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Monday, June 30, 2014

A Mother's Secret

Even in the Amish world, things aren't easy when it comes to decisions that we regret but can't change. Such is the case for Carolyn Lapp, who at 16 got pregnant and had a son, Benjamin. Now thirty one years later, there are those in her family that refuse to let her forget that the decision she made back then was one that was not only shameful but that she continue to allow her family to suffer for. But her mother and sister-in-law both understand the meaning of God's forgiveness and the fact that she hadn't been baptized in the faith yet, so no kneeling confession is required.

Yet her brother Amos insists that Carolyn needs help to find a husband and father so they can stop depending on their family for support, even though Carolyn earns a living working part time at the Grand Hotel as a maid. But the man Amos has in mind lost his wife six years ago and he desperately needs a wife and mother for his daughter Emma. But Carolyn always dreamed she would fall in love much like her own parents and have a marriage much like theirs. She never dreamed that love would be possible for someone like her especially if they knew her secret and that Benjamin is her son and not her nephew as most people think.

Joshua Glick never considered finding a wife. Not since he tried to do the honorable thing when his brother Gideon died leaving behind a wife and three children, and offered to marry her. Instead she left one of her daughters, Lillian behind and moved away to join the Englisch along with the twins Andrew and Amanda. She did find an Englisch husband and is now living not to far away from his family. Unfortunately since that day, Joshua's mother, Barbie has taken it upon herself to find Joshua a suitable and controllable Amish woman to marry and have children with. But Joshua isn't the slightest bit interested in dating or marriage. Running his horse farm takes all the time he has to spare. What he didn't expect to find was love where he wasn't looking. An unfortunate accident with his horse, left Joshua blaming Benjamin for the stitches his horse would require after believing he was the boy who throw a rock. He believes teaching Benjamin a lesson by working off his debt at his horse farm, but Carolyn knows that Benjamin is innocent, if only someone would believe he really is a good boy at heart!

I received A Mother's Secret by Amy Clipston compliments of Zondervan Publishing and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own. I love the premise behind the story of finding forgiveness not so much from others but for yourself. There is freedom in doing that and letting go of the guilt we can carry without realizing the heavy load we bear. I can understand the frustration that Carolyn faces with trying to please everyone for a mistake she made when she was a teenager and in trying to find a suitable father for Benjamin. It would provide a sense of freedom for both of them to not have to face the condemnation from her brother Amos anymore and to give her a sense of self worth in the eyes of those in the Amish community. Well worth every single one of the 5 out of 5 stars. I can't wait to see what happens next in the third book due out in the fall of this year, A Dream of Home.

For more information about A Mother's Secret, Amy Clipston or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can also find Amy Clipston on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on A Mother's Secret, please visit Litfuse Publicity's Book Tour Page.

Don't miss the newest offering in the Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series from Amy Clipston, A Mother's SecretAn unwed Amish woman yearns for real love and a family. The only thing in her way is the shame she’s been carrying for half of her life. The novel received 4-1/2 stars from Romantic Times and was chosen as a Top Pick.

Amy is celebrating with a Kindle Fire giveaway.


 One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Books 1 and 2 in the Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series, A Hopeful Heart and A Mother's Secret.
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on July 6th. Winner will be announced July 7th on Amy's blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by Amy's blog on July 7th to see if you won.

Four Weddings and a Kiss

For as long as I can remember, I've been a huge fan of western romance fiction. Something about the simplicity of living a life in the wilderness where danger lurks on the horizon and romance can be found sweeping us away into another time. For those that love Western Romance as much as I do, you might want to pick up the latest novel in the Western Bride Collection, Four Weddings and a Kiss. This one combines four amazing romance stories from authors Margaret Brownley, Debra Clopton, Mary Connealy and Robin Lee Hatcher, who are experts at making us fall for those tall drinks of water and falling in love over and over again on the western range, in one amazing book.

In Spitfire Sweetheart from Mary Connealy, Maizy MacGregor takes on Rylan Carstens when her independent spirit causes Rylan to quite literally fall for her. Now injured and unable to work his ranch, it's going to take all of her efforts to help him realize that there is more to her than simply a pretty face beneath those man's britches!

In A Love Letter to The Editor from Robin Lee Hatcher, Molly Hatcher dreamed that when her father was ready to retire from running the newspaper, he would name her as his replacement. Yet when he informs her that he has solicited the efforts of Jack Lovegrove instead, Molly will make sure he doesn't find anything in Killdeer worth staying for.

A Cowboy for Katie from Debra Clopton takes readers into the broken and wounded spirit of Katie Pearl, the survivor of a tornado that kept her buried beneath her home while her father died. Now nicknamed "Crazy Katie," she enlists the help of Treb Rayburn a cowboy who plans on staying in Midway, Texas long enough to make enough money to buy a horse and set off to see the world. He has no plans on marriage and that is just what Katie is looking for when she hires him to help rebuild her ranch.

Finally in Courting Trouble, Margaret Brownley takes us into the upcoming trial of Black Widow, Grace Davenport who has been arrested for the death of three husbands. But did she really do it? Her son believes she has been a victim of bad circumstances and hires local attorney Brock Daniels to defend his mother. But Brock isn't interested in defending anyone, so what will it take to defend Grace and give him a new lease on life?

