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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Ashton Park

If you're a fan of Downtown Abbey, then you will absolutely fall in love with the latest novel from Murray Pura, Ashton Park. In this novel set in the early 1900's the reader is about to meet the Danforths of Lancashire, a wealthy family of 7 children, 3 boys and 4 girls. Along the journey you get a glimpse into each of their personal lives and the struggles they each face not only growing up in a well-to-do family but also in dealing the conflict that evidently follows when your family wants you to marry in the same class as they are. The parents Sir William and Lady Elizabeth Danforth struggle with the same issues all parents face. The sons, Edward, Kipp and Robbie are all serving in the armed forces just at the beginnings of World War 1. As any mother would be, Lady Elizabeth is praying for the safety of each of her sons and hopes that each will stay as far away from true danger as possible, but that will not be the case.

With her daughters, Emma, Catherine, Elizabeth and Victoria, she has to deal with the issues of finding suitable husbands for each of them to marry into, only what's a parent to do when one of their daughters soon falls in love with a member of the household staff? The novel will definitely keep you on your toes as you attempt to keep up with each of the children, their love lives and the members of the household staff who are not mere supporting characters. In the truest sense of Downtown Abbey, it is bound to keep you guessing with what will be happening in the household next. Like most children, some are a bit on the rebellious side and wish to live their own life outside of what their parents believe is in their best interests. However will their parents wishes ultimately win out in the end?

I received, Ashton Park compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and Harvest House Publishers for my honest review and if you've never read a book from Murray Pura, then you are in for a real treat indeed. Contrary to the stereotypes that most women write from the heart of a woman when it comes to romance novels, Murray shatters that image. Having read his other books from Amish Historical Romance with a twist of stories from the wars and everything in between, he truly captures what women want I believe in their romance novels. He writes well rounded characters often portraying the women in them as strong and determined, not your frail weak willed, fall at the sight of any handsome man in the story. I believe this is what appeals to his female fans the most. In any case, this one will not disappoint fans of historical fiction among the wealthy class and see what happens when the family sleeps and the household staff have to tend to the needs of the estate. Truly one not to be rushed through and one I hope Murray Pura writes more of. This one hits home with a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion.

For more information about Ashton Park, Murray Pura, or where to pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can also find Murray Pura on Facebook to stay up to date with all his latest books.

To read more reviews on Ashton Park from the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance Book Tour, please click here.

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (January 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0736952853
  • ISBN-13: 978-0736952859
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Tutor's Daughter

Who would have ever guessed that some of the best books out on the shelves today are the ones that blend the best of two or more genre's together to create a recipe for something that is guaranteed to grab you and never let go? Well that's just what you'll find when you pick up a copy of Julie Klassen's latest novel, The Tutor's Daughter. It's a perfect blend of mystery, suspense, romance and historical fiction set in Cornwall in the early 1800's. If you love any of those types of genre's, you'll want to pick up this novel as soon as you can. But be forewarned, you won't be able to put this one down and you'll be sad when it ends. Not because of a tearful ending, but because it's so good, it's over too soon.

The story begins at the Smallwood Academy, a boarding school for boys and gives us a brief history into the lives of Emma Smallwood and her father, John. As a young girl she was often the victim of the childish pranks of Henry Weston, and spent a great deal of time trying to avoid him whenever possible. It was his younger brother, Phillip that captured Emma's heart. She envisioned what a romance with him might be like, even though the possibility of that ever happening was probable. The Weston's came from a well-to-do family in Cornwall, and her family was just barely making ends meet running the Academy.

Five years later, the academy is falling on hard times and it seems that few families are sending their boys to schools such as the Smallwood Academy opting for more renown ones like Eton. As hard as Emma tried to find ways to bring more students into the academy it seemed like her father had truly given up. Acting in her father's behalf, she sent a letter to the Weston family to inquire to the possibility of the younger brothers Julian and Rowan to see if they might be interested in coming to the boarding school. Yet when a reply returned from Sir Giles Weston asking if her father would be interested in private tutoring in their family home for a year along with Emma for support, her taste for adventure was about to get interesting.

Wondering just what Phillip was like after all these years apart kept Emma's anxious to see just what the future would be like and living at the Weston estate was like a dream come true. However when Emma and her father arrive, they are more than surprise at their welcome reception and soon are made to feel just like the hired help in the Weston home. What's even more surprising is that Phillip is away at Oxford and only Henry is still living at the family home. Things are about to get interesting at the Weston estate when someone or something starts coming into Emma's room and soon she fears her life is at stake. Has Henry's childhood pranks taken on a darker side?

I received The Tutor's Daughter by Julie Klassen compliments of Bethany House and Litfuse for my honest review and have to say that a seaside Estate in Cornwall, romantic tension and an apparent ghost are just the perfect elements in this exciting novel. The signs of a great book are when it feels so real when you are reading it, you can picture the house, the stormy seas below the estate, even the school room where John and Emma teach the boys. There are such rich and vivid details to keep the reader engaged and even the tension that happened late at night is enough to keep you turning pages while attempting to figure out just what is really going on! Truly a winner in my opinion and worth every single one of the 5 out of 5 stars! For reading groups, there are some amazing questions at the conclusion of this novel!

For more information about The Tutor's Daughter, Julie Klassen, or where to pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can also find Julie Klassen on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest books.

To read more reviews on The Tutor's Daughter from the Litfuse Publicity Book Tour, please click here. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Long Way Home

Welcome back to St. Dennis, a quaint seaside small town where you are bound to find friendship and love in the most unlikely of places. Once you come for a visit, you may decide you never want to leave. Take Ellis Chapman, the daughter whose father and fiance' have been convicted in one of the biggest Ponze schemes in New York. Now having lost not only her home, her job, her car, her money and her love, she is looking for a place to simply disappear from the limelight and publicity that is haunting her in New York. Taking help from her close friend, Ellie learns that her mother who died of cancer has left her a home in St. Dennis. Since they were divorced at the time, it escaped being sold off with the rest of her family's assets.

There is only one small stipulation in her mother's will, that Ellie live in the house at least six months before selling it. Working with Jesse Enright, the local attorney in St. Dennis, she creates a new identity of Ellie Ryder and learns that will the right money management the funds her mother left behind to care for the house and property may last through the six months she needs to stay there. In that time, she hopes to update it to make it more profitable to sell and hopefully find a way to restore her life. What she doesn't plan on is the house needing more repairs than she has money to pay for.

