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Monday, April 30, 2012

Oklahoma City: What the Investigation Missed - and Why It Still Matters

"It was the FBI's finest hour!" at least that is what they thought. In light of the world's worst terrorist attack prior to 9/11, we still have a lot to learn and you would have thought we would have learned plenty by now.

On April 19, 1995 at 9:02am, security as we thought we knew it would completely change forever in the lives of 168 people who died that morning going about what they did every day. In Oklahoma City, at the Murrah Federal Building, Timothy McVeigh would take a Ryder rental truck, park it in a handicap spot, light a fuse containing home made bombs and walk away. Two men were convicted in this plot against the government, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. But were they really the only ones involved?

In the book, Oklahoma City: What the Investigation Missed - and Why It Still Matters by Andrew Gumbel and Roger Charles, the readers are given information in a unique way. Challenging the official account of a major historical event can seem presumptuous, even fool hardy. Journalists, and authors, after all, do not have subpoena power, forensics laboratories, or polygraph kits. They can not interview 18,000 witnesses or run down 43,000 leads, as the Oklahoma City investigators did.

What they do have, in this case, is the opportunity to review the government's work from start to finish. This book is based on records that have been unearthed for the first time, including the complete archive of documents shared with the defense teams in the two federal trials and in Terry Nichol's state trial in Oklahoma. They also have a voluminous body of writings from Nichols, who did not utter a word for ten years after his arrest but agreed to discuss the case with the authors in great detail.

This book does not pick sides in any way but merely showcases where investigators went wrong and the suspects that were never questioned or leads that were not brought to trial. The book lets the reader decided what went wrong and why were only two people arrested and convicted when it appears that so many more were accountable for their actions in this case.

I received this book compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review and it really brought back for me as a reader and reviewer, what I didn't realize. How the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation had a bomb squad out looking for a device outside the Federal Court House just minutes before the explosion but would later deny they did. Did they have advanced warning something was going to happen?

How twenty four eye witnesses saw other people with Timothy McVeigh both in the Ryder Truck but also driving three other vehicles around the Murrah Building. "Not one of the witnesses who saw McVeigh that morning were called to testify at trial, because the government determined that every one of them was wrong to say he was not alone. If only one person had seen it, or two or three...but twenty four? That's pretty powerful." (pg 37).

This book is truly an eye opener for me and I'm sure for anyone who reads it. For me the main question is from 1995 to 2001, why have we not learned much from one terrorist attack to the next. Is this leaving us open for another attack in the future? History teaches us that we need to learn from our previous mistakes to avoid future ones, and I ask you have we learned enough? I rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to anyone who is interested in these types of books. I think there is a lesson in there for all of us!

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

Oklahoma City: What the Investigation Missed - and Why It Still Matters by Andrew Gumbel & Roger G Charles

For more information on the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum click here.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Angel in The Ice

The difference between vampires and angels? Angels are real!

I know the invisible world that is all around us. My name is Megan Laughlin. I live in Clearwater, Florida. I'm fifteen, and I see angels. Megan has a unique ability, she can see angels and demons. She's been at war with one in particular while attending high school and that is Damon Vincent Lawless, according to the name that is on the school records, but everyone is school knows him by the name Jude or Judas.

It seems like Judas' goal is to attack and kill those closest to Megan. He almost claimed the life of her younger brother Max and her boyfriend Seth. But Megan made a deal with Judas. She gave him her life and would pretend to be his girlfriend, if he promised not to kill Seth or Max. For now, Judas is buying his time until he can twist that negotiation into something more than Megan could ever imagine.

In Angel in the Ice, the third book in the Angel Series by Lisa Grace, Megan and most of her friends are heading to a Blowing Rock, a lodge in the mountains that offers some great skiing and snowboarding, but with Judas geared to go, it will be anything but fun. Judas' mission is to find and locate souls that haven't given themselves up to God yet and take their lives. Armed with a legion of demon waiting his word, Judas plans to keep Megan and her demon hunters busy this time. Knowing he can vanish as will and walk through walls, Megan knows it's impossible to keep an eye on him every minute they are at the lodge.

With only a few of her friends who know who Judas is and what Megan's abilities are, they vow to work together along with an angel named Johnny to keep Judas' evil plans from becoming a reality. But with a blizzard of the century set to keep the resort isolated, it's only a matter of time before evil is unleashed in snow and ice. Will Megan be able to keep her friends alive or will the pact that she made with Judas be her undoing in the final hours on the mountain?

I received Angel in the Ice compliments of Lisa Grace for my honest review. I was super excited to read this one and know that many of my readers have enjoyed this Christian alternative to stories like Twilight or Harry Potter. Now with the first two books Angel in the Shadows and Angel in the Storm being made into a movie, this third picks up the heart-stopping action once again. Our favorite characters we've come to enjoy are back in this continuing sequel with more thrills and spiritual warfare at it's finest.

What I've come to enjoy most about Lisa's books is that they are almost the equivalent to Frank Peretti's Piercing the Darkness and This Present Darkness series of books for young adults. The reader is brought face to face with the spiritual realm of angels and demons in this book and we get to see just how faith in God and prayer works to impede the enemies plans for evil. The book also introduces the readers to just how innocently we may open ourselves up to the presence of evil that exists in the world today, even though society for the most part would deny that it does indeed exist.

I am honored to review this series and for those of you looking for a fantastic series that will engage you from the beginning to the very end, this is a MUST READ for you! For those of you that have been waiting like I have on pins and needles for this sequel, it's available on eBooks right now, with two more to follow. This one easily rates a 5 out of 5 stars in my personal opinion and hope that everyone picks this one up!

For more information on Angel in the Ice, Lisa Grace or where to pick up this book today, please click on the links below:

Angel in the Ice by Lisa Grace

You can find more out more about Lisa Grace at her website by clicking here.

You can also find her on Facebook by clicking here.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Wish You Were Here

For Allison Denman it seems like she lost control of her life along the way. Now it seems without realizing it that she has managed to find a guy that is a take charge kind of guy. He has planned everything since meeting her in high school from picking out her prom dress to deciding all the plans for their wedding including what type of flowers should be in her bouquet.

Now just five days before the wedding, she's beginning to wonder why she feels so apprehensive about the wedding. Is Seth the man for her? She's spent the last six years dating him. His everything she could ever want in a husband, handsome, wealthy, organized and in charge. At some point she has even told him she loved him along the way, but now she's not so sure and with wedding plans already in full swing, how does one get out of this mess?

Well obviously kissing the wrong man wasn't the way to get things started, and the worst part is that he's Seth's brother. The one who has faithfully sent her postcards from every place he's ever traveled as a friend. Yet, is there more behind all those "wish you were here" post cards, Daniels sent all these years. Is that the reason she felt comfortable kissing him back? Now how can she face him just days before the wedding. Will there even be a wedding? How can she possibly sort out all her mixed up feelings?