I received Four Weddings and a Kiss by Margaret Brownley, Robin Lee Hatcher, Debra Clopton and Mary Connealy compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions contained here are strictly my own. I have so many Western Romance novels from each of these remarkable women in my personal library and loved gaining this unique collection of stories to add to my growing collection. Each of these stories shows that even the unlikeliest of couples can find true happiness in whatever their situation despite the odds set against them. They are people that God brings together to find more than just love, but healing and forgiveness as well. I easily give this collection a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion!

For more information about Four Weddings and a Kiss, Margaret Brownley, Debra Clopton, Robin Lee Hatcher, Mary Connealy or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find each of these talented authors on Facebook to stay up to date with all their latest novels by clicking on their names below:

Margaret Brownley
Debra Clopton
Robin Lee Hatcher
Mary Connealy

To read more reviews on Four Weddings and a Kiss, please visit Litfuse Publicity's book tour page.

Four best-­selling romance novelists bring tales of feisty heroines, stubborn heroes, and unlikely love in the Wild West in Four Weddings and a Kiss. Don't miss the latest from the Western Brides Collection from Margaret Brownley, Robin Lee Hatcher, Mary Connealy, and Debra Clopton.

The authors are celebrating with a "Sweet on Love" iPad Mini Giveaway and rip-roarin' Facebook party.

  One winner will receive:
  • An iPad Mini
  • A Bride for All Seasons and Four Weddings and a Kiss 
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on July 8th. Winner will be announced at the Four Weddings and a Kiss Facebook Author Chat Party. Connect with Western Brides Collection authors Margaret Brownley, Robin Lee Hatcher, Mary Connealy, and Debra Clopton for an evening of fun book chat, western-themed trivia, and prizes. The authors will also be answering audience questions and giving an exclusive look at the next book in the collection!

So grab your copy of Four Weddings and a Kiss and join the authors on the evening of July 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 todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 8th!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

London Dawn

Sometimes the hardest part about reaching a great series, is its conclusion. For those that love to immerse themselves in a virtual place in the world's historical past and those that LOVE series like Downton Abbey, best-selling author Murray Pura takes us back to the time period between WW1 and WW2 in London Dawn, the third novel in the Danforths of Lancashire. While meant to be read as part of the series, a first time reader can immediately get caught up in the unfolding action that immediately happens within the first few pages. The Danforth family has been separated by the ongoing war as Hitler and his troops begin to advance on Germany. While Professor Albrecht and Lady Catherine are being hunted for arrest for his refusal to join the Nazi party, his lectures, his protest against the firing of Jewish professors but most of all for being the author of anonymous books and pamphlets popping up all over Germany. Aided by their friend the baron, they immediately are forced to leave in the dead of night and try to gain access to their family home in Switzerland. But trying to get there will try their faith as they begin their nightly covert trek to the border along with their children, Sean and Angelika.

The patriarch of the Danforth family, Lord Preston can sense that Hilter's power is growing as he begins to consume one country after another while all he can do is stand by and pray for his son's safety. His sons, Edward, Kipp and Robbie, have all joined in the fight to put an end to the Nazi tyranny making its way across the country in the various branches of the military. As Hitler begins his air assault, the Spitfires as called into action to defend Britain from his German fighters. You can gain a sense for just how intense this action is and Murray does an amazing job by literally writing you right into the cockpit to join in the battle.

His attention to detail as the Danforth family is brought into the war in a variety of ways shows that even the elite and wealthy were not immune to the effects of the war. Much like the writer of Downton Abbey, Murray Pura isn't afraid to tell it like it needs to be, and casualties from the war will impact the Danforth family. Most authors create a shield around their characters so that even your best loved character will remain unscathed but not in this case. That aspect as well as the rich detail from history literally puts you in the middle of the action from hearing Churchill's speech to the destruction that England had to face as it battered and bombed. It reminds you of how much England had to endure during WW2 and how war affected this family as you take part of their pain in dealing with the horrors of the war.

I received London Dawn by Murray Pura compliments of Harvest House Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions contained here are strictly my own. This novel took me back to the way families had to cope with the realities of war. There was no escaping it no matter how wealthy you were. It's a chilling reminder of historically how some families dealt with war, how they struggled with not knowing the outcome of their children and husbands, and if they would ever be reunited again. I can't wait to see if Murray will continue to take us back to those historical notable times and remind us in a vastly different way what those times were like for those living in them. I easily give this one a 5 out of 5 stars and hope to see more novel series like this in the very near future.

For more information about London Dawn, Murray Pura, or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

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

To read more reviews on London Dawn, please visit Harvest House Publisher's website. 

The Danforths of Lancashire Series
Book 1 - Ashton Park
Book 2 - Beneath the Dover Sky
Book 3 - London Dawn

Friday, June 27, 2014

Seasons of Tomorrow

The divine gift on intuition and insight that Rhoda Byler has been given to her by God, have many in the Amish community Orchard Bend, Maine questioning its validity. Most of the Old Order Amish believe that she is practicing witchcraft when the visions she has come true without any knowledge of just how she knows these things before they happen. Even Rhoda herself can't explain them, just that she does. Most of the times, she keeps these visions to herself because of the accusations being waged against her by her own people, most vocal by Samuel and Jacob King's father. They have moved from Pennsylvania to begin a new community and to establish Orchard Bend Farms, an apple orchard and canning business and have partnered with Rhoda Byler in part to her knowledge and experience in organic growing and tending the orchards. She was also in love with Jacob at one point believing they would be married.

