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Friday, September 29, 2017

12 Days at Bleakly Manor

Imagine you are facing challenges in your daily life, where if you could have a wish, that problem would go away. What would you do? Would you accept an invitation to change your present circumstances by being the last person to leave Bleakly Manor after spending 12 days during Christmas as a guest? I'm sure most would and that is exactly the response that each of the guests expects when they arrive at Bleakly Manor without knowing what will happen when they arrive.

Clara Chapman who has found herself almost destitute and living with her ailing aunt is promised 500 pounds if she can stay for the entire 12 days. Mr. Minnow, Miss Scurry, Mr. Pocket, Mademoiselle Pretents and Mr. Benjamin Lane are arrive with their own unique set of promises to be fulfilled and the host of the affair remains a mystery and aloof. Instructed by the household staff to arrive for meals and certain presents await them at the bedroom doors, it soon becomes apparent that something sinister may be staged as first Mademoiselle Pretents jewelry is stolen, then unexplained accidents begin to happen to each of the guests until one by one, they begin to leave. First without a choice and then as each promise is granted, they voluntarily leave of their own accord.

For Clara Chapman and Benjamin Lane, they have a shared history. He was jailed for stealing the family fortune that left Clara's family destitute, while she assumed that Benjamin stole their fortunes and fled leaving her at the altar on their wedding day. Will the time being spent together fan the love they still have locked away in their hearts or will one of them have to make the ultimate sacrifice and forgo their invitation promise in hopes of a greater compromise instead? Spend the next 12 days with the most unusual cast of characters in this delightful novel, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, the first book in the Once Upon a Dickens Christmas series by Michelle Griep.

I received 12 Days at Bleakly Manor by Michelle Griep compliments of Barbour Publishing and Net Galley. This is a quick read, but love the historical detail and poetic writing style of Michelle Griep as she weaves a wonderful tale of finding our deepest wishes might be right in front of us where we least would expect them to be. Just who is staging this elaborate event? You'll have to pick this one up to find out but for me, this one was worth 5 out of 5 stars and can't wait for more in this delightful, Victorian Christmas series!

For more information about 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, Michelle Griep, or where you can pick up this delightful book today, please click on the links below:

You can find Michelle Griep on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest books.

To read more reviews on 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, please visit Barbour Publishing's website. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Pretender

"My Jean-Marc's uncle was married to an English woman, and she told us once, a very long time ago, that in this world there are men of two kinds. The one, the knight, is a man possessing only strength and quality of moral character. He will never ask a lady to compromise her honor for less than a vow, and never, ever, will he consider another once he has captured her heart. A knight keeps his vow, even when it hurts, and the honor of the knight is a thing a country is built upon. A knight comes along only seldom these days.

"Now, a blackguard is a man who can be found quite easily, for it is an easy thing to be a blackguard. He attempts to trick young ladies into taking them home and caring for them, making them believe their honor can be given away as a mere trifle, offering no vow, and making only demands. The blackguard is to be avoided at all costs, for to settle for someone like him is to settle for something less than ideal..." ~ Sophia Pasquelucci, Italia, April 1945

For 17-year-old Tillie Caselli, she has always learned the differences between the two men thanks in part to her parents who have taught the two types of men in this world. Everyone she has ever been interested in she silently compares them into the two categories to judge whether they are worth her time or not. She wasn't looking for anyone the night two of her classmates disappeared into a bar in South Dakota, while attending a Junior Arts Competition. She found Noah Hansen, attractive but drunk out of his mind. However despite being drunk he was able to convince another man to leave Tillie alone so she and her friends could return back to their hotel. After giving him an opportunity to impress her once again, this time sober, she couldn't help but think that Noah fell into the knight category and gave her heart willingly when he proposed to her after a whirlwind weekend and vowed to wait til she turned 18 to marry her.

However when she returned again on an unexpected trip with her sister in law and older brother, she had called him in hopes of getting to meet up with him again. She just wasn't expecting another woman to kiss him moments before she was to walk into Maggie May's Bar again. Before he saw her, she ran back to her sister confessing she had made a huge mistake and now realized how easy it is to fall for the wrong guy. She vowed to never think about Noah again for as long as she lived and would have no contact with him despite how broken her heart felt. Her mother has been praying for Noah Hansen and there is no connection at first at to why this is, and when she finds proof that Tillie has fallen for Noah, she isn't sure what to do or say, until she returns from her trip and vows the relationship and her love for Noah is over.

I received The Pretender by Ta'mara Hanscom compliments of Reata Publishing and Litfuse Publicity. I know at times some of the story lines we readers find ourselves in can be a bit unrealistic such as falling in love within 2 days and accepting a marriage proposal from someone you hardly know. Even though they both feel they have met before, they are willing to do whatever it takes to ensure their love never dies even if it means waiting. For Noah, it leads him to give up drinking and start to get his life on track since he has spent most of his life being drunk and getting high, hanging out with all the wrong kinds of people and suddenly is able to give it all up. I am always one to root for the heroes, but in this case, I wasn't that happy with the way this novel rolled out. It is divided into two parts, Noah and then Ty and the series is slated to continue as the novels appear listed at the back of this one. There are too many story lines and characters that are launched onto the reader in the very beginning and you struggle to maintain the connections of who is who while you are going through the novel. This one to me, lacked the appeal to want to know what the outcome would be, as the ending of this one will leave you hanging in hopes of wanting to pick up the next one. I would rate this one a 3 out of 5 stars in my opinion.

For more information about The Pretender, Ta'mara Hanscom or where you could pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can find Ta'mara Hanscom on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest books.

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

Despite just meeting each other, Tillie and Noah's lives have been mysteriously intertwined for many years in Ta'Mara Hanscom's The Pretender. From the moment they met, Tillie and Noah wanted to spend the rest of their lives together, but a deliberate omission will keep them apart-and that same omission will be responsible for the escape of a murderer, and a bride's deception.

Join Ta'Mara in celebrating the release of the second printing and new covers by entering to win her $75 prize basket giveaway!

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of The Pretender
  • A $75 Amazon gift card
  • A decorative box containing measuring cups, ten recipes from the book, a potholder, a kitchen towel, pepper and salt grinders, kitchen utensils, and an olive oil dispenser

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on October 11. The winner will be announced October 12 on the Litfuse blog.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Bringing Maggie Home

“ It only takes one generation of neglecting God to turn a faithful family into a faithless one.” - Bringing Maggie Home - Kim Vogel Sawyer

Losing a child is probably one of the hardest things to deal with in life. For the parents, it seem unbelievable and impossible to try to move forward, but for one little girl, Hazel Mae, she would carry the burden of how she destroyed her family for seventy years and it would create ripples that would affect every relationship after that one. When her mom told her to take her 3 year old sister, Maggie with her to pick blackberries for a pie she was making for her daddy's birthday, she never imagined what would happen. When she went to scare off a snake that was ready to kill a family of baby bunnies for a moment, when she turned back around Maggie went missing. Even after all the searching only a handful of clues remained. A ribbon that was in her hair that day caught high in the branch of a tree, the birthday doll she received left right when Hazel had left her, and a shoe near a creek.