Is it like her best friend Meghan mentioned that when you marry, you shouldn't have any secrets between you and your future husband? Well, it seems like not mentioning the kissing part is just one of the deeper secrets Allison is keeping locked up inside. She has put God on the back burner for so long, it seems like it might be too late to seek His help in this issue or is it?

In the latest novel Wish You Were Here by Beth K. Vogt, we see what happens when you try and keep things a secret, even from the person you are suppose to marry and worse yet, from God. In this wonderful romantic fiction we see how important trust and honesty is in all our relationships from the ones we have with God as well as the ones we have with our friends and spouses. Beth gives the readers really insight into some deeper issues that Allison has and she is trying to manage in her own way instead of seeking some professional help.

I received Wish You Were Here by Beth K. Vogt compliments of Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster for my honest review and LOVED it. Similar to The Runaway Bride, which is talked about between Allison and Meghan in this one, it shows that we have to be honest with everyone no matter whose feelings may get hurt along the way. Some secrets are never meant to be hidden in the dark shadows. No matter how bad you think things are, running away from them only delays the inevitable. I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend this to your hopeful romance fans everywhere.

For more information about Wish You Were Here, Beth K. Vogt and where to pick up this great summer read today, please click on the links below:

Wish You Were Here by Beth K. Vogt

You can also find Beth K. Vogt on Facebook by clicking here to stay current on all her latest books!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

After All

In the final book in the Hanover Falls Series, After All by Deborah Raney provides the reader with a sense of closure in one instance and a moving forward and new beginnings in another. Susan Marlowe is beginning to pick up the pieces of the life she knew that was destroyed in ashes just eighteen months ago, when her husband David and four other firefighters were killed in an accidental fire at Grove Street Shelter.

She was the one responsible for running the homeless shelter despite her husband David's misgivings about wondering if the shelter was doing more harm than good to the cities residents. Yet when fights, and threats began to break out there, David felt that Susan was opening herself up for more trouble than it was worth and their marriage began to take a turn for the worse, with each of them spending more time at their jobs than at working on strengthening their marriage.

Now that Susan has begun to rebuild the Grove Street Shelter in a building across from where the former one stood, she is once again making the headlines in the local paper, The Courier. Seems now that Bee Quinton, feels its her responsibility to seek the answers for two letters to the editor about the homeless shelter and its purpose in bringing out the worst criminals to the city. When Susan takes the bait in defense of the good the shelter offers families in need a place to stay over sleeping in their car, she does more harm than good in feeding Bee just what she needs to make the front page.

Fortunately for Susan, not everyone believes the homeless shelter is a bad thing for the city when Chief Peter Brennan speaks out in her defense reminding the citizens of Susan's diligence in having fire alarms and smoke detectors installed. Now if only he can keep his mind on the tasks of running the local fire station instead of romantic thoughts about Susan. However Peter finds himself the source of competition between Susan and fire inspector Andrea Morley, a first in his life since his previous wife Lana left him when they couldn't have children.

Just what type of closure will After All bid for its readers in this series conclusion? You'll have to pick up the book and find out. Even though this is the third and final book in the series, there is enough back story for the reader that this one can be read as a stand alone, but trust me, if this is the first book you've had the pleasure to read from Deborah, you'll definitely want to pick up the other two.

I received After All by Deborah Raney compliments of Glass Road Public Relations for my honest review and LOVED it! Just the perfect amount of suspense and romance to keep the reader entertained and turning pages til the end. If you love Christian Romance novels or have a spark for firefighters, then this is a MUST read for you! I rate this one a sizzling 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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

You can also find Deborah Raney on Facebook by clicking here or visiting her website.

The previous two novels in this series are Almost Forever and Forever After for those of you looking for the entire series to enjoy!

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Howard Books; Original edition (May 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416599959
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416599951
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 1.1 inches

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Sounds of Red Returning

Liesl Bower is now the center of attention. Not that she didn't want this attention but those that are looking for her want something more than her ability to play the piano as a prodigy! She learns she has been given a gift by her beloved mentor, Schell Devoe, a prominent Harvard music professor who was murdered in his own home. What he gave Liesl was some sheets of music, in which she didn't think anything about it, until unexpected people began following her.

She later learns that Schell Devoe was a double agent for both the US and Russia and in his final moments passed off some music to her that everyone wants that has been secretly coded in some fashion and people will stop at nothing to ensure she gets it. Now the stakes are high when Russia has sent some agents to locate Liesl, retrieve the music and leave no lasting witnesses.

I received The Sound of Red Returning by Sue Duffy, the first book in the Red Returning series compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review. While this book was a bit of a slow start for me, I found it began to pick up by about the 5th chapter. For those fans of stories of espionage and suspense, then this will be a must read for you. I would rate this one a 4 out of 5 stars.

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

The Sounds of Red Returning by Sue Duffy

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Kregel Publications (December 9, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0825425743
  • ISBN-13: 978-0825425745
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Need You Now

It seems like at some point in our lives, we'll blame God for something that hasn't gone right in our lives. Perhaps it's the death of a child we didn't seem coming, or trouble with finances or an affair within our marriage. Yet often times God will place someone in our path when we struggle with the answers why to help us deal with this situation in ways they can verbalize and help us understand when God's ways can seem to overwhelming to comprehend.

In Need You Now by Beth Wiseman, The Henderson family is about to face the biggest challenge of their lives and their faith in God will be tested in ways like they never could imagine. Just when their lives seem to be settling down after moving from Houston to a rural small town of Round Top, Texas, the begin to see the facade that each of them have painted for one another.

With their youngest daughter Grace, just fifteen-years-old, she struggles with being labeled as the perfect child neither of their parents needs to worry about. Yet besides dealing with a boyfriend she left behind when they moved and trying to find new friends at her school, Grace has to find new ways of dealing with her out-of-control emotions. She turns to cutting, to release the emotions that are building up inside and a way to maintain control. Only thing is no one knows except a Goth girl at school named Skylar. Will she be able to stop in time before her family finds out?

Darlene Henderson has been the picture perfect role model of wife and mom, and now that her kids don't need her for anything else but a hot meal, she finds solace in getting a job helping special needs children. When Dave Schroeder, the father of the autistic girl she's been working with, begins to develop a much stronger interest in her that he could have imagined since his wife died, he begins to find new ways to come and see Darlene. Will she be willing to walk away from her own marriage to her husband Brad, even if he is seeing someone from work?

I received Need You Now compliments of B & B Media Group for my honest review and think that Beth Wiseman has done an incredible job at identifying the signs of both affairs and teenage cutting in this remarkable fictional book. Even though the characters are fiction based, this could very well be the story of any family we know. I applaud her for informing her readers through this powerful story and show how often pray is our last resort to our problems when it should be our first line of defense. I highly recommend this book and rate it a 5 out of 5 stars!