But over time, secrets have caused a great divide between them. Jacob has a past that he has kept secret which involves another woman, Sandra and her daughter Casey and placed them all in legal hot water. When Rhoda herself wound up dealing with her own set of legal issues, instead of standing by her, Jacob left in an attempt to keep his secrets from hampering her investigation. Yet what they did was to cause Rhoda to gain support from Samuel, his brother, and over time, they both began to develop feelings for one another. Even though they tried to deny their feelings, eventually all three realized that the relationship between Jacob and Rhoda would never amount to what a marriage should be based on and Jacob called it off. Instead of resolving his bitterness against Samuel and Rhoda, Jacob moved away to give them all time to heal.

Now that the orchard is in full swing getting read for spring, an unforeseen tragedy will test everyone involved in unprecedented ways. Samuel's sister Leah is struggling with her own romantic feelings for Landon, an Englischer that was hired by Rhoda as her assistant to help build the business. Even though he understands the complications facing Leah by their love, he can't help but wonder if God has bigger plans in store for them. If they don't keep their feelings out of the public eye, Leah could face shunning by her community as well as bring down the orchard business for Rhoda and the King family if they get rid of Landon. They too could face shunning from their community for letting an Englischer causing one of their own to fall astray. But Leah is starting to come to an understanding of God's love through her faith by attending Landon's church and believes God might be calling her in a different direction. Once again if she walks away from her Amish faith, and leaves with Landon it will jeopardize more than just Orchard Bend Farms but isolate herself from her support system as well.

I received Seasons of Tomorrow by Cindy Woodsmall compliments Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers for my honest review and did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable one. This is the fourth book in the Amish Vines and Orchards Series. I've loved this series from the first novel and have been wanting more of it with each additional novel that Cindy writes. The best part of this one, is the recap of the entire series up to this point at the beginning. It provides a brief look at what has been happening to all the major characters through the first three novels so you can jump right in. I love when authors do this, not so much because new readers might pick this one up without realizing there are more in the series and might be lost, but for those of us that patiently wait until the next novel comes out, the time that has passed makes us forget where we left off without having to go back and reread the previous books. The best part of this series for me, is the gift of foresight that Rhoda is given by God. It isn't something she can control or make happen when she needs it, but when it happens like a day dream, she has to make sense of what is happening by the clues she is given, like looking through a photo album and seeing pictures of her friends and then minutes later someone in those pictures is now missing. She isn't sure why that is, will they die, are they going to leave, or are they being removed for some other reason. Trust me, this series has been may favorite so far and can't wait for more. I easily give this one a 5 out of 5 stars.

For more information about Seasons of Tomorrow, Cindy Woodsmall, or where to pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Cindy Woodsmall on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Seasons of Tomorrow, please visit WaterBrook Multnomah's website. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Breath of Spring

 Spring is a time of renewal and for new beginnings and that is just what's in store for Annie Mae Knepp. After standing up to her father, the ex-bishop of Willow Ridge, a small Amish community nestled in the heartland of Missouri. When her father conned most of the towns residents with less than reputable dealings and left to create another community called Higher Ground, he had expected Annie Mae and her sister Naomi to join him. It simply is the Amish way to honor and obey your parents, but that is not what she did. She stood her ground and refused to go. Now faced with the challenges of supporting her and her sister, she gets a job as a waitress at the Sweet Seasons Cafe.

It's something she did naturally, caring for people and seeing to their needs. In fact, the entire town is supporting her efforts and has vowed to make sure that Annie Mae and Naomi are cared for in whatever they need. Annie Mae just never figured she would find love, but God has other plans. Adam Wagler is the one person who notices more about Annie Mae than simply what's on the menu and how she caters to those who dine at the cafe. It's the little things, like how she squints when looking at the menu or trying to see small print on things and offers her a spare pair of glasses. At first Annie is offended because she thinks that they make her look worse than they do. In fact she seems to have a low self esteem since her overbearing father drove most of the eligible young men away from courting her when he was around. But that is not the case anymore and most of the young men seem to take notice of this as well. But the last thing Adam has on his mind is courting Annie but everyone else can see what he apparently can't. That he can't take his eyes off of her whenever she is around.

I received Breath of Spring from Charlotte Hubbard compliments of Pump Up Your Book Tours and Kensington Books for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions are strictly my own. This is the fourth book in the Seasons of the Heart Series and truly is a breath of fresh spring air. I love going back to the lives of the people in Willow Ridge, the one's I've come to know as friends from Charlotte's previous novels, Summer of Secrets, Autumn Winds and Winter of Wishes. The best part of her novels is that she keeps the characters real. They aren't perfect even if their lives are simple. They deal with the same issues we all do, but they have their faith as their foundation to support them. They deal with family problems, financial challenges and problems of the heart much like we all do. That is what I believe makes you fall in love with each book in this captivating and heart warming series. For me, it was like coming  home and well deserving of 5 out of 5 stars.

For more information about Breath of Spring, Charlotte Hubbard or where to pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can also find Charlotte Hubbard on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Breath of Spring, please visit Pump Up Your Book Tour's page.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Rival Hearts

Two successful magazine publishers, one male, one female both with very different magazine profiles, suddenly find themselves competing for the same promotions as Editor-in-Chief for the launch of a new magazine, American Legend. For Molly Henderson, writer for Quilter's Heart, this promotion would be a validation for all the years she has worked for Master's Publishing. She took a novel idea and launched a successful magazine that has highlighted the friendship that women encounter whenever they read it. It not only showcases beautiful quilt designs but also the stories behind the women that create them. However she is not the outdoor type in any sense of the word.