She finds Cameron O'Connor, the local caretaker that has been maintaining the house and grounds for many years working with her grandmother Lilly when she lived in the home many years before and later her mother, Lynley when she was living there while undergoing treatment for cancer. Cameron learns that the house he has always wanted to own has now been sold but doesn't know that Ellie is related to the family and that is just how she wants things until she can arrange for the house to be sold. She hopes her identity will remain elusive and that she can put her six months in and sell the home. Will she be able to maintain her secret or will her past catch up to her even in a small town like St. Dennis?

In the latest novel from the Chesapeake Diaries series from Mariah Stewart, The Long Way Home captures the same characters from the books we've come to love and adore, Jesse Enright is the local attorney who is married to Brooke, the local owner and creator of the town's delicious cupcakes. Once again the small town feel is apparent from the first page as the novel opens once again with a diary entry from the oldest town resident Grace who owns the local newspaper and the town's historic inn. New characters now intermingle with the charming residents that Mariah has so lovingly introduced us to in each of her consecutive novels and my heart warms whenever Mariah launches a new novel in the series. The saddest part is when this series will come to a close, but thankfully there is another waiting in the wings when this one ends. So it gives this reader peace to know that the story will continue for a bit more longer with an excerpt to At The River's Edge at the conclusion to tease us until it publishes.

I received The Long Way Home by Mariah Stewart compliments of TLC Book Tours and Ballantine Books for my honest review. I am always excited to learn when another novel in this series is published because to me, it's like returning home to place where love, peace and friendship resides and I can escape my routine life to escape into virtual one for a brief time. I only wish St. Dennis were as real as the residents that Mariah Stewart so lovingly breathed life into. I, myself would move there instantly and open my own bookstore and join in the fun of living among real friends and true down to earth people. I easily rate this one a perfect 5 out of 5 stars. I highly recommend it and if you haven't read any of the books in the series, please pick them all up. You'll definitely want all of them if you love small town romance with friendship and great characters that will captivate you from the very first page. This one can be read as a stand alone however. but once you read this one, you 'll want them all.

For more information about The Long Way Home, Mariah Stewart and where to pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can also find Mariah Stewart on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest books.

To read more reviews on The Long Way Home from the TLC Book Tour, please click here. 

The Chesapeake Diaries Series:
 #1 Coming Home
#2 Home Again
#3 Almost Home
#4 Hometown Girl
#5 Home for the Summer
#6 The Long Way Home
#7 At the River's Edge (Coming Soon)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Grace Given

If you understand the Amish people at all, you know that they don't like conflict and will avoid all acts of vengeance or involving the police to deal with any issues they have. They are a peaceful people and prefer to let God deal out the judgements if laws are broken. However when a group of Amish people settle in Texas, a group of English teens are about to make sure they get the message that they are not wanted. Knowing that the Amish will not retaliate, they first come across Elsie and her sister Katie Yoder, walking home one day. They begin to verbally assault them with all kinds of derogatory comments and proceed to leer at them. Katie and Elsie both run for their farm and agree not to tell anyone about what just happened.

Yet once a lie begins it becomes harder and harder to keep it a secret. Now that Katie has left her family along with Jake, the boy Elsie had believed had feelings for her to live among the English. Elsie is left not only to deal with her hurt feelings of being betrayed by her sister and Jake and now has to face continued harassment from the group of English teens that have found an easy mark with Elsie. She finds solace in studying the Martyrs Mirror, an old book that takes about the persecution of the Amish people with her friend Gideon Lapp. Only Gideon wishes his friendship with Elsie may in fact turn into love at some point. However dealing with her heartache with Jake, puts those plans on the back burner and creates a door for Jake's brother Mose to enter with Elsie as they have a common ground for conversation.

In the second book of the Touch of Grace series by Beth Shriver, Grace Given teaches us all how to deal with situations in life that prove difficult. Whether it's a broken heart, a betrayal from a family member or even being harassed, the grace God provides never comes back empty handed. This was such a different Amish novel to read, in that dealing with the harassment from the English teens was something you often wonder about when the Amish community moves into a new location and can create animosity among the residents that live there especially when the Amish start new business opportunities that create a need for their products and services over the English ones. A well written novel that completely captivated me from start to finish and can't wait to read the next one, Healing Grace which the reader is given a glimpse into at the conclusion of this novel.

I received Grace Given by Beth Shriver compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and Realm Publishers for my honest review and have to rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars. The story was a lot different that your typical Amish novels and dealt with a lot of issues facing the world today in our own communities. It just shows how the Amish would likely have handled it with a touch of grace instead of retaliation like most would. For more information about Grace Given, Beth Shriver or where to pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can also find Beth Shriver on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest books.

You can find more reviews on Grace Given on the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance Book Tour by clicking here. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Mystery of the Heart

Sometimes the beginnings for love can be found in the most unusual of circumstances. Mercy Grayson is truly thankful just to be alive. She has managed to have found the safety and security of land, after nearly being lost at sea. Now washed ashore, she wonders where she is. She looks up into the face of a man, Lord Edon, who tells her she has found her way to England and is about more than confused at the clothing she is wearing. Not what a woman would normally would, she has managed to wear a man's jacket and pants and if it were not for them, she would have drowned for sure.

She begs Lord Edon to help her find her sister, but refuses to offer any more explanation at just who she is and how she arrived washed up on the shore with no signs of a ship wreck in sight. Lord Edon tells her that the ship he is traveling on is filled with men who have the most unpure intentions if they were to know she is a woman, so he insists on cutting off her long hair to make her appear as a young lad to match the clothing and ensure her passage on the ship. He reminds her to speak to no one and to remain in his cabin until they dock.

When they arrive at the ship, she learns that Lord Edon probably saved not only her life but reputation as well keeping her identity hidden from the crew. He has her placed in his cabin under the ruse of being a valet he has found on the shore. She makes herself comfortable as best as she can, staying hidden in his cabin. While searching for a shirt to wear while her clothes dry, she comes across a wooden box that contains a spear head inside. Not sure what it is, she places the contents back in the box and covers it once more with clothing.