For more information on Need You Now, Beth Wiseman and where to pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can also find Beth Wiseman on Facebook by clicking here.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Her Restless Heart

Sometimes the words we speak can hurt people worse than any physical pain we can inflict on them. That's just what is happening to Mary Katherine. Finding solace and a place to heal her emotions and her heart and find the love she needs from family, she works for her Grandmother Leah at her store, Stitches in Time, along with her cousins Naomi and Anna. Her father is more than just mean and abrasive to her, he's also been that way to her mother. No longer able to tolerate his unkind words, and avoiding speaking out against her father, she leaves. She's the only child of her parents and finds it difficult that her father can treat her so cruel.

Perhaps that's why Mary Katherine has been avoiding falling in love with those Amish boys who seem to gather around her, most recently Jacob, a young man she grew up with and went to school with. However, Mary Katherine can only see him as the friend she grew up with even though it's obvious to everyone else that Jacob has more than friendly feelings for her. Yet with Mary Katherine still undecided on whether she wants to commit to the church just yet, she spends some time getting to know what she really wants out of life.

Her best friend is an English girl named Jaime, whose outrageous hair and clothing styles, have most of the Amish church community frowning. Thinking that this will only encourage Mary Katherine to leave the Amish community, more and more of the elders and bishop continue to pressure her to make a decision and soon. They are even going so far as to criticize her weaving creations and quilts for sale at Stitches In Time saying she is moving away from the Amish traditions.

In her latest series of Amish books, Stitches in Time, Barbara Cameron is introducing the readers to a new cast of characters in the first book, Her Restless Heart. In this book, all three girls are seeking the love and attention of men in their lives and it seems like only Grandmother Leah has just the right advice to dispense over a cup of hot tea. Ah how we all wish we had a grandmother like her. Unwilling to push and pressure to make the woman face their difficult choices ahead, Leah merely provides a willing ear to listen while they pour out their feelings. Deep down inside she can only pray they will come to make the right decision in the end.

I received Her Restless Heart compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and I can see why so many readers are now her fans of her Amish series. She writes them so well readers can not only relate to the characters but more importantly to the story and issues the characters are dealing with. I, myself, can completely relate to Mary Katherine, having an emotionally abusive father growing up. I can relate to her feeling less than worthy and dealing with a lifetime of self esteem issues never seeing herself as good enough, even in God's eyes. I found healing in hearing not only the advice from Leah but also in Jacob's kindness as her friend. This book does provide needed healing to restless hearts everywhere and I highly recommend this one with a 5 out of 5 stars!

For more information on Her Restless Heart, Barbara Cameron and even where you can purchase this book, please click on the links below:

You can also find Barbara Cameron on Facebook by clicking here.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Hunger Pains

Yes, that's right! You've read the title correctly! The Harvard Lampoon has taken the book The Hunger Games and made a parody out of it. For those of you that love The Hunger Games and aren't afraid of some great humor along the way, then you will LOVE this book.

In this complete parody on literally everything associated with the Hunger Games, we find ourselves being introduced to District 12's Kantkiss Neverclean who is on her way to meet Carol Handsomestein for a little hunting practice to gain food since in this District ruled by the Capital, there isn't enough food. So using all their vital hunting skills, Kantkiss and Carol, dodge chain link fence, some one line jokes on their way to their first kill, a lowly cow grazing in the pasture. As they divide the Top Sirlion from the New York Strip, the face the dawn of Super Fun Day. The day in which a tribute is chosen from each district, a boy and girl, to compete in a challenge to the death in a series of games.

The parody is literally non stop as you read through each paragraph and each subtle new character is introduced, from Kantkiss's partner from District 12, Pita Malarkey to their stylist, Cinnabon, who prepares them to meet their challengers in the Hunger Games. The parody cleverly tackles the themes of morality, government control, and personal independence with the Harvard Lampoon's signature wit.

I received a copy of the Hunger Pains compliments of Touchstone, a division of Simon & Schuster publishers for my honest review. Being huge Hunger Pains fans, I had to read this one. I was quite literally reading this out loud to my husband and we were laughing and smirking all night long. I would easily rate this one a 4 out of 5 stars, and some of the humor in parts of the book can be borderline sexual in nature. With that being said, if you love parody's of your favorite movies or books, then this one will be a must have in your collection. I can almost see this one coming to the big screen as is featured in the book trailer, which was quite well done!

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

Sidney Sheldon's Angel of the Dark - Giveaway and Review

When they say that some people who have great looks will use them to move forward in life, that is exactly what Lyle Renalto had planned to do. Seems like just about anyone would pay for great looks or even fall in love with someone who did no matter how old or young they were. Since becoming a well-known attorney to the rich and famous, he believed that his life was taking a turn for the better until he found Angela Jakes.

Now that she has been brutally beaten, raped and left tied to her nearly decapitated older husband, he's about to find out just how far his looks will get him. Danny McGuire is the lead detective assigned to the case which is the most gruesome crime scene he can recall ever seeing in his entire career, and what makes it worse is why Angela Jakes wasn't murdered as well but simply left tied to her husband. Seeing her beauty behind all the bruises and cuts to her face, Detective McGuire will stop at nothing to see that justice prevails and the brutal killer is caught. Only now, the only obstacle in his way is her attorney Lyle Renalto. He duty is to assure that she remains protected and away from the badgering questions of the police.

When he fears for her safety, he has her put on a plane and sent out of the country. Only now it seems that Angela has vanished when Detective McGuire needs to question her further.

After ten years, and no suspects in the case, Detective McGuire still haunted by his failed efforts leaves the United States for Lyon, France and now finds the solitude of working for Interpol helps to quell the demons from his past. Only now it seems that the killer is back on the lose when married older men are being murdered at random and left tied to their brutally beaten wives.

I received Sidney Sheldon's Angel of the Dark by Sidney Sheldon and Tilly Bagshawe compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review. This being my first Sidney Sheldon murder/suspense mystery, I was immediately involved as the reader. Trying to pick up on subtle clues I was along for the ride with Detective McGuire to try and figure this one out. I kinda had an idea but wasn't sure if I was correct or not until the very end. This book does contain some graphic violent crime scenes and some sexuality among the characters so the reader should be warned, it may not be for everyone. Those who are looking for a compelling, edge of your seat ride, will definitely want this one. I rate this one a 4 out of 5 stars.

For more information about Angel of the Dark, Sidney Sheldon or Tilly Bagshawe, or where to our purchase this one, please click on the link below:

Thanks to the generous folks at William Morrow and Harper Collins Publisher, they are offering a copy for a giveaway for one lucky follower of this blog. Here are your details to enter:

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

2. "Like" my Reviews From The Heart Facebook page.

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 below in the comment box. You can use the words (at) and (dot) instead of the symbols.

I will notify the winner of the giveaway via email on April 30th and will publish the winner's name on my Facebook page as well.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Eyes of Justice - Giveaway and Review

The Triple Threat was how they would always refer to themselves. It began after they met at a restaurant for dinner and ordered the most expensive dessert on the menu. Three forks for three amazing ladies that went to school together but never had anything in common until now.