For Ben Weaver, writer for Outdoor Adventures, the true manly man who loves the thrill of adventure in any sport, the more extreme the better. Bouncing back from his television series Extreme Survialist, he has taken Outdoor Adventures to new heights with his reader base. After just being with Master's Publishing for six months, he is running a competitive edge along side Molly's magazine. He knows with his popularity, taking on the challenge of American Legend, will create a permanent place for him instead of constantly being on the road traveling. However the last thing he understands is what fabric types to use and how do you put a quilt together anyway.

But Blake Masterson is always on the look out for a way to drive in more publicity so he decides the only way he can make the right decision on who should get the position is to create a competition between Molly and Ben. They will have thirty days to change places, and Molly will need to lead a kayak expedition and then write about it, while Ben will need to create a quilt all by himself and then write the article about his experience. At the end of the thirty days, whoever has done the most with their task will get the new position. So now instead of being rival colleagues, they are now rival competitors and may the best man or woman win! But it's not going to be an easy task for either of them working outside of their comfort zones. Who will win?

I received Rival Hearts by Tara Randel compliments of Abingdon Press and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are my own. I absolutely love the premise behind this novel. It is a first for me being introduced to the writing of Tara Randel but it definitely won't be the last by a long shot. I love the competitive nature that both Molly and Ben possess with each of them having the drive to do whatever it takes to gain the promotion they both desire. I can't imagine how difficult it would be for a manly man to take on quilting! That is where the humor comes into play and soon the entire office chooses sides between man versus woman and the laughter ensues. What comes out of the novel at the end showcases that the best choice may not always be the best one for the winner. I easily give this one a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion. This is the nineteenth novel in the Quilts of Love Series and each can be read in any order.

For more information about Rival Hearts, Tara Randel or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can also find Tara Randel on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Rival Hearts, please visit Litfuse Publicity's Book Tour Page. 

Don’t miss this month’s Quilts of Love book, Rival Hearts, by Tara Randel. Who doesn't like a friendly competition, every now and then? You'll be sure to love this fun tale of unexpected competition between two people forced out of their comfort zone.

Celebrate June's release by entering to win a summer camping kit (grill, tent, and camp chairs) from Quilts of Love.


One winner will receive:
  • A Coleman grill, tent, and camp chairs
  • A Promise in Pieces by Emily Wierenga
  • A Stitch and a Prayer by Eva Gibson
  • Rival Hearts by Tara Randel
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on July 13. Winner will be announced on the Quilts of Love blog.

Spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Wake The Dawn

When a hurricane unleashes its deadly force upon the small town of Pineville, Minnesota, the small medical clinic run by Physician's Assistant Esther Hansen. Without adequate medical supplies or personnel necessary to handle the number of patients arriving as the rains and winds grow in intensity and in the back of her mind she can only hope she can keep it together long enough to treat those that need medical care. Thankfully she isn't going to be battling this alone. When U.S. Border Patrol officer Ben James brings an abandoned infant into the clinic for help, his own medical training will be called upon to help the growing number of patients that are growing by the hour.

Knowing how quickly things can get out of hand, Ben utilizes those in the clinic to help one another out until they can all be seen. He has one disable woman in a wheelchair with a broken leg, Hannah, help care for the infant who needs to be held and cared for. He utilizes a teenage boy, Gary, to clean up the three rooms so more patients can be attended to. It truly seems like everything is running smoothly despite the numbers of people that Esther can treat along with the growing number of wounded and dying that the local ambulance has to bring to her since the bridge is out. Now if she only keep calm despite the growing tremors of PTSD that seem to be lurking just on the edge of her sanity.

Ben understands how difficult dealing with PTSD can be as he himself has been going through it as well. When he lost his wife and unborn child due to an accident late one night, the only way he's been able to sleep is finishing off a bottle of his favorite drink. The one thing he has going for him is that he has never drank on the job but unless he gets a handle on the after hours binging, he might not have a job to go back to. Lucky for him, his patrol dog, Bo, gets him up in time for work. Now if he can only find something to live for once again, he might be able to make a new start for himself. 

I received Wake The Dawn by Lauraine Snelling compliments of Faith Words, a division of Hachette Book Groups for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation and the opinions contained here are strictly my own. Lately I've been blessed to have read so many of Lauraine's novels and she never fails to hook me right in the heart so I can't give up on her characters. You feel the struggle that Esther is facing trying to hide her PTSD while trying to care for the small town clinic as best as she can. Even her counseling sessions haven't been helping much and dealing with her perfectionist mother who can never see that she does anything right is enough to keep her from wanting to spend time with her family. Dealing with their issues in spite of the hurricane that is wrecking havoc on Pineville, shows the love of a small town that can come together to help one another out when the chips are really down. This comes across in every way through the supporting characters that Esther manages to help even though she can't save them all. I easily give this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

For more information about Wake the Dawn, Lauraine Snelling, or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can also find Lauraine Snelling on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Wake The Dawn, please visit Faith Word's website. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

One Perfect Day

For Nora Peterson, this was going to be the Christmas her family would long remember. After all the countless times her husband, Gordon,  has been traveling for business, they were all going to be home together to celebrate those time honored traditions she had hoped would continue on as her twin teenagers Charlie and Christi grew and had families of their own. Knowing that Gordon would be flying home late from Germany she had hoped he would at least call to let her know he was on his way. When she tried calling his phone all she got was voice mail. The only thing she could do was simply pray that everything would be fine despite the worry settling in her stomach. Her children were expected home soon and then they would begin the Christmas celebration none of them would ever forget. Everything would be just perfect. .

