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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Noble Groom

At the snapping of a twig Annalisa turned with a start, and the story of "Lily and the Lion" died on her lips.

Her gaze combed the woods. The bare branches allowed her to see a fair distance in all directions. In late March the trees were gray and dull, brittle from the long winter and still devoid of leaves except for a few withered clusters that had forgotten to let go in the fall. The only sign of life within the towering maples was the sap that had begun to flow.

"More, Mama." Gretchen looked up at her, eyes wide with expectation. Even with a knit scarf covering her head and ears and a double layer of clothes, Gretchen's teeth chattered and her thin body shook. The spring sunshine didn't lend any warmth to the lingering winter temperatures.

But the story had accomplished its purpose and kept Gretchen from thinking about how cold she was and the fact that her threadbare coat wouldn't keep even the smallest mouse warm. Just the thought of carrying the heavy bucketful of sap back to the cabin made her tired.

"So, the next morning, Lily asked the way she was to go." Annalisa hung the empty pail back onto the spout and then reached for the handle of the bigger collecting bucket. "Finally she took leave of her papa and went forth with a bold heart into the woods to face the lion."

With a huff Annalisa lifted the bucket, grasping it with two hands, trying to get a firm grip. It was heavier than her load earlier in the day.

"Gretchen," said said, already short of breath. "You'll need to help Mama carry the bucket."

Gretchen didn't say anything or make an effort to move.

"Be a good girl." Annalisa hefted the bucket.

A strange voice came from behind her, speaking in Deutsch. "I don't think the father should have let Lily go off alone to face the lion, do you?"

Annalisa gasped, dropped the bucket with a thud, and spun around to face the intruder.

A man casually leaned against the nearby silver maple, a bag tossed over his shoulder.

Who was he, and how long had he been listening to her story? Annalist reached for Gretchen and tugged the little girl against her skirt.

"If Lily had been my daughter, I wouldn't have allowed her to go." The stranger lifted a fashionable derby from his head revealing dark hair that was the same rich brown as freshly plowed soil.

"No," he continued, "if I'd been Lily's father, I would have sacrificed my life and gone in her stead."

The words stopped Annalisa. A vater sacrificing his life for a mere daughter? What kind of man would do such a thing? Certainly not her vater. Sure, Vater loved her. But she was only a girl and could never be like a son to him, no matter how good she was.

As if sensing her discomfort, the stranger pushed away from the tree and straightened. "The Brothers Grimm are fine storytellers, but occasionally I find myself wishing for a slightly different version of a story or two."

In the latest novel by Jody Hedlund, A Noble Groom enchants the reader from the first page. First by procuring the reader as an ally to the plight to Annalisa Werner who has found herself a recent widow and needs help on the farm to pay off the debt before the fall otherwise she will lose it to the bank or to the conniving plots of E.B. Ward to obtain the land to build a sawmill business. Next she builds the tension so you are hoping for a solution instead of the way of her people to find a suitable husband for her despite her wishes to marry a man she loves, regardless of how he treats her like property instead of someone to love and cherish.

Next we encounter the problematic situation happening a world away as Carl von Riechart is able to escape his execution thanks in part to his father's plan to send him away to America. Even though Carl is sure that he is innocent of the crimes against him, he is forced to take a steamer to America and go into hiding of one of his manservant's brothers and help his niece out on the farm until her husband can arrange for passage to marry her. He is told not to divulge his identity or risk being discovered and sent back to face his death once again at the gallows.

I received The Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund compliments of Bethany House Publishers and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review and received no monetary compensation for a favorable one. I was in awe of the elements of this story from the time, Carl spoke his first words to Annalisa in the except above. It is a twist on a historical fairytale for me and one that is guaranteed to make any women's heart swoon at Carl's tender and noble kindness that waters the parched soul of Annalisa's broken heart. She believes that it's possible to find love, but it is only in the stories she reads to her daughter Gretchen. It isn't until she is won over by Carl's kindness that she is willing to believe that love can exist for real and hopes that her groom may never arrive to claim her after all. Her heart is captivated by Carl's charm and exceptional good looks. I've had an opportunity now to read, every single one of Jody Hedlund's book and this is another winner in my opinion. If you have ever wanted a fairytale you can believe in, this is IT! Hands down a 5 out of 5 star winner and has found a coveted place on my permanent library shelf.

For more information about The Noble Groom, Jody Hedlund or where to you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can also follow Jody Hedlund on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews from the Litfuse Publicity Book Tour, please click here.

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (April 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764210475
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764210471
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  Jody Hedlund is celebrating the release of A Noble Groom by giving away a Kindle Fire and hosting a Facebook Author Chat Party {5/8}! 

One "noble" winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • A copy of A Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 7th. Winner will be announced at the "A Noble Groom" Author Chat Party on May 8th. Connect with Jody, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at the trivia contest, and chat with readers just like you. There will also be many fun giveaways -- gift certificates, books, and more!

So grab your copy of A Noble Groom and join Jody on the evening of May 8th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 8th!

It Happened at the Fair

"When the fire bell rang, the whole town poured into the streets, me included. I'd been running toward the billowing smoke for a good minute before I realized it was the mill. But even then I wasn't worried. I knew my mother would have gotten out."

White powder fell from their clothing, leaving a trail behind them. Smoke obliterated all sunlight, though they could still see.

"The owner of the mill kept the windows tightly closed so the humidity wouldn't weaken the cotton fibers. The air inside was so thick with cotton dust and lint, you couldn't hardly see or breathe. That's why I wasn't with her. Cotton dust makes me break out in hives."

She still couldn't fathom a cotton farmer whose body rejected the very crop that provided for him.

"Sad thing is," he said, "the mill had a sprinkler system."

Her lips parted. Please, God, she thought. Not one of his. Then she remembered he'd been much older when he'd tested out his first one of the cowshed.

"It was a manual system," he said, "and the operatives weren't able to activate it. I don't know why, but they weren't. Some of the folks on the ground floor made it out, but cotton is highly flammable and the windows were sealed. The people on the second floor didn't stand a chance."

She swallowed. "And your mother was on the second floor?"

"She was." His voice didn't rise or fall or crack, but flattened into a monotone. "The hook and ladder carts arrived, of course, but even with their steam engines throwing water onto the building, there was no saving it."

She bit her lip. She didn't know whether to reach for him or leave him be. Crossing her arms, she held tight to her elbows.

"I was held back from fighting the fire. But even as they restrained me, I promised her I'd do something. Something to conquer fire. And that's when the idea for automatic sprinklers came to me. It was as if my mother paused on her way to heaven and offered a parting suggestion. A dying wish, if you will." For the first time, his voice wavered. He looked down. "What she failed to mention was what to do if I invented such a thing but no one wanted it."

Uncrossing her arms, she grabbed his hand. "Oh Cullen. Even if no one places an order, you've done your part. You've offered the fruit of your hands. No one would ask you for more. Not your mother, not God, not anyone."

He gave her a self-deprecating smile. "I would. I would ask for more." (pg 188-189).