Some believed that Maggie fell into a rapidly moving creek that day. Others said a band of gypsies had taken her as they were run out of town. But Hazel believed that none of those answered the questions she held locked away in her heart. Now with her daughter Margaret Diane and her granddaughter Meghan, three generations of women will uncover the secrets that Hazel has been holding onto and perhaps find resolution as they work together to discover what happened to Maggie that fateful day, but also answering years of questions for both Margaret Diane and Meghan how her actions over the years are laid bare for them to see the many why's they couldn't understand until the pieces begin to fit together.

I received Bringing Maggie Home by Kim Vogel Sawyer compliments of WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers. I really enjoyed this novel as readers get to understand how the actions of one person can have a life long affect on those that come after them. This is more than a family torn apart by the years but also leads to discovery, hope and reconciliation as they work together in hopes of finding the answers that will do more than heal them of their past hurts. A reader's discussion guide is found at the conclusion of this book that would be great for book clubs to enjoy. The novel toggles not only from past to present, but also between the different perspectives of the three women as they slowly unravel the past and work their way to a future none of them were looking for. Part mystery, part suspense, part historical, you won't want to put this one down until you too find the answers of what happened to Maggie that fateful day. I easily give this one a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion.

For more information about Bringing Maggie Home, Kim Vogel Sawyer or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Kim Vogel Sawyer on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Bringing Maggie Home, please visit WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers. 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Liar's Winter

"Kindness if from the soul. It's gived 'cause it can't help but be gived."

That about sums up Liar's Winter by Cindy K. Sproles who has given us the first novel in her Appalachian series. It is about judging people simply based on their looks without looking at their heart. For poor Lochiel Ogle, she has had to endure the cruelest kind of abuse at the hands of those who raised her. Being found by Gerald, her 'brother' and given to his Momma in hopes it might help with the loss and grief she had been experiencing but all the babies she had only to lose them moments after being born. However that was not the case, because Lochiel was different. She had a mark that covered her check down to her neck and the entire family made sure to tell Lochiel that it was the mark of the devil. It was the reason why bad things were blamed on her that happened to the family. Even losing more babies after Lochiel came to live with them.

They kept her locked away whenever the family had to go to town. Her only boundaries were those self imposed on her by the rope that her Poppy tied to her waist to keep her from wandering off. If you think that was cruel, you might just want to see how Gerald treated her when others weren't looking and of course hiding the blame. Gerald wanted Lochiel dead and he would try numerous times to get rid of her, until one day she ran. She ran with the help of a strange man named Walton, who was a half-breed white man whose father was an Indian. He would help Lochiel hide from Gerald even if it meant constantly being on the run and never far enough ahead for Gerald to find her.

At this time of the year she wasn't sure if the weather would turn to more snow or spring was just around the corner, thus the name Liar's Winter. Now living with Walton and his mother Edna, she found what kindness, faith and love were really. Those terms she had been led to believe were a far cry from how she had been raised, like an outcast, someone different that had to be hidden from the world and no matter how she tried to believe she was good inside, she couldn't help understanding that she was forever marked by the devil and his imprint remained on her face where it would always be seen and thus judged in an instant as being worse than she was on the inside. It would take more love than she had ever known to change her life, if she could stay one step ahead of Gerald, who wanted her dead.

I received Liar's Winter by Cindy K. Sproles compliments of Kregel Publications. There are so many good words of wisdom the reader will come across and like me, highlight or mark those places so when I need a kind or wise word in my own life I can find it. One of my favorites is, "You never know the hardships others carry. Looks is deceivin so you love and respect everybody. Even the ones who do you wrong." I reckon I couldn't have learned a stouter lesson, since I had walked in the shoes of one judged." Even Lochiel (pronounced Lo-Kill) learns something by the end of the novel about God is, "He give me eyes to see the best in folks, even when it looks bad. He give me love and I know now that love changes everything." Perhaps that is why the Bible reminds us that love is the greatest gift! It even outlasts time! I give this novel a 4 out of 5 stars in my opinion.

For more information about Liar's Winter, Cindy K. Sproles or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Cindy K.Sproles on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Liar's Winter, please visit Kregel's Publication's website. 

Friday, September 22, 2017

Mercy Triumps

Christian persecution.



Any of these three terms, most people on earth are aware of one or more of them. Did you realize how difficult it is for Muslims who convert from their faith to embrace the salvation of Jesus Christ instead? If they are immediately killed by their family members in order to retain the families honor in their own country, then they are immediate sought after by those who now have labeled them as "infidels" by their own religious standards.

I have had the distinct pleasure to read all the novels by Jana Kelley, based on the true life events of three distinct women who now have to face the foundations of the Christian faith, even if it means being killed. From an American missionary wife and mother, Mia, to one Muslim sister, Halimah, on the run for her very life, and the other Rania, trying to keep her own faith from being discovered by her family, all the while trying to figure out how to get out of the rapidly approaching arranged marriage to a Muslim man. The stakes have never been higher as each of these women will have to face just how strong their Christian faith is while living in a Muslim population where there is no tolerance for those who are trying to convert others to the Christian beliefs.

From Side by Side and then to Door to Freedom, Mercy Triumps is the third novel that has documented the lifestyles of each of these women. From Mia who longs for someone to share her faith with, while trying to share her own testimony with those around her, without subjecting her family to violence, jail or being killed. She and her family are awaiting the approval of their passports to return home for a short while but they remain in the hands of one man who believes that Islam is the only religion. Halimah is faced with working in Nairobi after flying from her family who wanted to kill her. She desperately misses them and loves them but knows she can never return. She must be discreet if she contacts her sister Rania, who has been hiding her own newly found faith in Jesus. Perhaps the greatest reminder of what Christians in other countries face is the opening verse, "Mercy triumphs over judgement." James 2:13. This is the central theme of this novel.

I received Mercy Triumphs by Jana Kelley compliments of New Hope Publishers and Litfuse Publicity. This is so eye opening to those of us that live in America where we still have the freedom to practice our own religious faiths and persecution for us, just might be harassment from co-workers, family or friends who don't agree with our own beliefs. This will not always be the case as we watch the slow erosion of our freedoms beginning to slip away without noticing it is happening. Meanwhile things like persecution of Christians in other countries remains a segment on the news if even they care to report it, but we know it is happening on a daily basis without anyone knowing it is happening. I have LOVED this entire series because it highlights just what it might mean to those who are willing to die for their beliefs might just be the ones we want to embrace the most, including those 12 disciples of Jesus Christ who while spreading God's messages to the world, suddenly found themselves being the first of those who would die for their faith in Jesus Christ. For me, I give this book a 5 out of 5 stars and hope others will find the message of hope, faith and mercy in this book.

For more information about Mercy Triumphs, Jana Kelley or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Jana Kelley on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest books.