For Jenna Montgomery, this would undoubtedly be her daughter, Heather's last Christmas. Growing weaker by the day due to a defect in her heart, she wasn't sure just where she was on the transplant list. For them, they refused to speak of things in their finality. Last time decorating the tree, last time making Christmas cookies or opening presents. At least for Jenna should could hope that it would be a good Christmas for Heather. But when she announced she was more tired than she expected and running a slight fever, Jenna knew from her experience as an ER nurse that these were not the signs of something good, but her worst fears being confirmed. She was losing Heather and they wouldn't even make it to see Christmas this year.

Sometimes life hands up things we hoped would never fall on our plates. We always hope that the bad things in life will escape us and happen to someone else. But when that doesn't happen, it is hard for us to remember how to breathe again. To remember despite all the doubts, that God is still in control even if it seems like this went by His attention unnoticed. If God can do anything, why doesn't He answer our prayers they way we want? For both the Peterson's and the Montgomery family, both of their prayers will be answered just not in the fashioned either had hoped. How each family deals with those answers takes the readers on a chilling look at what grief looks like during one of the worst times in a families life and how they will rise to find a way to move ahead and see the good God can bring from it.

I received One Perfect Day by Lauraine Snelling compliments of Faith Words, a division of Hachette Book Groups for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions contained in this review are strictly my own. This is a difficult novel to read because it deals with death and the implications that affect the family in such a surreal way, you can easily relate to what it must be like dealing with the situation. While grief affects us all differently, there is no time table for when life returns to normal. For some, they find solace in getting back into their routines again; for others simply trying to find a way to get through the day is a challenge in itself. I believe Lauraine did an exceptional job at taking one of the hardest subjects to face in life and show the beauty that can come from it even though it never fades. I easily give this one a 5 out of 5 stars and it even includes a reader discussion guide that is perfect for book clubs or for small study groups dealing with loss.

For more information about One Perfect Day, Lauraine Snelling or where to pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can also find Lauraine Snelling on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on One Perfect Day, please visit Faith Words Website.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Isolation - Giveaway and Review

Imagine a world where just the touch of someone could quite literally kill you. In fact the spread of contaminants and bacteria are spiraling so out of control that physical touch is banned. To prevent the spread of bacteria, you are not allowed to touch your face at all. What has become a habit is now against the law. A new motto is in effect, "Habits learned early are habits for life." In fact the world's population is now spiraling out of control as government agencies like the CDC and Homeland Security are trying to figure out just how to control the spread of bacteria like Ecoli and others that are killing people faster than 48 hours.

Suddenly bans on everything is becoming the norm as they try to isolate the sources and causes for so many wide spread deaths on a global scale. Antibacterials or AB's are now sought after in great supplies along with sanitary supplies like bleach and antibiotics. People are now becoming obsessive in their attempts to stay alive and even companies like AgriBiz have been trying to find safe food products and have worked to genetically modify things like wheat and corn to increase supply while trying to fight diseases.

The common cold, allergies, and other respiratory infections all become dangerous beyond discomfort. People, even close relatives, would shy away from an afflicted person. It was impossible to know what was causing an illness, and the illness caused symptoms that became shunned. A kind of stoning occurred when infected individuals ventured out in public with an audible cough. You could have called it a beating - it would have sounded more contemporary, less ancient - but the fact was no one wanted to touch an infected person. So throwing things - bricks, chunks of concrete, anything you found that was heavy and safe to pick up, though not garbage, obviously - at someone who coughed or sneezed was a safe way to eliminate a contaminating source, who happened to be a person, a person who ignited your deepest fear, the fear that a cold could kill you. After that, people with colds quarantined themselves, sought medical attention and called in sick. It was that or face the wrath of the terrorized public.

So foods became unsafe, first fresh vegetables and fruits, then pork, chicken and beef until all sources of those products were completely destroyed in an effect to contain whatever was killing people. Pretty soon the only thing that remained was government surplus products that were divided as an allotment based on your age and weight. Soon the government took things further creating groups designed to specifically looking for offenders to the bans and arrest or contain them as needed. Pretty soon even the population was controlled in an effort to stop the spread of the deadly bacteria, but were they killing themselves in the process?

I received Isolation by Denise R. Stephenson compliments of Virtual Authors Book Tours and Mill City Press for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions are strictly my own. Based on where we are headed with the recent introductions of GMO's into our food supply, what Denise has written could very well be a chilling future look at where we as a country might be headed. The controversy over the use of GMO's, overuse of antibacterial products and immunity of antibiotics are chilling to see the results of this played out over time. While this novel is science fiction, it could quite possibly give us insight into our own apocalyptic future. I'd rate this novel a 4 out of 5 stars based on my personal rating scale, which includes some profanity and sexual content.