When the ship docks, Mercy has Lord Edon take her to her sister, Victoria's home and tells him that she is indeed royalty which he finds hard to believe. She is Lady Mercy Grayson of Ravensmoore and now the mystery is beginning to unfold as to how she found herself on the shores of North Umberland and what transpired to cause her to wind up in the ocean from Scotland. It seems both Lord Edon and Lady Grayson each have a bit of a secret each of them is hiding and neither one wants to be the first to tell their tales. Perhaps fate has dealt them each a different hand that is about to converge.

I received Mystery of the Heart by Jillian Kent compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and Realm Publishers for my honest review. This is the third book in the Ravensmoore Chronicle Series and delivers its finest to true traditional regencies fans! I love reading books with a strong, determined woman character who finds her interests lie in a man's world but still wish to pursue it despite what society may deem is inappropriate for a woman. In this case studying medicine and it seems as though God has truly blessed Lady Mercy Grayson will more than just a healing touch! I rate this book a true 5 out of 5 stars and find myself a true die hard Jillian Kent fan!

For more information about Mystery of the Heart, Jillian Kent, or where to pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can also find Jillian Kent on her blog to stay up to date with all her latest books.

To read more reviews on Mystery of the Heart from the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance Book Tour, please click here. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Abel's Field - DVD Giveaway and Review

Sometimes it's harder to forgive ourselves than it is to seek God's forgiveness. Seth McArdle is about to learn that very lesson in the unlikeliest of places. Seeking to raise his twin younger sisters after the death of his mother and now the abandonment of his father who fails to returns phone calls or even come home to see how his family is managing. While trying to finish up high school, avoid the quarterback of the football team who seems to bully Seth whenever possible, and hold down three jobs just to put enough food on the table. Now when a man appears searching for his father, Seth learns that his father hasn't been paying the mortgage payments on the house and it's now going to be foreclosed upon if the payments are made current.

When those around Seth offer help, he seems too proud to take it or even to ask for it. He is trying to find a way to keep his family together even though it's falling apart all around him. Even his brother, Keith, seems to have abandoned the responsibility of helping out when he can and instead finds solace in drinking. When Seth pushes things a bit too far with the football team, he finds himself the only one facing punishment. The football coach assigns him the task of working with Abel (Kevin Sorbo) the janitor/groundskeeper of the high school to get the sprinkler system up and working before the big game. Abel attempts to find a way to reach inside Seth and help him find the path back to God and to keep him from making some foolish mistakes that may cost him everything in the end.

In the DVD, Abel's Field by Affirm Films, makers of such wonderful family films like Fireproof and Courageous, now bring you another great family film that deals with forgiveness and understanding the circumstances that life can bring about when our choices seems to much to deal with. This is the perfect family movie to watch to show you how easy is can be to ask God for forgiveness and how hard it is for each of us to find forgiveness in ourselves. This one rates a 4 out of 5 stars in my opinion and I received Abel's Field, compliments of Propeller, FlyByPromotions and Affirm Films for my honest review. Once again if you're looking for a wonderful film to watch with your entire family without worrying about the subject matter, than this one is perfect to add to your DVD collection.

Thanks to the generous folks at Propeller, FlyByPromotions and Affirm Films, they are offering a giveaway copy to one lucky follower of my blog, Reviews From The Heart. 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 a comment below telling me why you'd love to win a copy of Abel's Field. Don't forget to include your email address as well. You can use the words (at) and (dot) instead of the symbols.

I will notify the winner by email once the giveaway ends on January 29th.

For more information about Abel's Field, please click the links below:

You can also find more great trailers and details about the movie on Facebook. 

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in 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."

Thursday, January 17, 2013


"In 2008, a congressional commission warned, 'given a high-level of know-how needed to use disease as a weapon to cause mass casualties, the United States should be less concerned that terrorists will become biologists and far more concerned that biologists will become terrorists.'"

If you're looking for an edge of your seat suspense thriller that has the potential to become a reality dealing with creating genetically enhanced biological viruses that could be used as the ultimate in terrorist weapons, then check out the latest novel, Plague from H.W. "Buzz" Bernard. It really makes you as a reader consider the effects of someone with the knowledge to combine some of the world's deadliest virus' into the ultimate weapons without being able to fight back with a known cure. This one really had me pulling up websites and honestly checking out how much is fiction versus fact and it is chilling when you thoroughly do some research on your own.

In this novel, a lone terrorists with a strong background in molecular biology from studying and working in Russia and even the United States. Now armed with that knowledge of working with various strains of Ebola, of which there is no known cure, he has managed to create a mutated version that can be spread as easily through the air as the common cold or flu. After a successful test in Atlanta, he prepares to launch a full-scale attack that would make 9/11 look like child's play.

Richard Wainwright has been offered a job that brings him out of retirement to become the new temporary CEO of BioDawn, a pharmaceutical company that has various branches around the world. When he begins to investigate the financials and the background of the company, he finds himself at the wrong end of an assassin's lethal weapon. He's advised to simply stop looking into the company background any further and simply put his time in and collect a paycheck, but that is out of character for Richard who has a background as a former Marine and doesn't take to kindly to be asked to back off.

Dr. Dwight Butler is the leading expert for the Centers of Disease Control or CDC on what is considered Level 4 viruses and when a local hospital contacts him with what they believe to be a case of Ebola in the United States, his job is about to get very interesting and very dangerous. Soon he learns that this one case of Ebola has taken on characteristics that are unusual and he can't figure out how the virus is spreading so rapidly between the hospital staff, doctors and the family members of the victim. It's not supposed to spread like it is and if he can't figure it out, the Black Plague is about to be unleashed like never before in the United States and the effects will be devastating.

I received Plague by H.W. Buzz Bernard compliments of Pump Up Your Book Tours and Bell Bridge Books for my honest review. This is a chilling reminder of just how close we stand on how biological weapons could be used against us by terrorists in the very near and real future. It also teaches us how certain virus' such as Ebola can wreck havoc on an entire country and there still is currently no known cure for it. The potential for it to be used as a biological weapon is cause for concern and something I can only hope our country is potentially planning for. It seems like the greatest tragedies to befall us will come from the air. For those of you that love books with a twist on the ordinary but guaranteed to keep  you thinking about things long after you've read them, you'll want to pick this one up. I rate this a 5 out of 5 stars and once again think that Buzz Bernard has hit a home run with this one. I hope there is a sequel to this one!

For more information about Plague, H.W. Buzz Bernard, or where to pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can also find H.W. Buzz Bernard on Facebook to stay up to date with all his latest books.

