Monday, December 23, 2013

scent of fear book blast

the scent of fear by susan j. reinhardt
First came The Moses Conspiracy, now comes..... The Scent of Fear.
The Zimmermans enjoy the tenuous peace in the wake of their hair-raising year battling the New Patriots. Unexpected visitors once again throw them into turmoil.
Jim Kenneman, Director of National Security, masterminded the plan to break up a hate group ravaging the Christian community. Now, his enemies are out to eliminate him. Should he make a run for it or stick by his tried-and-true negotiating skills?
Monty Addison, a topnotch operative, carried out his assignment in Bird-in-Hand. A plot to destroy his boss sends him on a mission. Without agency sanction, it may cost him everything - his career, his family, and maybe his life.
Dr. Abby Weaver strives to save infants and toddlers in Holmes County, Ohio. When she meets two strangers, she can't get the tall, handsome one out of her mind. Will their paths intersect again or will dangerous times keep them apart?
The Scent of Fear is available at:
~~~Amazon~~~
The Book Series
susan j. reinhardtAbout the Author
Susan J. Reinhardt's publishing credits include her debut novel, The Moses Conspiracy, as well as devotionals, short articles, and contributions to anthologies. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.
A widow, daughter, stepmom, and active church member, Susan resides in Pennsylvania. When not writing, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, couponing, gardening, and finding small treasures in antique shops.
You can connect with Susan at her Blog, on Twitter, and Facebook.
the scent of fear blog button
Blog Tour Schedule
December 16 ~Diane Estrella, www.dianeestrella.com
~Pamela Christian, http://pamelachristianministries.com/pamelas_blog
December 17
~Sandie Czosek, http://chattycrone.blogspot.com/
~Linda O'Connell, http://lindaoconnell.blogspot.com/
December 18
~Lynn Mosher, http://lynnmosher.com/
~Jill Ivy, https://lucky4jill.wordpress.com/
December 19
~Debbie Curto, http://debbieloseanything.blogspot.com
~Cecelia Lester, http://quietspirit-followingmyking.blogspot.com/
December 20
~Cecelia Lester, http://quietspirit-followingmyking.blogspot.com/
~Lee Privette, http://faithfamilyfrugalityandme.blogspot.com/?m=1
December 21
~Patti Smith, http://gridirongrannyfootballfanatic.blogspot.com/
~Carene Havel, https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6440085.Carlene_Havel/blog
December 22
~Darlene Arroyo-Lozada, http://lovebookslozada.blogspot.com/
December 23
~Maria I. Morgan, www.mariaimorgan.com
~Beckie Stoneking, www.inaminute-beckie.blogspot.com
December 26
~Leah's Good Reads, http://leahsgoodreads.blogspot.com/
~Marja Verschoor-Meijers, http://sacredsabbath.blogspot.com
December 27
~Jennifer Van Huss, http://oneheartonefamily.com
~Brittany McEuen, www.brittreadsfiction.wordpress.com
December 28
~Debbie Curto, http://debbieloseanything.blogspot.com
~Lori Drake, http://www.perfectisboring.blogspot.com
December 29
~Kim Justice, http://breathoflifebookreviews.blogspot.com/
~K. Dawn Byrd, Www.kdawnbyrd.blogspot.com
December 30
~Ruth Schiffmann, http://outonalimbshywritergoessocial.blogspot.com/
~Janette Dolores, www.janettedolores.com
December 31
~Cindi Clubbs, http://ccclubbs.com/
~Kathleen Maher, http://kathleenlmaher.blogspot.com/
January 2
~Jen Cudmore, http://www.jencudmore.com/
~Karen Lange, http://karenelange.blogspot.com/
January 7
~Jeanette Levellie, http://jeanettelevellie.blogspot.com/
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"The Scent of Fear" by Susan J. Reinhardt is the second book to "The Moses Conspiracy" novel.  The "Scent" novel follows two government workers who are on the run from the New Patriots.  The New Patriots have taken over the United States and are running a non-liberty/non-freedom style of government.  They are anti-Christian, pro-reproduction control, complete medical care control, etc.  This government is a scary and totally possible probability. 
Other reviews say that this book can be read on its own without having read the "Moses" novel, but that is not true.  I was confused most of the time.  The characters were well developed and the action intense.  The futuristic government was terrifying.  However, I should have read the first book first and I wished Reinhardt hadn't changed the names when referring to the characters as they changed their identities.  It made it hard to keep track.  Good book.  Should have read the other first.  I received this book from the author through the Diana Estrella book blog.
 
The Giveaway Open to US addresses only. One person will receive a $25 Amazon GC and a copy of The Scent of Fear. Please use the Rafflecopter below to be entered: a Rafflecopter giveaway The winner will be chosen from those entries and announced January 17, 2014. Good luck!
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code. Winning entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as e-mailed, and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Diane at That’s What I’m Here For… and sponsored by the author, Susan J. Reinhardt. The author provided me with a free copy of The Scent of Fear to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a giveaway in return for the free book.VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Friday, December 20, 2013

pretender review

The Pretender:A Blackguard in Disguise is the first book in the Caselli family Series. This book is set in the 1980's in the United States but with strong ties to Italy. The Caselli framily has been in the USA for over 10 years but still have many of the same cultural ties to the old country. The Caselli family had 3 sons then after much prayer finally had a daughter,Tillie, on which the entire family doted, loved, and fiercely protected. Tillie, also called Angel by the family, is not allowed to date until she is 18 without an escort and she is soon going to be 18. On a trip with her classmates to the Black Hills from her Sious Falls home in South Dakota Tillie happens to meet Noah who is a local young man who likes his alcohol and drugs. Tillie and Noah fall madly in love and quickly decide to marry. Noah completely changes his life, drops his vices cold turkey and starts faithfully attending the church that his brother officiates becoming a Christian. Unbeknownst to him however Tillie sees him in the local bar and an old girlfriend of his has drunkenly kissed him before he can get away from her. Tillie thinks that he has a girlfriend besides her and believes him to be a blackguard. A blackguard to her means a non-Christian man who is untrustworthy and certainly not a person who she would want to marry or even date. Tillie refuses to see him again and doesn't even talk to him about the incident. Noah continues to carry a torch for her, builds a house for them to live in after they marry and never knows why Tillie just dropped off the face of the Earth. Tillie settles into a depression for a long time worrying her family. Just a hint this is not your usual love story where it all works out and the two of them live happily ever after. They both do live happily but not together. I like this book and would love to read the rest of the series. It is a well written Christian love story that all the way through it I wanted to knock some sense into Tillie. It would be a good book for young and older women: I can't see men or boys being interested. It is a good book on judging those who one is sure has wronged them. Even though the book ends with Tillie just knowing that Noah wronged her and was not worthy of forgiveness the reader is always aware of Noah's goodness and trustworthiness. A good though for us all to remember that our life would be much richer in the way that is in God's plan if we planned our life around love and forgiveness instead of whatever it is that we are so sure that God's plan is. We all need to remember God is LOVE. I received this book in a giveaway from www.interviewsandreviews.com. (submitted by CB)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

the light review

The Light Behind Blue Circles by Robert Louis DeMayo is a great novel for young men and boys though I enjoyed it also. The story is set in 1983 Africa and 1993 Africa. In 1983 Peter, who is a 13 year old boy with his father a veteranarian in Africa studying poaching. This was their first trip together since Peter's mother's death. Peter was out exploring one morning before his father, Simon had awakened. Peter meets a young Maasai (warrier) named Lekai who is training to be the new tribal seer/doctor. Times are changing in Africa. Appartheid is not being embraced by all living in Africa--most especially not embraced by Conrad, also known as Red Beret, who has been recklessly running around drinking and killing animals and black Africans just for fun. Lekai and Peter form an immediate bond and Lekai convinces Simon and Peter to help him save his friend who was a rhino from death. On the trip out the trio meet up with Conrad who kills not only the rhina and other animals but also Lekai. Lekai gives Peter his bag of little stones with which he tells the future by letting the stones flow through his fingers. Peter keeps those stones with him always as one of his treasures. The story following is how Peter deals with the guilt of blaming himself for the death of Lekai. Peter learns what Lekai meant when he said to him one day, "The deeds of one's life are greater than the facts of his birth." For tens years Peter is plagued with dreams of Lekai and visits from Lekai even when he is awake. When Peter hears of his father's death, Peter embarks on a mystical trip through Africa to return to the village of Lekai to tell the old seer of how Lekai died. I enjoyed this book and it would be a good book for boys-coming of age. It kind of has a little of the Mark Twain flavor. I hope that this book is all fiction because in one of the life threatening encounters of Land Cruiser vs. elephant I was laughing so hard that I hope it did not have any connections to a real event. It is an action packed boys book. This book does have colorful language which may be a difficulty to overcome with some parents--one of the young men in the story flavors his speech patterns with the F bomb like salt on a fried egg and all the men occasionally swear. If you can get past the language there is a story worth telling. I received this book from the author through bookblogs.ning.com. (submitted by CB)