Cassidy Shaw was beautiful and in the public eye as often as she could be. As a top crime reporter for Channel Four, she was known as aggressive in her pursuit of justice for the underdogs. Making sure that she followed any leads possible to make sure that criminals would never get off on a technicality and if they did, she made sure that the public didn't forget about the victim.

Nicole Hedges, is an up and coming top FBI agent now working in Portland, Oregon. Her boyfriend Leif Larson is also an FBI agent and they work well together covering one another's backs when it's necessary.

Allison Pierce is a federal prosecutor, married to a man named Marshall. She and Marshall have been trying to have children but they seem to end up in miscarriage. Her younger sister Lindsay is a recovering addict, trying to stay sober for a year now so she can open a coffee cart in the heart of downtown Portland. Now with Allison's help in co-signing for a loan, she just may make a future for herself.

When Cassidy receives a phone call advising her of a police cover-up involving her ex-boyfriend Rick, also a Portland Police Officer, she is more than interested. It seems when Cassidy went public with Rick's physical abuse, he escaped with a mild counseling session for his anger issues. Now if Cassidy can finally prove that Rick isn't the honest cop he appears to be, she may get the justice she needs. Only when this informant is afraid of retaliation, Cassidy offers to meet him at her apartment. However, when she turns up dead, Allison and Nicole are out to ensure that whatever happened to Cassidy does not fall through the cracks.

In the latest crime suspense thriller, Eyes of Justice by Lis Wiehl and April Henry, the three women are about to get their toughest case yet. Following all kinds of clues in this cat and mouse mystery is what really appeals to the reader. Just when you think you're on the right path, you find you're in a dead end and the ride takes off in a completely different direction. More than 2/3rds of the way through, I still hadn't figured it out and then I got turned around again. I LOVE THIS! I want to be completely challenged. The supporting characters are believable and seeing Nicole and Allison trying to work together to uncover clues is believable considering they aren't allowed to be part of the investigation or risk being fired.

I received this book compliments of Planned TV Arts for my honest review and couldn't put it down. I love a great Christian Murder Suspense Mystery and this one really appealed to me. I would rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars. I can't wait to read more from this incredibly talented author Lis Wiehl, who is not only a New York Times Best-Selling Author but also a Fox News Legal Analyst.

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

Thanks to the generous folks at Planned TV Arts, they are providing a giveaway copy to one lucky follower of this blog. Here are your details to enter:

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. Leave me 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) or (dot) instead of the symbols.

I will notify the winner of the giveaway via email when it ends on May 1st.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Hearts That Survive

Lydia Beaumont is about to set out on an adventure of a lifetime that will change her future forever. Being one of the first class passengers embarking on the maiden voyage of the Titanic along with her friend Caroline Chadwick she is faced with a dilemma of the heart. Also along for the voyage are Craven Dowd, president of Beaumont Railroad Company and John Ancell, a toy train maker, whose latest designs are the main interest to the Beaumont Railroad Company. The problem, both men have confessed their undying love and proposed marriage to Lydia.

Craven is 35 to her 21 years of age, is wise, wealthy, and very handsome; while John has a creative flair for not only designing trains but for poetry as well. It's this innocent heart that appears to have captured Lydia's heart. When Craven learns of her desire to marry John, he vows that her decision is childish and impulsive. In time, she will learn that and see in the long run a better fit would be to marry him instead. Her father will never accept the fact that Lydia would chose to marry John, as he would believe she deserves much better and she is lowering her standards.

Nevertheless, Lydia and John pursue their new found love and begin planning a wedding aboard the grandest ship in the world. Lydia wishes to marry on the grand staircase if only the captain would be willing. Not that she's in too much of a hurry, but when she learns that an unexpected night of passion between her and John earlier in their relationship, has resulted in her being with a child. Now if she can only find a way to tell John and hope that he will still want to marry her or will that fateful night rob them of the only love that they will ever know before it's too late?

In the latest novel by Yvonne Lehman, Heart That Survive, brings the readers on board the Titanic once more for a new romance story. This one of a railroad heiress and a toy train maker whose love seems to go behind the barriers of what is acceptable in the rich and famous. Bring back those favorite characters alongside this love story are the John Jacob Astor and Molly Brown, along with the new villian Craven Dowd. Much like the Titanic movie, this one involves a love story between two ill-fated people whose future rests in the hands of God on the night she will sink. Will true love prevail or will this be another love story lost at sea?

I received this novel compliments of Pump Up Your Books for my honest review and LOVED it! Being a huge Titanic fan, this one won me over initially with the setting taking place aboard the Titanic. Always curious to see where writers will go with a new fictional take on the fated ship, I was so caught up between the love stories of Lydia and John but also that of Caroline and her husband William. This one goes beyond the night of the sinking and shows how the lives of those that survived that night were forever changed. The reader is taken on a journey to see how each of them dealt with the losses incurred that night and how they manage to try to put their lives back on track. I rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars and a MUST READ for any Titanic fan or those that love a hopeful romance!

For more information about Hearts That Survive, Yvonne Lehman, or where to pick up your copy today at a local book retailer, please click on the links below:

You can also find Yvonne Lehman on Facebook by clicking here.

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press (March 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1426744889
  • ISBN-13: 978-1426744884
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 1.1 inches

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Boy Called Duct Tape

What child wouldn't dream of some day unearthing the possibility of buried treasure within the mountains near where you live? Sounds like an adventure for the Goonies or a young version of Indiana Jones, right?

Well in the debut novel from Christopher Cloud, A Boy Called Duct Tape, provides middle school children with an incredible story from the first page. Even though it's a young adult book, I personally LOVED it!

Pablo Perez is tired. Tired of being bullied and tired of being poor. Watching his mother work so hard for barely minimum wage and his younger sister Pia hobbling on a bad leg due to an accident that claimed the life of their father and left Pia without the proper care for her to mend. Thanks to no insurance at the time! Not only that, his mom has asked him to be careful with his Wal-Mart sneakers to make sure that they last the entire duration of high school because times are hard. Pablo has solved that problem and just adds another new layer of duct tape to keep them from falling apart. Yet that has brought him into the focus of your local high school bullies that insist on calling him duct tape because of his shoes and he's so poor, he can't afford another pair.

Seeking refuge from the heat of the day, Pablo and Pia, head to James Creek to skip stones. The best ones however lay at the bottom of Harper's Hole, a crystal clear, 20-foot deep pit in the middle of the creek. When Pia is unable to swim to the bottom for a stone, Pablo offers to get her one. When he comes to the surface instead of a rock in his hand, he discovers he holds an 1879 $20.00 gold coin. Knowing old coins can be worth a lot of money, he sets out to discover the value of this coin. What he discovers is that it could be worth $6250 dollars, more than enough money to help his mom and buy a new pair of sneakers.