Now for some great news, thanks to the generosity of Virtual Authors Book Tours and Denise R. Stephenson, they are offering a giveaway eBook copy of Isolation 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. "Like" Denise R. Stephenson's 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 a comment below telling me why you'd love to win a copy of the book. Don't forget to include your email address. You can use the words (at) and (dot) instead of the symbols.

I will be contacting the winner of the giveaway when it ends on June 25th by email so be sure to include it. Without it, I won't have a way to contact you. The winner will have 72 hours to respond to the email notification. If I don't hear from you, I will redraw another winner.

For more information about Isolation, Denise R. Stephenson or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can also find Denise R. Stephenson on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Isolation, please visit Virtual Author's Blog Tours website.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Yankee in Atlanta

Some of the best historical novels I've read are built around historical facts with some liberties taken to enhance the story to gain the reader's heart and soul and that is just exactly what Jocelyn Green does in the latest novel, Yankee in Atlanta. This is the third novel in her Heroines Behind the Lines Series which I have been a part of since the beginning. This time she utilizes the American Civil War as her setting and places our heroine Caitlin McKae at the forefront of the battle where she was disguised as a man and enlisted in the Union army. Little did she believe that she would be shot by the enemy. When she wakes up from her injuries, she is immediately questioned as being a spy since when would a woman want to disguise herself as a soldier and go to war. This is based on the fact that hundreds of women did just that by disguising themselves as men and enlisting in the army on both sides of the war.

Noah Becker represents another minority, the German immigrant living in the Confederacy with more of them fighting on the North than on the South. His relationship with Caitlin is to hire her as a governess for his children before he heads off to war. Yet before he leaves, he cautions Caitlin to assist any women or children in Atlanta that need help as war refugees remembering what that was like for him in Germany. It is his way of paying it forward. But just like Gone with the Wind, soon soldiers find their way into the house and soon take what they need from food, fuel and animals not caring what the women or children need. This is war, and everything must be done to ensure their side has an advantage in the war.

The best part about this novel is that is defines for the reader by involving them in the story of Noah and Caitlin, how difficult it was for families that were torn apart by the war, from often times fighting against one another and then coming to terms with not knowing what happened to those that were left to fight, not knowing if they were wounded or killed or even if they were coming home at all. For those that love American history and novels involving the Civil War, then this is the perfect novel to settle down with. The characters and their stories are enough to gain your sympathy and have you turning pages as fast as possible to learn their fate as soon as it is revealed. There is a great section at the end where the author shares how she formatted the basis for this novel and the historical facts from the Civil War as well as a compelling discussion guide that is perfect for book clubs!

I received Yankee in Atlanta by Jocelyn Green compliments of River North Publishing and Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own. I would rate this Historical Christian Novel a 4.5 out of 5 stars and this is the third novel in the series with Wedded to War and Widow of Gettyburg being the first two in the Heroines Behind the Lines Series. Word has it that a fourth novel is coming soon!

For more information about Yankee in Atlanta, Jocelyn Green or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Jocelyn Green on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Yankee in Atlanta, please visit Christian Fiction Blog Alliance's book tour page. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Breaking Free

One of the first favorite genre's I remember loving to read when I was a child were horse stories. Anything that evoked the love between the horse and his owner was enough to make me wish for a horse of my own. I don't think there were many young girls who didn't wish for a horse when they were younger. Now that same feeling came back when I read Lauraine Snelling's novel, Breaking Free. Breaking Free is a retired ex-racehorse who has been abused and is in need of healing and restoration if that is even possible. Thankfully for Maggie Roberts, who has been serving ten years in prison, this new outreach program of working with horses will be just the thing she needs to find her own personal healing from her past.

As she begins to work with Breaking Free to find a way into his broken spirit, Maggie realizes just how much this horse can sense her own insecurities. As she begins to earn his trust, she realizes that she has formed her own walls to keep others out from hurting her. She never imagined that one moment of coming to the aid of her husband would lead her to be involved in a car accident that would take the life of their own son. Feeling that serving time in prison is the least amount of punishment she deserves, it will take time and the love of a disabled boy and his father to help her come to terms with the mistakes of her past.

Knowing if she can rehabilitate Breaking Free, she will give him a new chance at life. If she can't convince the warden he doesn't present a danger to himself and others, he will be put down. But Maggie soon uncovers the source for the battle raging within Breaking Free's heart and the more time she spends with him the more she grows to love him. Will she ever be able to part with Breaking Free if he is able to be adopted or will she be forced to watch yet another thing that she has come to love break free from her heart?

I received Breaking Free by Lauraine Snelling compliments of Faith Words, a division of Hachette Book Groups for my honest opinion. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review and the opinions contained here are strictly my own. This is the perfect novel for horse lovers and for those fighting to come to terms with their own ability not to forgive themselves of the mistakes that they have made in the past. It goes to show that second chances are available to all of us, and that coming to terms with the loss and grief is simply part of moving on. God can use even that for His good and His glory. What an exceptional novel that will outlast the time it took me to read this. It is part of my permanent library and one I will highly recommend to anyone who loves an exceptional novel of horses, basset hounds and love! Easily a well earned 5 out of 5 stars!!!

For more information about Breaking Free, Lauraine Snelling, or where to pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can also find Lauraine Snelling on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Breaking Free, please visit Faith Words website.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Seagrass Pier

The last thing that Elin Summerall expected when she received her new heart, was a fresh new start on life with her young daughter Josie. What she didn't expect was to have the memories of the former recipient to become her own. They call it cell memory, when you begin to remember events and memories from the host organ, in this case her heart. All she knows is that the heart came from a murdered woman named Laura whose killer has never been found. When Elin begins to share her suspicions with those closest to her, they believe it's all in her head. But when she begins to receive threats on her life, those are things you simply can't ignore no matter how far fetched they sound.

