, and the general upkeep of getting the gatehouse in living order, Mariah and Dixon begin work immediately.

When her aunt calls for her one day, she learns that she is in failing health, but wants to make sure that the chest her Aunt has her keep remains locked and removed from the estate until after her death. Seems her step son, Hugh Prin-Hallsey believes Francesca is selling off his mothers personal effects without his consent or knowledge.

This comes at a time when women were expected to be well bred and well mannered in all affairs, and when Mariah agrees to keep the chest locked away in the attic of the gatehouse, the mystery of it's contents begins.

Mariah herself has quite a few mysteries of her own, and it's not until the estate is leased out to a former Sea Captain that things begin to take an unexpected twist.

In the novel, The Girl in the Gatehouse by Julie Klassen, we are taken back to the days of long forgotten romance and to the era of such great novels like Jane Austin. Where women are beautiful and captivating and men once more become the heroes of their dreams. Set in September in 1813, we are held captive by the words that Julie Klassen uses to tell the story of Mariah Aubrey, an unpublished author of romance novels who herself carries a dark past. The best part of this novel, is how she doesn't unravel the pieces of the mystery until almost the conclusion of the book itself, keeping the reader on the each of her seat and rooting for Mariah's true love and happiness no matter what the cost.

I received this lovely novel compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review and anyone who is a fan of Jane Austin or any books from the Regency period, this one will steal your heart with a 5 out of 5 stars.

For more information on the author, the book and even a first chapter glimpse, then click on the links below:

The Girl In The Gatehouse by Julie Klassen

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Girl in the Gatehouse
Bethany House (January 1, 2011)
Julie Klassen


Julie says: My background is in advertising and marketing, but I am blessed with a dream job—working as an editor of Christian fiction. I have been writing since childhood, but Lady of Milkweed Manor was my first novel. It was a finalist for a Christy Award and won second place in the Inspirational Reader's Choice Awards. My second novel, The Apothecary's Daughter, was a finalist in the ACFW Book of the Year awards. I am currently writing one novel a year.

I graduated from the University of Illinois and enjoy travel, research, BBC period dramas, long hikes, short naps, and coffee with friends.

My husband and I have two sons and live near St. Paul, Minnesota.


Miss Mariah Aubrey, banished after a scandal, hides herself away in a long-abandoned gatehouse on the far edge of a distant relative's estate. There, she supports herself and her loyal servant the only way she knows how--by writing novels in secret.

Captain Matthew Bryant, returning to England successful and wealthy after the Napoleonic wars, leases an impressive estate from a cash-poor nobleman, determined to show the society beauty who once rejected him what a colossal mistake she made.

When he discovers an old gatehouse on the property, he is immediately intrigued by its striking young inhabitant and sets out to uncover her identity, and her past. But the more he learns about her, the more he realizes he must distance himself. Falling in love with an outcast would ruin his well-laid plans. The old gatehouse holds secrets of its own. Can Mariah and Captain Bryant uncover them before the cunning heir to the estate buries them forever?

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Girl in the Gatehouse, go HERE

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Wolf of Tebron

The Wolf of Tebron

A Fairy Tale by C.S. Lakin from the Gates of Heaven Series.

This was a Great Read! 5 out of 5 stars!

This should be a classic fairy tale that all children and adults should read!

The books starts out in the Prologue by pulling you into a magical world of wizardry, good and evil before the book even begins! Enchanted by the story I found myself reading for hours without even realizing what time it was. I absolutely was riveted by the story of a young man named Joran who is newly married to Charris, a woman from another village. He believes he has seen his wife with another man and starts down a long perilous road of anger, forlorn, misery and suffering.

He somehow has found out that his wife whom he sent back to her village after he confronted her about the other man magically disappears and is trapped by his own nightmare! He soon learns by the Goose Woman that he has to travel to the farthest regions of the Earth and beyond to find her and rescue her from his own nightmare where he can only see her in his dreams. From the House of the Moon in the North, to the Palace of the Sun in the East and the Cave of the South Wind, Joran must wear out three pairs of shoes before he is ready to truly find his one true love and be free forever of his anger and fear.

As he travels, he finds a few companions who help him in his soul searching journey to find not only his wife, but himself along the way. These new found friends end up being more than he could ever ask for in a friend and companion. There is so much conflict between good and evil that you find yourself identifying parts of the Bible in almost every chapter! You must read this book to find out what happens to Joran, his wife Charris and his life after such a long journey. I am so glad that I had the chance to review this book for Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy. To visit the authors website, visit the link below:

Author’s web site -
Author’s blog -

To purchase a copy of this book, you can find it at Amazon below:

Thank you for such a great Fairy Tale! For more reviews on this amazing title, click on any of the blogs listed below:

Noah Arsenault"> Amy Bissell
Red Bissell
Justin Boyer
Keanan Brand
Grace Bridges
Beckie Burnham
Jeff Chapman
Christian Fiction Book Reviews
Carol Bruce Collett
Valerie Comer"> CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
April Erwin
Andrea Graham
Nikole Hahn
Katie Hart
Ryan Heart"> Bruce Hennigan
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Becca Johnson
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Dawn King
Shannon McDermott
Matt Mikalatos"> Rebecca LuElla Miller
Joan Nienhuis
John W. Otte
Chawna Schroeder
Tammy Shelnut
Kathleen Smith
James Somers
Rachel Starr Thomson
Robert Treskillard
Fred Warren
Phyllis Wheeler