To read more reviews on Plague from the Pump Up Your Book Tours, please click here. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Lesson

Mary Kate Lapp is a bit like George Bailey from It's A Wonderful Life. Filled with dreams of exotic places and all she desires is the right time to set out on her journey. But at nineteen, she's still struggling to find her place in the world. She's a bit impulsive, over-active, and what some would call a bit of a busy body. Still she sees nothing wrong with her flittering in and out of people's lives around her. Until they seem to lead to trouble when she least expects it. Yet Mary Kate or M.K. as her friends and family refer to her, is more than smart. She's determined, a bit strong-willed and persistent. Since adventure has yet to find her, she's making plans for something more.

As luck would have it, adventure happens when and where she least expects it. While riding in her buggy one afternoon she hears a loud boom and when she investigates, it leads her to find a sheep farmer who has been murdered. M.K. takes a personal responsibility to find out who the murderer is before they kill in her small Amish community once again. But the police are less than pleased with M.K.'s offer to help solve the crime. So she does what any determined young women with a curious mind would, she sets out to find clues on her own.

While in the process she runs in to quite literally, Alice Smucker, who is the town's local drama queen. When she insists that she is going to die and requests that M.K. summons an ambulance, fate intervenes. Now that Alice is out of commission, the town needs a substitute teacher and the board has just the right person in mind. That's right, M.K. After all she spent the last eight-years under Alice's schooling and isn't the slightest bit pleased when they want her to fill in for the next three weeks. She doesn't have the slightest clue how to teach a class and her room full of students is about to unleash their worst on poor M.K. Adventure has indeed come to town.

In the novel, The Lesson by Suzanne Woods Fisher, we find ourselves at the concluding book in the Stoney Ridge Seasons series. In this one, the story revolves around M. K. or Mary Kate Lapp who seems to always be right in the middle of everything when she least expects it or when people would rather have her any place else. But besides adventure has she grown up enough to perhaps find someone to share in her spirited adventures or will she simply be too busy to notice what is right in front of her eyes. Just who is the new stranger that has moved into town and just why does he seem to keep to himself all the time. Is he in fact hiding something? Could it be that M.K. has found the murderer after all right beneath her nose the whole time? Well, you will need to pick this one up for yourself to find out.

I received The Lesson by Suzanne Woods Fisher compliments of Litfuse Publicity and Revell Publishers for my honest review. Having read the previous books in the series, The Keeper and The Haven, I was super excited to see how Suzanne would bring all this to a closure. It can be read as a stand alone but to really get to know the characters of Stoney Ridge, you will want to pick up the other two books. This is a delightful end to the most animated character in this series and one I could relate to quite a bit with my own version of M.K. in my youngest daughter. It has allowed me to see her a bit differently than I did before and like the ending of the book, it all comes full circle when you can see where it has all been going before. For fans of Christian Amish Romance with a bit of mystery attached, you will want to place this one on your must read list! I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars!

For more information about The Lesson, Suzanne Woods Fisher or where to pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can also find Suzanne Woods Fisher on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest books.

To read more reviews on The Lesson from the Litfuse Book Tours, please click here. 

Celebrate the release of The Lesson with Suzanne Woods Fisher by entering to win one of TWO iPads!


Two winners will receive:

  • A brand new iPad

  • A $15 gift certificate to iTunes

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on January 20th. Winner will be announced on 1/22/13 at Suzanne's Blog.

Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Hurt: A Novel

If you should ever happen upon a quite little remote mountain community with the sign welcoming you to Solitary, turn around. Do not enter and forget you ever saw this place. In fact, Solitary is just that, a place that longs to be kept a silent secret. Isolated. Alone. Just like the name implies. However for Chris Buckley, it's a town he can't escape. It's a town that has ties to him that bind the soul. One he has been desperately searching for a way out of only to be brought to the conclusion of where he finds himself at now. At the final chapter. The climatic ending of an epic story of old.

Some call Solitary a gateway, but for Chris Solitary isn't a gateway drug. Nope, Solitary is crack and heroin and every other drug blended together and served as an ice cream cone. However the town of Solitary was discovered by an original settler who the town is named after. The wicked man who already knew and believed in evil. It was as if this town called for him. But it is why Chris is so valuable. He is needed to combat the evil that is slowly consuming the town and it's residents.

But if you have picked up this book and wondering where it all begins, where can I begin to fill you in? It's three in the morning, and so far baby dearest hasn't managed to crawl up the stairs with a steak knife. Let's see - I move to Solitary and fall in love with the girl that the evil people have decided to sacrifice on New Year's Eve. Before this sacrifice happened I met my mother's creepy aunt Alice with her selection of mannequins. Perhaps this doll escaped from her house.

I saw a weird mountain man with a big German shepherd who ended up being my uncle in costume. The man, that is. Not the dog. There were the nightmares my mother had. There were tunnels underneath our cabin. Oh yeah, don't forget the cabin in the woods. Or the mannequin maker.

There's the creepy pastor and the ignorant bully. But both answer to a twisted man named Staunch who answers to my great-grandfather. And they all say I'm special and that somewhere down the road I'm going to get a special key that does something special for a special reason. Welcome to the fourth book, Hurt by Travis Thrasher. This is the fourth book in the Solitary Tales series and should not be read as a stand alone book. To read it by itself would simply cause you to be confused because you need to know what has happened to bring Chris Buckley to his final year in Solitary.

This book is the culmination of everything Chris has had to endure to bring him to this point. When he first arrived in Solitary in book one, he was very much the outcast being the new kid in high school Alone and isolated much like the city. However as the books progress we find out that something sinister has been brewing and a spiritual war is about to be unleashed. Think of this series as Travis Thrasher describes it like Pretty in Pink meets The Exorcist. I couldn't think of a finer way to sum up this series.

I received Hurt by Travis Thrasher compliments of Christian Blog Alliance and David C Cook Publishers for my honest opinion. It is written from Chris' point of view and thus you are dealing with the impressions one would expect from a boy in high school trying to fit in. It seems like he can't do anything right and he is always on someones bad side from the local sheriff to the pastor and even his mother when she is sober. Yet I viewed this fourth and  final book, having read all three books in this series, as Chris' absolution. He realizes he can't run from his problems and has to deal with them alone. I can't share with you how it ends, but definitely could see more books launched from this series. A well-deserved and earned 5 out of 5 stars! For those of you that like a good suspense thriller with a powerful message, pick up the entire series. For readers like me that love this genre, it was well-worth the ride.