When Elin purchases an old Victorian cottage on Hope Beach. she hopes she has left the threats behind. But Elin's past is catching up to her. When she confesses to Marc Everton, an FBI agent and friend, that their one night of passion, has left more than a passing memory in her life, but also that Josie is really his child, he is more than angry. He can't believe that Elin has lied to him for more than four years about his daughter, even marrying another man in the process in order to keep her identity hidden. But will he be able to trust her when she makes claims that a murderer of the woman who gave her a heart is now after her and the memories of that night are becoming her own? Will Marc be able to protect his daughter now that the threats have followed them all to the isolated beach cottage and the threat has gotten more personal and violent?

Best selling author Colleen Coble has ramped up her suspense level in her latest novel in the Hope Beach series, with Seagrass Pier. This is the third book in the series and now the hunt is on to find the man who killed Laura before he takes his vengeance out on Marc and Elin as well as anyone that stands in his way. The nightmares that Elin keeps having brings her closer to the clues that will identify him, if they can find him before he finds them. All she has to go on is the color of his hair, the cologne he wears and the ring that may in fact be the one thing that he can't hide. Now that Elin has moved her family out to a isolated historic beach cottage, she is hoping she can protect them all including her mother who is suffering from dementia. But has this proved to be her fatal mistake? You'll want to pick this one up and find out how it all turns out!

I received Seagrass Pier by Colleen Coble compliments of Thomas Nelson Publisher and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions contained here are strictly my own. I was more than surprised to find myself reading this late one night and getting pretty scared while walking around my own home. To me, that is a sign of a great novel! One that takes me beyond words on a page and instead places me in the heart-pounding action like Elin's character who is being stalked in a cat and mouse like game of suspense. One of the best suspense novels I've read in quite some time and easily enough for me to give this one a 5 out of 5 stars in my book. Warning: You might want to read this one during the daytime! It's pretty suspenseful to read at night!!!

For more information about Seagrass Pier, Colleen Coble or where to pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can also find Colleen Coble on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Seagrass Pier, please visit Litfuse Publicity's book tour page.

Don’t miss Colleen Coble‘s latest release in the Hope Beach series, Seagrass Pier. The book releases July 1st, and Colleen's publisher is offering the ebook at a special pre-order price of just $4.99 between now and 6/30 everywhere ebooks are sold.

PLUS . . . between 6/9 – 6/30 Colleen will be hosting a Kindle giveaway.


One winner will receive:
  • A brand new Kindle Fire HDX
  • Seagrass Pier and the rest of the Hope Beach series by Colleen Coble
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 30th. Winner will be announced on Colleen's blog on July 1st.

Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning and be sure to stop by Colleen's blog on July 1st to see if you won!

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Lawman's Oklahoma Sweetheart

During the Oklahoma Land Rush in the late 1800's, people can from all over the country hoping to grab a slice of land and begin to live the American dream. Folks would do just about anything and head in any direction to gain the slice of prosperity just ripe for the picking to begin a family and a future. But there were also those who ventured to make a bit of profit from those innocent enough and weak enough not to put up a fight, when so called "accidents" began to happen.

Four men simply known as the Black Four were helping things along by ensuring certain weaker settlers met with more bad luck than others. Worst of all some of these men were of the local "Security Patrol" which led to people not suspecting them of any wrong doing. As the Black Four, these calvarymen had done exactly where they were out here charged to prevent: cut fences, set fires, let livestock loose and a whole host of other crimes. Acts designed to intimate folks out of their land. As a result, the scared settlers had sold their stakes at cheap prices and to the right convenient buyers.

Now all Sheriff Clint Thornton had to do was prove that the Black Four were behind all these events and the only was he will be able to do that is to convince them, he is truly on their side. I mean it doesn't hurt the group of men to have the law in your back pocket. How convenient when people begin to grow suspicious. But when the band of men targets Lars Brinkerhoff and his sister Katrine, they are about to go too far in order to get him to sell his land. This time the group has murder on their minds and they won't stop until they get what they want.

I received The Lawman's Oklahoma Sweetheart by Allie Pleiter compliments of Harlequin Love Inspired Publishers and Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own. For anyone who loves a great Christian Western Romance, you will want to snatch this one up. It's a small enough paperback to tuck it in anywhere for a great adventure, and perfect for a summer read. I give this one a 4 out of 5 stars and this is book 3 in the Bridegroom Brother Series. It teaches us all that in the midst of difficult family feuds, resolution and forgiveness are all that is needed for a restoration to occur. No damage is ever too deep that God can't heal the rift that keeps you apart. There is even a sneak peek at Her Montana Cowboy, a new six part series in the Big Sky Centennial guaranteed to wet your appetite.

For more information about The Lawman's Oklahoma Sweetheart, Allie Pleiter, or where  you can pick up this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can also find Allie Pleiter on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on The Lawman's Oklahoma Sweetheart, please visit Christian Fiction Blog Alliance's book tour page. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014


"One fragile moment - that's all it takes for a life to be unmade, to shatter into a million pieces that will never fit together the same way. Hard as you try to change it, you'll find - just as I did - that some things, once broken, can't be fixed.