In the beautiful researched novel, It Happened At The Fair by Deeann Gist, an inspiring inventor and farmer, Cullen McNamara finds himself at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair at the insistence and belief of his father. His father believes that Cullen needs just the right push to take his invention and hope to make enough money at it that he won't have to go back to farming. In fact, his father provides him with the money to go and fills out all the necessary paperwork for him. Leaving behind the women he believes he loves, he heads off to Chicago in hopes of selling his invention he believes can truly save lives. He will have to spend six months trying his best to convince people his invention works over the manual sprinkler systems the world is used to.
However he's hiding the one thing that may make it hard for him to sell anything at all, his ability to hear. In Machinery Hall, he finds the noise so overwhelming, he can barely make out what people are asking him. Worse yet is the fact he is going deaf in his right ear. If he can't understand what people are asking him, he appears to be uneducated in his invention. That's when a suggestion is made for Cullen to learn lip reading in an effort to save his business and save his self respect. Only he doesn't expect his teacher to be quite so intriguing and beautiful.

I received It Happened At The Fair by Deeann Gist compliments of Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster Publishers for my honest review. Being a huge history fan, I love how Deeann took the time to research the exhibits and the issues that happened at the Chicago World's Fair as her back drop for her novel. The pictures that accompany the story make it that much more believable and add to the ambiance of the characters of Cullen McNamara and Della Wentworth, the deaf teacher whom Cullen hires. This is a must read for anyone who truly appreciates the history and industrial age of America at a time when so many exciting things were being invented. I even loved the first movable sidewalk which showed a trend in making things easier for business and keeping it fun to watch and learn from. I easily rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and love the way the Deeann removes parts of words to show how difficult it was for Cullen to understand what people were saying in order to appreciate his challenge in communication with people and how he had to simply fill in the blanks based on the context of the conversation they were having to make sense of things. This one for me, is a true keeper.

For more information about It Happened At The Fair, Deeann Gist or where you can pick up a copy of this delightful novel today, please click on the links below:

You can follow Deeann Gist on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

You can also visit her website by clicking here. 

To read more reviews fro

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Howard Books; Original edition (April 30, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451692374
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451692372
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 1.1 inches 
Available in paperback and eBook reader formats.

Monday, April 29, 2013


If you love books that contain an element of suspense with the right blend of intrigue and romance, than look no further than the second book in the Bloodline Trilogy by Jordyn Redwood. Poison. Keelyn Blake is back as she attempts to come to terms with the murder of her mother and half of her siblings by the hands of her father who believed he was taking orders from someone he called Lucent.

Only now Lucent isn't a figment of the imagination! He is real and comes to visit Keelyn as she is waiting for her financè, Lee Watson, a member of the SWAT team. He tells her things that only someone who knows her deeply would know and gives her a prophetic message, he is leaving her 2-year-old niece she's never met to her care as a goodwill gesture. The only catch, she can't come looking for her sister and the mother of the child or she will die along with the child.

Not sure just how Lucent knows this, she leaves the diner with Lee only to find a murder victim behind the wheel of the car and her 2-year-old niece in the back seat. Keelyn is an expert at reading people's body language and uses that talent to help her find the missing pieces of the puzzle to find her sister before it's too late. The only problem is the body language her fiancè is putting off shows he's hiding something from her, and soon the body count begins to climb as those that were a part of that fateful day when her family was murdered all begin to die from an unexplained cause. Will Keelyn be next or will she be able to locate her sister in time before the next person dies?

I received Poison by Jordyn Redwood compliments of Kregel Publications for my honest review and received no monetary compensation for a favorable one. Having read the first book quite some time ago, I found it's not necessary to have read Proof before picking this one up because Jordyn captures so much of what had happened as a recap in the lives of Keelyn and Lee Watson. Proof is the first novel but deals with the life of Lilly whom we also meet in Poison. If you want to know her story, you'll have to pick that one up. It is chilling to think that someone would go to the lengths that they do in this book as a method of revenge. This is not the series for everyone as it does contain references to the violence that has brought Keelyn where she is at today in her life. I did find the research into the body language very interesting and loved seeing Keelyn use that in her day to day dealings both in her personal life and in helping others in her volunteer work. I rate this one a 4 out of 5 and definitely loved the fast paced this novel moved at in comparison to her first book.

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

You can follow Jordyn Redwood on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

You can also visit Jordyn Redwood on her website by clicking here. 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Hey God, I've Got Some Guy Named Jonah in My Stomach and I Think I'm Going to Throw Up - Giveaway and Review

I'm sure you all remember the story of the famous whale right? No, not the one about the angry white whale, and no, not the one who swallows a puppet and a cricket. The other story, actually, the first story about a whale: The Story of Jonah! Imagine what it would be like if the whale was the one telling his side of the story!
That's just what you get in a beautifully illustrated children's book, Hey God, I've Got Some Guy Named Johan in My Stomach and I Think I'm Going to Throw Up! by author Troy Schmidt and illustrator Cory Jones.

The tale has been told millions of times, but people always talk about Jonah and what he went through, but what about the whale? He had some guy stuck in his stomach and I'm sure he didn't taste too good either and this book is his side of that famous story. This one is guaranteed to help your kids laugh and see that there are two sides to every story and one that will help them remember that important Bible story as well.

There are lots of laughs inside that kids will really relate to. I mean if you're a whale do humans even taste good? What do they taste like? How do you get them out of your stomach? Just who does a whale go to see when he's got a human stuck inside him? Is there a whale doctor under the sea?

This story shows just how important it is to follow God's commands and includes a Parent Connection on the final page to encourage a conversation with your children after you finish to dive into the book of Jonah in the Bible. There are some great questions to ask your children along with a fun activity to pretend what living inside a whale might be like.

I received Hey God, I've Got Some Guy Named Johan in My Stomach and I Think I'm Going to Throw Up! by author Troy Schmidt compliments of B and H Publishing Group for Kids and Flyby Promotions for my honest review. I didn't receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review. This is such a great way to teach your children a lesson in obedience using the story of Johan from the Bible is a fun, creative way! Hands down this is a MUST HAVE in your children's library and well worth 5 out of 5 stars! I love it when you can find a product that drives home the biblical principles we want our kids to understand and would make a great book to incorporate into the children's ministry at your church as well. There are also more great titles to chose from such as the story of Noah and the story of Moses told through the eyes of the animals as well you can find through B & H Publishing Group! This book is perfect for kids age 4 and up!

Thanks to the generous folks at B and H Publishing Group and FlyBy Promotions they are providing 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. Be a resident of the US or have a US Shipping Address. Please No P.O. Boxes.

3. Leave a comment below telling me why you'd love to win a copy of this book along with your email address. If you don't leave an email address, I can't contact you if you're the lucky winner. You can even use the words (at) and (dot) instead of the symbols to prevent all those unwanted spam emails.

I will notify the winner by email once the giveaway ends on May 9th! Be sure to let your friends know and feel free to post about this giveaway on Facebook and other Social Media sites. The more the merrier!

For more information about Hey God, I've Got Some Guy Named Johan in My Stomach and I Think I'm Going to Throw Up!,Troy Schmidt, or where you can get a copy of this amazing book, please click on the links below:

 You can follow Troy Schimdt on Facebook to stay up to date with all his latest books by clicking here. 

Troy Schmidt has writing and video production credits ranging from assignments with Disney (The Mickey Mouse Club) and Nickelodeon to Max Lucado's Hermie franchise. He is currently the lead writer for The American Bible Challenge hosted by Jeff Foxworthy on the Game Show Network. Troy and his wife have three sons.

"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."