For more information about Hurt: A Novel, Travis Thrasher or where to pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can also stay up to date with all of Travis Thrashers latest books by joining his Facebook page.

To read more reviews from the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance Book Tour, click here. 

The Solitary Tales by Travis Thrasher - Available at your favorite book retailer:
#1 - Solitary
#2 - Gravestone
#3 - Temptation
#4 - Hurt

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Delusion - Review and Giveaway

It doesn't matter whether you want to be in a spiritual battle or not - you are in one. The battle is between good and evil, and you are the prize. ~ Charles Stanley

"By March of my senior year, eleven students at my high school had committed suicide. What a sickening realization it was to discover their deaths had been provoked. I could see what was tormenting and inciting them, but it didn't matter. I was hard pressed to get anyone to believe me.

I realize you likely won't believe me either. Admittedly, my story is twisted an bizarre and nearly impossible to accept. Still, I'm holding out hope that, in the end, you'll turn out to be one of the rare ones - one of a small minority willing to venture beyond the five senses to see what is almost always completely and intentionally unseen.

It all began on what I assumed would be a typical Monday." (pg 1).

In the debut novel Delusion by Laura Gallier, she introduces us to what could be any high school senior, Owen Edmonds. While walking through Franklin Park one afternoon with his girlfriend, Jess, they happen upon an buried underground water source. Not knowing where it came from or where it ends, Jess, has Owen scoop up some of the liquid in a water bottle. When they bring it back up from the ground, it appears like normal water. However under the ground it glows with a phosphorous light and appears warm. When Jess threatens to drink it, Owen does one better and drinks it instead. What happens after that will change life for Owen forever.

After becoming violently ill, Owen gains a rare glimpse into the spiritual world. At first he doesn't believe what he is experiencing because he isn't the type to believe in things like God and demons. Yet when he sees demonic beings he calls Creepers and shackles around 90% of the people he encounters, he believes he has completely lost his mind. His mother has them around her neck and their are labeled, braided cords coming from the back of her head with things like humiliation, shame, guilt and more. Owen is used to seeing his mom drunk and now things have been taken to a whole new level. The more people he attempts to tell, the more people think he has lost his mind. The school believes that Owen is just one of the many students in the school that could be having suicidal thoughts and offers him counseling. How can he convince people that what he can see is real even though no one else can?

Owen does have hope when he sees what he calls Warriors, angelic-like beings that show up just when Creepers are about to intervene in the life of a girl called Misty who is having suicidal thoughts. However no matter how much Owen tries to communicate with them, they seem to ignore him. Not all the students at Lincoln Forest High School are chained and shackled, there are some that admit a glowing light that seems to repel the Creepers. Owen is more than fascinated by their power and their ability that not everyone seems to have. He feels that they are the answer to what is happening at his high school and he has to find out before anyone else dies.

I received The Delusion by Laura Gallier compliments of AdminiSmith, The Publishing Navigator and the author for my honest review. I've been addicted to Christian Speculative Fiction for many years now and was honored and excited to have the opportunity to read and review this one. Speculative Fiction is now the new label assigned to what some would consider Christian Horror and this one is right in that category. In fact once I started this book, I literally could not put it down. I was carrying with me wherever I was going through my day. I made the mistake of reading this one late at night as we had a huge rain and windstorm. Not a great idea. I scared myself with all the noises that were happening outside and the fact I was reading this book. Yet to me, that's the sign of a terrific novel.

Laura takes the reader right into the spiritual world that remains unseen for most. Only a few have had the opportunity to gain insight and what Owen sees would literally make any of us think we are crazy. Not only does he see angels and demons but he can see how people are used by the enemy. I think this line from the book captures the essence perfectly,

"Think about it. To destroy an opponent, what better strategy is there than to go stealth? Do your most damaging work under the cloak of invisibility? And even if some cursed soul like me happens to discover what's really going on, the truth is so outlandish and farfetched no one would believe it. My stories sounded more like the plot of a bestselling fiction than a real life dilemma. And I was sure that was exactly the way they wanted it." (pg 93).

"I mentally debated which was worse, to see wickedness at work or not see it at all? Both felt like a death sentence" (pg 104).

If you are fans of books dealing with spiritual warfare like Frank Peretti or Ted Dekker, you might just want to pick up a copy of this amazing book. I personally give this one a 5 out of 5 stars! Be forewarned however, I wouldn't recommend reading it late at night, not only will it keep you up all night wanting to see what happens next but it just might make you wonder what is in the world we can not see right around us. This book is perfect for opening up those conversations with non believers!!!

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

You can also find out more information on The Delusion by visiting Facebook. 

Thanks to the generosity of Laura Gallier and AdminiSmith, they are providing a giveaway copy of this book to one lucky follower of my blog, Reviews From The Heart. Here are your guidelines to enter.

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

2. "Like" The Delusion Book Facebook page and leave a comment.

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

4. Leave me a comment below telling me what your thoughts are about the spiritual world along with your email address. You can use the words (at) and (dot) instead of the symbols.

The giveaway will end on January 20th. I will notify the winner by email.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Journey

I've always enjoyed thinking about what life would be like if I could go back in time. Would I change anything? Would I do anything differently?

Well imagine what would happen if you found yourself suddenly walking back into your life thirty-one years ago, only you are the same. You haven't grown younger and all your memories are still intact. What would you do then?

That's just the premise behind The Journey by John Heldt. Finding herself quite literally at a crossroads in her life, Michelle Preston Richardson is still grieving the sudden death of her husband, Scott who died tragically in a hiking accident on Mount Rainer. Now faced with the opportunity to attend her thirty year high school reunion, she decides to go and reconnect with old friends. While investigating an old home that has remained vacant and in desperate need of repairs and renovations, she wander upstairs and finds a door that appears to be locked. However when she pulls on it hard enough, it opens revealing a staircase that leads down into the first floor. Manned with only a flashlight, she takes a risk and enters. Only when she reaches the bottom she becomes spooked and rushes upstairs only to find the door slams shut just before she reaches the top step. As she bangs on the door, yelling and screaming, the door finally gives way. Did her friends play a horrible practical joke on her?

When she calls out to them, she finds they have gone. As Michelle walks slowly back to town, she realizes she has stepped into an episode of the Twilight Zone. Everything in the small town has returned to 1979 even though she hasn't changed a bit. Even the old barber shop that was owned by her father is still there. What's even more surprising is her father who has been dead for the last twenty two years is still alive and cutting hair again! Michelle wanders back up to the old home again and tries in vain for a week to get back to her current time frame, but seems hopelessly stuck in her past once again. She realizes she must find work and a place to stay while she figures things out and how to get back.

In the novel, The Journey by John Heldt, the reader is taken back in time much like the movie, Peggy Sue Got Married. Only in that situation, Peggy got to go back and relive her high school years til she found her way back to the present. In this case, Michelle remains the same age of forty-eight when she left. She has the opportunity to influence her friends and even a younger version of herself and wonders just what the consequences would be if she changes a few things from her past. What would that do if she ever found her way back to the present time?

I received The Journey by John Heldt compliments of the author for my honest review. This is such an incredible series of ebooks, The Northwest Passage time-travel series and I was honored when John asked me to review this second book for him. After reading The Mine, his first, I knew immediately I was hooked. I want to remind you that the Journey is NOT a sequel to The Mine but they do in fact deal with similar themes. I've been a huge fan of time travel and series like the Outer Limits and Twilight Zone and LOVED this novel. It made me think of what I would do if I found myself in a similar situation. I know I wouldn't want to change too much because it may adversely affect what would happen if I ever found my way out again. But if it could impact the lives of my friends in a positive way, I definitely would make some changes. For those of you that love a great Science Fiction novel, then this is definitely a MUST READ for you! I personally rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and John amazes me each time to see just where he is going to go in his future books. Well done, John, you definitely surprised and kept me intrigued. I can't wait for the next one, The Show which is the sequel to The Mine! Trust me, you'll definitely want both of these ebooks!

For more information about The Journey, John Heldt or where to pick up a copy of this ebook today, please click on the links below:

You can also stay up to date with all of John's incredible books by joining his Facebook page.

  • File Size: 347 KB
  • Print Length: 242 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: John A. Heldt (November 3, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00A1ID5X0

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Stop in the Park - Giveaway and Review

I love it when I find opportunities to review really great books and when authors personally reach out to me and ask. Such is the case in the latest book I've been glued to since I started it. I literally can't put it down. What's the pull you ask? I guess for me, because this book feels so real. The situations and characters within the pages under a beautiful cover are as real as the people that I know. There is some safety in watching them deal with a difficult situation, literally a marriage hanging by a thread, that will affect not only the husband and wife, but the children and everyone in their lives. You feel like you are eaves dropping on what is a very private matter and something most of us never see, but none the less is happening all around us. Probably more than we would like to admit.

In the novel, A Stop in the Park by Peggy Panagopoulos Strack, we are immediately involved in the lives of Michael Stolis, an up and coming highly stressed and overworked Washington D.C. attorney and his wife, Jamie who is your stay at home mom of two busy young girls, Megan and Emily. While he holds down the financial fort working long days and often with very little time out, he literally snaps by the time he makes it home. What used to be his peaceful sanctuary is now filled with loud children's television, messes throughout the home and a wife who finds solace in the Internet. On top of dealing with working out, driving in traffic, and dealing with meeting deadlines, Michael's been attending marriage counseling with Jamie in hopes of finding a workable solution to keep their marriage intact. He's been diagnosed with anger management issues and can't seem to find a way to get control of things before he literally explodes on his wife and kids.

Even though they are not the source of his problems, he doesn't have a way to unwind at the close of the day and after 15 years of marriage, things have grown distant between Jaime and Michael. They are now more like strangers living in the same home than the loving parents Megan and Emily need. On top of Michael's busy work schedule there are family social obligations, soccer practice and all kinds of weekly scheduled events from golfing on Sunday just to keep his work connections content to meeting with friends and neighbors for dinners and Bar-B-Ques he can't stand for the sake of getting out of the house to please his wife.

When Jamie issues an ultimatum for a trial separation, Michael knows things have gone too far. Either they must change or they will face divorce. It's during a stop at the park on the way to dinner with the family one evening that Michael meets the man who is about to change his life, Rufus, a retired bus driver who spends the afternoons playing blintz chess. Rufus tells Michael his life sucks and instructs him on a crash course for fun, one I think we all need more of. Rufus tells him it all has to do with how you view your time on this planet. You see, he tells him, I pretend. Now, pretending is fun. I pretend that before I came to earth I had a conversation with Saint Peter or God or Jesus or Buddha - don't matter who - and whoever said, 'You're going to earth for one hundred years, at the most. I'm going to put you in the United States, so you'll have a lot of opportunity. I think I'll make you black, as that may give you a bit of a challenge with some in that country. It'll make you stronger. I'll give you a special talent - up to you to find it. Pay attention and you'll figure it out. Now go and have fun. It's a real neat place - some problems, but always solutions too. Again, up to you to find them. Remember you only got one hundred years, at the very most. When you come back, I'll be waiting, and I'll want to hear all about your trip.'

Sounds like a very wise man, Michael found through a fortuitous walk in the park one day but one that is going to literally change him from the inside out. All the things he was because of how he was raised became his excuses for his behavior and how he treated people around him. He felt that was simply how he is, but when he sees that taking small steps outside of his comfort zone provide him with much more lasting peace, he decides like an addict, he must simply have more. But will his family buy into the belief he has really change or will divorce still be the end of Michael's marriage?

I received A Stop in the Park by Peggy Panagopoulos Strack compliments of the author for my honest review. At times it was hard to believe I was simply reading a novel and not someone's memoir, but one I delighted in taking my time to enjoy. It literally made me appreciate my own marriage and husband more and books like this one are a rare treasure indeed. I highly recommend this book to anyone struggling with their own issues in marriage as it provides a different insight being an observer rather than a participant and perhaps you'll find some wisdom in Rufus' words. I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and caution readers its a very realistic look at some problems in marriage including the possibility of tempting fate with an affair and that's why I recommend this book to those that may be struggling for answers. Peggy is also donating ten percent of the profits of this novel to the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation, an organization that keeps music alive in schools by donating musical instruments to under-funded music programs. It's well worth reading and it's now found a permanent place on my library shelf.

For more information about A Stop in the Park, Peggy Panagopoulos Strack, or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can visit her blog, Kick Back Moments by clicking here.