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

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Picking Daisy

When the lead singer of the mega-successful rock group For Granted is released from rehab, spending six months staying clean he hopes to rebound and get his life back on track but in a different manner than he is used to. In rehab, Robby Grant finally understood what his agent meant, in making more money than he could ever spend, he'd avoided his real needs - to be loved for who he was as a human being and he finally understood he also had a drive to make someone proud of him. How to go about that, however, was still a mystery. He was certain he'd never been told he'd done something right and there was a distinct need inside him to discover that place of peace. While he wasn't sure those songs were the ticket, music was his life, and it seemed the only place for him to start looking for peace.

Robby was in his early teens when he started down the path of alcoholism. He was defiant of all his parents stood for, especially his father who was never around. At eighteen, the family had all but given up on Robby, while his brother, Warren, accepted the responsibility of continually rescuing him from whatever scrape he'd gotten into. Warren took after their father, Martin, while Robby was much more like his mother, Jackie. Martin was a military man through and through. He lived for his job and his country and never seemed reachable to his children, or his wife, as it turned out. Robby hoped on day he could be called a man. Only now did he see he'd lived his whole life as a child. It was time to grow up. As his band For Granted, fired him as their lead singer/songwriter, Robby wasn't sure what was next for him, but as it turns out, life is about to take a twist in a far different direction when his Uncle Nick, lands himself in the hospital and Robby is asked to help him out until he is well.

Daisy Parker is trying to find her way through an accident that left her paralyzed to ever ride in a car again and bound in a wheelchair instead. She have given up on singing but still occasionally writes songs in her journal she keeps with her. There were few men who'd relish the idea of taking on a handicapped wife and those who did certainly were not going to show up a her front door. Now she spends her days with Nick whenever she needs something done around the property or house and despite all the encouragement of her well-meaning friends, to move forward, get out, she has resolved herself to the fate life has managed to give up and try and find a way to be happy again. She wasn't expecting that change to show up at her front door in the form of Robby Grant and she knows despite what she knows she should do, she realizes maybe he needs more help than she does.

I received Picking Daisy by Kimberly M. Miller compliments of Pelican Book Group and NetGalley. I absolutely LOVE this novel and love the chemistry between Daisy and Robby. While he may seem to be selfish in what he believes he deserves, Daisy isn't about to fall for all the things that have worked for him in the past. She believes that God wants her to help Robby out, and when he finds her journal filled with songs, he believes Daisy is the answer to his own prayers for a comeback. It's going to take a whole lot more than money to get Daisy to see a different future for her as well. I will hold off on the rest so you can enjoy this novel as much as I did. This one garners a perfect 5 out of 5 stars in this reader's opinion.

For more information about Picking Daisy, Kimberly M. Miller or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can find Kimberly M. Miller on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest books.

To read more reviews on Picking Daisy, please visit Pelican Book Group's website. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Matthew West: All In Review and Giveaway

As a Christian, I don't think there isn't anyone who doesn't know Matthew West when it comes to Christian Contemporary Music. I had a chance to meet him a few years ago, and he is as humble and genuine as his music is. The best part of his music is that it is inspired by what people are going through at certain times of their life. As encouragement, as a means of hope, and a reminder of where our faith is. His latest CD, All In is incredible! I found so much hope and it seems as if some songs were written just for me, where I am at in this chapter of my own life.

That is the theme of his music. You feel it is written just for you. You may like one song, one day and a few weeks from now, another song will be your favorite. Because they are written just for you. From the very brokenness in our hearts and souls, he reminds us of what the Bible has to say, about these things as well. In fact some of my Bible Scripture memorization has come from his music. It is hard to forget and more importantly I believe is that it is life changing. From Broken Things which most of us have heard, there are also some new songs that I am sure will also be chart toppers soon.

For me, The Beautiful Things We Miss is by far my favorite on this CD perhaps because it deals personally for me where my life is. After watching one daughter marry last year and another one not too far from doing that as well, I see how things are slipping by too fast and before we know it, those things are long gone. We need to embrace the present so that they don't become the past too quickly and leave us with the regrets we all fear. Life truly is a vapor when you take a look back.

There are 14 songs on his latest CD, All In.

1. All In
2. Broken Things
3. Mercy is a Song
4. Amen
5. The Sound of a Life Changing
6. Something Greater
7. Jesus and You.
8. The Beautiful Things We Miss
9. 1 Song
10. Power Love Sound Mind
11. Never Ever Give Up
12. Dream Again
13. Becoming Me (featuring Lulu West)
14. You are Known

There is something that I know will speak to the heart and soul of everyone who listens to this CD. I received Matthew West: All In compliments of Capital Records, Christian Music Group and FlyBy LLD. This is one of my favorite Christian music CD's this year andI can't wait for you to share in this with me. I would easily give this one a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion and love the hidden soundtrack at the conclusion of this CD. You won't want to miss it. Thanks to the generosity of Capital Records and FlyBy LLC, they are offering a copy of this CD to one lucky person. Here are your guidelines for entering the giveaway.

1. Be a follower of my blog, Reviews From The Heart or "Like" my Facebook page, Reviews From The Heart. 

2. "Like" Matthew West's Facebook page. 

3. Be a resident of the US or have a US mailing address. No P.O. Boxes please.

4. Leave a comment below telling me what Matthew West's music has done for you. Don't forget to include your email address so I have a way of contacting you if you are the lucky winner of this giveaway. You can even use the words (at) or (dot) instead of the symbols.

I will email the winner of this giveaway once it ends on September 27th. Don't forget to include your email address since without it, I have no way of contacting you, if you're the winner!

For more information about Matthew West, Capital Records or where you can pick up a copy of this CD today, please click on the links below:

You can find Matthew West on Facebook to stay up to date on all his latest projects.

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Silverton: Claims on the Heart

When Kathleen Morris' father received a letter informing him that he had inherited a mercantile from his brother, they were both willing to quit their new life in St. Louis and make a new start in Colorado. Never one of them was afraid of the new challenges that might face them. Since they were successful in their own store in St. Louis, it allowed them to net quite a sum so they would have something to live on until they could see the condition of the mercantile and determine what would need to be done. They would also need to find a home suitable for them both and hopefully one that would allow Kathleen to entertain gentlemen suitors that might come around.

When they arrived in Colorado, it was a drastic change than what they were used to. Dirt and dust was everywhere and there appeared to be more brothels and saloons than reputable businesses, not that they didn't exist. They were lucky that there mercantile was the only one in town. They were greeted by Martin Long, owner of the stamp mill and a very wealthy man who seemed to fancy Kathleen. Not only was she beautiful but he knew she probably came from well-to-do upbringing. She would make the perfect wife and with all of Martin's wealth, she knew he would take good care of her and her father should things go south in town.