Saturday, December 14, 2013

rules of murder review

"Rules of Murder" by Julianna Deering is a murder mystery that takes place in 1930's England society.  When Drew Farthering comes home to his country estate his mother throws a party for her society friends (and a few enemies) and winds up dead along with a certain dastardly guest.  Drew and Madeline, his step-father's niece from America, play detective and try to find the killer(s?).

In the beginning, Deering goes overboard on trying to sound "society" with an abundance of  'my boy' and 'if you please', etc.  I did a lot of eye rolling at first.  It takes quiet a little reading to quit noticing.  The story doesn't catch right away, but when the Americans show up, the story gets rolling.  Following the arrival of the Americans, Deering drops one unexpected plot surprise after another.  The characters start to grow on the reader and before you know it you don't want to put it down. Deering also covers the separation and differences in class during that time period which makes for interesting reading as well. I received this book for free from Bethany House.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

unforeseeable review

If Kingdom, Kansas were a real town I would probably steer clear of it.  It is supposedly a haven for modern-day Mennonites. A safe haven it is not.  "Unforeseeable" is book 3 in the Road to Kingdom series.  It isn't necessary to read the other two first.  In this novel, a serial killer is on the loose near/in Kingdom.  Twenty years before the killer had killed a number of women.  He then stopped only to return and start again.  As the women are being killed the deaths become more and more personal to the town of Kingdom.  Callie, the main character, has a personal reason for finding the killer.  Levi, her preaching fiancé, is the prime suspect, and she, his only alibi.
Though Kingdom might me a magnet for violence and per capital not very believable, the story line is still a page turner.  The reader is drawn in and gets wrapped up in the saga that is Kingdom.  The main fault would be that the Callie character thinks, speaks, and acts like Hope, the main character from book 2.  So much so that I had to look up my review of it and look up her name to see if it was the same girl.  The author, Nancy Mehl, could have done more to differentiate her leading ladies.  The plot is nice and mysterious, the drama like a roller coaster going from romantic to frightening in a heartbeat.  Despite the flaws, I really liked this book.  B.  I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers.  

Monday, December 9, 2013

sweet mercy review

"Sweet Mercy" by Ann Tatlock is a novel about Mercy, Ohio during the height of the prohibition era. Eve ( a naive 17 year old) and her family fall on hard times and have to move from St. Paul, MN, a city full of criminals and bootlegging, to Mercy. Her uncle Cy owns a resort there and gives her family jobs and a place to live. Eve thinks in a black and white world. Drinking is evil and so is anyone who does it. She believes so deeply in her cause that she can be annoyingly self-rightous. Mercy introduces her to a whole new way of thinking about herself, drinking, people, and right and wrong. This is short novel and a very quick read. Took me about a day and a half to read. The word play of Tatlock is marvelous, her characters are awesome. Eve meets interesting characters along her way to adulthood. Jones, the albino cousin; Jimmy and Marlene, the Bonnie and Clyde wanna-bes; and Link, the college educated bum. Tatlock tells a remarkable story. I give this one an A. I received this book for free from Bethany House.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

return review

"Return to Me" by Lynn Austin is the first in the Restoration Chronicles series.  This book gives a fictional retelling of the return of the Jews to Jerusalem after the Babylonians exiled them to Babylonia.  The story follows Iddo, Dinah, their grandson, Zaki, and their neighbors.  Yael is Zaki's friend, the neighbors daughter.  She is a moon goddess worshiper.  Babylonia is overtaken; and the new rulers release the Jews to return to Jerusalem.  Many didn't want to return, due to having been exiled for 70 years, many either never lived elsewhere or had no connection to Jerusalem.  Those that could remember (Iddo) desperately wanted to return.  When arriving they rise to the task of restoring the city, temple, and lives. 
I am a big Lynn Austin fan.  I love her writing.  This novel took much longer than normal for me to "get into".  Part I just couldn't seem to pull me in.  Part II is where I started to really come to care about the characters.  Austin really starts to develop Iddo and make the reader care.  He suffers from Post traumatic stress and is a deeply faithful man.  Austin also starts to pull the reader into the character of Yael.  I love how she does her own thing (though wrong) and is so stubborn.  She is not a cut out character. Though slow in the beginning  this book is well worth the read.  I received this book for free in exchange for a review from Bethany House Publishing.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

critical reaction review

"Critical Reaction" by Todd M. Johnson is a legal thriller along the lines of a Grisham novel.  Hanford Nuclear Facility is a large compound that used to make weapons of the plutonium variety during the Cold War.  Kieran and Poppy are workers that were both on duty during the explosion that caused some sort of contamination to the two men.  Both have long term health problems, both are looking for answers, and both are getting nothing from the company contracted to maintain the facility.  Kieran hires his college buddy, Emily Hart and her father to represent him in court and try to get justice.
Though Johnson may not be in the same ball park as Grisham, he is definitely in the same league.  Not only does he dive into the legal aspects and conspiracies, but he also depicts the father/daughter relationship and the aspect of having a parent die the slow and painful death of cancer.  I loved the dynamic between Emily and Ryan, her dad.  The ups and downs were true to life and well written.  Good book.  A- I received this book for free from Bethany House in exchange for a review.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

heart of the country review

"Heart of the Country" by Rene Gutteridge & John Ward is a modern tale of a double prodigal child.  Luke is an extremely wealthy second son and Faith is a country girl.  Both have left their families for what they feel is are good reasons.  Luke later is arrested for a white collar crime and Faith immediately leaves him without finding out any information.  Both are a little right and a little wrong.  Both have to go crawling back to their families and ultimately each other to mend fences and reconnect. 
This is a decent book.  It strikes the cord of a Hallmark movie.  It is nice, engaging, and romantic, yet kinda predictable and sappy.  It is a good book to take with you when you can't really get into a story.  A beach read.  I would give it a B-.  I received this book for free from Tyndale Publishing.

Monday, December 2, 2013

november

November seems to drag on.  Over the month I held Thanksgiving at my house, celebrated my Heart baby's 9th birthday!  Nine!  She was never supposed to make 9 and yet here she is.  She is a vibrant, enthusiastic, happy little girl who loves Barbies, reading history, American Girl dolls, and bowling.  I also read 8 books.  Seven were paper and one was digital.
Unbreakable- Nancy Mehl
A Plain Disappearance- Amanda Flowers
12 of Never- James Patterson (not his best)
Mistress- james Patterson (one of his best)
The coffin Quilt- Ann Rinaldi
Killing Cynthia Ann- Charles Brashear (good but sooo depressing)
Red Sky Morning- Steve Wilson
The Captive Heart- Dale Cramer
Dale Cramer is now one of the very few Amish writers I will read.  I really like his writing.  The Coffin Quilt was also very good.

God isn't mad

"God is not Mad at You" by Jocye Meyers is a nonfiction book about humans and their father/child relationship with God.  The book is broken down into sections, but not a devotional, giving the reader different aspects about God and how he feels about them versus, how God is portrayed.  The book is a reassuring testimony that will leave the reader knowing that they are loved and not doomed. 
I know Meyers gets a lot of criticism about her beliefs and preaching style.  I happen to like her a lot.  I don't agree with everything she says.  I don't agree with everything anyone says.  I do agree with 99% of this book.  I like this book.  I liked it a lot.  I would recommend it especially to anyone interested with Christianity, but has had a bad experience with organized religion.  I received this book from Goodreads.com. 

red sky review

"Red Sky at Morning" is a military thriller written by veteran, Steve Wilson.  The book begins with an unarmed American plane flying through Chinese/Russian skies.  The Russians then attack the plane without warning.  (which was weird, cuz the next day I read in the news that the Chinese had shot at an unarmed American plane)  The reader then follows the main character, a Ukrainian speaking US marine to the Ukraine to investigate not only the shooting, but also the facility that is disarming old Russian warheads.  This novel is full of old Soviet Union gossip, history, and secrecy. 