Is it possible that the legend of the Lost Treasure of Jesse James lies waiting to be discovered? Is there more gold buried at the bottom of Harper's Hole? For that, you'll have to pick up a copy of this amazing book.

I received A Boy Called Duct Tape compliments of Pump Up Your Book Tours and Christopher Cloud for my honest review. I literally inhaled this one in a couple of hours, it was simply that great. I was flipping pages as fast as I could read them because once this one takes hold of you, it will literally hold your attention to the very end. Once I finished it, I told my 13-year-old daughter about it and she snatched this one away from me with a sparkle in her eye and a smile on her face. I would rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and think this debut author is off to a stellar start. I can only hope that there will so much more out by him soon!

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

You can also find Christopher Cloud on Facebook by clicking here.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


If the cover alone on this book, does not make you want to pick this one up and begin reading, I don't know what will. Just the premise alone about a young girl being chosen as a prophet immediately draws me in because we would almost expect a prophet to be a male character instead. So for female readers, this is already an exciting beginning.

The synopsis to the book begins with Ela Roch of Parne who doesn't understand why her beloved Creator, the Infinite, wants her to become His prophet. She's undignified, bad tempered, and only seventeen - not to mention that no prophet of Parne has ever been a girl. Worst of all, as the elders often warn, if she agrees to become the Infinite's prophet, Ela knows she will die young.

What would one think when faced with this choice? At seventeen it would appear that wouldn't be a choice most girls would want to face. That's what makes this such a compelling read that automatically draws you in, especially if you are a young adult picking up this book to read. The storyline falls out of character for your traditional roles and that is what becomes the immediate draw for me. I don't like your follow the path of those that have gone before you books, I LOVE something unique and different for me, this book is speak volumes in that direction.

I received Prophet by R. J. Larson compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review and couldn't wait to pick this one up and begin reading it. I was not disappointed. From the very first page, this author grabbed me and won't let go. I didn't want to be let go but raced through this book, turning pages as fast as my eyes would let me go. Since this is the first book in the Books of the Infinite series, I will be looking out for number 2, in anxious anticipation.

Geared for the young adult, historical fantasy fans, even adults can find enjoyment in the pages. It's entertaining in the fact it doesn't take the author half to book to define the fantasy world, she is able to articulate it well enough you buy into it all without question. I would rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and look forward to the second book in the series, Judge, which the reader is given a sneak peek at inside the back of this one.

For more information on this book, the author, some incredible extras like what some of the creatures look like along with maps of the lands, and where to pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can also find out more about R. J. Larson on her Facebook page by clicking here.

Here's the first chapter on video for your viewing pleasure!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Bethany House Publishers (April 1, 2012)
Anne Elisabeth Stengl


Anne Elisabeth Stengl makes her home in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she enjoys her profession as an art teacher, giving private lessons from her personal studio, and teaching group classes at the Apex Learning Center. She is married to the handsome man she met at fencing class and lives with him and a gaggle of cats. She studied illustration at Grace College and English literature at Campbell University. Heartless is her debut novel.

Anne Elisabeth is also the author of the Tales of Goldstone Wood, a series of fantasy adventure novels told in the classic Fairy Tale style.


Moonblood Draws Near, and Soon the Dragons Will Wake

Desperate to regain the trust of his kingdom, Prince Lionheart reluctantly banishes his faithful servant and only friend, Rose Red. Now she is lost in the hidden realm of Arpiar, held captive by her evil goblin father, King Vahe.

Vowing to redeem himself, Lionheart plunges into the mysterious Goldstone Wood, seeking Rose Red. In strange other worlds, Lionheart must face a lyrical yet lethal tiger, a fallen unicorn, and a goblin horde on his quest to rescue the girl he betrayed.

With the Night of Moonblood fast approaching when King Vahe seeks to wake the Dragon's sleeping children, Lionheart must discover whether or not his heart contains courage before it's too late for Rose Red . . . and all those he loves.

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

My Review:

Moonblood is the third book in Tales of Goldstone Wood series by Anne Elisabeth Stengl. I deeply enjoyed the first two books called Heartless and Veiled Rose where the two main characters are a veiled girl named Rose Red and the Prince of Southlands, Leo or Lionheart as referred to in the book. This story takes place after the dragon that has scorched all of Southlands and several other capitals and countryside's. Leo has come back to sort out many of the problems that have plagued his country for the 5 long years of imprisonment. The castle and land have been ravaged by the legendary dragon poison where nothing grows and poison seeps into the land and it’s people. Rose Red has promised to stay by Leo’s side, but will that be enough when another dragon is sighted and Rose Red is seen bringing back the limp and unconscious Prince. How will the story end and will this dragon be slayed, or is there some other plot that is unknown!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book from beginning to end and loved this series. I would rate this book a 4.5 out of 5 stars for although the content was great, there were times when the chapters would drag out a little and I would find myself falling asleep at night. As for the characters, I simply loved the storyline between Leo, Rose Red, the Price of Farthestshore, Una, Felix the Prince of Parumvir as well as many others. Please pick up the book and read the series from first to last.

I received Moonblood by Anne Elisabeth Stengl compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review and have to say this has been an incredible series to have the opportunity to read from beginning to end. It's a definite must read for fans of Christian Medieval Fantasy books and the characters, creatures and lands are well-thought out. The best part about Anne's books in this series, is that they are unpredictable in that she doesn't give too much away to the readers at the beginning that they can sense the direction the story is headed. LOVE that in a writer!

Now the sad part, I am finished with this book and can only hope that Anne continues to write many more books in the future. Her talent as an author is assured by this reader! For more information about this book, the author and where to get in on this exciting series of books, please click on the links below:

You can also follow Anne Elisabeth Stengl on Facebook by clicking here and get some incredible insights into her book series.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Abby Finds Her Calling

Abby Lambright is the envy of so many within her Amish community. She has the wisdom of someone beyond her years and is responsible and very organized. Perhaps that is why her family felt she could run her own sewing shop alongside the families mercantile. Abby has a knack for putting back together what seems to fall apart in the lives the people in Cedar Creek, Missouri. She just wishes she had a knack for helping herself find a way to heal her broken heart, when the man she grew up loving, James Graber, decides to marry her sister Suzanna instead.

On the day of the wedding with preparations in full swing, family members arriving from all over including out of state in Ohio and Pennsylvania, the bride vanishes. Leaving in the middle of the night on the eve of her wedding, to avoid having to deal with explaining things to her family, Zanna cuts her wedding dress to pieces and vanishes without anyone hearing anything. Now it's up to Abby to tell James that he doesn't have a bride to marry and for once she doesn't know what to say to the man that still owns her heart.