But Kathleen wasn't willing to take any risks with her heart and found a much more charming suitor who also couldn't pass up a new face in town. While buying a hat in the mercantile, Colin McAllister was charming, humble and always willing to help out anyone in need, including one of the soiled doves who happened to take a fall just outside the mercantile's front door. Colin warned her that she would be best suited if she didn't use Blair Street to find her way home or any other place in town. A respectable lady would find more than trouble on that end of town. Now she just had to convince herself and her father that Colin seemed to have found a place in her heart she wasn't expecting quite so soon and that money and position wasn't her reasons for marriage. She wanted to marry for love.

I received Silverton: Claims on the Heart by Karen Cogan compliments of White Rose Publishing, Pelican Book Group and NetGalley. This is a short but sweet novel on marrying for love or money, and how appearances are not always what they appear. She has to wrestle with her emotions in what is best for her or what would be best for her family. Even the friends she meets in Colorado seem to think that Martin would be the logical choice for her and while Colin's career as a simple miner would not be the best thing for her or her father. I love that even though this is a shorter novel, for me, under 2 hours to finish, it doesn't feel that way. I feel like I inhaled this one since it is that good and I didn't want to put it down. For that reason this one easily garners a 5 out of 5 stars in this reader's opinion.

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

You can find Karen Cogan on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest books.

To read more reviews on Silverton: Claims on the Heart, please visit Pelican Book Group's website. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Beside Still Waters

Loss might just be the hardest challenge in life we must overcome when we face it. It might be loss of life, a job, an unfulfilled expectation, an unanswered prayer or just a sense of lost direction of where we should head next. In Beside Still Waters by AnnaLee Conti, the third novel in the Alaskan Water Series, Violet Channing has had her fill of these losses. Giving up her dream to become a schoolteacher leaving her one year short of being a certified to care for her last remaining family member, she knows first hand how to handle the loss of both of her parents, her uncle and sadly within a couple of months her aunt. She is now left all alone. No family to speak of, and only a few pieces of her former life she can take with her, she knows she can't stomach going back to work in the garment factory. She responds to an ad in the paper for a teaching position of a young ailing child in the Alaskan wilderness.

She is more than thrilled and a bit apprehensive when she gets a letter notifying her to come to an interview with the grandmother who is attempting to fill the position. Jennie has lost her mother and now is faced with a heart condition that keeps her confined to bed and without the ability to attend school. It is the perfect job and a chance to leave all her losses behind her and instead head west from Boston to Alaska. She makes a wonderful impression on Mrs. Henderson who believes Violet is just what her granddaughter needs and offers to full fund her expenses to travel and also to prepare for the wildness life she is about to face. Brutally cold winters and a lot of uncertainty. Now it will take her a couple of weeks to travel first by train, then by steamship and then train again to get to Whitehorse Alaska. She meets an unlikely prospect in John Barston, a steamship captain bound for Whitehorse to prepare his own ship for travel after the winter storage and gives Violet an informative tour along the way.

They both learn a lot about not only the river they travel upon but also the railroad line which John is employed with as well. They seem to be well-suited for one another, but Violet soon realizes that she can't get involved with a man who will be working aboard a steamship while she remains employed as the Henderson teacher and caregiver. She has put her faith on the back burner due to the many losses she has had to face along the way, and wonders how God could be so cruel to leave her alone for so long and now with no family to speak of. It will be a true test of her faith if she can find it again and perhaps in the process will learn why she has had to face such adversities in someone so young. Then again perhaps God has never left and instead has been guiding her all the way.

I received Beside Still Waters by AnnaLee Conti compliments of Ambassador International Publishers. This is such an exceptional novel because it is richly filled with so much historical information from the gold miners who sought their own future in the Alaskan wilderness and how the railroad lines were laid at the cost of so many lives. Simply picking up the pieces of the life she has left, it shows great courage to reach out for an unknown future like Violet does. Some might frown on how quickly she finds love, but in reality, during those rough times, people didn't take long periods to court when the adverse conditions didn't allow for it. Sometimes you simply know the right person for you is the first person you meet along the path God has created for your future. I easily give this a 5 out of 5 stars and find myself desperately wanting to read the first two novels in this series!

For more information about Beside Still Waters, AnnaLee Conti or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find AnnaLee Conti on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Beside Still Waters, please visit Ambassador International Publisher's website. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Wish Me Love

Did you ever have a blind date or a date that was so bad, you can remember it to this day? Have you ever had your heart break in a relationship? I am sure that most of us can respond to one if not both of the questions over the life of our dating relationships while trying to find that happily ever after we all want. In the novel Wish Me Love by Michele Ashman Bell, Charlotte Wells has been dealing with the heartbreak of her ex boyfriend and ex best friend. Seems like when she was looking forward to her happily ever after, the two of them found it first and left her high and dry. Now she has vowed that when love comes her way, whenever that is, she will hope it will be the one she has been waiting for.

Her best friend and co-worker Jack, convinces her to take a huge risk. Defying the odds, he tells her the only way she will ever find the right guy is to go on dates, even if they turn out to be flops. He challenges her to date 50 guys in hopes that the odds of finding Mr. Right will be in her favor. Unfortunately, it also places Charlotte as a volunteer tribute. She isn't sure that this is the right way to filter through the men who want to see if there is a love match there. Meanwhile Jack and Charlotte are offered a chance to start their own advertising company, since despite all their hard work at their current job seems to be taken by the owner of the company rather than giving credit where credit is due.

Charlotte begins the task by telling everyone she knows to set her up and provide phone numbers to guys that might be interested in dating her. The author used ideas garnered from those she asked to share their horror stories of dating as the inspiration for this novel and you can only imagine how some of those might go. Jack is trying to find a way to spend time with his financè Sylvia, who is currently swamped at her job and can hardly find time to make plans for her own wedding. Charlotte also decides to accept the challenge to fly to Brazil to her cousin's wedding as a way of getting a fresh perspective on her future, while also renovating her first fixer upper and soon to be home of her own.

I received Wish Me Love by Michele Ashman Bell compliments of Covenant Communications. First off, some insight into this novel. This is a Later Day Saints novel meaning the characters in this story are Mormons and thus their religious practices are prevalent in this novel. If you can set that aside if you're not a Mormon believer, like I did, than this is such an exceptional novel. The premise is amazing and you can only imagine the types of dates Charlotte will find herself on. I would easily give this novel a 4 out of 5 stars in my opinion, religious aspects aside of course. I love the friendship that Jack and Charlotte share because it reminds me of the same friendship I shared with my husband, even working together like Jack and Charlotte did as well.

For more information about Wish Me Love, Michele Ashman Bell or where you can pick this book up today, please click on the links below:

You can find Michele Ashman Bell on Facebook to stay up to date on her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Wish Me Love, please visit Covenant Communication's website. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

The Promise Bride

Love Christian western romance novels? What about Christian murder mysteries? What if you could find both in the same novel? You might just want to pick up The Promise Bride by Gina Welborn and Becca Whitman. I really LOVED this first novel in the Montana Bride series, and features Emilia Stanek who wants a better life for herself, her two siblings and her father, working for Spiegel as a Customer Service Manager. Living in a run down tenement in Chicago in the late 1800's, she struggles with the filthy living conditions and what the outcome will be if they don't find a way to live. So she answers an ad for a mail order bride in Montana. A new life out west, clean air to breathe, and a man willing to take her entire family into his ranch home in the Montana Territory.

After spending the last ten months working, she finally has almost enough money for all of them to travel to Montana, until their landlord demands $30 to pay for the cost of the repairs he is charging all of his tenants. Her father, tells her to take her two siblings and he will follow them in three months. She agrees as only a last resort and hopes she can convince Phineas Collins to help her bring her father to Montana as soon as possible. Her marriage was by proxy and she can't wait to get to Montana to file the paperwork to make her legally his wife. Only the one thing she didn't plan for was to learn upon arriving by train that Finn, or Phineas was found murdered. The Sheriff tries to convince Emilia to take herself and get back on the train headed home since there is nothing for her in Montana.

Emilia knows she can't go back to living like she was, and this time she has to think of her family first. So she becomes determined to file her paperwork and try to work the ranch in hopes she can raise enough money to bring her father to Montana. Her siblings Luci and Roch just want to head home, but she knows they need to try to find a fresh start. What she is completely unaware of is that the person or persons who murdered Finn, might just try to kill her unless they find out why he was murdered, and that she will also inherit all of Finn's debts as well. Her first impression of the ranch is a far stretch from what she expected and to top if all of Sheriff McCall refuses to let her go about unprotected until he can bring the killer to justice.

I received The Promise Bride by Gina Welborn and Becca Whitman compliments of Zebra Books, a division of the Kensington Publishing Corporation and NetGalley. I really love the raw determination that Emilia has. To walk away from everything she knows and to take care of her siblings with a future she had hoped for is far from what she gets. Armed only with her willingness to rise above the tragic circumstances facing her, she will prove everyone wrong who ever thought she would need protection and that she would run back home when faced with adversity. Doesn't hurt to have a man standing by ready to lend a hand whether she wants it or not. I give this novel a 5 out of 5 stars and can't wait for the next book in the series but don't forget to check out the novella Come Fly With Me which proceeds this one.

For more information about The Promise Bride, Gina Welborn, Becca Whitman or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can find Gina Welborn on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

You can find Becca Whitman on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on The Promise Bride, please visit Zebra Book's website. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017


I don't think there isn't anyone who doesn't know what the Rapture is? From Hollywood movies, to books, everyone has heard of it, but what remains to be seen is who believes it is a real event? In the novel, Blink by S.A. Jewell, it opens with the event known as the Rapture from the Bible. In less than a blink of an eye, millions from everywhere simply vanish leaving no traces behind that they were even there. Most of the disappearances have happened in the United States with relatively little coming from the Middle East or China. Now the world has to answer the one question lingering in everyone's mind, "Where did everyone go? Will it happen again?"

As the world begins its downward spiral into chaos, and while the economies all over the globe try to struggle with the implications of millions simply vanishing into thin air, there are a remnant that know precisely what has happened and why they have been left behind. Now they will be the target in the years ahead that usher in the seven years of tribulation or wrath of God on an unbelieving world that despite all these global catastrophes, refuse to acknowledge Him and instead reject Him even further. Just as the Bible predicts in countless books from Revelation, to Daniel to Ezekiel and even the New Testaments, time is running out for a world looking for answers.

Marcus Junius, a charismatic leader from Italy soon realizes how he can profit from what is happening around the globe, since the vanishings have not impacted the European Union as much and realizes that the leader who can control chaos and bring about prosperity and peace when the world is out of control, will be the one that they will look to for answers. Little by little he capitalizes on the situation and soon finds himself forming a Federation that promises peace, security and prosperity for the nations that join. He even manages to pull off the impossible when he gets Israel to sign a peace treaty for at least the next seven years to ensure that no one wipes this nation off the face of the earth. But is it really all that people expect or is there something even more sinister about to be unleashed on the world?

I received Blink by S.A. Jewell compliments of Ambassador International Publishers. Since I have been a fan of Bible Prophecy and Eschatology, I LOVED this novels perspective on the events prophesied to take place in the future. I would have liked to have seen this one broken into a series of books since the story line is so consolidated to wrap seven years into one novel. The perspective and subsequent passages from the Bible are wonderful and hopefully will lead the reader to do their own research to see what the Bible has to say. I would easily give this novel a 4.5 out of 5 stars and only wish the novel was more in depth instead of so consolidated in the events that happen during the Tribulation period.

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

You can find S.A Jewell on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Blink, please visit Ambassador International Publisher's website. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Mind Games

Nefesh Bria.

Hebrew for healthy soul.

When Nefesh Bria opens it's door in 18th century renovated building. Some of the tenants are less than thrilled to learn that a mental health clinic is opening its doors on the first floor. Along with a travel agency and art gallery, how does one deal with the potential crazy people that will be walking around within the facility. Some of them may stop at nothing to ensure that this business finds a new place to set up shop.

When Psychologist Natalie Marsh gets drawn into chasing down a young distraught woman, Heather Osbourne, who believes she is following the advice of her great-great-great grandmother who died accidentally when she fell from the properties 4th floor window. She believes if they can exist in the same realm, she might be better off. Thankfully, her suicide attempt is faulted by Natalie and her friends Stewart and Ainsley. Hoping she will get the help she needs, they work on creating positive impressions of their facility within the community.

Wealthy entrepreneur Robert Chapman loves a bit of adventure and has hired Stewart's cousin Drew to take him treking on the John Muir Trail, but Ainsley and Stewart are tired of his boasting how wonderful all the perks and bonuses are of being asked to be the "trekmaster." They believe if Stewart could have those opportunities instead, they might just get out of the financial hole they believe themselves to be in. Ainsley convinces Stewart to get Drew drunk and with the recent string of burglaries in their apartment complex, they can stage an attack that will leave Drew unable to attend. While the initial attack is successful in breaking his leg, the complications from the event, now lead to Drew's death. Without figuring out a plan, they know it will be a matter of time before the police connect them to the crime. They need to find someone crazy enough to do this and they think they have found just the right scapegoat to take the fall.

I received Mind Games by Stephanie Black compliments of Covenant Communications. This is a great novel that takes a bit of time to ramp up and the reader it engaged. About the first 1/4 of the novel is spent introducing a lot of characters and setting the stage, but once that is out of the way, the story line begins to unfold and keep the reader wanting to finish the novel. This is a great novel that creates those moments of suspense where you think you might just have it all figured out, only to leave you second guessing your answers. Truly an exceptional novel once you get the beginning out of the way, hold on and I promise it will be worth the wait. I would give this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

For more information about Mind Games, Stephanie Black or where you can pick up a copy of this novel, please click on the links below:

You can find Stephanie Black on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Mind Games please visit the following book tour sites below: 

The Chesapeake Bride Giveaway and Review

I love great series of books that don't stop at the traditional 3 book trilogy that most do. It's like you get so involved in these characters, the small town of St. Dennis and the many people who live, work and fall in love there, all have their own stories created in their own novels. If you have never picked up any of the now eleven novels in the series, and love romances that are built on that small town feel along a beautiful and enchanting seaside community, you will want to pick up all of the books in the Chesapeake Diary series from Mariah Stewart.