Friday, April 26, 2013

The Winnowing Season

"Rhoda Byler shoved her to-do list into the hidden pocket of her apron and slipped out of the summer kitchen. A brief glance assured her non one was around to see her. She needed a few minutes, however fleeting, without anyone tugging at her. Her shoulders and arms ached as she walked into the orchard.

She breathed in, and the heady scents fo fall and ripe apples helped soothe her frayed nerves. After nearly two months of nurturing the tornado-ravaged orchard, she found the view both uplifting and disheartening. Despite their long, hard days of cleaning up felled trees and mending broken ones, the once vibrant orchard looked like a battlefield strewn with injured, defeated soldiers. Would all of her and Samuel's tending restore the wounded trees? Or simply prolong their dying?

How strange that she found comfort in walking among these wounded trees. Much of the orchard lay dormant, waiting for late winter, when new trees would be planted.

But she wouldn't be here for that.

A ladder rested against a tree where she and Samuel has grafted tree limbs from storm-damaged trees into healthy ones, hoping their grafts would take. It wasn't the right time of year for such work, but they were giving this orchard their all before leaving it behind tomorrow.

A wavering, misty image stepped out from behind an apple tree.


The vision appeared real enough, but it wasn't actually her little sister. Emma had been with God since the day she was murdered, since the day Rhoda all but sent her teary-eyed sister to that convenience store by herself at exactly the wrong time. Emma often formed in a visible way, as if Rhoda's guilt over her death was burned so deeply into Rhoda's soul that she would see her sister the rest of her days.

And maybe she would, but Rhoda dared to hope the move to Maine would end the haunting memories.

Not long after she met Samuel King of Kings' Orchard last summer, he asked if she would partner her canning business with his family's apple farming business. When she finally agreed, she did so hoping for several things to come from the agreement. One desire was for the aberrations to remain at home in Morgansville, some thirty miles away - and where all memories of Emma had been made.

But whether Rhoda was here at Kings' Orchard or at home with her family, she had yet to be freed of Emma's constant reminders that Rhoda had failed her.

Would Maine be an escape?" (pg 1-2).

In the second novel in the Amish Vines and Orchards Series by author Cindy Woodsmall, The Winnowing Season picks up right where A Season for Tending left off. In this continuation of the struggles that Rhoda Byler faces by the Amish community for having a gift from God that allows her to see into the future using her intuition, she is ready to take on a new challenge. A challenge she hopes will bring her far away from the judgmental eyes from her Amish community and church for being branded as using witchcraft to know things that no one could know about the lives of the people living in Morgansville.

She hopes to find a way to go about living a single life as a successful business woman and in helping build an alliance between herself and the King family. But when Samuel goes to far in bringing an issue to the attention of the church leaders, Rhoda feels that Samuel has overstepped his bounds into her personal life. However will that be the proverbial straw that inevitably severes the relationship between their business dealings?

I received The Winnowing Season by Cindy Woodsmall compliments of Waterbrook Multnomah for my honest review and received no compensation for a favorable review. What immediately drew my interest in this series was the unique gift that Rhoda possesses of being able to use God's gift of prophecy to help the people in her community. Instead of them seeing it as just that, they don't believe that she has been endowed with it from God but instead is up to no good and has resorted to witchcraft to allow herself to be so successful.

This was a unique change from your typical Amish books and I was interested to see how Rhoda would continue to use her knowledge of gardening to potentially help another failing apple orchard. Being a huge gardener myself I was interested to see how this could be incorporated into the novel since most Amish women are seen but not necessarily heard when it comes to running their own business and home as a single woman. The best part about this novel is Cindy's attention to detail. Since I hadn't read the first book in the series, one I will rectify shortly when I pick that one up, is that she takes a moment before launching into this book to bring her readers up to speed where the first book left off. I especially love this because often times there is so much time that lapses between books in a series, you have a tendency to forget what the first book was about. There is also a character reference included in the back so you can refer to it as needed to remind yourself about each of the characters you meet in this one. Hands down a 5 out of 5 stars and I can't wait to read the next one in this series.

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

You can also follow Cindy Woodsmall on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

You can also visit her on her website by clicking here. 

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press (April 2, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307730042
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307730046
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches 
This novel is available at your favorite retailer in paperback, hardcover and eBook formats. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The American Bible Challenge - A Daily Reader - Giveaway and Review

I've been a huge fan of The American Bible Challenge since it's premiere because not only is it fun, but they raise awareness of some great charities that are vying for the chance to win money to help out their causes. Yet for me, it's even more personal. It drives me back to my Bible. A chance to study in a completely new and fun way like never before and the best part of it is, that I can get my entire family involved in the process. For me, anything that makes learning fun, garners my interest and that's why I can't wait to share The American Bible Challenge - A Daily Reader by Troy Schmidt with you!

There are 9 weeks of Daily Bible Challenges backed into this wonderful hardcover book, and yes, the answers are included in the back. I found myself challenged in so many areas, knowing some things about what I remembered about things like the building of God's temple, but I missed out on the details. Something God finds important and also included in the Daily Bible Challenge. It draws you more into the Bible to understand, just why is all this stuff important anyway, and I was amazed at just how important the small details in my own life are relevant to God. He's all about the details!! Look closely at anything He has created and you can see this just all about a instant big bang. God really planned the way our lives are, and everything He has created and breathed life into.

The best part about this book is that is can be done in little over 15 minutes and still last forever. The Daily Reader makes this study more relevant in terms we can all understand, from social media, to catching the latest catch phrase to make interpeting the Bible scriptures easier for kids to understand.

For example defining why prophets were necessary back in the old days (Old Testament) asking a rabbi in Jerusalem traveling to Iran, walking into downtown Tehran, and saying, "Hey, get your act together, or God is going to destroy you." Probably not the best plan. This is what God was calling Johah to do in preaching his message of repentance to the people of Nineveh, the capital city of the Assyrian Empire, who were, at the time, oppressing the Israelites. So Jonah did what any sensible Israelite would do: he ran and caught a ship going to Tarshish, which was in exactly the opposite direction of Nineveh.

If you are truly looking for a way to make your devotions or Bible Study more fun, I would highly encourage you to pick up a copy of The American Bible Challenge - A Daily Reader by Troy Schmidt! It will take things to a whole new level and one that would make a youth study or Vacation Bible Camp more fun for everyone!

I received The American Bible Challenge - A Daily Reader by Troy Schmidt compliments of FlyBy Promotions and Thomas Nelson Publishers for my honest review and did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable one. If you're like me and are looking for fun ways to get together with your family and incorporating God's Word into it, then trust me, PICK THIS ONE UP! I rate this one a 5 out of 5 fun stars!!!

Now it's about to get even more fun!!! I'm going to give away a copy of The American Bible Challenge - A Daily Reader 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. Be a resident of the US or have a US Shipping Address. Please No P.O. Boxes.

3. "Like" The American Bible Challenge on Facebook.

4. Leave a comment below telling me why you'd love to win a copy of this amazing book and how you plan to use it if you're the lucky winner. Don't forget to include your email address, otherwise, I won't have a way to reach you if you're the winner. You can even use the words (at) and (dot) instead of the symbols.

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

For more information about The American Bible Challenge: A Daily Reader, Troy Schmidt, or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

The American Bible Challenge: A Daily Reader by Troy Schmidt

Here's a look at just what The American Bible Challenge is all about.