In the novel, Abby Finds Her Calling, by Naomi King, the reader is introduced to the first book in a brand new Amish series, Home at Cedar Creek. Here we are introduced to the Lambert and Graber family's and how they are intertwined in a wedding that has failed to take place. Now turmoil ensues when Zanna returns home to face the music of not only her family, friends and James, but also the consequences of defiling the church with her actions. At only 17, Zanna has more on her mind that just her explanation of why she left but now having the deal with the talk of her community.

Abby once again takes up the role as the mender and wise counselor to her torn family. Her mother is distraught at not knowing quite what to do with Zanna, her older brother Sam who now has stepped into the role of the man of the house when there father died is beyond angry at not only the expense he had to pay but now answering to the elders of the church for Zanna's actions. James will not escape unscathed when he learns just why Zanna couldn't marry him. Will he finally see the qualities in Abby that he's been blind to before, or will Abby spend the rest of her life simply being a maidel?

I received Abby Finds Her Calling by Naomi King compliments of Pump Up Your Book Tours for my honest review. I LOVE it when a book will take you on a journey and make the characters in the book truly come alive. A different view is offered from the Amish point of view when Zanna's character goes against her moral and spiritual beliefs and makes the reader ponder just what would they do if faced with similar circumstances. A wonderful new series that I can wait to finish and get to know more of the characters that live in Cedar Creek as Naomi King continues with her upcoming books. I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars!!!

If you want 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 Naomi King on her Facebook page by clicking here.

To find more reviews on this book tour, click here.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Hazel Creek - Character Interview with Abbie Randolph

Hazel Creek was a place where life was simple. Where families helped one another make it when times were hard. It was a place where community prevailed and God was present in the hearts of the town's residents that lived there. Most of the mountain folk dwelt in the deep rich older forests of the Great Smokey Mountains and owned an abundance of land. They had learned to live off the land and the assistance of families until the railroad came to town.

With it, they saw opportunity for money and riches in swindling families out of their land in hopes that money would be the motivator that spoke volumes. Times were changing, but families like the Randolph's wanted to keep things the way it had been for generations. It's in the novel by Walt Larimore that we, the readers, get to meet a very interesting lady, Abbie Randolph. Now living in a retirement home at the young age of 100, I had the opportunity to talk with her about those times of living on Hazel Creek with her family and here's what she had to say:

1. What is the best part about growing up in Hazel Creek?

It were a simpler time when I was a child—life swirled around family and friends and church. And, I always loved the community frolics—like on July 4th and before Christmas. Sure there were a lot of chores, but me and my sisters even found fun while doing ’em.

In my quiet times I always loved walking in the forest above our cabin and I found deep joy in the fern grotto below our home. That’s where I’d go to pray and read my Bible.

And then there was Ramp Holler. My favorite walnut tree was up there. She was a massive ol’ tree and my sisters and I used to love to play under her and climb her huge branches.

2. What attracted you to Bobby Lee?

What didn’t? I mean I ’member my heart a-fluttering the very first time I saw him when we were kids. And growing up, he always protected me and my sisters. Sheriff Taylor, his pa, always taught Bobby Lee what was good and right. And, he weren't bad-lookin', neither.

3. How much of a role does your faith play in your life?

It’s key … central. I cain’t imagine our life here on Hazel Creek without our church and our family’s faith. Mama and Pa would read to us from the Bible before we were even big enough to understand it. Mama helped us memorize Scripture and taught us how to apply those Bible verses to our lives and decisions.

But, even more important, was when Jesus became my friend, and I became His. I guess He knew I'd need Him as I grew up. Times on Hazel Creek could be tough and I cain’t imagine walkin’ life’s journey without Him by my side—and even a-carryin’ me from time to time.

4. How did you know that something would happen to your mom, Callie?

She wasn't carryin' Sarah Beth like she carried the others. She'd need to sit and rest a lot, and she'd always been able to keep on goin' and goin’ before. Then she started havin’ a lot of swellin’ and pain. I jest knew in my heart somethin’ were terribly, terribly wrong. Then came the birth. Mama was so happy to have Sarah Beth in her arms. Then … well, that’s all I wanna say about that.

5. What did you admire most about your mom?

She was the wisest and most wonderful woman I ever knew. Only Miss Maddie even came close to her wisdom. She loved us girls with a passion that showed in everythin’ she taught us, everything she did for us. Even when she disciplined us, it was only because she loved us. She’d always ask me, “Abbie, what’s one thing you could do to make me love you more?” I learned the answer to that question since I were a small girl.

6. Which was?

Nothin’. There were nothin’ I could do to make her love me more. Nothin’. Growing up with that kinda love from a mama is special.

7. What do you admire most about your dad?

His love for his wife and his girls. He had a special name for each one of us. He called me Punkin. He took care of us, taught us the ways of life and the land, and he protected us and our family property. I like the way he wouldn’t let that mean ol' L. G. Sanders walk all over him or us. Pa is stronger than most any man in the valley—and I mean stronger physically and spiritually. I cain’t ’magine a better man.

8. Did you ever resent having to step into the role of a mother in raising your younger sisters?

I would've had a lot more time to do better in school and write or draw in my journal if’n I hadn’t had to do so many of Mama’s chores while she was sick. But, it's what Mama wanted me to do and what I needed to do. I did it for her—and for Pa—and for them.

9. What things do you hope to teach your younger sisters?

What Mama would've taught ’em. How to be wise like she was, how to love people like she did, and how to love Jesus with all their hearts, minds, souls, and might, just like Mama did.

10. You said you don’t think you learned enough from your mom before she died, what else would you have wanted to know?

How to love Bobby Lee well. How to be a good wife and mama. What to do when our first baby won't stop crying. All those things . . . and more. So much more that I can't even begin to tell you.

11. How would you sum up your character in Hazel Creek?

I'm introspective, but I also love to have fun with the people I love. I love a good surprise. I want to do well with what Jesus has asked of me: I want my sisters to grow into women who love Him and whose husbands love them more than life.

Thanks Abbie, for taking the time to share with the folks who are interested in your life and times on Hazel Creek. If readers want to know more about your story, they can pick up Walt Larimore's book, Hazel Creek and get to know you and your family more. You can click on the link below to pick up a copy today at your local retailer:

You can also get a jump start on the series now, just in time for Walt's sequel in the series due out in the fall, Sugar Fork! Trust me folks, you'll want to pick this one up and sit a spell to get to know these lovely folks!

Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector B.B. Cream

How does a woman ever begin to find the perfect face makeup product with so many choices to chose from? I find my best advice comes from people who use a product and can recommend it for whatever issues you're trying to deal with, whether sensitive skins, something containing an SPF it in, lightweight, and the ability to cover all those tell-tale aging signs.

So when I got the opportunity as a BzzAgent to try the new Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector B.B. Cream, I had to check this out. Here's what the product promises:

New Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector B.B. Cream combines intense hydration with tinted minerals and Vitamin C to renew, brighten, even, hydrate and protect. So say goodbye to dull skin, ditch that drawn-out beauty routine and get excited for a fresher, more flawless you!