The book is a little difficult to get into at first.  The military jargon was a little hard to read, but once the reader gets into the flow, it is no problem.  The main character, Neill is easy to like; the rest of the characters are well described.  It doesn't get too into the whole Russian spy thing to become unbelievable.  I liked it and will be reading the next in the series.
 I received this book from the author through the Goodreads website.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

"Simple Things" Party with Tricia Goyer


Click here to join the "Simple Things" Party of Facebook:


http://on.fb.me/1frJJgR




The One Year Book of Amish Peace Simple Things Facebook Party Tricia Goyer Tyndale



The One Year Book of Amish review

"The One Year Book of Amish Peace" by Tricia Goyer is a daily devotional focused on bringing peace to the reader using Amish lifestyle and wisdom.  Each day includes a piece of scripture, a daily devotion with Amish happenings, an Amish proverb, and a short prayer.  I am waiting for the new year to read the book straight through, so I can't tell you how it reads daily, however, I have read random days from the book so that I could give you a taste of how the book reads.  The one that moved me the most was the day that brought quiet to the day.  It spoke of how Amish don't have a lot of excess noise in their life (ironically someone is banging metal on the other side of this wall) and how without the TV, radio, extra talking, they can become more in tune with God and their world.  So I tried this.  It is amazing how much you can take in on the surroundings without the excess chatter from the radio, etc.  I am not sure that the Amish are any more wise or happy than the rest of the world, but it sure is nice to visit their world now and then.  I received this book for free from the author.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy Veteran's Day

I think I'll take a minute to say a hoorah to some veteran's that mean a lot to me.  For starters my Uncle Bob, who kicked ass all over Europe in WWI only to serve again in WWII.  He might have been to old to kick ass the second time, but he wasn't too old to show the mess hall who's boss.  Grandpa Mac.  Had one eye.  True story.  The whole "it's real funny till someone looses an eye" has a history.  Grandpa Mac served in WWII with his remaining eye.  He served in the US with his McIntosh brothers handling the ammunition.  Uncle Exie joined before Pearl Harbor.  His wife (pregnant and a teen) followed him around the US hitchhiking to stay with him. He was sent to Europe after D-Day and fought in the Battle of the Bulge.  Wounded twice.  Forward observer.  Uncle Max.  Tail gunner and flew in D-Day.  Blown out of the sky, MIA, wounded.  Then when found and healed, elected to stay in army and haul boxes of equipment all over Africa.  That's how it's done! Grandad served in the medical unit.  Followed Merrill's Marauders all over Burma.  Burma: the National Infantry Museum declared the worst terrain to fight in the world. Uncle (Little) Exie, served in the Navy in the Philippines police action and then again in Afghanistan as a civil serviceman with the army. Grandpa Morgan, Navy during Korea; father-in-law Frank, served in Korea; father--n-law Gary, navy and NASA;   Cousin Deric, Navy; nephew Ronnie served in Iraq (suffered head wound); step son, JP, has just begun his adventure.  So proud of him.  Owe you guys plenty.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

a plain disappearance review

"A Plain Disappearance" by Amanda Flower is the third book in the 'An Appleseed Creek Mystery' series.  The series focuses on Chloe, a computer worker, who moves to Amish country to work at the local college.  In this novel she is courting Timothy, an ex-Amish man, and is solving murders in Knox County.  I have not read the previous two novels in the series and found it not necessary to understand this one.  Though, it would have been helpful.  Chloe and Timothy find the body of Katie, a local Amish girl at an abandon barn and begin to help the local police solve the murder. 
This novel reads like a modern day Nancy Drew.  It is full of sleuthing and clues.  It is relatively tame, but entertaining.  I never did figure out who the killer was in this one.  Not till she told me, of course.  Also I really enjoyed the Tee character and like the dynamic between the two young women. I wished she had put more of her in the book.  There were a couple of things I didn't like.  The stereotypical step-mother routine was a little tiring.  Also, the story was told in first person, so I wish the author had gotten into Chloe's head a little bit more as well. I liked this book.  It was nice.  I will read the other books in this series when I get the chance.  I can't recall who I got this book from.  I know it was in exchange for a review.  I believe it was from Handlebar.  The publisher was B&H Publishing.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

I won!

Recently I won a book and gifts from the blog, Bookworm Lisa. I won the book "Snow Fence Road" which I haven't read yet because I just got it, and I won a few little goodies which I will review now so I don't forget. I received a bag of sunflower chocolates from The Chocolatier. These are sooooo delectible! Similar to Dove chocolates in flavor. Everyone in the family kept eating them. I also won some perfumed foaming bath from Filigree. Smells like thymes. They smell really good. Lastly, I received some earrings from D Kirup Designs. I checked out their website and couldn't find the exact earrings but they had some similar. The average cost was $30 on earrings, so the fact that they were free was a big whopee! I love free stuff. And I really like these earrings. They also had other jewelry to choose from as well. Check out their website: http://www.dkirkupjewelrydesigns.com/index.html.

Monday, November 4, 2013

october, october

I did the usual in October.  I held a UNICEF party at our church, took the kids to Halloween parties, parades, festivals.  I also watched a lot, a lot, of football in various small towns in Kansas.  I went to fall parades and watched bands.  It was a full and busy month.  I also got some reading done.  I get to read while I wait in parking lots for which ever kid to get done with football practice, volleyball practice, cheerleading, etc.  As you can tell, I wait for  the end of a lot of practices.  I read 11 books.  One was audio, five were paper, and five were digital. 
Lincoln's Battle with God- Stephen Mansfield
Redeeming Love- Francine Rivers
Barefoot Summer- Denise Hunter
Winter Study- Nevada Barr
Sweet Santuary- Kim Vogel Sawyer
Devil's Grin- Annelie Windeberg
Examine Your Faith- Pamela Christian
O! Jackie- Mercedes King
Shadow on the Hill- Diana Staresinic-Deane
Gone- James Patterson
The Sixth Station- Linda Stasi
Favorite of the month would be Redeeming Love and Shadow on the Hill. 

unbreakable review

"Unbreakable" the second book in the Road to Kingdom series by Nancy Mehl is a novel that covers the dilemma of fighting back, or waiting for God.  Kingdom, a Kansas town of primarily Mennonites is being attacked by a group of people who hate Christians.  The attacks go beyond the Mennonite community, but  Mehl focuses on Kingdom, Kansas.   Jonathan is a Mennonite who is in favor of defending the town and trying to protect the people.  Ebbie is an elder who is in favor of praying and letting God protect the town.  The two men lead battles between the sides as the attacks go on.  They also battle it out for the heart of Hope, the main character.  Hope has a deep quiet love for Ebbie, but he doesn't really excite her much.  Jonathan makes her heart go pitter patter and puts the excitement in her.  She sees both sides of the defense issue as well. 
I really liked this book.  The characters, though Mennonite, were not portrayed as too naive or somehow slow.  The writing was good and the characters were well developed.  I have not read book one, and had no trouble following book 2.  I wished that the author had taken a little time at the beginning to lead the readers into what the town was like before the attacks; it seemed to hit the dilemma too fast.  However, if I had read book one, that probably would not have been a problem.  I received this book from the Book Club Network.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

the sixth station review

The second coming of Christ.  What if?  "The Sixth Station" by Linda Stasi is a big 'what if' in the second coming.  Alessandra is a modern world journalist who finds herself covering the biggest story of the millennium, Ben Yosef, a man who claims he is the Son of the Son, is on trial for terrorism.  Alessandra shares a surprise kiss with the accused terrorist and becomes 'the Chosen One'.  Alessandra is on the story to find out if he is the Son of the Son or is he just a crazy killer.  She gets caught between the good guys and the bad guys while covering the story and trying to escape being arrested herself for murder. 
"The Sixth Station" is like a Janet Evanovich novel and a Dan Brown novel got together and had a baby.  Alessandra is an amusing and lucky investigator who is after an ancient story with clues and nothing is as it seems.  This book isn't at the level as Evanovich or Brown, but it is still pretty good.  This is a fictional novel and is in no way to be taken seriously as a end of times non-fiction, it is a 'what if'.  What might the second coming be like?  Just because you have a certain image of the coming in mind, doesn't make that the only way.  He could come many different ways; this is one.  I liked it.  I recommend it.  I received this book through www.netgalley.com.   

spring review

Never Ending Spring by Darrell Case is murder mystery by Mr. Case.  Jack Johnson is a farmer in Indiana who has endured many hardships in life but Jack is a farmer like many others we all have known who lean over and pull themselves out of all problems by pulling on his boot straps and walk forward.  Jack is a good man who has endured the early death of his young son in a farming accident and is now going through the raising of his granddaughter after the senseless murder of his daughter and her pastor husband right in their own church.  Jack blames the police force who is not doing a good enough job solving the crime.  Jack blames God (maybe) since he says he doesn’t believe in Him or at least the hypocrites who go to his sin in law’s church.  Jack blames Lonnie Greggs, the local criminal who has an alibi but it all seems pretty fishy to Jack.  Then when Lonnie runs and the police refuse to go after him and bring him back to town Jack takes the law into his own hands and leaving his wife Ruth to run the farm, he decides to take onto himself this miscarriage of justice.  He looks for Lonnie and even captures him but while returning to town someone shoots and kills Lonnie and tries to kill Jack also.  Jack begins to have second thoughts about Lonnie.  Maybe Lonnie was telling the truth.  But if it wasn’t Lonnie who could it be? 
As with the other Case book that I have read I liked this mystery.  I thought he could have not tipped his hand quite so quick to show the reader who the killer was but the suspense was good and though the reader knew who the killer probably was they didn’t know how many bodies would stack up before he would be arrested.  Mr. Case also does an excellent job of telling the story of Jack’s being saved by Jesus Christ.  Life does not become perfect after accepting Christ in his life but just more manageable.  I like Mr. Case’s style of writing and look forward to reading more of his work.
As an aside I wish the back of the book would have been writing in a different fashion.  I am afraid that the way it is written that only Christians will read the book.  I feel that with Mr. Case’s background in mission he would like to also reach the unchurched and I feel that  it could be written less heavy handed. I received this book for free from the author.  (submitted by CB)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

glittering promises review

"Glittering Promises" by Lisa T. Bergen is the third book in The Grand Tour Series.  This is definitely a series that needs to be read in order.  Cora, is a young woman in the early 20th century who was raised by poor parents, only to discover that her biological father is filthy rich as well as a mean snob.  She comes to meet her siblings in the first two books, in the third she comes to discover who she will become now that she has control over a large amount of wealth and if it will change her, or if she will change the world with it. 
This is a very pretty book.  Everything is nice, it is descriptive, full of detail, and color.  The plot seems a little improbable.  She is touring Europe with her new found family and a kidnapper is chasing them, yet they don't want to give up the Tour soooo, they keep vacationing with the kidnapper following?  A lot of it doesn't make sense.  It isn't a deep novel, no life altering epiphanies; it's just a nice novel, an escape, if you will. 
I received this book for free from the Goodreads Giveaways. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

o jackie review

"O! Jackie" by Mercedes King is fictional tale of a president, First Lady, and their complicated lives.  This is a fictional account, loosely based on the lives of JFK and Jackie Kennedy.  Loosely.  A lot of it is true, but there is plenty of rumor, probably, maybe, coulda, shoulda, and what ifs to go around.  I will treat this review as a review of a work of complete fiction to protect the innocent/guilty.  I will review the writing rather than the research and/or daydreaming. 
The first third of this book is basically one infidelity after another on the part of the husband.  Though it is repeated by the wife that she "ultimately loves him" so she never leaves, the writer never says what there is to love about him.  Usually when the man is in-your-face sleeping around he hands out a fair amount of romance and gifts to the wife to get back in her good graces.  This husband does not.  He just keeps doing it.  Its almost as if part of the book is missing; it needs some reason to keep him.  The second third of the book includes that.  King turns on the charm and JFK becomes more complete while still doing his extra curricular activities.  The couple as characters are much more developed and the plot is more interesting.  Now when you start to get to the end, you may roll your eyes or think this is waaaay out in left field!"  But keep in mind that it is fiction, and then the story is riveting.  This is sort of what you wish had happened.  The first 1/3 needs more editing, but stick around and King won't disappoint.  Just remember it is fiction!  I received this book for free from the author through www.bookblogs.ning.com.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Examine Your Faith Blog Tour

examine your faith by pamela christianExamine Your Faith!: Finding Truth in a World of Lies Well-meaning people want to believe that all roads lead to the same God and heaven. But wanting something to be true is far different from truth lining up with reality. Unless you make an intentional effort to examine what you believe and why you believe it, it’s quite possible you are living your life on the basis of a lie, and don’t know it. • What is truth? • Is it relative or absolute? • Is it personal or universal? • What are the differences among the various religious faiths? Can they be blended? • Are we creating faith—a belief system—that is impotent by trying to accept all religions as equal? (This book has been endorsed by Josh McDowell, Dr. Craig Hazen, and Dan Story.)
You can purchase Examine Your Faith! at:
~~~ Amazon ~~~
pamela chistianAbout the Author For over twenty years, coast to coast, Pamela Christian, “the Faith Doctor,” has been helping people in matters of faith. Pam compassionately wants people to confidently discover and live in, life-giving truth. Her ministry experience began as Teaching Director for Community Bible Study, (an independent, interdenominational, international organization). This led to her receiving invitations to speak nationally, followed by work as radio talk-show host in two major markets. She is a contributing writer to various books and magazines. Her education includes a certificate in apologetics from Biola University. As a book author and media personality Pam's desire is to reach as many people as possible. She and her husband live in Orange County, CA, with their two grown children living nearby. Follow me on: Good Reads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7179552.Pamela_Christian Book Fun: http://www.bookfun.org/profile/PamelaChristian Twitter: http://twitter.com/plchristian Facebook: www.facebook.com/PamelaChristianMinistries Linked In: www.linkedin.com/in/pamelachristian/
blog button examine your faith
Blog Tour Schedule
October 14
Diane Estrella, www.dianeestrella.com
October 15
Lindsey Zimpel, http://booksforchristiangirls.blogspot.com/
October 16
Rebecca Stoneking, www.inaminute-beckie.blogspot.com
October 17
Krysta Osweiler, http://bookreviewsbykrysta.wordpress.com/
October 18
Lisa M. Buske, http://www.lisambuske.com/blog.html
October 19
Ruth Hill, http://mydevotionalthoughts.net/
October 20
Cindi Clubbs, http://ccclubbs.com/
Cindy Loven, http://cindylovenreviews.blogspot.com/
October 21
Vera Godley, http://chatwithvera.blogspot.com
October 22
Tara Box, https://www.notperfectonlyforgiven.blogspot.com
jesusandme4eva Beverly Terry, http://www.beverlylynnt.wordpress.com
October 23
Darlene Arroyo-Lozada, http://lovebookslozada.blogspot.com/ Paulette Harper Johnson, http://pharperjohnson.wordpress.com/
October 24
Donna Safford, http://bookworm56.blogspot.com/
Karen Lange, http://karenelange.blogspot.com/
Tara Fairfield, http://tarafairfield.com/going-deeper-blog.html
October 25
Adrian, seattlefreelancewriter
October 26
Elizabeth Sanders Towns, http://31daysearlyirise.com/
jeannegowendennis
October 27
Cassandra M's Place, http://star95011.blogspot.com
October 28
My Review The Giveaway For anyone that’s interested, the author is giving away one copy of Examine Your Faith! and a $25 Gift Card to Amazon or Paypal for one lucky reader! U.S. addresses only. Please use the Rafflecopter below to be entered: a Rafflecopter giveaway The winner will be chosen from those entries and announced November 15, 2013. Good luck!
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as e-mailed, and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Diane at That's What I'm Here For... and sponsored by the author, Pamela Christian. The author provided me with a free copy of Examine Your Faith! to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a giveaway in return for the free book.VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
MY BOOK REVEW! I received "Examine Your Faith" by Pamela Christian through Diane Estrella's blog. This book examines truth and faith as we know it and then breaks it down by religion and culture. She also goes into the history of the world's most popular religions. At first the book comes off as a woman who thinks waaay too much about faith. I just don't think God wants it to be that complicated. After the first few chapters Ms Christian goes into the history of the religions, which I found incredibly fascinating. I am Christian and am fairly familiar with Christianity, Judaism, and a little Muslim. I knew next to nothing about Hinduism and Buddhism. I loved this part of the book! There was so much that I learned about religion in general. I am not sure I would recommend this to the regular, off the street person. I would recommend this to anyone going into the field of Faith and anyone who is interested in world religion given in a nonjudgmental and basic way. She is easy to understand and well versed.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

devil's grin review

"Devil's Grin" by Annelie Windeberg is a new series with Sherlock Holmes as one of the stars. Dr. Anton Kronberg is the best bacteriologist in Europe, of course, there are only three. The age of bacterial diseases is in full force in 19 century London and Kronberg is investigating. The damage of these disease causes more death than murder is capable, however when you put the two together, then you really have something. Kronberg meets Sherlock Holmes at the death scene of an unnamed man who appears to have died of cholera and then placed in the water supply. The mystery leads to something much bigger, maybe even world wide. I have never read the original Holmes books, so I can't really compare, but this is a pretty good book. It is a quick read, very easy to follow. The bacterial investigation is fascinating. We are so lucky to live in a time of vaccinations. I don't know how factual it is, but if it is historically accurate, it is incredibly interesting. I received this book from www.librarything.com

Saturday, October 12, 2013

sweet sanctuary review

"Sweet Sanctuary" by Kim Vogel Sawyer is a Christian romance taking place in Boston and New York during WWII. Lydia has been raising Nicky, the child of her deceased best friend, for the first years of his life. Nic, Nicky's father, a morphine addict, has been looking for Nicky so that he can sell him. Micah, is brought in by Lydia's overbearing father to try and save them all. This story is highly improbable, kinda predictable, and slightly romantic. It's unlikely that an addict is going to search and search for three years for a kid so that sell it. Addicts just don't tend to be that dedicated to anything outside of their addiction. Also, if Micah's side job is hiding children, why is it never considered that he hide this one. The romance seems a little forced as well. It is well written and edited, however, the storyline is obvious. It was ok, it passed the time. There isn't a reason not to read it, it's not bad. It's just not great. I'd give it a C. I received this book for free from Bethany House.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

barefoot review

"Barefoot Summer" is the first book in the Chapel Springs Romance Series written by Denise Hunter. This novel is a romance starring Madison, a 26 year old veterinarian, who is learning to swim from Beckett, her long-time secret admirer. Madison comes with some baggage (her twin brother recently died) as well as her hatred for Beckett due to a misunderstanding with her sister/roommate. This book was ok. The romance was good, but the formula was typical. The characters seemed too young for their age. Though the book is the first in its series, it reads as if there have been others. I spent the first several chapters trying to figure out what was going on. The writing was fair, however, a prologue would have been helpful. I received this book for free from booksneeze.com

Thursday, October 3, 2013

redeeming love review

You MUST read this book!  "Redeeming Love" by Francine Rivers is the retelling of the Hosea and Gomer story (from the Bible) set in the 1850s in California.  It looks like a sappy love story, it could have been a melodramatic Christian novel.  But it is soooo not.  It opens with Sarah meeting her father for the first time and being rejected.  Her mother, a prostitute, basically chooses her father over Sarah.  He later rejects the mother as well.  Then at the ripe old age of 8, yes 8, she is sold into prostitution by her mother's drunken idiot boyfriend.  The story then picks back up at Sarah (now working under the name Angel) being 18 at still a working girl.  Michael then comes to rescue her whether she wants to be rescued or not.  The two begin a wonderful, complex, intense and strange love story.
By the end of the first chapter this book has the reader completely trapped.  I couldn't stop reading it.  It is so well written.  It doesn't pull any punches yet doesn't leave you feeling sick either.  The characters are fabulous.  I am only kicking myself for not reading it sooner.  Read it.  I received this book from Blogging for Books. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Lincoln review

"Lincoln's Battle with God" by Stephen Mansfield is a spiritually biographic account of Abraham Lincoln's life. It follow his from his parents to his death depicting his beliefs pertaining to religion and God. Lincoln not only had a battle with God, but also with religion. Which are two totally different things. His relationship with God went from anger to disbelief to acceptance and finally reliance. His relationship with religion was pretty much always bad. He never joined a church or attended any one particular church regularly. The book also follows his wife during their marriage, telling of her actions and beliefs pertaining to God and the spiritual world. This is a pretty good book. There were a lot of things in here I had not heard before. I have read plenty of books on the Lincolns and this still taught me. At times, I felt the writer was angry that Lincoln never made a complete statement on his religious beliefs, but I am glad that Lincoln never felt the need to share that with the public. The relationship between Lincoln and God was just that; between Lincoln and God.I received this book for free in a giveaway through the Thomas Nelson Facebook page.

september

September was sooo fun. We had a vacation which I wrote about earlier, football started. My son A has been thoroughly kicking butt all over Central Kansas. Our Army boy, JP came home for about three weeks. It was interesting to get to know the mature and improved JP. I read 10 books over the month. Eight were real books and two were digital.
 Helen Keller in Love- Rosie Sultan
He Knows Your Name- Travis cottrell
Power of Ordinary Prayer- Michael W. Smith
Winning Balance- Shawn Johnson
Girl in the Glass- Susan Meissner
Harvest of Grace- Cindy Woodsmall
Esther- Darlene Schacht
The Blue Tattoo- Ms. Mifflin
 Unstoppable- Nick Vujicic
Devotions for Moms- Heather Bixler
This month was heavy in non-fiction and devotional readings. I read a lot of books that have been sitting in my TBR pile for about a year. So it is good to get them back in the book shelf, however, I am hungry for a good old fashion fiction.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

unstoppable review

"Unstoppable: The Incredible Power of Faith in Action" is the non-fiction work of inspirational speaker and evangelist, Nick Vujicic.  The author writes of how to do something with your faith, rather than keeping it to yourself and how it benefits both you and the rest of the world.  Not to mention God.  This is Nick's second book.  I have not read the other two.  "Unstoppable" is not a biography, though he uses his own life and challenges of being born without limbs as a way to get his message across.  The basic theme of the book is "Quit yer whining, ya big baby!  I got no arms or legs and I'm on top of the Great Wall of China.  Boo-ya!"  Only he puts it much nicer.  It is a good book, but not one that you can't just sit and read straight through.  The ideal way to read it would be a chapter a day.  Don't rush it, it will seem boring.  If you read it a bit a day, it is much more inspirational.  I received this book for free for participating in a book blast for his newest book, "Limitless". 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

toooo good

"Too Good for Truman" by Chris Well is an action crime mystery story set in Nashville. Truman is an unemployed crime reporter for the local Nashville newspaper and no one is more surprised than he is when he receives a thank you note from the local homeless mission thanking him for his half million dollar contribution to their charity. The trouble begins to build though when the IRS agent comes to investigate why he has not reported how he came to have a half a million dollars to contribute to a charity. Mix all this up with the kidnapping of up and coming rising teen country and western singing sensation, Darla Lovell and you have the making of this mystery. This is not the mystery so many crime novels that leaves the reader wondering who done it no this is the mystery of how Truman going to prove that not only did he not bilk the IRS out of their tax dollars but also how he did not kidnap Darla Lovell and try to collect the ransom money from the music producer’s insurance money. This is a great story. I have never laughed so much while reading an action novel. Mr. Well has so many twists and turns and throws in comedy with each one. I have enjoyed reading his novels before and this one did not disappoint in any way. Great read and I hope to read more of your work. I received this book from the author for this review. (submitted by CB)

Friday, September 20, 2013

moms devotion

"Devotions for Moms" by Heather Bixler is a 37 day devotion for Christian moms.  Each day has scripture and a story followed by either a prayer or further scripture reading.  This book is targeted for moms, but I would say that it would be suitable for anyone.  Some of the entries are momish, but some are not.  I am a mom, so some days spoke rather clear to me, especially when she talks about the kids putting clean clothes in the hamper so they don't have to put them away.  What is with that, btw!  I hate that.  Anyway, it is a pretty good devotional. There were quite a few editorial mistakes that need to be cleaned up, for example:  there/their, spellings, etc.  I can't recall if I have an advanced copy (digital) or not, but if it is advanced that probably was taken care of when it went to publishing.  I liked it and would recommend it to anyone, especially a mom.  I received this book for free from Becoming Press LLC.

esther review

"Esther", a bible study by Darlene Schacht is one of her three bible studies in the series.  Of her studies, I loved Ruth, but didn't like Philippians at all.  Esther was somewhere in between.  Esther is the only book in the Bible that does not use the word for God anywhere in it.  It is viewed as a Jewish historical story rather than as a religious one.  There is a theory that the book of Esther (from the Bible) is not a true story, but rather a parable.  If you are a believer in this theory, than this study will fit you perfectly.  I am not; I believe that it is a true story, therefore, I found parts of the study a little confusing.  I think this study can only really be viewed as good or bad by the individual reader.  It picks through the book of Esther and draws similarities from other parts of the bible to verify or further study it.  I received this book for free from the author on her Time-Warp Wife Facebook page.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

nora of florence

"The Girl in the Glass" by Susan Meissner is the tale of three women on two continents and two centuries.  The novel starts out with Nora of the prominent Medicis from the 14th century in Florence, Italy and Meg, a California woman in the 21st.  Meg works for a travel book publisher and receives chapters from a budding writer, Sofia, living in Florence.  Sofia believes she is a descendant of the Medici  and that Nora speaks to her through statues.  Meg has a life-long dream of visiting Florence.  Her father sends her to Florence shortly after Meg was introduced to Sofia.  The three women's lives become intertwined in Florence.
The beginning of this book is hard to get into.  Meg is rather immature and has a weird emotional  dependency with her parents.  Nora is rather vague.  When Sofia steps into the story, the novel takes on a whole new take.  Sofia's writing is phenomenal.  No matter that it is unbelievable, it is still a wonderful voice.  I know almost nothing of Italy, let alone Florence.  During most of Meg's trip to Florence, I had to read near a laptop so that I could google the works of art they were talking about.  There is a lot I have been missing.  The art was amazing.  If the goal of this book is to make you want to go to Florence, then buy me a ticket.  Florence is my new destination on my "must see before I die" list.  Top of the list at that.  The novel really comes to together at the end.  Not my favorite Meissner novel, but still awesome writing.  I won this book in a contest from Water Brook Press.  (The contest was to choose the cover of the book.  They didn't pick my fav, but I still got the book!)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

winning balance review

"Winning Balance" by Shawn Johnson, the Olympian, is a not an autobiography (her words) but a book about what she has learned so far about love, faith, and living your dreams. In my opinion it is about as autobiographical as you can get. She starts with birth and goes on from there. At the ripe old age of 20 she has done quite a bit of living. She tells of training in gymnastics from an early age, to the Olympics, to Dancing With the Stars, to an attempted comeback, to retirement. That's a lot crammed into 20 years. This is the second book I have read this year by an Olympian and the second I have read by a DWTS champ. It was interesting to see her point of view as she was by far the youngest and the only female as well as generational American of the three authors. She isn't a great writer. She sees things young, she writes young,; but hey, she is. She doesn't get real deep into herself, she mostly sticks to the play-by-play writing method. I would recommend this book for the gymnastics fan or really anyone wanting a light hearted non-fiction. No raves, but no complaints either. C+ I received this book for free through the Summer Reading Program through Tyndale Publishing.

Friday, September 13, 2013

two for one

Worthy Publishing sent me two books to review so I am going to review them together with a little compare and contrast. "He Knows Your Name" by Travis Cottrell and "The Power of an Ordinary Prayer" by Michael W. Smith with Tom Williams. Both books are devotional type reads. Cottrell's book starts each chapter with a definition and a verse, then a two or three page entry, followed by reflection and application, quotes and scripture, and finally prayer. It's a fairly short book that if read daily can be read in a week or so. The topics tended to surround worship, but varied. Smith's book started each chapter with scripture, then with entries of several pages peppered with reflection questions throughout. It finished each chapter with quotes and verse and ended with a final reflection and action. His topics surrounded blessings and speaking prayer. Though Smith's chapters were longer, there were less of them. These books are incredibly similar and I can't really say one was better than the other. Some days they were blah, blah, blah and some days they were WOW! that really speaks to me! I gotta read that again. It probably depended a lot on the reader's mood and the point at hand in the chapter. I would recommend these books to any Christian; they are good and sometimes amazing.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

the great war review

"The Great War: A Combat History of the First World War" by Peter Hart is a text book style written account of the beginning and duration of WWI. It is not for the average reader. It is written with the die-hard war historian in mind. I knew little about WWI prior to this book. Mostly high school history class. This information was pretty much all new to me. It also was a lot of information to take in at once if one knows little about the war or the politics of turn of the century Europe. It is well written and I believe well researched. I don't really know, I am trusting Hart that it is accurate. I received this book for free from www.librarything.com.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

the once a decade vacation

Every decade or so I like to take a vacation.  My husband and I own our own business so it is very hard to get away.  His family also lives several hours away, so when we get time to go somewhere...that's usually where we go.  Last week our son, JP, graduated from basic training and infantry training at Ft. Benning, Georgia.  We made the trek with our two youngest daughters, M, who is 17 and S who is 8.  We traveled about 5 hours a day for three days to get to Georgia and then took the trip home in two.  First stop was St. Louis.  Went to the arch of course, but also to the Science Center.  Which if you have little kids (4-13) they will love this place.  It is free too!  It's all hands on, even has a guy on site cleaning dinosaur bones.  Second stop was the Shiloh Battlefield.  I love history, so does my 8 year old.   We loved looking around.  It is however, visually just a hayfield, so if you don't have a good imagination and a knowledge of the battle, just skip it.  Third on the trip was Atlanta.  Atlanta people are mean drivers!!!  Anyway, we went to the aquarium which was amazing!  It was probably the best part of the trip.  Truly amazing!  We then hit rush hour traffic, which my husband never truly recovered from.  Saw Stone Mountain.  Impressive.  Then we did Ft Benning and the Infantry museum for a couple of days.  Saw the older two daughters, K & C, along with C's boyfriend and M our daughter who lives in CA and we haven't seen in about 5 years.  She has grown up so much as has JP, who matured about 10 years while in the army.  On the way back we did Elvis day.  We hit Tupelo and then Memphis.  That's a good idea, btw.  Explains a lot.  Still exhausted though we've been back three days.  Just caught up at work but now have to leave early to take S to the cardiologist which will then get me behind again.  Oh, well, it was all worth it.

helen loves peter

"Helen Keller in Love" by Rosie Sultan is the fictional account of a true story.  Helen Keller, the deaf/blind girl that is infamous in American history, had never been alone with a man in any way until Peter.  Peter became her personal secretary when Annie Sullivan, the Annie Sullivan, became seriously ill with what was thought to be tuberculosis.  At the age of 37, Helen was ready for love, sex, any kind of relationship with a man, she also wanted a family of her own.  Peter filled that role.
Helen Keller is always fascinating, but one has to wonder, does anyone really know the real Helen Keller.  This book goes into the Helen Keller that was more human than the one that is perceived.  Helen was incredibly sheltered, lonely, and spoiled.  She also really wanted a man.  This novel goes into what it must be like to experience a "first" relationship at the age of 37 and how frustrating it must be to have to sneak around and hide it as if you are 14.  It is a well written book, Helen's character, though fictionalized, seems to really go deep into her mind and emotions.  I like this book, I just wish it were longer.  Did she ever have another?  I wonder.  I received this book in a giveaway on the site www.popcornreads.com . 

Friday, September 6, 2013

tattler's branch review

"Tattler's Branch" by Jan Watson tells the story of Lilly, a doctor in a mine camp during the early 20th Century.  Lilly's friend and a neighbor, Armina, witnesses a murder and rescues the victim's baby.  Armina's health quickly deteriorates and Lilly must care for the special needs baby.  Meanwhile, the baby's father is lurking about trying to get his child back in underhanded ways. 

I liked this book in that it showed that the myth of women only working from home is untrue and that women have been doing the housework and much, much for since the beginning.  The characters are great, the writing is good.  Armina is supposed to be 20 but acts much, much older.  I would rather the writer had just made her older.   The book also gave a good description of how infants with Down's Syndrome were viewed at the time.  I received this book for free from Tyndale Publishing.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

August

Beautiful Fools- R. Clifton Spargo
When Mockingbirds Sing- Billy Coffey
Renegade- Mel Odom
Swept Away- Mary Connealy
South of Shiloh- Chuck Logan
 Blaze of Glory- Jeff Shaara
 Ruth- Darlene Schact
 Deliver Us From Evelyn- Chris Well
House of Tribulation- Chris Well
 Tattler's Branch- Jan Watson
A Wanted Man- Lee Child
This wraps up Summer. Read 11 books this month, 8 real and 3 digital. I was in a Battle of Shiloh mood since we will be visiting there soon. Probably won't read much next month. I will be taking a vacation and football has started at the high school. That's a lot of not reading.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

KCMO trilogy

The Kansas City Blues Trilogy consists of three crime booksby Chris Well: Forgiving Solomon; Deliver Us From Evelyn; and House of Tribulation. The books flow in order, but do not need to be read in order to follow. The books revolve around organized crime in Kansas City, MO and the police/Feds united force that brings them down. In "Forgiving Solomon" Solo, who is a contracted killer for the Catalano family has been working int he field since he was a young man. This is not his first kill; not even his first priest. However, it is the first psychological problem following a killing. Now every time he tries to finish his contract the priest keeps showing up and the Gideon Bible in his motel room keeps opening to the page that says, "Thou shalt not kill." Now matter what he does to the bible, it keeps coming back like a Ouija board. Now the mob is after him. "Deliver Us From Evelyn" follows the cops that were chasing Solo and their next case. Blake, a mega rich media dude is missing and his wife doesn't seem to care; that is until someone points that out and then she makes the cops' lives hell to make it look as though she does. "House of Tribulation" returns to the mob and the two thugs that are trying to squeeze money from the community. The local church thinks it has discovered the date and time of the end of the world. One man's path to distruction while he waits is followed as well. These are real page turners. Throughout the story line there are unexpected twists and turns that leave the reader wondering about what would happen next. They are Christian novels, but follow none of the rules. I love this author's character development. I love the twists. Especially when the mob puts pressure for money on the church and they tell them that they will have to take it to the board before they can ok a payment to the mob. These are funny, awesome books. Anyone would enjoy reading this series. I received this book for free from the author through Story Cartel.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

study of Ruth

"Ruth: A Woman of virtue" by Darlene Schacht is a Life-Application Bible Study.  This short e-book is a brief, but good study of the book of Ruth.  The study breaks up the scripture and both studies it and gives a historical background.  It also goes into language as well. 
Though I thought the structure a little eratic, the study itself was well written and interesting.  Ruth is probably one of the most popular people from the bible.  Especially as far as women are concerned.  I really liked this study.  I received this e-book for free from the author through her facebook page,  https://www.facebook.com/timewarpwife

Thursday, August 15, 2013

AMAZING!

"Out of Darkness" by Darrel Case is a great Christian mystery novel.  It is the story of a well known highly moneyed pastor of a mega church complex.  David Padgett went to his luxury bed one night well loved by his family, had many he called friends, money was no object and worries were a distant memory in his life.  His sermons were attended by thousands and his speaking engagements were packed.  His wife Anne was well loved also and had her own women's conferences which were well attended.  David was planning his retirement after which their only son, Robert, would take over.  David and Anne lived in a mansion on the church grounds and Robert lived in a duplicate mansion.  Nothing could be better- oh David thought his spiritual life could use more time with God and reading scripture- but he didn't have time to worry on that as his life was very full just fulfilling his church obligations.  Then David is arrested for a murder that he didn't commit and his world starts to crumble.
This is a great story of how a great man starts out depending on God for his success and then when he makes it big, decides that it is all due to his own greatness.  Mr. Case writes a good 'who done it' and well constructs the plot of intrigue.  I read this book in 1 1/2 days.  I usually read fiction written by women but this story can easily be read by both sexes with equal entertainment.  I would recommend this novel to any reader who loves mystery reading.  I feel honored to be able to have read this book.  Mr. Case is a great writer and I enjoyed the experience.  I received this book from the author through the www.bodyandsoulpublishing.com website.  (submitted by CB)

struggles review

"Struggles and Triumphs- Women who overcame" by Cynthia L. Simmons is a book of numerous women in history.  For instance: Kateryn, one of Henry VIII's wives, who found herself about to be arrested for speaking too freely to him about her faith and what she though that he should do about it politically.  Women in the 1540's were not normally educated and Kateryn was teaching her servants to read.  Kateryn was ahead of her time, but risked her life to do so.  Another woman was Louise who was Duchess of Coburg.  She had just found out that her husband, Duke of Earnest has an eye for the very young girls of the country.  She was seeking to escape her marriage, but was afraid not only for her reputation, but for her life.  Katie Luther, wife of Martin had a very different life.  Martin believed in Katie's knowledge and trusted her with the family finances and made the family quite wealthy.  This way they could continue to help the poor in Marin's community.  Martin meant so much to his students that they continued to study after his death and write a book on his teachings.  There are many more women, who are seldom mentioned in history books, but who changed the world for their faith in Jesus Christ. 
This book is an easy to read book for the reader who wants to have a basic knowledge of a few of the women of faith in hour history.  The famous men of our churches we know of, but their wives are basically unknown.  This book could be fleshed out easily and made much more interesting.  There is basically one event that is mentioned in each woman's chapter and it is evident that they could have told much more.  The author just gives us a taste with only 159 pages in the book.  Obviously it is a very quick read.  I would call it average, but could be a lot better with some fleshing out.  I received this book for free from the author through the www.bodyandsoulpublishing.com website. 
(submitted by CB)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

women are always working

"Working Women of the Bible" by Susan Dimickele is a study of 15 women from the Bible. The author takes the women of all types and helps the reader to get insight from these long ago women. She starts with the first woman, Eve, who is a well known woman of the Bible- discusses her strengths and weaknesses as well as contrasting them with the traits of the modern woman. Ms Dimickele does not just discuss women of high reputation such as Mary, mother of Jesus, but also Jezebel a woman of questionable reputation. She contrasts Mary and Martha, pros and cons. Many studies look at Martha as the worker and Mary as the woman who takes the time to learn from Jesus, but this book looks into Martha as the woman willing to combine the two characteristics. This book looks at and studies all these women, and also has a sense of humor. She also looks at the way that modern women live their lives and how we can learn from the ancient woman of Biblical times. These women had the same dreams for their children that we have. These women had to balance their individual jobs with time spent listening to their mentor, Jesus, just as the modern woman needs to balance jobs and children with time spent learning from the mentors of our day. I liked reading and learning from the women of ancient times. Ms Dimickele does an excellent job of drawing the reader into the lives of the women and then showing the reader how their own lives can be enriched by the teachings of these mostly uneducated women. This author has shown in a new way the timeless quality of the Bible's teaching through the lives of these women. All women of the faith should read this book and they will enjoy it. I received this book from the publisher: Leafwood Publishers through a giveaway on www.interviewsandreviews.com. (Submitted by CB)

Monday, August 12, 2013

swept away review

"Swept Away" by Mary Connealy is the first book in the "Trouble in Texas" series. This novel begins when Ruthy is with her adopted family on the Santa Fe Trail and is swept down river. She is found by Luke, a man bent on revenge, who is headed to Texas to reclaim his ranch. When the two arrive in Broken Wheel, Texas they meet up with Luke's friends from Andersonville Prison. And the battle begins. The book has a great story. I especially love the Andersonville storyline. I wish Connealy had gone into it more. In fact, a prequel would be a fantastic idea. There is lots of drama and action, however, the diaolague was a little lengthy. I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from The Book Club Network.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

renegade review

"Renegade" by Mel Odom is book two of the Called to Serve series.  I haven't read book 1, and though it sounds good, it isn't necessary to read before this one.  In "Renegade", Pike, a low level criminal is in the witness protection program to testify against the killers of his best friend, Pete.  He has been there for three years.  Strangely, the witness protection has given him the most stability he has ever known and Pike isn't sure how he feels about that.  Pike is also in the Marine reserves.  In book 1 of the series, the main character is Bekah, who is Pike's partner while deployed in Afghanistan in book 2.  The book takes turns in focus chapter by chapter with Pike being the main character, but the reader is also introduced to Bekah and Yaqub, an al Qaeda leader.  Yaqub has kidnapped US CIA agents. The three characters become entangled in the war in Afghanistan.

I really liked this book.  It is well written, the characters are clear.  Pike, though a criminal is still a likable character that the reader becomes invested in. Macho is his middle name.  Yaqub is even humanized and clear.  I will be reading Book One to catch up and if there is a book 3, I'll read that one too.  B+.  I received this book from Tyndale Publishing.

Monday, August 5, 2013

July

July was very chaotic.  We had the county fair, Shriner's Bowl, husband went to NYC for a week, Fourth of July.  I had little time to do much, especially since the babysitter went to Masonic Band camp the same week that the husband/business owner went to NYC.  It was stressful!  I only read 7 books.  I need to kick it into gear.  I am seriously behind.  I even have taken on an assistant reviewer for awhile.  If you see CB that's her.  She has her own blog as well, but her children are grown so she's got time to kill.  Here is the list of July reads:
Running for my Life- Lopez Lomong
Fifth Assassin- Brad Meltzer
One Glorious Ambition- Jane Kirkpatrick
Buffalo Girls- Larry McCarthy
Rebekah- Jill Eileen Smith
Empty Glass- J.I. Baker
Scent of Lilacs- Ann H. Gabhart
Six were real, mostly from the library, and one was digital.  The best of the month was Lopez Lomong's autobiography with Buffalo Girls coming second.  Lomong isn't the best writer in the world but what a story.  And the dude is funny!  McCarthy's book is second because Calamity Jane is awesome and McCarthy can write! 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

when mockingbirds review

"When Mockingbirds Sing" by Billy Coffey is a fantasy novel about a stuttering, shy girl, Leah and her strange parents who move to a small town that seems keep its population the same always with few new comers.  Leah's parents have a huge birthday party for her and the Rainbow man comes to befriend Leah and give her knowledge. 
This whole book is kinda weird.  It has great reviews and I am not sure why.  The whole thing seems like the author's a weak attempt to be deep.  There is little introduction so the reader spends the first part of the novel wondering what's going on.  With the exception of Allie, none of the characters are particuarly likable. I didn't like this one, however, many people do.  Give it a shot. I received this book for free from www.booksneeze.com

Thursday, August 1, 2013

scent of lilacs review

"Scent of Lilacs" by Ann H. Gabhart, volume 1 in the Hollyhill Series, is a great book.  It's one of those take around the house with you while you read, stay up late, don't do what you're supposed to 'cuz you're reading kinda books.  It's 1964 and David's, a pastor/newspaper man, world is never going to be the same.  David's wife/floozy left him seven years ago and he has since been raising his younger daughter with the help of his aunt, Love.  Soon things start to happen in Hollyhill that shake David up.  For starters, his long lost daughter (the older of the two) comes home to Hollyhill, KY from California. 
Things seem to happen in a rapid fire motion in a way that would probably never happen in real life, in fact you might say in soap opera fashion.  Does that make it any less enjoyable?  No.  I like a good soap opera.  I liked this book.  A-.  I received this book for free from The Book Club Network. 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

devotion- the novel

"Devotion" by Marianne Evans is a novel about a devoted Christian couple who have been married for almost 9 years.  They have been trying to have a baby that entire time but just have not been able to conceive.  This couple truly loves each other, but in the intervening years has begun to take each other for granted.  They live a wealthy lifestyle with Kellen in the music business as an agent to some very successful clients.  The business that he works for appreciates him and rewards him often with increases in his salary.  Juliet is very busy with her charity work pulling off very high end money making projects mostly for her church but also for the local homeless shelter.  Kellen has been gradually pulling away from time he usually spent in prayer, in Sunday morning worship, and just relaxing at home.  Chole steps in his office and his world rapidly takes off in a new direction as he finds himself unexpectedly drawn to her romantically.  He tries to resist but one day in his office they kiss and an office worker walks in on them.  Kellen instantly feels bad and immediately looses all romantic feeling for her.  Juliet accidentally finds out about the kiss in the bathroom at an office party.  This is the story of Juliet and Kellen working on their relationship and trying to find their way back to a healthy marriage. 
I liked this story, but found that the character of Kellen was much like we women wish that men felt and acted, but I don't think that most men would. This man was almost womanly in his actions.  I think that Ms Evans could have used more time discussing with men how they go about trying to resurrect a marriage.  However, this story was great and one that I think many of us in our busy working worlds of not spending as much time together and not enough time in prayer and in church is one that we need to hear and consider as we live out life. I received this e-book for free from the Book Club Network. (Submitted by CB)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

one glorious ambition review

What does an epileptic, an insane person, someone with downs syndrome, a debtor, an alcoholic, a passionate woman, and a murderer have in common?  Give up?  Well, in the 1800s they would have all been put in the same jail cell.  I have no clue who thought that would be a good idea and why some of the above mentioned were even jailed at all is ridiculous!  Dorthea Dix is the daughter of a mentally ill mother and alcoholic and child abusive father.  (Neither parent was jailed.)  Dix spent her life trying to fit in and find a family; the family she had was incapable of loving her at all.  When she reached 40 yrs old she discovered that her life's work would be relieving the suffering of those "relieved of their reason." She spent the rest of her life doing so. 
The book starts off told in fiction form following Dorthea from childhood to her twenties.  It takes a more historical telling form when she starts her cause of humane treatment of those with mental disabilities of many sorts.  This book tells of amazingly horrible acts of abuse to people of mental ailments. Including the ability to buy such a person to use for labor or entertainment purposes. Though it could read dry at times, the information is astounding.  Dix is also made known to the reader clearly and I spent a lot of time feeling sorry for her.  She always tried to fit in and yet was always afraid that she might become mentally ill.  I give this book a B+.  Really good.  I received this book for free from www.bloggingforbooks.com

Monday, July 1, 2013

June

June has been the usual.  Kids were out of school, swimming lessons, football, driver's ed, library programs, etc.  I went and practiced golf for the first time and did a little bowling that I haven't done in years.  I read 10 books this month.  Six were real and four were digital.  My favorites of the month were German Suitcase, Cherries, and Firefly Island. 
Widows and Orphans- Susan Meissner
The Unseen- Heather Graham
Hope- heather Bixler
All Things New- Lynn Austin
Thanksgiving 1942- Alan Simon
Unrivaled- Siri Mitchell
Cherries- John Podlaski
The Making of Theodore Roosevelt- Robert DeMayo
German Suitcase- Greg Dinallo
Firefly Island- Lisa Wingate