You can also find out more information on the Game Show Network by clicking here.

"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."

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

When the Morning Glory Blooms

It's great when you open a novel and find not only one compelling story inside but three all woven together in different ways. In the novel, When the Morning Glory Blooms, author Cynthia Ruchti introduces the reader to three women in different time periods. We meet Becky Trundle in 2013 who is dealing with the unexpected pregnancy and birth of her grandson, Jackson. Her daughter Lauren is still in high school and finds a suitable arrangement with living at home, finishing school and having her mom, Becky babysit and care for Jackson. Becky struggles with wondering how much she is enabling Lauren instead of having her come to terms with being a new mom and how to be a good role model as a Christian. Becky soon has her own struggle when she turns on her friend Monica who can't seem to understand why Becky is catering to Lauren.

Next we are introduced to Ivy Carrington in 1951 who is struggling with the recent departure of her boyfriend, Drew Lambert who has left to join the war in Korea. What she has failed to tell him is that she is now pregnant and fears what might happen to him if she writes him to tell him the good news. So instead she keeps the information to herself and continues to find solace in the company of Anna Grissom, an elderly lady in the nursing home when Ivy is employed. Anna has asked Ivy to capture her life story in a journal before she dies and along the way dispenses much needed wisdom to Ivy in ways she could have never imagined.

The last woman we meet is Anna Grissom who takes us back to 1890 when she was trying to establish a ministry of sorts to care for the young women who needed a place to stay that were pregnant. Back in those days, most families would cast aside the young girls and soon they had no place to go and now home to care for their children. Anna soon learns that no prayer is too little to ask for God's divine intervention when she inherits a dilapidated home belonging to her Aunt and attempts to turn it into something God can use to help these young women find hope again.

Throughout the novel, the story toggles back and forth in each of their wonderful women's lives and we can see not only their struggles but their perseverance to push through when the going gets tough. I especially found myself found of Anna. She was brought up in a time when there wasn't much available to help women who found themselves at the end of the bad choices they have made. Anna showed them what God looked like with skin on, and it touched the lives of so many women who never forgot what she did for them. Truly a wonderful legacy to leave behind.

I received When the Morning Glory Blooms compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and Abingdon Press for my honest review. This is a beautiful novel that inspires hope and shows us what the grace of God really looks like. It's beautifully written and you truly can experience each of these women through the eyes of author Cynthia Ruchti in such powerful ways. I truly believe that everyone will take away something special through their journey in this novel. It has found a permanent place in my own personal library. The wonderful ending is so unexpected you will need a box of tissues to get through this one. For anyone who has ever wondered why life hands us situations we didn't necessarily want to deal with, this one will show you how to inspire hope in those who need it the most. I rate this one a perfect 5 out of 5 stars!!!

For more information about When the Morning Glory Blooms, Cynthia Ruchti, or where to pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can follow Cynthia Ruchti on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on When the Morning Glory Blooms from the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance Book Tour, please click here.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Stress Test

What would you do if while walking to your car after a long night at work, you suddenly found yourself being beaten and thrown in the trunk of your own car? What if you managed to escape only to find yourself waking up in a hospital accused of a murder, you are quite certain you didn't commit? What if all the evidence seemed to point to you and everything you claim had happened, can't be proven?

Welcome to the life of Dr. Matt Newman! He was about to begin a new job as assistant professor of surgery at Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and give up his private practice. He was in a thriving relationship with Jennifer who worked for the District Attorney and was making plans to marry her and begin a family. Just when it all seemed like everything was going his way, he found himself being kidnapped and the last words he recalled hearing before being thrown in the trunk of his own car was "Get rid of him."

Matt did what he had to before they were able to follow through with his plans and managed to escape into a dark alley. When his captors finally gave up trying to find him, he managed to fall off a pile of pallets and wound up in the hospital with a head injury that required surgery. It's when he woke up that life changed in an instant. Suddenly the police were there asking him about a body they found in the trunk of his car along with his wallet. Despite Matt's pleas for innocence, the police believed they had an iron clad open and shut case against Matt for the murder of one of his colleagues. They informed him that he might want to obtain a lawyer.

Sandra Murray considered herself one of the best criminal defense lawyers now they she branched out and formed her own practice. When she received Matt's call from the hospital, something told her that despite all the evidence piling up against him, he might just be innocent. Knowing that everyone deserves a chance at being represented, she agrees to take the case and before long, it seems as if Sandra is finding a hard time, believing that Matt didn't commit murder based on the evidence that keeps working against him. No matter what he claims, there is no proof that anything Matt claims really happened to him.

In the novel Stress Test by Dr. Richard L. Marby, M.D., the author once more takes the readers through the world of medicine to an intense thriller when Matt is wanted for murder. All of those around him, suddenly wonder if he is really innocent. His girlfriend fears that being associated with a possible murder suspect will put her own career at the District Attorney's office at risk, his future job is placed on hold until Matt's case is resolved which means he is literally out of a job with no viable way to pay for a defense attorney. What is even worse is that the people who are out to kill him are still out there and soon Matt learns that he is the next victim. They won't be allowed to let him escape again.

I received Stress Test by Dr. Richard L. Marby, M.D. compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review and received no monetary compensation for a favorable one. This is the second book, I've had the opportunity to review one of his fictional novels and LOVE every single minute. It is heart-stopping and adrenaline rushing excitement from the very first page. While you have a guess at what could be going on, you won't believe the unbelievable ending. For those that LOVE a bit of medical drama along with a touch of romance and suspense, you'll definitely want to pick this one up. It's definitely a 5 out of 5 star winner and I literally stayed up too late to finish it. I just had to know how it ended. I couldn't wait for morning.

For more information about Stress Test, Dr. Richard L. Marby M.D., or where to pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can follow Dr. Richard L. Marby on his blog to stay up to date with all his latest novels.

To read more reviews on Stress Test from the Litfuse Publicity Book Tour, please click here.

Richard Mabry is celebrating the release of Stress Test with a Nook HD Giveaway! Enter today.

One winner will receive:
  • A brand new Nook HD
  • A $15 gift certificate to
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 27th. Winner will be announced on 4/29/13 at Richard's blog.

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

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (April 9, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401687083
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401687083
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.4 inches

Monday, April 22, 2013

Broken Wings


"I look more carefully at the angels before us. They're larger than any I've seen before, and brighter. I count them on approach - a dozen - and then I watch them, trying to understand their movements. Light curls around them, tendrils of incense rising into the sky.

"What are they doing?" Jake asks.

"They're worshiping," I say awestruck.

Is there a rhyme or reason to where they've positioned themselves? Some of them kneel, some of them stand staggered across the rock, but the one thing they all seem to have in common is their wings. They're metallic. Not just in color, but in their very construction, it seems. I have an inexplicable need to reach out and touch them, to run my fingers over a single feather.

"They're huge," Jake says. "How tall are they, Canaan?"

"Eight, nine feet." There's no mistaking the amusement in his voice.

We're close now, so close that I can see that touching a Sabre's wing may be the fastest way to lose an arm. I set to examining the nearest one. He's gigantic, like Jake said. And his eyes are pure white, trademark white. Like Canaan's. Like Helene's. He has the celestial gaze of one who'd lay down his life for another. His skin, too, is white, so white it looks almost silver. His muscled arms and chest make Canaan look trim. But as much as I can find things to admire about his physique, it's his wings that so separate him from any other angel I've seen.

Their beauty is staggering, their design inexplicable. Where I expect to see rows and rows of snowy white feathers, one blade lies on top of another - thousands of them - sharp and glistening silver. I can't help but compare each and every one of them to the dagger that pierced my chest this past December. To the instrument of death that bled me dry on a rooftop.

Yet these blades are pristine, polished, organic even. The Sabre adjusts them and they ripple, a trilling tune making its way to my ears. His kinsmen do the same, and the skies fill with music. Loud, warlike, with a tremor of delicate strings woven through it. It's unlike anything I've ever heard. My throat tightens with emotion, and I gasp again and again."

In the second book in the Angel Eyes Trilogy, author Shannon Dittemore pulls back the celestial veil once more to reveal the spiritual realm in her novel Broken Wings. Brielle has been given a unique gift and it's just that gift that has her the target of the darkness in spiritual realm. Now the Palatine, a demonic army is on the move and is now looking to find Brielle and Jake, two humans who have been gifted with divine powers. They now have to do whatever they can to stay one step ahead of the enemy and one they can't risk telling anyone about. After all, how many people do you know that have the ability to see angels and demons when they remain invisible to everyone else?

The author picks up just where we left off in the debut novel Angel Eyes, and Brielle is just coming to terms with the fact she is now the wanted by the demonic army. She has been given a unique gift of being one of God's redeemed and thus her supernatural gift that before she was only able to use when holding an angelic halo. Now her vision is being honed in a remarkable way and she soon learns that prayers and scripture memorization have more power than she ever imagined. Will she be able to save those she loves while she learns something about her past that my break more than her spirit?

I received Broken Wings by Shannon Dittemore compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers and Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Tours for my honest review. I have not received any monetary compensation for a favorable review. I simply live for books like these since reading my first "Darkness" book from Frank Peretti! Shannon takes that a step further endowing her characters with a sense of frailty even though that have spiritual gifts that most of us would die to have. They fail to realize that the real power doesn't come from their gifts but from the God who created them and until they apply those same spiritual principles that are available to all of us, they remain weak despite their talents. I rate this one another 5 out of 5 stars and can't wait to pick up Dark Halo that comes on in late 2013. I would highly recommend that you read, Angel Eyes before picking this one up or you will be completely lost at the concepts discussed that make this book so incredible to inhale. 

For more information about Broken Wings, Shannon Dittemore, or where to pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can also follow Shannon Dittemore on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews from the Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Tour on Broken Wings, please click on the links below:

Gillian Adams
Julie Bihn
Jennifer Bogart
Beckie Burnham
Pauline Creeden
Janey DeMeo
Theresa Dunlap
Emma or Audrey Engel
Victor Gentile
Nikole Hahn
Becky Jesse
Jason Joyner
Karielle @ Books à la Mode
Carol Keen
Emileigh Latham
Shannon McDermott
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Megan @ Hardcover Feedback"> Rebecca LuElla Miller
Joan Nienhuis
Nathan Reimer
James Somers
Kathleen Smith
Jojo Sutis
Steve Trower
Phyllis Wheeler
Shane Werlinger

A Healing Heart

How is it possible to find the will of God in a busy life? That is just what Mara Keegan is wondering as she has taken the full weight of responsibility of caring for her three children after losing her husband in a snowmobiling accident. Left with the burden of running the business of Bridger Pack and Rescue that they both established, she made David a promise. A promise that is slowly costing her the very life she had left. Running a business that was now thriving was keeping her away from raising her family when they needed her the most and being a strong and determined woman, she fails to see that all the stress of being the sole decision maker is costing her. The warning signs have been in front of her the entire time, but she has failed to acknowledge them.

When her business coach, Joel Ryan shows up to help her with the next phase of her business he's about to discover that he will be helping out in ways he never imagined quite literally when he arrives at Mara's front door. Expecting to meet with Mara and sign the contracts that would double her business, he finds her along  passed out on the floor of her home office. With the help of her daughter Cadence, they rush her to the Emergency Room to see if she has had a heart attack, but unfortunately the doctor misdiagnoses her and sends her home with a simple broken ankle in a cast. He advises that Mara take some time to heal but that means that she must trust the running of her business to Joel, a man who tried to take her business away from her before. Has Joel changed or is he really just in the right place at the right time?

In the sixth novel from the Quilts of Love Series, A Healing Heart by Angela Breidenbach has a dual meaning behind the storyline. Not only must Mara dealing with the healing of her physical heart but she must also learn to deal the difficult task of facing the choice to give up some of the control in her business in lieu of helping her heal her family. They haven't had the chance to truly grieve over the loss of their father and it seems like Mara felt the burden to take over all the responsibility when David died. Ultimately Joel and Mara will need to discover the purpose that God has in mind for both of them and be willing to open their own hearts to the possibility of something greater than any of them ever dreamed possible. Sometimes it takes God shaking us to the core of our lives before we will stop and see what changes we need to make in order to walk in His will.

I received A Healing Heart by Angela Breidenbach compliments of Abingdon Press and Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review and received no monetary compensation for a favorable one. I really enjoyed this one and saw so many different overlapping themes running through it. The healing that really needed to happen between Mara and her family, the healing between Mara and her friends and church and the willingness to trust once again, not only with her business but with her own heart to learn to love again in a different way. I love how beautiful the family held a memorial service that enabled them all to process the loss of David in ways that were important to them. All of these themes are woven into the project Mara takes on to complete a memory quilt for her daughter Cadence who is about to graduate. This story from beginning to end is truly priceless and one the author calls upon her own memories to incorporate into the story. Hands down a 5 out of 5 stars! A must read for romance fans and those that wonder if their lives need a little less stress in them!

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

You can also follow Angela Breidenbach on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest books.

To read more reviews from the Christian Blog Alliance Book Tour on A Healing Heart, please click here

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press (April 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1426752695
  • ISBN-13: 978-1426752698
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches 
Also available in eBook format for your electronic reader!!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Break Away - DVD Review and Giveaway

I am super thrilled lately at the opportunity to review some great Christian Family DVD's and the latest from Word Films, the makers of inspirational films like Faith Like Potatoes and Journey To Grace, has launched it's newest one, Break Away. Break Away is the inspiring story based on actual events chronicling the story of a hard working husband that loses his job and is forced to use what he has and let God multiply it. It takes place in South Africa and accounts Francois' challenge of providing for his family after losing his job. He is forced to use what he has, including an old bicycle. With the help of his "black sheep" brother, a bicycle shop owner and pro-cyclist, Francois makes some life-changing discoveries about his life, career, and faith in God.

This is a powerful look at what so many are experiencing all over the world in these economic hard times. What would you do, if no matter where you looked for a job, they all seemed to come up empty handed. Not only that by the collection calls continue for your credit cards and mortgage, but with no money in sight, you have to make the best of what you have. I think what really touches the heart of the viewer the most, is that this isn't a quick fix, and that Francois and his family really struggle with the same issues we all do. How can we have faith in God when it seems like our prayers are going unanswered at times. How as the man, the main financial provider, in his family, he feels like this is a personal burden and ultimately his responsibility to provide for them. The solution isn't an easy one and you find yourself rooting for Francois the entire time. His ability to create something from nothing is mind-blowing and really pushes us to think outside the box in answers to our own problems.

I received Break Away from Word Films compliments of Blogger Gateway for my honest review and received no monetary compensation for a favorable one. Because this movie was filmed in South Africa, at times, the accents can be a bit difficult to understand. However, that does not take away from the impact of the story. This DVD runs 113 minutes and really encourages us to have faith when it seems like the odds are truly against us. I personally rate this one a 4 out of 5 stars.

Thanks to the generous folks at Word Films, they are offering a giveaway copy of this DVD to one lucky follower of my blog, Reviews From The Heart. Here are the details to enter.

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

2. "Like" the Word Films Facebook fan page and see what other amazing movies they are working on next.

3. 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 DVD along with your email address. If I don't have an email address, I have NO way of contacting you if you're the lucky winner. You can use the words (at) and (dot) instead of the symbols.

The giveaway winner will be announced April 30th via email.

For more information about Break Away, Word Films or where to pick up a copy of the DVD that releases on April 23rd, please click on the links below:

You can also follow Word Films on Facebook to stay up to date on all their upcoming movies and projects.

Saturday, April 20, 2013


If you're a fan of movies like National Treasure and the DaVinci Code then you will LOVE, Sandustee by author Bob Aramov. It centers around solving a major puzzle which the world has been seeking to solve, the location of the Nazarene's Code. It is purported to be a document in existence that has been rumored for centuries. Jesus allegedly authored the Nazarene's Code for a short time before his arrest and crucifixion. It reportedly contains the key to using the powerful forces of heaven and earth to change lives - and it reveals hidden secrets to controlling the world.

It seems that the Legend of 13 began with Jesus and the twelve disciples and the number 13 has had a significant impact on world events and for some strange reason that number holds the key to this puzzle. Look at the groups or individuals who had thirteen affiliated with them. There were the European Union, United Kingdom, and most recently, Osama Bin Laden. All have thirteen letters in their names. Play with it and you'll be amazed with key historical links to the number thirteen.

Now Emerson Moore, an investigative reporter for the Washington Post begins hunting for clues to find the elusive Nazarene's Code before it falls into the wrong hands. That is if in fact the scroll actually exists. It seems like the trail of bodies soon begin to add up as more and more people gain closer to finding it. Could it be possible that something like this really exists and if so, think of the implications for the country that is able to harness its powers.

This action-packed novel is filled with murder, cross and double-cross, scuba action, a touch of Knights Templar, Masonic symbolism, and political intrigue in D.C. and the world intelligence community.It pits country against country as some of the most intelligent minds work together to see who can find it first. I received Sandustee by Bob Adamov compliments of Media Connect, a division of Finn-Partners and Packard Island Publishing for my honest review and received no monetary compensation for a favorable review. This is the seventh novel in the Emerson Moore series and his writing style has been compared to that of Tom Clancy. I rate this one a 4 out of 5 stars and for those that love solving mysteries like Indiana Jones, than you will definitely LOVE this one.

For more information about Sandustee, Bob Adamov, or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the link below:

Friday, April 19, 2013

Beyond Heaven's Door

" I make no claims to being a good golfer, but I readily confess to being a golf addict. If you know of a twelve-step program for the condition, sign me up. "Hi, I'm Max. I'm a golfaholic." I love to play golf, watch golf, and on good nights, I even dream golf.

Knowing this will help you appreciate the extreme joy I felt when I was invited to attend the Masters Golf Tournament. A pass to the Masters is the golfer's Holy Grail. Tickets are as scarce as birdies on my scorecard. So I was thrilled. The invitation came via pro golfer Scott Simpson. Each player is given a certain number of passes and Scott offered Denalyn and me two of his. (If there was ever any question about Scott's place in heaven, that gesture erased the doubt.)

So off we went to Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, where golf heritage hangs like moss from the trees. There you find the green where Nicklaus sank the putt. The fringe where Mize holed the chip. The fairway where Saranson hit the approach shot. I was a kid in a candy store. And like a kid, I couldn't get enough. It wasn't enough to see the course and walk the grounds; I wanted to see the locker room. That's where the clubs of Hogan and Azinger are displayed. That's where the players hang out. And that's where I wanted to be.

A guard stopped me at the entrance. I showed him my pass, but he shook his head. I told him I knew Scott, but that didn't matter. I promised to send his eldest child through college, but he didn't budge. "Only caddies and players," he explained. Well, he knew I wasn't a player or a caddie. Caddies at the Masters are required to wear white coveralls. My clothing was a dead giveaway. So I left, figuring I'd never see the clubhouse. I made it all the way to the door but was denied entrance.

Many people fear the same will happen to them in heaven. They fear being turned away at the door. A legitimate fear, don't you think? We're talking about a pivotal moment. To be turned away from seeing golf history is one thing, but to be refused admission into heaven is quite another.

That is why some people don't want to discuss heaven. It makes them nervous. They may be God-fearing and church-attending people but still nervous. Is there a solution to this fear? Need you spend the rest of your life wondering if you will be turned away at the door?

According to the Bible, it is possible to "know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you have eternal life" (1 John 5:13 MSG). How? How can any of us know for sure?

Curiously, it all has to do with the clothing we wear." (pg 10-11).

Written in a comfortable style that is uniquely Max Lucado, Beyond Heaven's Door takes the reader through an amazing way to assure you that when this life is over, if you have clothed yourself in Christ, then you will have eternal life the instant you close your eyes when this one ends. No more worry or doubt will cross your mind when you rest in the assurances that after reading this and following the simple steps Max provides, you can be assured of your final destination.

The book not only tells us how to get to Heaven but assures us that even when our loved ones pass away here, as believers their life is only so much better than we could have ever dreamed or imagined. Taking all of his references and information directly from the Bible, Max makes the entire trip towards Heaven, a personal one. You truly feel like the words from this book are like words from a trust and close friend and I believe that is where the appeal in all of Max's books I've been honored to read comes from.

I received Beyond Heaven's Door by Max Lucado compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers for my honest review and received no monetary compensation for a favorable review. This one is a must read for anyone who really wonders what lies beyond death's door and is looking for the absolute truth before it's too late to make that decision to accept Christ. This book also provides comfort for those of us left behind when a believer dies and shows us in a small way just what is on the other side waiting for all of us that accept Jesus Christ into our lives. An unforgettable book and well worthy of 5 out of 5 stars.

For more information about Beyond Heaven's Door, Max Lucado or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can also follow Max Lucado on Facebook to stay up to date on all his latest books.

Looking for more inspiration, check out Max Lucado's website.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Gift of A Servant

From Author Tamara Amos comes a dream come and the fulfillment of a birthday wish to her father. Gift of A Servant was written to show readers how people can come to know God through Santa Claus. Children, especially, relate to this loving saint who knows them each personally and dedicates his entire life to making and giving them gifts. How like our heavenly Father he is! And how ell he imitates Christ. Parents sometimes worry that children will misinterpret the emphasis that is placed on Santa Claus at Christmas time, but Tamara never had that problem. She understood that he is a servant of God. Years later, she was inspired to write Gift of A Servant. She hopes through this book, that the reader will experience the unfathomable love of God that comes to us disguised as ordinary people and shines through us when we live lives of extraordinary love.