  • Paperback: 372 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1475150997
  • ISBN-13: 978-1475150995
Thanks to Peggy Strack's generosity, she is providing a giveaway copy to one lucky follower of my blog, Reviews From The Heart. Here's your guidelines to enter:

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

2. "Like" Peggy's Facebook page and while you're there, leave her a comment!

3. You must be a resident of the US or have a US Shipping address. Please No P.O. Boxes.

4. Leave a comment below 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.

I will notify the winner of the giveaway by email once it ends on January 16th! 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Doctor to the Rescue

Looking for a great romance book designed specifically for Christians, then look no further than Doctor to the Rescue by Cheryl Wyatt. This novel is part of the Love Inspired series from Harlequin, that's right you read it correctly. This is the second book, I've had the opportunity to read and review as part of the Eagle Point Emergency series and I absolutely love it! Cheryl gets you emotionally involved with the characters that she breathes life into and truly makes you root for a positively romantic outcome.

In Doctor to the Rescue, we meet Bri Landis who is attempting to renovate her family's lodge that is facing foreclosure. Once considered a fine lake side retreat, it has fallen into a state of disrepair. Lacking the funds to hire contractors, she has to undertake the project herself while her brother Caleb is serving in the military. She is just about to make some headway when she falls nine feet from a ladder seriously breaking her arm. Knowing that the Eagle Point Trauma Center is within walking distance she attempts to make her way there but grows faint in the parking lot. It is there she meets Doctor Ian Shupe.

Ian is the trauma centers anesthetist who immediately takes Bri into the hospital where it is determined she requires surgery to repair her arm. Besides being afraid of surgery since her mother died while going through it, she knows with a broken arm, she is about to lose her family business and home. Ian assures her that they can work out a barter system. He can work on the lodge if she can help care for his young daughter Tia, who's mother abandoned her. It's the perfect solution for both of them seeing as the lodge and the trauma center are close by. Since Ian is often called away unexpectedly, Bri assures him that with a background in teaching and day care skills she is more than up to the challenge.

They both have a history of bad relationships in their past and are in no hurry to look for love any time soon. Yet what starts out as simply a business solution for both slowly turns their hardened hearts a little softer as Christmas nears and Bri begins to breakthrough Tia's tough shell she has put up to help her deal with loss and abandonment issues. Bri is making strides that Ian seems to struggle with and soon finds herself falling in love for the young girl. But how can she find a way to keep her distance from Tia without also falling for the young doctor as well who also appears to be changing? Will they find love after all?

I received Doctor to the Rescue by Cheryl Wyatt compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and Harlequin Publishers for my honest review. I truly found this novel to be enchanting because I can honestly see how walls can be built up to keep our hearts from being hurt again but what we fail to understand is that by building that wall to keep ourselves from being hurt, we isolate ourselves from being able to feel anything at all. That is just what Ian and Bri have done and it takes a huge amount of effort and trust on both sides to begin to tear down the wall brick by brick. There are truly so many take away quotes from this book like when Bri finds herself going through struggle after struggle and begins to question her faith, her friend Kate tells her, "It's just a rough patch in your life right now. A bottleneck of stress always squeezes the most right before things push through." I can certainly relate. I easily give this novel a 5 out of 5 stars and can't wait for more for Cheryl in the future.

For more information about Doctor to the Rescue, Cheryl Wyatt or where to pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can also find Cheryl Wyatt on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest books.

To read more reviews from the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance tour, please click here.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Footprints in the Sand - Giveaway and Review

Weddings are usually a time for joy and happiness, not for murder. Yet in the midst of wedding plans for Kathy Leeds and Dan Clemens, people that are part of the wedding plans keep on showing up missing. When one of Kathy's bridemaids, Shelley Hart goes missing for a few days, she begins to wonder just where she has gone since it's out of character for her to leave and not let someone know. Not only that, Nora Golubock claims she saw a man carrying a body into the bushes late at night but never thought to mention it to anyone. Now when the police call Kathy, they inform her that Shelley's car has been found with blood in it but no sign of her. 

Piper Donovan is a struggling actress that has flown down from New Jersey to be Kathy's maid of honor in her wedding. Little did she ever expect to find herself once more in the middle of what could be a murder investigation. It seems that Shelley oversaw all the event held at the Whispering Sands Inn where she was staying. If clients wanted a wedding reception, family reunion, business meeting or some other kind of gathering, they booked it with Shelley. It's also no surprise that one of her employees, Isaac is more than happy not having her around. Her absence made his life so much easier. He was the one to draw up the plans for the events and implement them. His concepts were always big and lush - in direct opposition to the simple, plain Amish way he was brought up. Now that he has walked away from the Amish faith and was being shunned by his family, he could now go back to implementing ideas the way he imagined and not changing them for Shelley.

However in order to compensate his rich lifestyle he began with the theft of a sea turtle mosaic from the hotel. However when he got sick for a week, Shelley came by to drop off his paycheck and found the missing item. When Shelley confronted him, outraged by his dishonesty, he begged for another chance and to not tell the owner, Walter Engel or the police. However, with Shelley missing, Isaac could stay right here at the Whispering Sands Inn and life would be much easier.

In the latest Piper Donovan Mystery, Footprints in the Sand by Mary Jane Clark immediately takes the reader into a suspense thriller to determine just in fact who murdered Shelley Hart. While the clues seem easy enough to decipher, Mary Jane Clark does a masterful job at keeping you guessing as you turn up with dead ends in your own search for answers. This is a must read for all fans of murder mystery genre's. The location is perfect on the sands of the Gulf of Mexico in Florida as Piper begins to follow the leads and hopes to solve the crime before the wedding. When a group of beach combers decides to build a sand castle what they uncover could spell disaster!

I received Footprints in the Sand by Mary Jane Clark compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review. This is a great book to take you away for an afternoon for testing your own crime solving skills. It's face paced and engaging enough to keep you turning pages until you finish the novel. This is first for me reading a Mary Jane Clark novel but I can tell you it will not be my last. I love her writing style because I can get through it in a few hours and feel completely immersed in the story and characters she creates. In my opinion I would rate this one a 4 out of 5 stars. This is the third book in the Piper Donovan Wedding Cake Mystery series!

For more information about Footprints in the Sand, Mary Jane Clark, or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can also find Mary Jane Clark on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest books.