Since I am always on the look out for a skin care product that is both great for your skin and can offer me the coverage I need as my skin has aged, I was more than willing to undertake this product review.

The first thing I noticed when I got the product, was the generous size of the bottle. I opted for the light/medium shade and waited til the following morning to see how great the results would be. The one thing I did notice upon reading the product is that it is recommended to use this product with the skin cleanser, which I did not have. I'm not sure that would have made a difference, but I tried this out and it does go on smooth, but what I noticed immediately is that it did not cover any of the imperfections in my skin from the darkness under my eyes, to the sun spots on my skin or the redness in my cheeks.

This was not the case with the normal make up I've used in the past. When I opt for an all in one foundation/concealer, I immediately see results. I even tried it a few more times, using a moisturizer and cleanser I normally use and was NOT happy with the results. I did give it to my teenage daughter who LOVES it!

It goes on light for her and the added bonus of a built in sun screen works for her. Since she has no real issues with her skin this works for her!

So for me, this isn't a product that would make me give up my current make up/concealer now even if I was offered more product for FREE in the future. For that reason alone, I rate this product a 1 out of 5 stars.

For more information on this product including a $1.oo off coupon, and where to purchase it from your local retailer, please click on the link below:

Hill's Science Diet Ideal Balance Cat Food

I've been a huge fan of healthy eating not only for myself but also for my pets, especially in light of the ongoing campaigns in pet food that are causing more harm than good. So why not as a pet owner want the very best for your pets, whether for dogs or cats.

Being a BzzAgent, provides me with the opportunity to review some really great products and as a mom and fellow pet advocate, when Hill's Science Diet offered me a chance to review one of their newest pet products that contained healthy ingredients, I knew I had to try this one.

Lately when visiting my local Pet Food store such as PetsMart or Petco, I've been looking more conscientiously as what the ingredients are even in those promising healthy ingredients with vitamins, minerals and no by-products or corn fillers. That's just what the bag of Ideal Balance Adult Chicken and Brown Rice Dinner promised so with 4 adult cats, I thought I'd have the perfect test group.

My 4 cats, range in age from 1 to 6 years old and when I got the food in the mail, (which came super fast, by the way) I knew I had to try a taste test. I immediately placed the new food next to their old food and initially 3 out of the 4 cats, actually appeared to prefer that food over our existing high priced brand of natural cat food. However that being said, a few days later when the Science Diet food ran out and I refilled it, none of the cats wanted anything to do with it. I guess like most of us, it was a new item and that gave them a difference in something to eat, but all of them left it back in the bowl and opted for their traditional food instead.

I even attempted to mix it in with their existing food only to find they would work around it and eat their old food. I had hoped to get them to eat something more nutritionally sound since the ingredients are amazing, the first ingredients being chicken and brown rice. There are no by-products listed in the ingredients. Aside from feeding my cats, something made fresh from whole chicken, I had hoped this would work and my cats love it. Now I have more than 3/4 of the bag remaining and will offer it to our local animal shelter instead.

I guess the end result is that no matter what the brands promise, if your cats won't eat it, then it's a waste of money. For more information on this product, please click on the link below and there's even a rebate coupon to allow you to try this product for your pet FREE:

Hush, Little Baby

Rarely does a book come around that makes you gasp as you read it, because you can't think the horrors it brings you to confront face to face will get any worse. In Hush, Little Baby by Deborah M. Piccurelli does just that and more as the story grows.

Amber Blake is a journalist who has been sent to work undercover at the Cedarview Women's Center in South Jersey, under the watchful eye of Dr. Albert Hines. Hardly believing she landed the job, she is sent on a mission to bring to justice the killer of her sister, Ashley who died during complications she received when she got an abortion.

Given inside information that there may be more going on at the clinic that what appears by a co-worker named Maggie, who tells her that fetal harvesting is taking place as well. When patients show up for their procedure they are asked to give up the rights of their fetus to science, which many are more than willing to do as a way to feel better about what they are doing.

Now all Amber has to do is bring back enough evidence on the clinic to have it shut down and Dr. Hines arrested, but at just 4-foot-tall, that appears to be a larger order than she planned. Especially when the good Doctor is more than attracted to her. What she doesn't tell anyone is that she is married, but separated from Evan, her husband, who is working on the undercover article. Evan wants to work with Amber at reconciling their marriage but when he doesn't want to have children because of the ridicule it may cause their children if they are drawfs, Amber is forced to look at divorcing him. What would he think if he knew she had a daughter with him that he doesn't know anything about?

I received Hush, Little Baby compliments of Christian Fiction Book Reviews and Deborah M. Piccurelli for my honest review. Being a huge pro-life, Christian, I had to see where this book was going and how it would end. It does make the reader wonder just what really goes on behind the back doors in those women's clinics even today and sees just how real and true this story could be. I applaud Deborah's efforts to bring a breathable, likeable character to life, in Amber, who is struggling with her own personal convictions of working at a clinic being a believer in God. She tries to make sure that women who arrive are given all opportunities to keep their child, but when the Doctor informs her she's going against policy and is subject to being fired, she finds she is up against a rope that only God can help her out of. I rate this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars and remind the reader that the subject matter may be a bit intense but overall provides a great story to engage the reader with its suspense.

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

Secret Heroes: Everyday Americans Who Shaped Our World

Some names in history are easily associated with the greatness of the acts they committed or simply by the person that they became. Other's however often go by the wayside because no one paid them much mind but their accomplishments are just as worthy as those of someone whose name is synonymous with greatness.

In the novel, Secret Heroes: Everyday Americans Who Shaped Our World, author Paul Martin did some extensive research into the lives of people who really did have an impact on the way this great country has been so blessed. Names of people you wouldn't recognize such as Carl Akeley, Jimmie Angel, Kirk Bloodsworth, Ishi, Hercules Mulligan, Cynthia Ann Parker and even Solomon Louis. In this amazing book, Paul Martin researches 31 amazing people whose lives had a lasting impact in ways we fail to recognize and in some cases taking our own government decades before they acknowledged the sacrifices these people made.

Ishi was the last of his Native American tribe that would rather risk death than living alone when his entire race of people were slaughters by the white man, leaving him all alone. Yet no remorse or bitterness was present when white man came to attempt to communicate with him and his story will not only make a lasting impression on your mind but on your heart as well.

Cynthia Ann Parker, was a white girl that was abducted by the Comanche tribes and spent years becoming part of their lives until her family intervened and attempted to bring her back to freedom. In the end, it broke her heart and ultimately brought about her own death.

We've all seen or heard about the movie Windtalkers, the men who kept our nations secrets from being discovered by the Navajo Indians during World War II, but failed to acknowledge the Choctaw Indians who began the practice in World War I, and even our own government failed to recognize their service to our country until 2008 when President George Bush finally signed the Code Talkers Recognition Act into law and authorized Congressional Gold Medals for the eighteen original Choctaw code talkers.