I received Gift of A Servant by Tamara Amos compliments of Book Crash and Mystical Rose Publishing for my honest review. This is such a beautifully illustrated children's book that is written as a poem, much like the Night Before Christmas. I love all the pictures and could see this being incorporated into your favorite Christmas traditions to convey the depth of the love that Christ has for each of us. It show cases how the spirit of St. Nick has been commercialized over the years and the spirit of love and generosity is now being placed by the hustle and bustle of buying presents. The father in the story is dismayed by how the sense of what was intended to be something to convey the love of others during the holiday has now been replaced by the objective of buying, buying, buying and he devises a plan to rid let Santa know it's time for his resignation, and that gift of God's son has been replaced.

"Santa Claus, what have you wrought?
Anxiety is our Christmas lot. 
Christmas spirit?
We cannot feel it!
Our peace is gone and it's all your fault!"

Without giving away the ending, this is such a beautiful book to share with your children each Christmas. It reminds us what the true reason for celebrating Christmas truly is! The illustrations reminded me of the ones found in the book, The Polar Express. I just know that any child would love to read this book or better yet, to spend the nights leading up to Christmas, sitting on their parents lap and have the story read. It creates an opportunity to share with our children what Christmas really means and how we can all play our part in keeping the spirit alive not only at Christmas but through the whole year long. I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and can't wait to share this with my own children this Christmas. Finally a great Christian Christmas Children's book!!!

For more information about Gift of A Servant, Tamara Amos, or where to pick up a copy of this wonderful hardcover book today, please click on the links below:

You can also follow Gift of A Servant on Facebook to see what others are saying about this remarkable book.

You can see the beautiful illustrations from Gift of A Servant by illustrator David W. Luebbert by clicking here.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Out of Range

Is it possible to really know someone? Even if you have married them, raised a family and spent time traveling with them? It is possible that after all these years the person you married isn't the person you thought after all?

That's just some of the thoughts going through Charlie Davis' mind when he realizes his wife has been kidnapped while driving home with his two children. He begins to go back in his mind to what could have happened. While his wife just returned from a trip to New York to visit her sister, she had come home to take the kids to Disneyland as a way to spend time with them after being gone. Charlie of course, had to work covering local politics for the LA Times. His wife Julie had decided to forgo work and instead opted to stay home and raise the kids. What was supposed to be a typical day of fun, soon turned into a nightmare as Charlie was on the phone with his wife Julie.

The kids were acting up and she needed some time to pull off the freeway to calm them down before driving home. She told Charlie she call him right back, but after almost an hour she hadn't called. Even more mysterious is that all her calls are going to voicemail. Charlie tries to reason with himself all the possible scenarios that could cause the phone to go to voicemail. Maybe one of the kids got sick, the phone died and she couldn't charge it, maybe she got into an accident. Knowing a general place where she would have taken an exit from the freeway, Charlie rushes to the area and soon sees police vehicles at the end of a dead end street. The only thing left in the dark is his wife's car and his children. Julie is gone.

Now under investigation from the police who believes that Charlie has killed his wife and subsequently has attempted to cover up the crime scene, he soon learns that his wife may have lead a life his really knew nothing about and the time they they spent together in Uzbekistan six years early is about to have some chilling consequences.

In the debut novel, Out of Range by Hank Steinberg due out on June 4, 2013, takes the reader into what is possibly coming to the big screen as a Hollywood movie. This is action packed and full to the brink with adrenaline! I read it from cover to cover in a matter of hours because I couldn't put it down. Just when I think I had it figured out, the author blind sided me and I had it all wrong. Be warned, this one could keep you up at night just waiting to finish it.

I received Out of Range by Hank Steinbergy compliments of William Morrow Publishers, a division of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review. To say that I couldn't put it down tells you just how good it is. I can relate this to any of Harrison Fords movies like the Fugitive because the action is truly non stop from beginning to end.  I rate this one a 4 out of 5 stars strictly due to the profanity, but if that were missing then this one for me would be a 5-star book! For those of you that love a great suspense thriller taking you literally all over the globe, then this is a must read for you.

Author Hank Steinberg is the acclaimed creator of the hit TV series, Without a Trace who makes his publishing debut in this novel about a husband searching for his wife and the unspoken secrets of their marriage that will lead him straight into a deadly world of spies, lies and obsession.

For more information about Out of Range, Hank Steinberg, or where you can preorder a copy of this book today, please click on the link below:

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow (June 4, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062080539
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062080530
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Josiah's Treasure

"Miss Whittier was intelligent and determined, strong willed and pretty enough...commendable attributes, but one he couldn't afford to admire. He had to remember that she was not be trusted until his lawyer had finished reviewing the particulars of Josiah's estate. Not if he wanted to keep a cool head around her.

Not if he wanted to keep himself from caring.

"I came her to fetch what Josiah owed me and my sisters," he said plainly, truthfully, "not to ruin a young woman's future."

"You might succeed in doing both."

He slapped his hat against his thigh, fanning an eddy of dust across the floor. "Listen, I'm not out to hurt you. But I can't go back on the promises I've made, any more than you can go back on yours. You believe your girls need you. My sisters need me."

"Do you honestly think we can fulfill both our promises, Mr. Cady?"

"You have your backers," he pointed out.

"Anxious men whose charitable impulses read well in the newspaper but don't always hold up under pressure." She wasn't naive in the least.

Daniel stilled the nervous motion of his hands. Pretty young women like Sarah shouldn't be so cynical or worldly-wise. They should be sheltered and supported, what he'd spent half a lifetime doing for his sisters, trying to keep them from suffering the worst of the damage Josiah had caused. He didn't have to learn much about Sarah Whittier to realize that, even though she'd worked for Josiah in that comfortable house, she'd had to scrape and claw to be where she was today. Just like he had, making them two of a kind. An uncomfortable recognition.

"What do you want from me?" he asked.

"I didn't bring you here to impress you with my empty shop and its filthy floors." She pulled in a long breath. "I brought you here because, if you succeed in gaining Josiah's estate, I want you to invest in the studio. I would pay you back, with interest."

"I can't do that." Even if he wanted to help Sarah Whittier, for the sake of Lily's and Marguerite's futures, he couldn't.

Sarah gave him a withering look and retrieved her reticule from the countertop where she left it. Apparently she had let herself hope for more from him.

"You were right." Her eyes were deep brown, the color of cocoa or polished walnut. Lovely even when dull with disillusionment. "I did waste my time."

In the novel Josiah's Treasure by author Nancy Herriman, the reader is transported back to San Francisco in 1882. Here we find ourselves at a crossroads with Sarah Whittier and Daniel Cady. Two strong and yet opposing forces that each have a dream that they are trying to build and fulfill. With Sarah, she had been Josiah's nurse and caretaker until his death, leaving her all his wealthy and estate. She now plans on using some of that money to help build an art business to employ several immigrant women and help them get ahead in life by teaching them valuable life skills instead of selling themselves down on the Barbary alley.

Daniel arrives literally at Sarah's doorstep, claiming to be Josiah's long long son and perceived heir to his estate. He refuses to let himself care for Sarah or her desire to help other women less fortunate than herself find better lives. Until he can provide proof of his identity, both of them remain at odds. Daniel will do whatever it takes to provide for his sisters what he feels his father had promised them long ago when he left them behind. He can't believe that Josiah never revealed to Sarah that he had children, and now believes that there may in fact be a treasure buried in the house that his father hid when he stuck gold in coming to California. Now if he can only convince his heart to follow his head.

I received Josiah's Treasure by author Nancy Herriman compliments of Worthy Publishing and Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review. This is such a charming book taking into account the rise to wealthy by those that struck it rich during California's famed gold rush. I love the strength that Nancy breathed into the character of Sarah, a perseverance to keep pushing through despite the odds against her by the men of that time period. I love how she is willing to try anything to give her dream wings and hopes in some way she can convince Daniel to help. I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and loved the historical look back at the early growth of San Francisco during the setting of this novel with the cable cars and Nob Hill as the backdrop. I will be looking for more books from Nancy Herriman in the future to enjoy and add to my library of favorites. This one has found a permanent home.

For more information about Josiah's Treasure, Nancy Herriman or where to pick up this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can follow Nancy Herriman on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

You can read more reviews on Josiah's Treasure from the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance Book Tour by simply clicking here. 

  • Paperback: 310 pages
  • Publisher: Worthy Book Publishers (April 16, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936034794
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936034796
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.4 inches
Also available for your favorite eBook Reader!!!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Scorned Justice

What is it like to want revenge so much you go too far? What does it do to you? To the people around you? God wants us to forgive someone who has hurt us or done something wrong to us. Revenge comes out of the ability not to forgive a person for a wrong done. That is the premise behind the latest novel, Scorned Justice by Margaret Daley, the third book in her Men of the Texas Rangers Series.

When District Court Judge Rebecca Morgan receives a floral delivery, she isn't prepared for what she receives, a dozen long-stem roses - all dead. This is the first of many messages she gets pertaining to her recent case before her dealing with the murder of a business man by a high-level member of the Russian mob. The first trial had been declared a mistrial when it was revealed their was jury tampering. She's not about to let this tactic change her opinion about overseeing the case.

However when her brother Thomas is attacked, she wonders if this is about her recent appointment on the case or simply an accident on the ranch. Since her brother has lapsed into a coma due to his injuries, Texas Ranger, Brody Calhoun has taken on the assignment of protecting her and investigating the case for possible answers. The one problem he has with Rebecca is that he still carries feeling for her from childhood that left him with a broken heart when she married someone else. However now that Rebecca is recently widowed, she isn't exactly sure she wants to risk her heart to another cop. She finds it hard not to fall for Brody especially when he is assigned as her personal bodyguard until the trial is over.

However when Rebecca takes over running the ranch til her brother recovers, she is about to wonder just how far the Russian mob will go to make sure that this case doesn't go to trial. First cattle are stolen off the property, then she and her nieces are almost run down in town and then a fire that threatens to burn down the family home and ranch lands. Is this simply a series of accidents, or is something else going on that no one had considered. All Rebecca knows for sure is she can't let a guilty man go free while she can do something about it, even if it means putting her entire family at risk.

I received Scorned Justice by Margaret Daley compliments of Pump Up Your Book Tours and Abingdon Press for my honest review. I have not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review. I did LOVE this one!!! It was so good from the very first page, that I took my time reading this one. Margaret did an exceptional job blending just the right amount of romantic tension between Rebecca and Brody with the adrenaline infused suspense. More than half way through the book, I still couldn't quite figure out what was going on, and wondered just what was waiting for either of them around the next corner. You can understand the unwillingness to get involved with Brody after losing her husband, Garrett in the line of duty. This is the third book in the Men of the Texas Rangers series, and so far it's my favorite. I love the idea of using revenge to motivate a character to stop at nothing until he has accomplished his purpose, which makes for an exceptional villain. In my opinion I would rate this one a perfect 5 out of 5 Texas Stars!!! Now I am in limbo land waiting for the next book, Severed Trust coming this fall. If you're a fan of romance and suspense, you'll want to pick this one up today.

For more information about Scorned Justice, Margaret Daley or where to pick up a copy of this book, Scorned Justice, please click on the links below:

You can also follow Margaret Daley on Facebook so you don't miss out on any of her amazing books.

For more reviews from the Pump Up Your  Book Tour for Scorned Justice, click here.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

This Is Our Time ~ DVD Review and Giveaway

Have you ever struggled with the prospect of what your life's purpose is? Why others around you seem to moving at an accelerated pace in the right direction, but it seems like God has all but forgot you in the process? Is it possible that God wants you right where you are at this particular moment even if it mean sitting on the bench or simply being a dishwasher or a stay at home mom?

Then I have the perfect movie for you that should help point you in the right direction or even be content with where you are at right now! Pure Flix presents This Is Our Time, a way to seize God's calling! Starring Erin Bethea (Fireproof) as Alè and her husband Luke (T.J. Dalrymple) who marry shortly after their graduation from college, and feel the calling of going to India as part of Embrace A Village ministry. This ministry cares for those afflicted with leprosy and their families. Their friends from college Catherine (Kate Cobb), an aspiring financier, who joins a prestigious financial institution determined to make an impact on corporate American; Ryder (Matthew Florida), who lands an impressive job in social media and can't wait to use the powerful medium for a greater good; and Ethan (Shawn-Caulin Young), seemingly the odd man out, who struggles to find his God-given purpose and feels sidelined by God.

"What they all come to learn is that it never really was their time, but always was, always is, God's time."

This movie is so powerful because there is a sense that we can all relate to a character in the movie. Even those that seem to have it all made, find themselves struggling with some of the business ethical choices in their jobs, so it's not always as green on the other side as some would see. I found myself relating to the character of Catherine because it sometimes means having to make hard choices in your job. I myself, found that leaving a job after ten years despite the prestige and salary that may it hard to give up, required me to simply walk away and never look back. At the time, the decision was a hard one and one I found myself questioning quite a bit during my first year, especially when my family just bought a new home and two incomes were almost required. However, I found with God's assurance, we were able to make it just fine and He paved the way in unpredictable ways, much like He does in all the characters in this movie. Sometimes we have to get to the end of the path before we can see clearly because the whole time we were simply too close to the situation.

I received This Is Our Time by Pure Flix Entertainment compliments of Flyby Promotions for my honest review and received no compensation for a favorable review. This movie really hit home with me as a stay at home mom for the last ten years now wondering if I was sacrificing what God wanted me to do for something bigger and more impactful. However, after watching this one, I am content with where God has placed me and until such a time that He asks me to move in another direction, I will do my best with what I can. A great family movie with a profound moral message. For those wondering where God's at in your life in any situation, this is the movie for you. I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars. Now comes the best part.

Thanks to the generous folks at Pure Flix Entertainment and Flyby Promotions, they are providing a giveaway copy to one lucky follower of my blog, Reviews From The Heart. Here's your guidelines.

1. Be a follower of my blog, Reviews From The Heart. With being able to provide so many family giveaways, you won't want to miss out.

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

3. "Like" Pure Flix's Facebook page to stay up to date with all the latest Christian and Family Films.

4. Leave a comment below telling me why you'd love to win a copy of this DVD, along with your email address. If you don't leave an email, I have no way of contacting you if you're the lucky winner. You can even use the words (at) and (dot) instead of the symbols.

I will notify the winner by email when the giveaway ends on April 24th, so be sure to enter as many times as you want and tell others as well.

For more information about This Is Our Time, Pure Flix, or where you can preorder your copy of the DVD that releases on April 16th, please click below:

You can also follow Pure Flix Entertainment on Facebook to stay up to date with all the latest Christian and Family entertainment.

"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."