In the Chesapeake Bride, the eleventh in the series, Cass Logan is an architect with a big vision of restoring the small community of Cannonball Island that has spent the last 200 plus years raising families, burying their loved ones and in most cases left behind as the ocean claimed more and more of the smaller islands. Now in disrepair and barely standing Cass' father, owner of Deiter Construction has purchased all 22 lots with the idea of building a new community. But with Cass' imagination and information she has gleaned from the oldest of residents who lived and loved those who made the island a home, she wants to restore as much of the original home as possible using the reclaimed materials and keep the original look and feel of the homes that were once built there.

With each encounter of a new person she meets from St. Dennis, her ideas and creativity are manifesting them in ways that has her winning the support of the surrounding town and even potential buyers before the homes have even broke ground. The only thing that she is certain about is that she isn't about to fall for local boy Owen Parker, whom she perceives as a player and heart breaker. When she runs into a potential huge delay in her project, a sunken vessel at the mouth of the river which would mean not being able to build docks for the homes she had originally designed, she has to rely on Owen whose been hired to salvage and determine the nature of the vessel and hopefully open the way up to continued work on the island home renovations. Not only that her father has placed the entire project in her hands and at this stage it seems like all hope might just sink!

I received The Chesapeake Bride by Mariah Stewart compliments of Simon and Schuster Publishers. I have read every single one of this books in the series and really LOVE this one as probably my most favorite. You have a single attractive adrenaline travel junkie, Owen Parker, who is not about to be rejected by any woman, including Cass Logan. Yet the more time they spend together, not doing the traditional date stuff, the more they begin to learn about the true person hiding behind the shell most see on the outside only. But like all good things, it can't just end with a happily ever after ending you'd expect. Nope this one has more debris than what is laying on the ocean floor that seem determined to keep our favorite characters separated. You'll find out how it all ends by picking up this novel, but I must warn you, be prepared for another potential sequel where things might wrap up there instead. Am I giving you a premonition or simply trying to create a desire to pick this one up? Only time will tell. I'd give this one a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion.

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

You can find Mariah Stewart on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on The Chesapeake Bride, please visit Simon and Schuster Publisher's website. 

Thanks to the generosity of Simon and Schuster's Publisher, they are offering a copy of Driftwood Point, the 10th book in the series to one lucky follower of my blog. Here's all you need to do to enter to win.

1. Be a follower of my blog, Reviews From The Heart or "Like" my Facebook page, Reviews From The Heart. 

2. Be a resident of the US or have a US mailing address. No P.O. Boxes please!

3. Leave a comment either below on this blog post or on the Facebook page tell me why you'd love to win a copy of Driftwood Point. Please include your email address below along with your comment. You can use the words (at) or (dot) instead of the symbols. Facebook users, just leave me a comment and if you are chosen as the lucky winner, I will Private Message you for the information required. Blog Followers: No email address, means I have no way of reaching you to let you know if you are the lucky winner.

The giveaway will end on September 21st, so please be sure to enter as many times as you want. For an extra entry, share on your social media pages and I will give you an entry for each link you post and share on either Facebook or this blog post.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

To Wager Her Heart

Sylas Ruthledge has more than just a bit of a dilemma to face. Coming from a start up railroad company in Colorado to the Belle Meade Plantation of Tennessee, he finds himself out of his element. His is missing out on all the Southern genteel ways that might cause him to lose out on his bid to expand his railroad territory all on account of not being like all the other wealthy bidders. To call him an outcast is mild in comparison to some. The other thing that keeps him from being looked upon favorably is that his father was responsible for the death of more than a hundred souls when two railroad engines collided at Dutchman's Curve. He knows his father couldn't have been responsible because he knows what an experienced engineer he was. Now while in Tennessee he hopes he can find a way to clear his father's name.

His only help might just come from his most least likely of places. When Alexandra Jamison is forced by her wealthy socialite family to marry a man she clearly could never love, she is given an ultimatum by her father. If she refuses to marry a man as old as her father, she can find someplace else to live and with that it means she leaves everything behind including all her personal belongings. She will walk out the door with only the clothes on her back. The good thing is that she has managed to secure a job as a teacher for Fisk University, which teaches the Freedmen and women how to read and write among other things, but the pay isn't that good to allow her to purchase some things she will need along with at least more clothes.

So Sylas and Alexandra make a partnership that will benefit them both. She agrees to help teach Sylas the ins and outs of good business dealings as long as he isn't underhanded in his approach. She also agrees that once he obtains new information into the cause of the train accident, he will share what he learns with her. She lost her financè in that crash, while she managed to survive. Even though it goes against what she wants, she knows that without any money, or help, she might be forced to return home and beg for her families help. So she will assist him only until she can get back on her feet and get paid.

I received To Wager Her Heart by Tamera Alexander compliments of Zondervan Publishers and NetGalley. This is the third novel in the Belle Meade Plantation series and if you love anything from that sweet Southern history with a refreshing romance mixed in, you will definitely want to pick up this novel. Alexandra's character is a spitfire, like a bit of Scarlett O'Hara from Gone With The Wind. She isn't about to forced to do anything that isn't what is in her heart even if it flies in the face of Southern society. I love her strong determination to keep Sylas at bay, even though she finds herself drawn to man who will do anything to win her heart in the most genteel and southernly ways! Definitely a 5 out of 5 stars in this readers opinion.

For more information about To Wager Her Heart, Tamera Alexander, or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Tamera Alexander on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on To Wager Her Heart, please visit Zondervan Publisher's website.

A Place At Our Table

A handsome Amish volunteer firefighter. A single Amish girl working for her families restaurant. All they need is the right circumstance for them to meet so sparks can begin to fly and love begin to bloom. In this case, a fire is the catalyst that introduces them. As the Dienner family's barn is engulfed in flames, Jamie Riehl is part of the Amish fire department to respond. As they try to keep damage to a minimum, he learns besides the two horses trapped in the barn, her younger brother Nathan has not come out after trying to rescue them. All they can do is pray that Jamie can bring all of them to safety along with their firefighting team.

Even though the barn is a complete loss, Jamie was able to bring Nathan out of the barn after being trapped inside when a beam fell on him. Had they not gotten there in time, it would have been the second death in the Dienner family that fire has taken from them. Jamie doesn't realize it at the time, but Simeon, their oldest son and brother died fighting a fire when a house collapsed on him and they were unable to get him out. Now Nathan wants to be a firefighter when he is old enough but it is something Kayla is trying to discourage him from doing. She can't lose another brother and she believes Jamie is just filling his head with ideas that he shouldn't be considering. When he realizes the dilemma he works with Kayla and her family to not only help with the barn raising, but giving them time to decide if Nathan can join the program to train as a firefighter.

It seems a common thread for both of them, the love and loyalty of family, and while neither of them is looking for a relationship, they at least agree to be friends. Kayla's past relationship was the clincher in making her never want to trust in men again. While he maintained a status as her boyfriend, he never made her a priority, choosing his friends and interests instead of spending time with her. But with her connection with Jamie, they seem suited well for one another, even if his job does pose a very real threat that he might not make it home one day, they agree to see where things might lead on their own, but until an unexpected tragedy occurs, it will leave them completely at a loss on how to find their way back to the feelings that brought them together.

I received A Place At Our Table by Amy Clipston compliments of Zondervan Publishers and NetGalley. I really LOVED this novel and read it in hours, simply because the action is so intense and you're rooting for your favorite characters and then tragedy strikes and you wonder if they will remain apart with just the right elements making everything one big mess. As a reader, you are immensely invested in the story and it feels as real to you as if you are standing alongside them as a friend. That's what makes a great novel in my opinion and the reason for a 5 out of 5 stars. There are some great discussion guide questions at the conclusion that would make this a must read for book clubs. This is also the first novel in the Amish Homestead Series, and I can't wait to see what's next in the series.

For more information about A Place At Our Table, Amy Clipston or where you can preorder a copy of this novel due out in November of 2017, please click on the links below:

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

To read more reviews on A Place At Our Table, please visit Zondervan Publisher's website. 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Rule of Law

Did the President knowingly send Navy SEALS to their death?

That is the very answer people want to know, especially the twenty families of the Navy SEALS that died when a rescue mission went horribly wrong. Did our own government know facts ahead of time that would have spared lives or were they simply in the wrong place at the wrong time?

Veteran trial attorney and critically acclaimed, award-winning author Randy Singer takes us into the heart of political corrupt, legal battles and underhanded deals in his latest political thriller Rule of Law. Using his expert knowledge of law he spins a novel based on critical issues lurking on the horizon in 2016. Is the president above the law in matters of foreign policy? Should the CIA be fighting shadow wars with drones and Special Forces in countries where we have not declared war? And what happens when the lives of service members are sacrificed for political gain?

While the characters in the novel are complete fiction it is hard to match the entertainment value of the real world. All historical references, political, military and legal, are based on actual events. Most of his stories are inspired by real life and because he has filed counterterrorism lawsuits on behalf of clients who were kidnapped and tortured by the Houthis. This is what makes this novel believable to the point you find yourself questioning if this didn't happen already? Perhaps during Benghazi? In this novel a team of twenty Navy SEALS is sent on a covert mission monitored real time in the situation room in Washington, and suddenly it goes horribly wrong.

The team find themselves clearly outnumbered and their intel is flawed. All twenty members lose their lives but before they can send in an extraction team to claim the bodies, the president pulls rank and abandons them. Washington is more than shocked when the bodies of those men are suddenly broadcast on TV in the most horrible way. Suddenly information winds up coming to a team of attorneys that the president may have had for knowledge that this was a suicide mission and she chose to proceed anyway. The novel is the based on that courtcase that plays out in front of everyone in the nation. Will they be able to take the president to court over her mistake at putting men's lives at risk acting as if she is above the law? Find out!

I received Rule of Law by Randy Singer compliments of Tyndale House Publishers and Litfuse Publicity. This is a lengthy book so be prepared to spend some time getting familiarized with all kinds of law terms and court protocols pertaining the the government and military campaigns. There is simply so much the American public doesn't know about the branches of government and where those executive powers begin and end. I thoroughly enjoyed it although I believe it could have been a bit shorter. Some processes just kept repeating themselves and found myself wishing it would just get on with it already. For that reason I am giving this one a 4 out of 5 stars in my own opinion. Fans of anything legal and military based will love this one!

For more information about Rule of Law, Randy Singer or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Randy Singer on Facebook to stay up to date on all his latest novels

To read more reviews on Rule of Law, please visit Litfuse Publicity's Book Tour Page.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Unshakable Trust

I've heard it stated that once trust is broken, it can be the hardest thing to repair. That is probably true because no one wants to deal with the "I told you so's!" when it happens again through no fault or perhaps fault of our own. In fact it was the first lesson I learned in my second marriage. I was hell bent on people having to earn my trust before I just gave it to them. However my future husband told me if I do that, you are treating everyone else that comes into your life as if they were the one's that broke your trust to begin with. Everyone has to be given a 100% in your life and you adjust accordingly. We all can agree that once trust has been violated, it is hard to mend those fences. In fact, it begs to ask the question is it even possible to do?

Well in Joyce Meyer's latest book. Unshakable Trust, she reminds readers in how to find the joy of trusting God at all times and in all things, because when we place our trust in man, it will be likely broken at some point because we are expecting perfection and no one can give us that perfection but God in our lives. Even I can agree that I am far from perfect so why would I anticipate that my trust would be an different. Trusting God is the best way to honor God and the benefits of doing so are countless and amazing. I could tell you story after story of putting my trust in God even when I didn't trust myself and have seen the incredible benefits in doing so. In fact God's ways almost defy human explanation. Trust is not an obligation we owe to God. It is a privilege that He makes available to us. When we do this, we open the door to a life of peace, joy and fruitfulness in our lives. It enables us to live without fear, worry, anxiety, fear, reasoning or debilitating stress. God wants us to lean on Him at all times and in all things, not just the ones we aren't getting our own way in.

Since we all have a tendency to be self-reliant and independent, it usually takes us quite a while to learn how to trust God. Part of that difficulty stems from our unpleasant experiences that often teach us that people cannot always be trusted. But God's ways are far above those of people, and His Word teaches us that His character is such that He cannot lie or deceive. In this book, Joyce will show you how to learn to trust without borders and have faith beyond reason. Total trust in God should be our goal. Hebrews 11:6 states, "without faith it is impossible to please Him." Faith and trust are so connected that we cannot separate them. It maintains His presence in our lives and connects us to Him in a very powerful way. Yet we also have an enemy, Satan, who continually seeks to prevent us from enjoying a relationship with God and the life He offers us. Satan tempts us with worry, fear, and anxiety, reasoning, stress, doubt and everything else that will get our mind off of God and cause us to lead self-absorbed lives in which we desperately try to take care of ourselves.

I received Unshakable Trust by Joyce Meyers compliments of Faith Words, a division of Hachette Book Groups. The only antidote for these miseries is complete trust in God. The best part of any of Joyce Meyer's books is that she shares her own personal struggles, often times laced with a bit of humor and gives you just the right advice as if your own Momma were dishing it out. It's straightforward, honest, and cuts right through the worlds own perverted self help ways to get us out of whatever we are going through. She can show you how to rebuild trust that is broken even if we can no longer converse with those that caused us to mistrust. She tears apart those world myths that too many of us fall for as well like 'don't assume that because you been hurt by someone that everyone will hurt you!' This was mine mantra for so long. God will not only heal you, but He will restore all those lost years of your life when you place your faith and trust in Him. For that reason, I give this book a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion and believe that we could all do with a dose of learning how to really TRUST again!

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

You can find Joyce Meyers on Facebook to stay up to date with all her teaching and books.

To read more reviews on Unshakable Trust, please visit Faith Words' website. 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Murder in the Dog Days

Seems like the latest trend these days for group or team building activities is what is called Locked Rooms. A crime has been perpetrated within the confines of a locked room. The groups task is to find out what happened, solve the crime and answer all the questions of the crime scene. Seems like everyone these days thinks because they watch enough television crime shows, they can solve it as quickly as a 60 minute episode. But we all know that is not the case.

In Murder in the Dog Days by P.M. Carlson, Maggie Ryan is once again called out to a crime scene involving a reporter who at the last minute decided to forgo the plans with his family and finish up on a story while they all headed out to a summer picnic. Unbeknown to them, when they returned, they find Dale Colby, Olivia's colleague dead in a pool of his own blood in a locked room. So what happened? Who did it? What was the motive? Is this going to be the last of such murders?

Fans of P.M.Carlson's series, Maggie Ryan, will undoubtedly love this one. This is the 6th book in the series and takes Maggie back into what she does best, piecing together clues and trying to figure out just who did it. Readers will be tasked to do the same and hopefully figure it out before the end. Since this was my first time picking up a Maggie Ryan book, I wasn't sure what to expect. The one thing I can tell you is that readers are supposed to know more about Maggie as I am sure the subsequent novels invite the reader into a more in depth knowledge of her techniques and her own history that brings her to solve each of these cases. For me, this one just didn't make me want to finish it all in one sitting. It was a kind a book I could put down for a bit, and pick it back up and try to re-engage in the plot line and crime solving. For me, that's not a good sign.

I did receive Murder in the Dog Days by P.M. Carlson compliments of Crum Creek Press and Partners in Crime Tours. This book was 274 pages which if the story doesn't maintain the readers attention enough to keep them wanting to finish, it means elements are missing. The need to care for the characters or victim. I really wanted this one to work for me, because I love the idea of a woman detective with the stomach to handle to gore but also the intelligence and ability to handle dealing with the people she is likely to encounter. For me, this just have those. I would rate this one a 3.5 out of 5 stars in my opinion. It may be that one needs to read the previous 5 to understand more than I seemed to be getting out of this one and even took the entire day off of work to sit down and read it. Unfortunately it just didn't keep my attention and thus the reason for my rating.

For more information about Murder in the Dog Days, P.M. Carlson or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

To read more reviews on Murder in the Dog Days, please visit the following Partners in Crime Book Tour participants.

| Murder in the Dog Days by P.M. Carlson Murder in the Dog Days by P.M. Carlson Banner

Murder in the Dog Days

by P.M. Carlson

September 1-30, 2017 Book Tour


Murder in the Dog Days by P.M. Carlson
On a sweltering Virginia day in 1975, reporter Olivia Kerr, her husband Jerry Ryan, his very pregnant sister Maggie and her family decide to have a beach picnic. Olivia invites her colleague Dale Colby and his family to join them. At the last minute, Dale decides to stay home to pursue an important story. But when the beach-goers return, they find Dale lifeless in a pool of blood inside his locked office.
Police detective Holly Schreiner leads the investigation, battling Maggie—and demons of her own.

Don't Miss These Great Reviews:

"An ingeniously plotted, fair-play, locked-room mystery, one of the best we've encountered." — Tom and Enid Schantz, The Denver Post
"A dandy locked room murder…The investigation is a dangerous one… [the] solution both surprising and satisfying" — A Suitable Job for a Woman
"A satisfying, fast-paced whodunit that also explores a range of social issues, especially the violence of war and its aftermath." — Cynthia R. Benjamins, Fairfax Journal
​“[Maggie Ryan] has been a role model for women since the beginning and I loved watching her merge marriage and children with her talent for solving mysteries!” — Margaret Maron

Book Details:

Genre: Traditional Mystery
Published by: The Mystery Company / Crum Creek Press
Publication Date: April 2014
Number of Pages: 271
ISBN13: 978-1932325379
Series: Maggie Ryan and Nick O'Connor #6
Purchase Links: Amazon  | Barnes & Noble  | Smashwords  | Goodreads 

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Read an excerpt:

“I don’t understand!” Donna Colby cried out. Her self-control cracked. She reached toward Holly in appeal, tears starting. “It was bolted! How could anyone—even if Dale let them in, they couldn’t bolt it again after they—”
“Yes, Mrs. Colby.” Holly broke in, firm and reassuring, to deflect the outburst. “We’ll check into it. You can depend on it.”
‘Thank you,” said Donna with a little choking sound.
“Now, what did you do when you realized the door was bolted?”
“Well, he usually takes a nap. I thought maybe he was asleep.” Donna Colby was trying to revert to her numbed monotone again, but a tremor underlay her words. “Then Maggie went to look in the window and came running back in and said hurry up, we had to get the door open. So she did, and—” She stopped. The next part was the unspeakable, Holly knew. Donna Colby turned her face back to the pink flower on the back of the sofa, tracing the outline with a forefinger. “All that blood,” she murmured. “I just don’t… Why?”
“I know, Mrs. Colby.” Holly tried to keep her voice soothing in the face of the incomprehensible. A husband and father lay twisted in the den. Why? Tell me why. And the others, so many others. A flash of reds at the back of her eyes. A blue-green stench. A tiny whispered beat, ten, eleven. Twelve. No more. Hey, cut the bullshit, Schreiner. Just get the details. Ain’t no time to wonder why, whoopee we’re all gonna die. Holly flipped to a new page, keeping her voice colorless. “What did you do when you got the door open?”
“We all ran in—I don’t remember, it was so—I couldn’t—the blood. Maggie went to him. Sent Olivia to call an ambulance. Told me to keep the kids out, take them to the kitchen.”
Holly noted it down. This Maggie sounded like a real take-charge type. “Okay. And then what?”
“I don’t remember much. She made me leave, take care of the kids.”
“What was she doing?”
“I don’t know. There was so much…” The word escaped Donna and she stared at Holly in mute terror before finding it again, with an almost pitiful triumph. “Confusion. The men came back. Maggie will tell you,” she added hopefully, trying to be helpful. All her life, probably, being nice had kept her out of trouble. But now she’d hit the big trouble, and Holly knew that no weapons, even niceness, could help now.
* * *
Excerpt from Murder in the Dog Days by P.M. Carlson. Copyright © 2017 by P.M. Carlson. Reproduced with permission from P.M. Carlson. All rights reserved.
  P.M. Carlson

Author Bio:

P.M. Carlson taught psychology and statistics at Cornell University before deciding that mystery writing was more fun. She has published twelve mystery novels and over a dozen short stories. Her novels have been nominated for an Edgar Award, a Macavity Award, and twice for Anthony Awards. Two short stories were finalists for Agatha Awards. She edited the Mystery Writers Annual for Mystery Writers of America for several years, and served as president of Sisters in Crime.

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