Thanks to the generosity of the publishers at William Morrow, they are offering a giveaway copy of this book to one lucky reader of my blog, Reviews From The Heart. Here's all you need to do.

1. "Like" my fan page, Reviews From The Heart on Facebook.

2. Be a resident of the US or have a U.S. shipping address. No P.O. Boxes, please.

3. Leave a comment below 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) if you like.

I will notify the winner of this giveaway on January 14th by email. Please share this opportunity with your friends as well! You'll get extra opportunities for the drawing.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

For Love of Sarah

"You did not leave a note?" he asked incredulously. "Tell me you didn't leave a note!"

"Just a very brief one," she admitted in a small voice.

"I don't believe it!" he cried, pushing her away from him.

"Just what is this need that females have to leave notes? Can they not make a clean break?"

"I thought it better that he should know that I am gone and it will do him no good to search for me as I will not - cannot, return!"

"Exactly what did you say?"

"Merely that our marriage was a mistake and I could not remain with him. He must not search for me, as I will not return."

"It will raise a hell of a furor, you know."

"It's better that than the alternative. In time he will be able to divorce me and marry someone more suitable. He's well rid of me, and I of him."

"Don't worry, my dear," he said, drawing her once more to his side, "I will care for you."

In the novel, For Love of Sarah by author Hazel Statham, the reader is immediately taken by to the 1800's in London where the Countess of Thorne, Sarah has left her husband, Alexander Markham, Earl of Thorne after only being married for just four short weeks for the love of another. Now five years have passed and while visiting a blacksmith in Yorkshire, Alexander can hardly believe his eyes when he spots a woman who bears an uncanny resemblance to his wife, Sarah. Can it be after all these years he has found her after all?

When he spotted her coming from a butcher's shop he paid no heed to what was happening around him and soon found himself felled by the glancing blow from a runaway dray containing casks of ale. As Sarah approached the bystanders, she found something unfamiliar as she looked at the man that now lay unconscious at her feet and her heart thudded painfully at the sight of the prone figure. As panic gripped her, her first instinct was to flee, but she saw the seriousness of the situation and fell to her knees at his side, silently praying that he would survive the accident. She dared not think of the consequences of his finding out her hiding place or her fiercely guarded secrets, her only thoughts were that he should live.

It had taken her many months to feel secure in her hiding place, but eventually , she had begun to be certain that she was no longer in danger of discovery. Now that certainty mocked her and she realized just how fragile had been her peace of mind. How was she to keep her secrets from him now that they would be forced into each other's company? She knew she could never return to him. The consequences would be too dire.

I received For Love of Sarah by Hazel Statham compliments of the author for my honest review. It's always a true honor for me to be contacted by the author personally to review their novels and this is definitely a winner in my opinion. For those traditional regencies fans who love Jane Austin or series such as Downtown Abbey, this will be a true must read for you! This shows just how far some people will go to keep secrets and how eventually they will all be disclosed at some point no matter how far you try to run. This is a compelling read from the first page and guaranteed to engage the reader in suspense to see how it all plays out in the end. I personally rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars.

For more information about For Love of Sarah, Hazel Statham or where to pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Montlake Romance (January 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612186831
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612186832
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Wings of Morning

If you live in the Amish world you must learn to give up certain conveniences of the world, electricity, cars and modern technology. However in the small Amish town of Paradise, the subject of flight is still up for debate. So while it is not yet banned, Jude Whetstone continues to pilot his Curtis JN-4, the Jenny as he affectionately refers to it to the amazement of the residents below. But his heart belongs to more than the sky, it belongs to Lyyndaya Kurtz.

"If God had meant for us to fly, Master Whetstone, wouldn't he have given us wings?" asked the ever curious Bishop Zook.

"Bishop Zook,"  he responded, "if God had meant us to ride a buggy he would have given us wheels and four legs."

"Ah ha!" shouted the bishop, slapping his huge hand against his leg and making most of the people jump, including Lyyndaya. "You have it, Master Whetstone, you have it." He clapped his hands lightly in appreciation and a smattering of relieved laughter came from the small crowd. "So now take me up."

It's the year 1917 and while the war in Europe is brewing, the Amish are exempt from the draft because of their religious beliefs and their unwillingness to take the life of any man. However when a British pilot sees the remarkable ability that Jude exhibits being self taught, he feels he could be just the edge his squadron could use to prevent so many deaths on the front lines.

Soon the army shows up and proceeds to take the young men from the Amish community believing that they pose a threat to the war, speaking German and refusing to fight in the war. After countless months in prison and on the verge of watching some of his friends facing death, Jude learns there is a way to save them. If he is willing to enlist, his friends will be released and sent back home. It may be the greatest sacrifice of his life, for if Jude does this, he will lose the life he knew back in Paradise. He will be shunned and the love of his life, Lyyndaya will never be allowed to write or wait for him. It is the greatest punishment of the Amish community, but for the sake of his friends it may be worth the cost!

In the novel, The Wings of Morning by Murray Pura, the men in the Amish community must face extreme persecution for a crime they didn't commit. However in the eyes of the government, they treat them like spies and they undergo the worst treatment imaginable for people who don't understand their way of life. Once again Murray Pura blends the perfect genres of historical fiction along with Amish romance to create another unforgettable story. I would have never considered what the implications would have been for the Amish young men when faced with this difficult decision and applaud Murray Pura's portrayal of this storyline in his Snapshots of History series. This is the second book in the series and one I had been waiting to review after reading, The Face of Heaven, dealing with the Civil War. I was not disappointed and literally took my time reading this one. The richness of the details he manages to capture are unforgettable as well as the tenderness of love and romance appeal to the hopeful romantic in all of us.

I received The Wings of Morning by Murray Pura compliments of the author himself as a gift during a Christmas giveaway!!! While I was not required to review this book, I just knew I had to share it with fans of Historical Fiction and Amish Romance. I absolutely love this one because I am a huge fan of World War 1 and 2 fictional books and this took my favorite genre's to an entirely new level of delight!!! I would rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and can't wait for his next book in this wonderful series! Trust me, this author will be on your must read list!!!

For more information about The Wings of Morning, Murray Pura and where to pick up this book today, please click on the links below:

You can also find Murray Pura on Facebook to stay up to date with all his latest books!

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (February 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0736948775
  • ISBN-13: 978-0736948777
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches