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Friday, March 30, 2012

Harriet Beamer Takes the Bus

What do you do when you look back at the last 72 years of your life and realize you're not getting any younger? The only time you've ever gone anywhere was to the Jersey shore on vacation. Now that she has lost a bet with her son Henry and his wife Prudence over an accident at Christmas, Harriet is forced to sell her home and move in with them. After all, it's apparent to them, you can't be left to care for yourself all alone. Yet rather than jump aboard a plane and head for Grass Valley, CA on their terms, you do what Harriet Beamer does.

You plan a road trip.

From Pennsylvania to California.

Seeing whatever it is you've wanted to see before you die taking whatever means necessary except for a plane if she can help it. Once she has secured her faithful companion, Humphrey, her Basset Hound on board a plane headed to California, she is ready to begin. And with Harriet, that begins with a bus. Not a Greyhound bus mind you but a local public bus and see how far it will take her. Unfortunately for her, it only goes as far as the University, but since she's never seen that, she takes a walk around the campus before heading off on another bus.

Harriet's goal is not only in seeing the sights she feels she has missed in her 72 years of living, but also to prove to herself and her family that she isn't as incapable in caring for herself as they think she is. The journey that the reader is invited along with Harriet is memorable, fun and often times sobering as she meets with people from all walks of life. She finds herself offering invaluable wisdom to the people she engages with, names her GPS application within her Droid phone, Amelia, and continues collecting her salt and pepper shakers as she journeys to California, one bus, one train, one memorable journey at a time.

I received Harriet Beamer Takes The Bus by Joyce Magnin compliments of Shelton Interactive and Zondervan Publishers for my honest review. I LOVED this adorable story because it relates to a situation close to my own heart where an elderly woman living alone was asked to sell her own home because they felt she couldn't care for herself and live with them. I would have loved to see her have as much gumption as Harriet Beamer did and take life by the reins and ride it for the best time of her life. I rate this novel a 5 out of 5 stars and it truly shows in the character of Harriet Beamer that age is just a number, and life is truly worth living to the final moment! Oh and Harriet, if you need a place to stay while your traveling on through, give me a call, I'd love to have you stop on by!

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

River's Call

The Shining Waters Inn offers its guests a place to relax, and find peace and healing beside the Siuslaw River. Now that it's gaining more popularity, Anna Larson is staying busier than ever before. Now that she and Clark are working full-time at expanding the Inn's lodging by building more cabins, she isn't prepared for the news that arrives during one late phone call from her daughter Lauren. She is sick and physically exhausted and needs her mom. When Anna sends for her daughter and offers her time to be cared for at the Inn, Lauren gratefully accepts.

However what was thought to be a severe case of the flu, turns out to be worse than anyone expected. Lauren's pregnant and the father, Donald Thomas has no idea. Now all Lauren can think of is how her college life is going to be ruined by her baby and considers abortion. Anna cringes at the thought but realizes she can only support her daughter, she can't make her do anything even if that goes against anything she believes.

Worse yet, when Donald does find out, he is already seeing another girl and doesn't know what to do. When Lauren's grandmother, Eunice finds out however, she figures she can manipulate everything so Lauren gets her way, marriage and happily ever after. But life doesn't always offer a happily ever after ending as soon everyone will find out as the river calls all of them back.

Melody Carlson once again has created a beautiful story of what forgiveness means through her second novel in the Inn at the Shining Waters series, River's Call. Even though it can be read alone, you will want to understand the story about Anna and Eunice which is revealed in more detail in the first book, River's Song. I received this book compliments of Glass Roads Public Relations for my honest review and wish there was really a Shining Waters Inn because this story is amazing. The healing and peace that just being at the Inn offers is such a wonderful way to draw the reader into the story of Lauren and the difficult relationship between her and Anna. I love the Native American references that appear all throughout the book as Anna's heritage is explored more in this book. I would easily rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and look forward to the next one, River's End due out soon!

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

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hazel Creek

Hazel Creek back in 1924 was what small mountain towns should be. Where people respected the land around them, and found value in family, friends, and God. Scattered around the outskirts of a larger town, owned predominantly by the Calhoun Lumber Company. There goal since convincing the railroad line to come through town was to clear cut most of the virgin forest owned forever by the mountain people in the Southern Appalachians. If people didn't want to sell, the company found ways to obtain the land even if no one could prove their ways were less than honorable.

Nathan and Callie Randolph are a few of the last true mountain families that own a considerable amount of pristine forest lands with some amazing older and more valuable trees that Calhoun wants more than anything. But since the this land has belonged to the Randolph family for generations, Nate has no intention on selling. But after many run-ins with men from the lumber company, Nate is finding himself and his family becoming the prime target from the lumber company and they will stop at nothing to ensure they get the land.

I received Hazel Creek by Walt Larimore compliments of Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster Publishers for my honest review. I have to say I love this book from beginning to end. I didn't want to put it down because the story and the characters are so likeable and believable. There is Abbie, the oldest of the Randolph children that is noticing boys in a whole new light, especially the Sheriff's son, Bobby Lee. She is called upon to help her mother Callie out, who is having a difficult pregnancy and has to rest as much as she can. This puts Abbie in the position to act as almost a mother-figure to her younger sisters.

This story is unique in that it begins as Abbie is in a nursing home and begins to reflect back on her childhood much like Laura Ingalls Wilder did in her books. What comes out of this novel is nothing short of perfection and makes me truly love the writing style of Walt Larimore. It's a sure bet, I'll be researching his books and adding more to this one for my permanent library. If you love books like the Little House on the Prairie books, then I know this one will find a special place in your heart as well. I rate this one a perfect 5 out of 5 stars!

For more information on this book, the author and where to pick up a copy of this book, please click on the links below:

You can also find Walt Larimore on Facebook by clicking here.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Hope of Shridula

Seems things haven't changed much for Ashish and his family now while still working as indebted servants in India since the first book by Kay Marshall Strom, The Faith of Ashish. Now many years later, Ashish and his wife Zia have only one surviving child remaining, a young girl named Shridula and for Ashish, it provides the only outlet of hope left in the world being one of the lowest castes of people.

Deemed by the higher castes as Untouchables, Ashish's family have spent 48 years serving out their families debt which it seems will never be paid. What's even worse is the treatment of the servants among the Lal family. Those living on the land are forced to work for the son of Mammen Samuel, Boban Joseph, who has personally vowed not to be a lenient as his father. He pushes them to work in the grueling heat in which people begin dropping like flies, forces to not pay them in their rice rations unless they work harder than in previous harvests, and worst of all, pursues his growing affections for the young girls especially young Shridula.

The only defense to keep Boban Joseph at bay is the threat from the pale British woman who works at the only clinic in India tending to the sick and wounded no matter what caste of people need help. She has even offered to keep the abandoned and orphaned children who have no where else to turn. It seems however that the new Dr. William Cooper and his wife Susanna want things run differently, casting aside the Indian traditions for those more favored among the British. They even removed Miss Abigail Davidson from operating the English Mission Medical Clinic and treat her as though she is feeble, weak and too old. They even offer to have her sent to more suitable housing preferable to people of her age.

In the Hope of Shridula, the readers are thrown into the beginnings of the revolts for independence among the people of India as the teachings of Gandhi begin to circuit among the lower castes people providing them with an alternative to the years of servant hood that they have been reduced to. Once again you are given a rare look inside how difficult the lifestyles are among the people living in India and their beliefs in Karma and reincarnation while Christians struggle to provide an alternative for hope in this country in 1946.

I received this book compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review and applaud the efforts once again of Kay Marshall Strom for bringing even more awareness to the plight of the people still living in India. While things are slowly improving, the struggle in the poorest areas still remains. Kay has been writing about humanitarian and justice issues and the global family of God in her books and has been to India seven times. This is the second book in the Blessings in India series and can't wait to read her next one. I highly recommend this book to once again enlighten readers to the plight of the people in India as well as other countries in the world and rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars. This book can be read as a stand alone but the impact is greater if you pick up the first one which really defines the castes in India.

For more information about this book, the author and where you can purchase a copy of this book, please click on the links below:

You can also find Kay Marshall Strom on Facebook by clicking here.

You can read my review of The Faith of Ashish, book one in the series by clicking here.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Last Plea Bargain

Just where do you stand when it comes to the death penalty? Are you for it or against it? In the latest novel by Randy Singer, The Last Plea Bargain, this is the synopsis the reader finds themselves immediately engaged in.

Assistant District Attorney, Jaime Brock is in the heart of a difficult case. Her mother was murdered and her father was shot but survived the vicious attack in the Brock family home by Antoine Marshall. He was convicted when Jaime's father positively identified him in a line up. Now after almost ten years, and numerous appeals, Antoine has only 4 days remaining before he faces lethal injection. For Jaime and her father, who now lies in a comatose state after undergoing two different strokes, this will finally resolve issues for all of them seeing justice served. Jaime has worked with her father, also an attorney, and has vowed to never accept a plea bargain, but believes that she will never pursue a case in which she can't win.

Now Caleb Tate, the high profile, wealthy attorney who defended Antoine, has now found himself charged in his own wife's murder. Caleb Tate arrived home to find his wife unresponsive and after administering CPR, finally called 911. They attempted to revive her but were unable to. Now the DA's office is investigating Caleb and the one person who wants on this case more than anyone is Jaime. She wants to bring this man to Justice after he defended Antoine and attempted to discredit her father on the stand.

Mace James is another attorney who is set out to prove that Antoine Marshall is innocent and will stop at nothing to make sure that what he believes is an innocent man, does not face death while the real killer goes free!

This novel is completely compelling in hooking the reader at the first page, as engaging as Randy Singer's writing style is. This one will have you, the reader, at a difficult crossroads. On one side you are engaged in the victims family's tragedy and wishing for resolution now that a guilty verdict has been passed for the last ten years. Then again, there is the case for Antoine Marshall who claims he is innocent even though he has been convicted of similar charges three other times. As a reader I see myself caught in the cross hairs of a difficult dilemma while initially beginning this book. Where do I stand? Do I support the victim in this case who has an eye witness in her own father, an attorney himself, or do I support the accused, the man who claims he is innocent?

I received this book compliments of Tyndale House Publishers for my honest review and found myself constantly jumping around in which side I would take in this compelling novel. Until I had all the facts in both cases, I simply refused to jump on either side as the book slowly reveals all the important clues. Being a huge lover of murder mystery's I tried to maintain a sense of impartiality until all the facts were in. This one will hold you to the final page as you try to solve both murders and once again Randy Singer gives a 5 out of 5 star performance in this crime fiction!

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

You can also find out more about Randy Singer on his Facebook page, by clicking here.

Monday, March 26, 2012

A Perfect Pet for Peyton - Giveaway and Review

If you have ever heard about the 5 Love Languages for Children, then you will love the introduction that "A Perfect Pet for Peyton" by Rick Osbourne and Gary Chapman gives young children. In this amazing and beautifully illustrated children's book, the story involves the hints that Peyton and his sister Penny have been providing as hints to their parents in preparation for their birthday. Hoping that they will get just the right pet for their birthday, their parents begin their day with a party at The Perfect Pal Pet Emporium. Along the way, Peyton and Penny along with their friends learn about what they each love about how the celebrate their day and in so doing so show what each of the 5 Love Languages are and how they relate to the children.

Besides just a beautifully illustrated story book, there are activities for the kids to do as they are reading through the book, a scavenger hunt of sorts that begins at first page and lasts til the very end. It's a great way for parents as well as their kids to understand the meaning behind what the 5 Love Languages are and how they relate to what the kids appreciate from life and others. In the back are questions for parents to ask their kids as they re-read the story. It helps both parents and their kids to understand what is truly important to speak the language of "Love" to our kids and in return is a great way to share quality time together.

I received this book compliments of Propeller and Northfield Publishing for my honest review. I've read about the 5 Love Languages for adults and knew that ones also existed for kids as well. This takes a step further and brings it to a beginner level for younger children. Perhaps while reading it, they can share what they think different love languages are for each member of their family or even friends. I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend this to anyone working with young children as well as for parents and grandparents alike.

For more information on this book, the authors or where you can purchase this book today, please click on the link below:

Thanks to the generous folks at Propeller, they are offering a giveaway copy to one lucky reader of this blog, Reviews From The Heart. Here are your guidelines to enter to win:

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

2. Be a resident of the US or have a US shipping address. Please No P.O. Boxes.

3. "Like" my Reviews From The Heart Facebook page and leave a comment letting me know you stopped by.

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

I will notify the winner of this giveaway on April 3rd via email.

The Chase

Kariss Walker has seen the worst of the worst when it comes to crimes as a TV news anchor. Some of those crimes unfortunately never got solved and one in fact continues to haunt her dreams, one called Cherish Doe. A young girl who was found starved and left to die in the woods behind a Houston apartment complex, has never been solved. Now Kariss has decided to change career paths and become New York Times best selling fiction author. But the nightmares continue to haunt her.

The fact lingers that this poor girl is still an unknown while her murderer lies free to carry on with who knows what other crimes. Now Kariss wants to write Cherished Doe's story in the form of a suspense crime novel and hopes that along the way it might spark new interest in this cold case and hopefully bring justice to this case. She teams up with FBI Special Agent Santiago Harris, or Tigo as he is known to his colleagues, to shadow him in his daily activities to see what the FBI is really like to bring about some positive publicity through her book and make it more realistic than simply writing a fiction based book.

Since both Agent Harris and Kariss are extremely passionate about this case, they succeed in getting it reopened and schedule a press conference using the media to get the word out that they are offering a $25,000 reward for information regarding who the missing girl is and the arrest of her killer. Yet what neither of them realize is that there are those that would want to keep this case cold and unsolved and one that will put both of their lives and careers on the line.

I received The Chase by DiAnn Mills compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review. I can say that I love the writing style of DiAnn Mills because the pace of the story never lags, it completely carries the reader along for some heart-stopping action and thought-provoking crime solving to figure out where this one is headed. I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and for those that love a great crime/murder mystery, then this is perfect for you.

For more information on this book, the author and where to pick up a copy of this book, please click on the links below:

You can also check out more reviews and information through Christian Fiction Blog Alliances website by clicking here.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hide Me Among The Graves - Giveaway and Review

If you love a story set in the mid 1800's in the dark and cold world of old London, where the monsters that lie await when the sun goes down is your type of thriller/suspense, then Hide Me Among The Graves by Tim Powers will be the perfect novel for you.

When I set out to review this one, I didn't realize that there was a prequel of sorts that would help the reader get a bit of historical background on the creatures that roam the dark London streets in this novel so The Stress of Her Regard might be the answer if you find yourself questioning what you're reading as you begin. I implore you to continue your effort because once you understand that there are two different stories that combine as you read on, then the ride will become more enjoyable.

The premise behind this one involves the first set of characters The Rossetti family. Through a brief discussion with her father before his dies, Christina is informed that her father possesses a stone figure that has invited supernatural creatures into their lives. The creatures are vampire/ghosts that benefit their hosts by offering them enhanced-talents such as the ability to paint or write well, but there is also a price to pay. Unfortunately for Christina instead of taking her father's advice and destroying the figure, she duplicates her father's ritual and brings forth her dead uncle, Polidori. Only now, she wishes to find a way to get rid of it before the curse destroys more that just her family.

The second set of characters that the reader is introduced to are an ex-prostitute known as Adelaide McKee and a veterinary-surgeon, John Crawford who are brought together by their uncanny ability to protect themselves from the creatures of the night. Now years later, Adelaide confesses to John that she lied to him when they first met and subsequently had his child. The child has died and now Adelaide is convinced they have to try and find a way to keep her from becoming a vampire/ghost.

I received this book compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers, for my honest review and love the rich detail the author uses to construct the setting and characters for his story. I almost gave up at the beginning because the storyline is a bit confusing but after reading what others had written that read this one, I knew I had to go back with a bit of gusto and complete it. I was so glad I did! This is not your sparkly vampire love story, but one that most writers created long ago, when monsters and shadows did not stay where they should. For those of you looking for those old suspense thrillers, this is the perfect book for you. Be prepared however, the beginning can be difficult but once you know that two sets of characters exist you can proceed along at a great pace. I rate this one a 4 out of 5 stars.

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

Thanks to the generous folks at William Morrow/Harper Collins, they are offering a giveaway copy to one lucky follower of my blog. Here's all you need to do to enter:

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

2. "Like" and leave a comment on my Facebook Page, Reviews From The Heart.

3. Be a resident of the US or have a US shipping address. Please No P.O. Boxes.

4. Leave me a comment telling me why you'd love to win a copy of this book. Don't forget to include your email address too! You can use the words (at) and (dot) instead of the symbols.

I will notify the winner via email when the giveaway end on April 2nd.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Song of My Heart - Giveaway and Review

It's always a privilege when one of your favorite authors comes out with a new book and you get so excited because you just know it's going to be great! Song of My Heart by Kim Vogel Sawyer is no exception. Taking the reader right back into the heart of Dalton, Indiana in 1895, we find ourselves in the home of the Wagner family, where their father has suffered a terrible accident and is now trying to recover. Feeling the financial burden of having their father out of work, Sadie is relieved when a letter arrives as an answer to their prayers.

Her cousin Sid has found work and a new life in Goldtree, Kansas and has sent word to Sadie that he has secured employment for her as well as a clerk in the General Store as well as an audition for a singer in the Opera House. A dream come true for Sadie and even more so, when her parents agree to let her go to help them out until her father can get well enough to return to work.

So Sadie sets out for what she hopes will be a life-changing experience in the heart of a small town of Goldtree! Arriving on the dirt filled streets, worn and weary she meets up with her cousin Sid, who introduces her to Melva and Shelva Baxter, the elderly twin ladies who run the General Store. It is their brother Asa who wants her to audition for a singer in the Opera House which is located just beneath the mercantile due to construction costs. But that's not all that's buried beneath the town of Goldtree as the new sheriff is about to discover.

Thad McKane has been hired to find out about an illegal bootlegging operation that threatens to undermine the growth of Goldtree and that's something the mayor does not want to see happen. Thad feels he has to make amends for his father's reputation and offers to take the job in hopes of saving the town, but will God have other plans in store for Sheriff McKane?

I received Song of My Heart by Kim Vogel Sawyer compliments of Litfuse Publicity for my honest review and LOVED it, right down to the dust covered streets and the wild bunch of characters found between the pages. This is a western romance with a twist that shows that nothing we can do short of asking God for forgiveness will make things right. It's a story about God's grace and mercy set in the heart of a western Kansas town. This one will make your heart sing with a 5 out of 5 star rating.

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

You can also find her on Facebook by clicking here.

Win a Nook Tablet from Kim Vogel Sawyer and RSVP for her "Song of My Heart" Facebook Party {3/29}!

Celebrate with Kim by entering to win a Nook Tablet and connecting with her at the Book Chat Party on 3/29!

One "songbird" winner will receive:

  • A Nook Tablet

  • Song of My Heart by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends 3/28/12. Winner will be announced at Kim's Book Chat Facebook Party on 3/29. Kim will be hosting an evening of chat, fun trivia and more! She'll also be giving away some GREAT prizes: gift certificates, books, and much more!

So grab your copy of Song of My Heart and join Kim and friends on the evening of March 29th for an evening of fun.

Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP TODAY and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 29th!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Missing: The Secrets of Crittenden County

Whenever I see the name Shelley Shepard Gray on a book, I know before I ever open the first page, it's going to be good if not great. Missing: The Secrets of Crittenden County is the first book in the series that Shelley has written after visiting an Amish community nestled in rural western Kentucky and this is the beginning of that series.

The book opens with Abby Anderson who is sneaking off on to the land surrounding the Miller's farm near Crooked Creek to have a smoke with some girlfriends from school. Abby knew she shouldn't be doing this but since she wanted to fit in at school, she went along with them. Sensing her better judgment was beginning to speak to her heart, she decided she should leave, but when the girls had other plans and tossed her backpack into the woods, she wasn't at all prepared for what she would find. The body of a missing Amish teen, Perry Borntrager in the bottom of a dry well.

Now with the investigation beginning into the mysterious death of Perry, some of the residents of this small Amish town in Crittenden County are that interested in sharing what they know. Lydia Plank is the former girlfriend of Perry's and she isn't about to share what she believes could ruin her more than helping to solve Perry's death. She fears that it will forever ruin not only what her family thinks about her but what God does as well.

Walker Anderson is the older brother of Abby, the girl who found Perry's body. When the police detective comes around asking questions of Walker, he doesn't believe the information he knows about Perry will help with the investigation and only get him in trouble with Mr. Aaron Schrock, the owner of the store at which he works. Perry use to work there with him as well until Walker quit. He didn't want to be anywhere near Perry anymore.

In Missing: The Secrets of Crittenden County by Shelley Shepard Gray, the reader it taken on the journey of a murder investigation of Perry Borntrager and realizes just how difficult it can be to search for answers in a tight knit community of Amish residents. They feel that nothing that they can tell the detective will help and it's only until they begin to share their secrets that not only will it lead them closer to the murderer but absolve them of the personal guilt that they are carrying in their own lives.

I received Missing: The Secrets of Crittenden County, the first book in the series compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review and can't wait for the next one. I will tell you this since it is a series, the murder will not be solved in this book, but it will get you on board with your own crime solving skills to the test as you begin to join in the search. I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend this one to those of you that love a good crime solving mystery with an Amish flair to it.

For more information on this book, the amazing author and where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can also find Shelley on Facebook by clicking here.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Losing Clementine

" I threw the teapot out the window.

It plummeted three floors and shattered into a hundred white porcelain pieces right behind Mrs. Epstein, who I had never much liked anyway.

"Hey!" she yelled up at me.

"Sorry," I said, hanging half my upper body over the sill. Then I turned back inside, grabbed half a dozen teacups, and dumped those out too.

I wasn't that sorry.

Crash. Crash-crash. Crash-crash-crash.

It was very satisfying.

"Have you lost your mind?" Mrs. Epstein screamed, dancing around in her sensible shoes to avoid flying debris.

"Yes," I said and used half my body weight to shove the sash back down.

It would've been more satisfying to slam it, but fifty years of paint made that impossible. Unfortunate. I was really into doing things that were satisfying at the moment. I had, just that afternoon fired my shrink. When you've really and truly decided to kill yourself, what's the point of a shrink?" (pg 1-2)

In the novel, Losing Clementine by Ashley Ream, the main character Clementine has decided that she is done with life. As the book chapters are divided into the days remaining like a countdown til her demise, she attempts to put her affairs in order and of course, research the best possible way for her suicide. She is an artist that truly is living on impulse, doing whatever strikes her fancy at that possible moment from order every conceivable entree at her local Indian restaurant, to flushing her prescription drugs, to finding a home for her cat Chuckles, by placing an advertisement in the local paper much like a single's ad. There are some quirky things she does that engages the reader but all in all I think too much gets lost in the storytelling.

There are descriptive sex scenes that carry the reader too far graphically into the act itself, lots of profanity, and just the notion itself that suicide is the answer for any of life's problems doesn't ring clear to me. I fear that this would encourage people in a way that I don't feel most of my readers would appreciate the content. It's disappointing because I really thought this would be a great story but other's may enjoy it nonetheless. I received this book compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review and can honestly only rate it a 3 out of 5 stars.

For more information on this book, the author and where you can pick up a copy of this book, please click on the link below:

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Stuart Brannon's Final Shot

One of my favorite things I miss the most are the old time western radio programs. I know you can sometimes find them on Sirius radio now and on the Internet, but that's exactly what I was thinking as I was reading, Stuart Brannon's Final Shot by Stephen Bly.

Although only 7,000 words remained in the original manuscript by Stephen Bly just before his death, his family members got together and completed the final book in the Stuart Brannon's series. This book is definitely action packed adventure from the beginning pages as Stuart Brannon is involved in the prevention of a train robbery. After he convinces the criminal to turn himself in to the local authorities, he finds himself the center of attention by some of the passengers on a train, namely a young boy who idolizes the person he believes him to be. While correcting the young man on all the rumors he believes as truth, he faces a challenge of another kind.

Brannon receives word from a close friend Lady Harriet Fletcher who asks him to participate in a gold tournament event in conjunction with the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition. However Brannon just wants to return home to retire on his ranch in Arizona. When he receives another invitation from the President of the United States asking for his involvement in the disappearance of Tom Wiseman, a U.S. Marshall, he can't ignore this one. Tom is too close of a friend and has aided him in many personal and legal problems in the past, and also the many times Tom had stood with Brannon against the lawbreakers when no one else would.

I received Stuart Brannon's Final Shot compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review and really liked the story-telling behind this novel. Like I described it above, to me, it read like the old time western radio programs with fast-paced action on every page, from chandelier swinging ladies to out of control horses in a small town. This one is geared to those that love that Old-Time Western Fiction much like Louis L'Amour! I rate this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars and commend his family members for all the time involved to put this final novel together!

For more information on this book, the author or where to pick up a copy of this one today, please click on the links below:

For more reviews from the blog tour, please click here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Dog That Talked To God

Mary Fassler has a unique friend in her dog Rufus. Having recently lost her husband and son in an accident with a drunk driver, Mary has been blaming God since it has happened. At first Mary didn't notice much about Rufus that was unusual when she adopted him from his breeder. He was the runt of the litter and Mary felt lead that Rufus was the perfect dog for her.

One night while taking him out for a walking, she posed a general question to her dog like all of us have asked our pets at one time or another, and this time, Rufus answered. Yes, he really spoke to her. She claims his voice is similar to that of Eeyore from Winnie-The-Pooh, in that his speech is slow and calculated. Most of the time Rufus has the intelligence of a young child when he poses questions to Mary such as is he fat because he heard from another dog that he has to lose a few pounds because he's too fat, referring of course to Gus, the dog he has seen around the neighborhood on their walks. Gus has also told him that his rear legs hurt and he wants to move to Orlando where it's warm. He says it helps him when it's warmer.

Mary and Rufus develop a close bond and friendship, in their nightly walks. Rufus only speaks at night and only to Mary. He has also told Mary he has a close bond to God, in fact all dogs do, but mostly the good dogs talk to God and the bad dogs could but sometimes they chose not to. The grief that Mary's been dealing with has kept her from moving forward even though its been five years since the loss of her family. Well meaning family and friends try to set her up on dates and offer unsolicited advice which Mary takes in stride but soon she feels it may be time to start over again some place new. If only she knew what God wanted her to do, then perhaps she could move forward. Maybe she could talk to Rufus to see if he knows what God has in store for her instead?

In the novel, The Dog That Talked to God by Jim Kraus, the author writes a delightful and charming story of a unique friendship between an owner, Mary and her miniature Schnauzer, Rufus. Along the way, Rufus teaches Mary much about God and what how He works according to the simplicity that only a dog would understand. Can Rufus help point the way back to God for Mary? You'll have to pick this heart-warming book up to see for yourself. This one is definitely one for pet lovers everywhere who truly know what it means to talk to your dog! I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion!

I received this book compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest opinion and know that animal lovers everywhere will want to pick this one up! For more information about the author, the book or even where to pick up a copy, please click on the link below:

The Dog That Talked To God by Jim Kraus

For more reviews on this book tour, click here!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Summer of Secrets

Sometimes you could live your whole life thinking things are just the way they are, until one day someone shows up from your past to remind you life isn't what had thought after all.

In the novel, Summer of Secrets by Charlotte Hubbard, we are immediately introduced into the engagement of Rachel Lantz and Micah Breeneman, a young Amish couple that have yet to announce their formal engagement as is customary among the Amish. So for now, they are happily enjoying the time just being together and riding in Micah's courting buggy. Rachel works with her mother, Miriam and sister, Rhoda at Sweet Season's, their bakery cafe in the heart of Willow Ridge, Missouri.

Just as the lunch rush is getting started, they notice an English girl dressed in Gothic attire and with multiple piercings and tattoos. What they didn't expect that day was to learn that her name is Tiffany, who used to be referred to by the name Rebecca who was lost in a river at the age of three. She is the missing sister of Rachel and Rhoda and Miriam's missing daughter who they all believed to be dead.

Yet Tiffany herself is having a difficult time accepting what her father had told her, being adopted at a young age and had to travel to Willow Ridge to meet her supposed mother, Miriam. She wasn't expecting them to be Amish and leaves before Miriam can have a change to speak with her. Rachel on the other hand is more than happy to see her leave. She believes no good can come of trying to make amends with Tiffany, especially since Micah has seemed to taken notice of her.

The Summer of Secrets is a timeless Amish novel that will educate readers of the Amish lifestyle while immersing the reader in the struggle to find a way to mend the rift between the family. Miriam has long believed that she alone was ultimately responsible for what she believed was the death of Rebecca/Tiffany thanks to her husband Jessie, who has now passed away. Will Miriam find a way to reach out to Tiffany and find a way to heal their relationship or will their differences in lifestyle be too much to heal the brokenness in both their lives?

I received Summer of Secrets compliments of Pump Up Your Book Tours and Charlotte Hubbard, herself for my honest review. Being a huge fan of the Amish fiction, this one is just another perfect companion to my growing collection. It's easy to relate to Miriam who just wants to welcome Rebecca back into the family, especially now that Rachel is getting married. This is a heart-warming story that I know my readers will love and I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars. The best part too, are the recipes that follow at the end that I know you will love to try! This is the first book in the Seasons of The Heart series and I can't wait to follow this one to the very end.

For more information on this book, the author, or where you can purchase a copy of this book, please click on the links below:

Summer of Secrets by Charlotte Hubbard

You can also find Charlotte on Facebook by clicking here.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

How To Eat A Cupcake

Annie Quintana and Julia St. Clair as a different as night is to day. Separated by ten years, the two find themselves brought together once again. Julia St. Clair is ambitious, sophisticated and is very wealthy. The only daughter of the St. Clair family, she is in the planning process of her wedding to Wesley, a Southern businessman but is hiding a secret she must tell him before she marries. Julia finds herself with time on her hands now that she has quit her job to move back home to San Francisco to begin planning her wedding with her mother, Lolly.

Annie Quintana has been used to taking the back seat in life, especially when it comes to Julia or the St. Clair family. Annie's mother Lucia was the housekeeper for the St. Clair's and also became a close personal friend to Lolly during the time she worked there. Annie grew up with Julia since they lived in a small apartment on the St. Clair estate and was provided for by the St. Clair family. Attending the same schools as Julia since they were both only children. It made sense for them to be friends. Lucia died in the kitchen after having a brain aneurism and after attending the funeral and dealing with issues in high school, the girls grew apart.

Now that Annie has been asked by Lolly St. Clair to cater her party by bringing her delicious cupcakes, Annie and Julia are reunited. By this reunion isn't a warm one. The reader gets a sense that something more has happened between the two girls and as they begin to make plans to go into the cupcake business together, the reader is taken on a journey between alternate points of view between Julia and Annie.

As they come to terms with how they can work together in running this business, the reader gets a sense that all is not what it seems to be. Annie is warm and hard working, trying to find a way to make her cupcake business a success while still working through some unresolved issues with Julia that happened in high school. Julia on the other hand remains distant from wedding plans, avoids confrontation with Annie over what issues she has with her, and seeks solace in sharing drinks with her ex boyfriend Jake Logan.

I received How To Eat A Cupcake by Meg Donahue compliments of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review. The beginning of the book starts off pretty slow for me trying to figure out where these two fit into each other's lives but about 1/3 of the way through the story picks up. I related to Annie the most, having been raised in Julia's shadow most of her life, she seeks resolution with Julia before she can move forward but Julia is constantly changing the subject or passes it off without realizing the impact it had on Annie's childhood. Julia is a bit self absorbed and likes to be the center of attention, seeking to remain at the top of whatever event is going on at the time. I really liked this book because it portrays a unique connection between the two women who come from different walks of life but are drawn together in a compelling way. I rate this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend this one for a great summer read. The only thing missing were some recipes for these delicious cupcakes that are invented along the way!

For more information on the book, the author or where to pick up a copy of this book, please click on the link below:

Saturday, March 17, 2012


The legend of Dracula has been stated the Vlad The Impaler was so grief stricken by the death of his wife's suicide that he lashed out at the people he felt were responsible and randomly killing people as a way of seeking revenge. Now his son has been struggling with the internal conflict within himself between good and evil and has become the most wanted man by the Palatine, a secret police of the Vatican responsible for ridding the world of evil wherever it is found.

Meena Harper on the other hand has her own conflict, one being in love with Lucien Antonescu, the son of Dracula and working for the Palatine, hunting him down. She has a unique gift that allows her to predict how everyone she meets will die. Using it, she has helped people save their lives instead and has altered their future in a positive way. Her rival at the Palatine is Alaric Wulf who has vowed to personally kill Lucien if he can find him, however Meena believes that he still possesses a goodness within himself that should be protected and used to fight evil in the world. But Alaric isn't the slightest bit convinced and will stop at nothing to drive his sword into Lucien's heart.

When a new breed of vampires begins attacking New York's tourists, the hunt for the head vampire begins with a vengeance. Meena is still struggling to deal with the love she feels for Lucien and that a dream she is being plagued with is the answer that she needs to share with him. It is a dream of him as a small boy with his mother just before she commits suicide and one which holds the key to unlock a deep secret that will change all their lives.

I received Overbite by Meg Cabot compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review. Being a fan of Buffy The Vampire Slayer series on television, this book definitely took me back to the relationship shared between Buffy and Angel in regards to Meena and Lucien. The story is well written, filled with action and suspense and one whose ending was great and unexpected. I rate this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend it to fans of vampire novels with a love story twist! This was an unexpected change for me, since this is the same author of The Princess Diaries, but I loved her ability to tell a great story and keep the reader entertained.

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


Just when you think your life is over and you'll be headed to one of two places, either Heaven or Hell, there is a turn of events, as the residents of Promisetown soon discover. When Joe Grant and his daughter Elizabeth are involved in a car accident, they soon discover that they have died and Sally, Joe's wife is still among the living.

Trapped wandering in a parallel world, they begin to experience a dulling of the senses, taste and smell become repressed sensations. Here you can walk through objects that exist among the living, such as cars, people and buildings, but you are no longer a part of it. They wander among a host of others that have died from all different periods in time, from Indians, Pilgrims and people from every century til the current. Here you can no longer die no matter how fatal your wounds may be. You eventually heal but you still remain.

There are those however that transition out of this world, which Joe soon finds out when overnight, Elizabeth vanishes. Not knowing where she has gone, he searches in vain. The odd thing is that he misses her but he does not experience the loss as he should. He has become disconnected from his emotions.

Joe soon discovers that if he concentrates hard enough he can wander back into the land of the living. The bond in life must be exceptionally strong to carry over after death. It provides an ability to see past this existence into the one before. But it soon fades unless you maintain contact - to renew the life bond - otherwise it is lost. Joe's connection is Sally, who remains grief struck unable to move forward in her life unless Joe stops coming to visit.

This world is also populated by groups known as clubbers or pistoleros, who come in the night to attack the people in the towns and steal their goods. They never settle in any one place, they just roam the countryside looking for people to hurt, so they can have their "feel" or absorb their emotions. Is there any way to escape? Will Joe find a way to reunite with Sally or find his way to Elizabeth, or will he be trapped in Promisetown forever?

I received Promisetown by Phillip Ellis Jackson compliments of the author for my honest review. While he claims this is a Christian Science Fiction book, I would beg to differ. The book contains profanity and there is even a man who impersonates Jesus but it is not the Savior. Some of the residents of the town engage in relationships in order to absorb the emotions of lust since love is no longer a part of Promisetown. So in my opinion this would not classify as a Christian book. It does make reference to various religious beliefs but not enough to warrant that title. That being said, the book is a great Science Fiction and Futuristic Fantasy fiction that some of my readers would enjoy. I would rate this book a 4 out of 5 stars and for now this book remains on ebook formats at this time.

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

Friday, March 16, 2012

Beauty for Ashes

Once again Dorothy Love has managed to draw me in as a reader and create such timeless characters that I am immediately rooting for them the entire way through the novel. In the second book in the Hickory Ridge Romance Series, Beauty for Ashes picks up with the life of Carrie Daly who is making preparations to attend her brother Henry's wedding. While retrieving her dress from the dressmakers, she finds herself in immediate danger from a runaway horse who is spooked from the whistle of the train. Just at the last minute, Carrie is rescued by Griffin Rutledge, a handsome horse trainer in town on business.

This is the true definition of falling in love, and the sparks between Carrie and Griffin are immediately lit even though Carrie is being courted by Nate Chastain, the local bookstore owner. Nate's been proposing to Carrie for many years but she just can't seem to find the same feelings for Nate as she did for her husband who left her a widow. Could the sparks between Griffin and Carrie be what has been missing for both of their lives?

When Henry's new wife, Mary and her young sons, Caleb and Joe, leave Carrie with no alternative but to move out of her family home, she finds a room in the Verandah Hotel where she hopes to earn money taking care of the cooking and cleaning. However she finds once more, that she has been replaced by Rosaleen Dupre', a fancy lady with a sorted past, that will weave her way in and around the residents of Hickory Ridge, even though they won't see it coming.

I received Beauty for Ashes compliments of Litfuse Publicity and Thomas Nelson Publishers for my honest review. I love the strength that Carrie possesses, not being afraid of what people think, and isn't afraid to speak her mind. I can't imagine being treated so poorly by her new sister-in-law, Mary who seems to think that Carrie will now be her maid while she is living in the house. Not only that but her younger boys, Caleb and Joe have no manners or respect for Carrie, telling her on one to many occasions that she is not there mother and they don't have to pay her any mind! I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and can't wait for the third book in this series.

If you've never read any of Dorothy Love's book, please pick up this series. She will take you back to Hickory Ridge, Tennessee for a definite adventure in western historical fiction with some great romance thrown in for a treat! The best part of this book is that it can be read as a stand alone, but trust me, you'll want to pick up Beyond All Measure to capture the whole story of the residents of Hickory Ridge!

For more information on this book, the author and where to pick up a copy of this book, please click on the links below:

Beauty for Ashes by Dorothy Love

You can also find Dorothy on Facebook by clicking here.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Prophecy of The Flame

"In a blinding flash of light, five nondescript strangers are yanked from this world and thrust into a land of sorcery as they are granted the looks and abilities of the people they were playing. This band of wannabe heroes soon discovers that having the powers they have always dreamed of, does not make life a dream come true. The Crusaders of the Light struggle to form a cohesive band as they blend twentieth century technology with the supernatural powers of this new world, fighting to liberate the Kingdom of Cuthburan from the evil horde threatening humanity.
Battle is also raged within Reba, an ordinary housewife who has become the most powerful mage on the planet, as she struggles to remain true to her wedding vows. Drawn against her will to the arms of Prince Alexandros, Reba must choose between marriage to a handsome prince in a magical world, or returning to the husband she left behind." (excerpt from back cover)
In the novel, Prophecy of the Flame, written by Lynn Hardy my attention was immediately drawn into this wonderful storytelling of sorcery and magic!
I connected most definitely with the main character, Archmage Reba who has suddenly become the one the prophecy has described to save the Kingdom of Cuthburan and even possibly the human race on this planet. She is also caught between the prophecy claiming that the "flamed one" should marry the oldest royal prince, or has this prophecy been somehow manipulated over time to portray something more than what it is. Reba, Charles, Allinon, Jerik and Jamison are the main characters in the story who have been transported from their world to this new magical land with each having magical powers of their own to learn and master. Reba has been told of the coming war between another evil sorcerer and the demons he has unleashed into this land. Will the Prophecy hold true? Will the Crusaders of the Light triumph over evil and save the lands, nay the world? Then purchase The Prophecy of the Flame and read for yourself!
I was very pleased when I got into the first few chapters to have such a strong character development, plot and well written storyline. I cannot wait for the second book to come so I can read more of this series. Lynn Hardy has a great way of just plain old-fashioned good storytelling without having to over write, use long winded words, or over-dramatize the story. I like this kind of simple, yet powerful writing style that just gets you started on a journey you wish you could be in and not want to finish reading the last page.
I rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars and would recommend this one to any and all Sci-Fi, mythology, magic and medieval lovers who want to be thrust into a great story that will keep them entertained for days.
Thank you Lynn Hardy for writing such a mesmerizing book!
I received this book compliments of Pump Up Your Book Tours and Lynn Hardy with the express intent of my personal review only without any monetary gain or profit whatsoever. For more information on this book, the author or where to purchase a copy of this book, please click on the link below:

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Before The Scarlet Dawn

For once I have read a book that I could not predict how it would end. Usually once a story presents itself you can kinda of figure out the logistics of how it will end but not in Before The Scarlet Dawn by Rita Gerlach.

In this wonderful historical novel set in the 1775 first in Derbyshire, England we find our main character Eliza Bloome who is caring for her ailing father, the vicar of the church there. While he lays dying he receives a letter from a man named Mr. Langbourne, who wishes to marry Eliza so that she will not fall into poverty once he passes away. However Eliza wishes to marry for love only not for financial security. So when he father passes away, she is given one week to vacate the church property and find other living arrangements.

While riding through the country side one day, she happens upon a childhood friend, Hayward Morgan, the son of a wealthy family and wonders if perhaps he is interested in marriage. When he tells her he is not but that she might find work among his family's household in Havendale, she decides to try to find work there otherwise she will be homeless.

Upon arriving in Havendale, she overhears Hayward proposes to a well-to-do lady named Lilith Marsden who has her eyes set on Hayward's future inheritance, but when she learns that the marriage will involve leaving England and heading for property he has acquired in Maryland, she refuses. Now Eliza offers Hayward one more opportunity to propose marriage and move with him to Maryland to which he accepts, under the condition that Eliza understands, he does not love her.

Moving to River Run in the Maryland, Eliza and her maid, Fiona will have to endure the life of learning to live in frontier, but as long as Eliza has Hayward, she is convinced God will show Hayward's heart that love is possible. Only now that the Revolutionary War draws near, Hayward's only desire is to fight against the British even if it means leaving his wife to fend for herself. Will Eliza ever truly find love or will God have a different answer in mind for her prayers?

I received Before The Scarlet Dawn compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review and LOVED it. I couldn't put it down til I knew how it would end and I believe, I have to wait for the next book. I was not disappointed that Eliza's conflict was not resolved and for once applaud the author who takes a great storyline, and carefully takes the reader by the hand and walks through it with them, not rushing to come to a hasty conclusion. This is the reason why I love this book. It's completely unpredictable at some points and that kept me entertained and engaged. I'm not sure I could deal with all life handed Eliza in this story and she has more strength that I could ever imagine. I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and anxiously wait her sequel to this story. This is the first book in the Daughters of the Potomac Series!

For more information on this book, the author and where to pick up a copy of this book, please click on the links below:

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Fear, Faith and Patience

Just how far would you be willing to go to stand up for you innocence, even though it seems as if everyone else around you is willing to believe the lies? Would you be willing to risk public humiliation, being arrested and face trial in the face of lies? Felecia S. Killings takes her story to book format in her personal memoir few of us would be willing to face.

When Felecia was growing up she was an exceptional student, excelling well above her fellow students, so much so that her father withdrew her from private school and enrolled her in public school assigning her Advance Prep courses in all her subjects. Being a black student in mostly predominantly white schools, she witnessed racial prejudice throughout her high school and college years.

She vowed that by becoming a teacher she would work hard to treat her students better than they were being treated even if it meant setting herself apart from her peers. That is just what ended up happening as she found herself the center of controversy regarding the discrimination of students at Rodriguez High School in Fairfield, California in 2006. When white students were found to be driving recklessly in the parking lot of the high school with a Confederate Flag tied to their car and dragging a teddy bear with a rope tied around its neck on April 4th, Martin Luther King Day, they were given Saturday detention, while black students in the school received a three day suspension for using curse words on campus. It was clear to Felecia that something needed to be done even if she would lose her job as a teacher, she worked her whole life for.

She united with parents, teachers and faculty members to present her findings before the Fairfield Suisun Unified School District Board of Directors. She had tried to work things out with the principal at the school but nothing was done, so she was left with no other choice than to take this matter before the board. It seems like this type of discrimination and hate crimes were happening at other school as well and something must be done to change the policy.

What happens to Felecia during her stand to change the policy is what she believed God called her to do, a Queen Esther Prophecy, she believes and it only gets worse from here, just like Esther had to stand up for the Jewish people, Felecia will stand the ultimate test and you can read about her personal story in her book, Fear, Faith & Patience: My fight for justice in an injustice system.

I received this book compliments of Pump Up Your Book Tours and Felecia Killings for my honest review. This is one book that should be read by everyone who has ever tried to stand up for what is right only to face persecution of the worst kind. The best part is that God will stand with us through it all and I think that testimony of God's presence with Felecia is present in her personal memoir. I rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars because it shows that even today, persecution still exists for God's chosen people!

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

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Woodcarver - DVD Giveaway and Review

When a young troubled boy named Matthew Stevenson decides to destroy the church because of an unanswered prayer, he is caught on video tape and has to be punished. He is ordered by the church deacons to spend his time repairing all the damage he did to avoid persecution. However a lot of the wood work that is destroyed was created by Ernest Otto (John Ratzenberger).

Since losing his wife of forty years to cancer, Ernest has lived a reclusive life and his woodcarving tools have sat unused since his creations at the church many years ago. Now called by the church once more to restore some of the unique carvings to the church, Ernest enlists the aid of Matthew to help him finish on time, otherwise the work will be bid out to competitor wood mill whom his father is forming a partnership with.

Feeling that God doesn't answer prayers, Matthew confesses to Ernest that he prayed for his parents to avoid getting divorced and now fighting and living separate lives, he believes that God has failed him. Yet because God answers prayers in unique and different ways from what we expect, this family will find that anything is possible if one is willing to work hard at it and offer their prayers to God.

I received the DVD, The Woodcarver, compliments of Propeller and Nasser Group North for my honest review and thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful family film. It shows that we need to enjoy what we have in the present more so than ever before because even the prayers we ask, may often times be answered by God in far different ways than we ever imagined. Our family really enjoyed the message of this movie and found it a great way to talk about prayer and how God will often times answer them. While the answers may be different than we expected, it does not mean God doesn't listen or doesn't care. My family rates this movie at 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommends it to anyone looking for great family entertainment.

For more information about this movie or where to pick up a copy today, please click on the link below:

Thanks to the generous folks at Propeller, they are offering a giveaway copy of this DVD to one lucky follower of Reviews From The Heart. Here's all you need to do to enter:

1. "Like" my Facebook page and leave a comment at Reviews From The Heart.

2. Be a resident of the US or have a US shipping address. Please No P.O. Boxes.

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

4. Tweet, Post a Link on your Facebook page or blog and link it here and be entered a second time. The best part is simply becoming a part of making people aware of this wonderful movie.

The giveaway will end on March 19th and I will notify the winner by email at that time.

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or
services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it
on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally
and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance
with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Prize of My Heart

Lorena Huntley has a huge dilemma, she has attracted the hearts of more than one man who is captured not only by her beauty but by her heart as well. However one of those men is fast becoming more than just a friend to her if she can keep her emotions in check.

One of those is her strong-willed protector. Being one of the only men in her life besides her father, he has grown to love her in a remarkable way. He is Andrew Benjamin Huntley, otherwise known as her adopted brother of just five, but with a heart of gold in keeping Lorena from any man who wishes her harm, even if he is truly a giant and a pirate.

This is where we meet Captain Brogan Talvis, who happens upon a chance meeting with Lorena mistaking her for a simply maid in the Huntley household, and when he gains the opportunity to flatter her not only with his charm and good looks, he falls flat on his face. The victim of a simple sling shot and a rock, thanks to Andrew who has finally slayed his giant and now runs away with Lorena to the safety of their house before he awakens.

When Captain Brogan is invited to the Huntley household for dinner and a possible business proposition, he has his eye on more than one prize. Andrew Benjamin is actually his long lost son that his late wife abandoned without telling him where to find him. Now that he has, he must find a way to gain the trust of not only Lorena but for Benjamin as well. But will he have what it takes to win her heart in order to steal back his son, or will his moral convictions of doing whats best for his son override his desire?

I received Prize of My Heart by Lisa Norato compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review. Here we find an interesting turn of events where we have a roguish sea captain bent on acquiring the one prize he hasn't been able to find, his son, until now. Thinking he would simply take the boy out for a boat ride and then sail off with him, he finds that trust is something he will have to earn in order to make his plan work. There seems to be no way to gain Benjamin's attention until he can win Lorena's trust first. This is truly a love story in the making as we see the rough outer exterior of Brogan blend with the warmth of love for his son. As tough as it is to want to race out and claim your son, he must realize it's not that simple and must be patient. Something that is going to be a challenge for him since he's been a privateer for most of his life. He simply has taken what he wants but that will not be the case now. This one rates a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion and will capture the heart of all sea loving romance fans.

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

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Miracle for Jen ~ Giveaway and Review

Sometimes life can change in an instant. The plans that we had laid out in front of us, the goals in life we had hoped to achieve, even a simple dinner plan with friends can be changed in the blink of an eye. That is just what happened to the Barrick family. One minute they were on their way home from an event at church where they watched their daughter, Jen sing in the church choir and preparing for dinner at their house to celebrate with family and friends. However when a drunk driver slammed into their mini van at 80 mph head on, what they would be left with would be considered a miracle.

In the novel, Miracle for Jen by Linda Barrick and John Perry, the reader is taken on a fateful journey that forever changed the lives of not only the Barrick family, but for every single person to be impacted by their story that is captured from start to finish in the beautiful memoir. What would later be a series of miracles that began from before the accident to years later, this book will take you on a walk with angels and with God as He carefully orchestrates a plan to use Jen's life in a very powerful way. This will change your walk with God and also show you just how powerful our prayers can be and they really do communicate with Jesus and His Father.

I don't think anyone who reads this book will ever be the same again. I personally have never encounter a teenagers faith as strong as Jen's prior to her accident and even more so afterwards. This has renewed my faith and increased my prayer life. I will never take things for granted again and will be working to make my own personal walk with God more diligent and powerful. I think that is exactly what Jen and God had planned in the most unexpected ways.

This is the journey of Jen's spiritual walk even before her accident, how she found God in her recovery efforts when she couldn't remember her mom's name but remember her favorite scriptures and songs of praise and worship. When her efforts at speech seemed futile, her prayers to God in the company of those who heard her, showed that Jen has a unique relationship with God that not only walked through that valley with friends and family but helped her see His purpose in it all.

I received Miracle for Jen compliments of Tyndale House Publishers for my honest review and have to say it's a must read for anyone wanting to know what faith looks like. There are many pictures of before and after the accident and for Jen and her family to be alive at all, is a miracle in itself. This one rates a 5 out of 5 stars in my personal opinion and I can't wait for you to read about Jen's story! For more information on this book, the author, read the first chapter, and where to pick up a copy of this book, please click on the links below:

Miracle for Jen by Linda Barrick with John Perry

You can also find out more at Hope Out Loud's website the Barrick family's ministry!

Thanks to the generous folks at Tyndale House Publishers, they are providing a giveaway copy to one lucky winner of this blog. Here's all you need to do to enter:

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

2. Click "Like" on my Facebook page, Reviews From The Heart and leave a comment.

3. Be a resident of the US or have a US shipping address. Please No P.O. Boxes.

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

The giveaway will end on March 18th and I will notify the winner at that time.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Encountering Heaven and The Afterlife

Oh I would never know how much this book would mean to me or how much of a comfort it is to anyone who has experienced loss whether it's someone we love or even a pet we hold dear to our hearts. This book provides the hope we need to know that we will see our loved ones again in heaven as long as they are a believer in Jesus Christ.

It's also an amazing book to use to show you what heaven is like, what happens when we die, what is hell like, what are the roles of angels and demons in this life and just what near death experiences can show us from those that have been to the other side and have come back. It also details various stories of those people on their last moments who have had the opportunity to share what they see just moments before they pass over to the other side.

This book provides a wide variety of stories such as angels watching over us during our day to day lives, rescues from angels when we are at risk, glimpses of heaven from those who have crossed over to the other side when they technically have died only to be sent back. There are loved ones waiting for us, pets that have passed on before us and the most beautiful descriptions of heaven, the houses that are there for us believers as well as the peace, music and love that fills them the moment they step across. The best part is that Jesus is waiting for us on the other side where there will be no more tears, sorrow or pain and the best part is, we will never be separated from those that we love ever again.

This book also takes the reader into the dark side of death and provides some detailed accounts of just what hell is like and how dramatically it changed the lives of those that were able to come back and make sure they didn't wind up there permanently. The book also provides some accounts of those who have dabbled with the occult only to wind up with an evil demon living in their house. It also tells you about ghosts and how we should not be seeking to communicate with anyone or anything that have passed on. To do so is tempting fate with evil.

I received this book as a free Kindle eBook and the opinions expressed are merely my own. Encountering Heaven and The Afterlife by James L. Garlow and Keith Wall is a must have for anyone. It gives us all hope that this is not the end when we die. There are many many stories including one of the authors own personal account that will definitely make you a believer. I personally recommend this book to anyone going through the grieving process or who have experienced a loss. This one rates a perfect 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion. This book also uses the Bible as a guide to define what will happen to us all and as a basis for what stories are based on what the Bible teaches us about death, angels, demons, heaven and hell!

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