Some things have to re-created completely.

Some people too.

The ancient book says that it took God seven days to create the world. It took him only three days to shatter my little life and remake it in a way that I would've never chosen for myself. It's always like that - one story ends; another one begins.

This is my story, and I couldn't have possibly known how hard it was going to be.

None of us could've known." (pg 1).

In the latest novel in the Outlaw Chronicles from best selling author Ted Dekker, Hacker takes readers where no one has imagined going. Inside the human brain. To say that Nyah Parks is your average seventeen-year-old would be a mistake. Nyah is far from ordinary. After losing her father and brother in a car accident that left her in the hospital with a tell tale scar, and her mother dying a slow death, she utilizes her unique talent for numbers and math to develop her ability to hack into virtually anything. It's the one thing that has enabled her to pay for her mother's ongoing medical expenses, hacking into companies and helping them find the loop holes in their cyber security.

There is only one option to save her mother and that is an experimental treatment that has shown some amazing results, and the only draw back is the need to gain $150,000 as soon as she can. Taking on one of the world's largest corporations BlakBox, she finds a way to infiltrate their system long enough to download a handful of files and then convince them to hire her for just that sum. The only drawback is that it will take working from inside the building and utilizing the talents of her accomplice known simply as Pixel. But it won't turn out half as easy as she expected when she realizes what she has uploaded and they are none to happy to have that happen.

I received Hacker by Ted Dekker compliments of Worthy Publishing for my honest review and received no monetary compensation for a favorable review. Being a huge Ted Dekker fan, I was hooked on this one from start to finish. I can honestly say this one takes hacking to a whole new level. Just when you think there is nothing left for him to dip into, he masterfully does it once again. The writing style is superb and will definitely keep young adult readers engaged. I can only hope that this one makes it to the big screen! It is pure adrenaline, heart-stopping action  from the very first page until the chilling end. Hands down for me a 5 out of 5 stars,  and one of my favorites from Ted Dekker. This is just one of the novels in the Outlaw Chronicles with Eyes Wide Open, Water Walker and Outlaw joining the bunch! Check out Ted Dekker's interview on Hacker below:

For more information about Hacker, Ted Dekker or where to pick up a copy of this novel , please click on the links below:

You can also find Ted Dekker on Facebook to stay up to date with all his latest novels.

To read more reviews on Hacker, please visit Worthy Publishing's website.

      1. Your main character in Hacker, Nyah, makes a living by cracking the firewalls of major corporations. What role does technology play in her development as a character?
TD:  Nyah roots a great deal of her identity in technology. In doing so she defines who she is by what she does. She even says so at the beginning of the book. I am a hacker. We all do this. For her, technology is what she knows, it’s what defines her, and provides the comfort zone. But it’s also her prison, which she comes to discover later.  

2.       2. How does personal loss affect Nyah’s view of God?
TD: When we meet Nyah, we find her in a place of great suffering especially for someone her age. That colors everything, just as it does for everyone else. For Nyah, the inescapable question is, “Why is there such suffering in the world?” Or more to the point, “Why is all of this happening to me?”  That offense, that feeling of injustice and unfairness, feeds her entire view of the world, including her view of God as a distant, uncaring creator.

      3. Why do you consider Hacker a modern-day parable?

TD: Parables are meant to re-frame the world differently so we can experience it again for the first time. Hacker takes a simple concept that many people already believe, that there’s another reality so near to us that we’re unaware of its presence most of the time, and puts it center stage. The story doesn’t have a moral or try to make a point per se, because that’s not what parables are for, but it does ask you to look at the world through new eyes—Nyah’s.

4.       4. The central question in each book in this series is, “Who am I?” What prompted you to explore that question?
TD: The question of identity is central to all of life and, in fact, most of my own striving and struggle can be traced back to it. We define ourselves, almost without thinking much of it, by what we do. I’m a mother, a father, a man, a woman, a writer, an accountant… The list is neverending. But strip that all away, as death will one day for all of us, and what remains? Are you, at your core, really a mother or a father or an accountant? Or are you something far more and we’ve only bought into the notion that this costume, which we call the body and our careers and talents, is really who we are?

5.       5. The series so far includes a 17-year-old who claims she has been buried alive, a 13-year-old orphan with no memory, and a 17-year-old genius computer hacker. What are the similarities between these characters?
TD: [Laughs.] You’ll have to read the books to find out for yourself. Ultimately, they are all forced to take a journey that begins in the valley of the shadow of death and ends on the other side of it.

6.       6. What role does the unseen play in your books?
TD: An enormous role, because that’s how it is in real life even in a literal way. Physicists tell us that the visible universe is a miniscule slice of what actually exists, we just can’t see the rest. But just because you can’t see something doesn’t mean it’s non-existent.

7.       7. What makes your characters in this series “outlaws”?
TD: It’s their journeys, which lead them “out of the law” of death and suffering into the light. It’s the same journey we all get to take, and which we’re called to. 

8    8. You grew up as a missionary kid among cannibals in Indonesia. How do you think your unusual upbringing affects your writing and your faith today?
TD: My upbringing gives me a unique way of looking at the world. Understand, I grew up among people for whom spirituality was integral to life. It wasn’t tacked on or part of life… There was no separation. They believed in the unseen, they witnessed its powers, and lived as though the seen and the unseen were woven together in a beautiful, mysterious way.