As you can see this book captures some of the untold stories of true American heroes and is a must read for those who love history and the stories that went along with them to make them great. I received this book compliments of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review. Being a huge lover of history I was immediately drawn to this book. There are stories about men and women, of all races and nationalities, who made huge impacts or whose stories set the precedent for greatness to follow. I easily rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and will now find a permanent place on my library shelf for future reference. Not all of us may be recognized for our greatness but it doesn't mean that great things won't happen.

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

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Wedding Dress - Giveaway and Review

Charlotte Malone is the proud owner of Malone & Company, a bridal salon that features in something besides the ordinary wedding dresses the local chain stores carry. If you're looking for something truly one of a kind and unique, then you will want to shop at Malone's, where Charlotte guarantees she find the perfect dress for you.

However when Charlotte finds herself avoiding locating her own perfect dress and attending to her upcoming wedding details, she wonders if perhaps her engagement isn't to Mr. Right after all. When Charlotte attends a local auction at the Ludlow estate, she finds herself bidding on an antique chest that is welded shut. The problem is that she doesn't have the money in her budget to make such an extravagant purchase yet when she learns that some of the higher bidders plan on using it for parts, she outbids them all.

Now if she can only figure out what it may contain and why someone would want to weld it shut. When she does get it open, she discovers an extraordinary dress that appears to be perfect preserved after being locked away in the chest for 100 years. Wondering about the original owner of the dress, Charlotte finds herself wondering just what stories the dress could tell if it could talk, and maybe, just maybe she'll find out.

The novel, The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck is enchanting because its divided into different chapters moving forward and backwards in time returning to the dresses origin in 1912 where another soon-to-be bride is facing a similar situation as Charlotte herself is dealing with in modern day times. What Charlotte will soon discover as she researches the dresses origin is that it belonged to three different women and they each have a story to share with her, one that will help her move forward and hopefully find the love we all search for in the end.

I received, The Wedding Dress compliments of Litfuse Publicity for my honest review and being a hopeful romantic knew I had to read this one. I was not disappointed and found the storyline to be unique and engaging as you discover the women who wore the dress and what lessons they learned along their own romantic journey. I rate this one a perfect 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend it to anyone who loves a great historical romance!

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:

The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck

What is "true" beauty? Join the conversation at Rachel's Author Chat Party Event Page. On the eventing of 4/19 we'll gather to talk about inner and outer beauty and share moments of beauty in our lives.

In the meantime, celebrate with Rachel by entering her True Beauty Giveaway!

One "beautiful" winner will receive:

  • A $200 Visa Cash Card (Treat yourself to a spa day or weekend get-away!)

  • The Wedding Dress (by Rachel Hauck)

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends 4/18/12. Winner will be announced at Rachel's "True Beauty" Facebook Party on 4/19. Rachel will be hosting an evening of beauty (inner/outer) chat, fun trivia, laughter, and encouragement - bring your friends! She'll also be giving away some GREAT prizes: gift certificates, books, and a Book Club Prize Pack! (Ten copies of the book for your small group or book club and a live chat with Rachel via Skype.)

So grab a few of your friends and your copy of The Wedding Dress and join Rachel on the evening of April 19th 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 19!

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Forgiven Duke - Giveaway and Review

Jamie Carie has written a beautiful new series of novels that fall into her Forgotten Castle's series. The Forgiven Duke follows on the heels of it's predecessor The Guardian Duke, and picks up the story of Lady Alexandria Featherstone who is in search of her parents, treasure hunters who went missing. While its been a year, everyone else has now assumed they are dead but Alexandria isn't so sure and wants to go searching in their last known location in Iceland, at a place known as the Black Castles.

Yet just as she is about to disembark on her ocean voyage with Lord John Lemon, a man she believes she may love and has promised to marry once they arrive in Iceland, she doesn't escape unnoticed. Her guardian, the Duke of St. Easton has managed to see that she left on the ship, Archilles, and will stop at nothing to bring her back. He has a secret he is trying to hide and that is his hearing loss. Unfortunately he's about to have his journey cut short when he's taken back to London and Alex remains an ocean voyage away.

Will these two ever find true happiness despite living their lives for others sake or will God have a greater purpose in mind for them if they are willing to be honest and wait for one another?

I received The Forgiven Duke by Jamie Carie compliments of Propeller and B & H Books for my honest review. This is such a charming novel that keeps it leading lady, strong and willing to pursue what she believes is right no matter what anyone thinks and is struggling to decide just what her heart really wants. Will it be Lord John Lemon or the Duke of St. Easton? Will she fall in love to save a man who appears to be broke or will she fall in love to save a man who has fallen in love with her but can't admit it? I rate this novel a 5 out of 5 stars and is a must read if you love a little action with your romance!

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 Jamie on Facebook by clicking here.

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

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

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

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

4. Leave me a comment here on my blog telling me why you'd love to win a copy of this book. Don't forget to leave your email address as well so I can email you if you're the lucky winner. You can use the words (at) and (dot) instead of the symbols.

I will notify the winner by email and post the results on my Facebook page on April 20th.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Song Remains The Same

Nell Slattery's life is about to be changed forever in a split second. When she awakens in a hospital room, one of only two survivors of a plane crash, she finds herself without any memories of just who she is, what her life has been up to this point and what has happened to her.

Her first moments in the hospital have revealed to her that she is married to a man in the room she doesn't remember and her mother is there, again someone she doesn't recognize. After meeting with Anderson Carroll, a big name celebrity, she learns that she was his hero while the plane was going down. Apparently while he had too much to drink and was beginning to panic, they discussed their favorite bands and music in hopes it might take their minds off of what was going on around them.

Aside from this conversation, she finds both herself and Anderson on the front cover of People magazine and sees a picture of herself that she can't remember, but mostly doesn't show her as someone she would like to know more about. While Nell learns that her husband has been having an affair with a co-worker writing music jingles, she works with Jaime Reardon, an up and coming news reporter to help her investigate her own life and hopefully begin to make some positive changes into the person she would like to become.

In the novel The Song Remains the Same by Allison Winn Scotch, Nell's life is choreographed to some familiar music that ties in with chapters of her previous life throughout the book. As Nell begins to unravel her past and begins to rebuild a better future for herself, as a reader we begin to wonder what would we do if faced with similar circumstances in our own life. Would you reinvent yourself or pursue digging into a self discovery and hope you find something you like? This is just what the character of Nell does when given a second chance so to speak. Whether she gets her memory back or not, will have to wait until you, yourself, get an opportunity to read this novel.

I received this book compliments of TLC Book Tours for my honest review. I like the character of Nell because even though she can't remember much she takes on a new role in her moving forward with a sense of courage and also one of forgiveness and she tries to find out more about her past she wasn't really interested in much before. I rate this one a 4 out of 5 stars and for more information on this book, the author and where to pick up a copy of this book, please click on the link below: