Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Our family Christmas is over.  We have had quiet an eventful one.  Long too.  We've had over night guests.  Some are still here!  From Texas and Arizona to Missouri and Oregon.  Our version of Four Christmases included Star Wars, guitar jamborees, football, 5 hour poker games (twice), target practice, a couple of car wrecks, a tiny blizzard, extreme snacking, three babies, Christmas morning in London, and watching the Chiefs snag the playoffs live and in person.  Presents included homemade dishes, appliances, 4 pairs of shoes, and 6 World Series shirts!  It was fun while it lasted but I am glad things are calming down.  Time to think about the birth of our Savior and the impact of his life (and death).  Merry Christmas everyone and Happy New Year!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Going back to Sanctuary

"Rising Darkness" by Nancy Mehl is the third novel in the Sanctuary series.  It also incorporates the Kingdom series.  I love that she decided to write about Sophie from Kingdom.  You remember her.  The weird, hateful girl with the horrible parents.  Sophie has become tired of being that girl from Kingdom and has reinvented herself.  She has a job as a food critic for a St Louis paper, but has dreams of being an investigative reporter.  She has a lead on a cold case of two robbers/killers that may be hiding out in Sanctuary.  She goes undercover to root them out.  Only to discover Jonathan, the love (from afar) of her life has taken up residence there.  Sophie has changed so much, that even Jonathan doesn't recognize her.  Sophie begins a delicate tight walk of finding the story and dealing with the hurt of her past that Sanctuary keeps reminding her of.
Mehl just gets better with each novel.  Sophie is such a great, realistic character.  She wasn't covered deeply in Kingdom, but here we get to know her and her past.  Mehl develops her characters more with each novel.  I give this one 5 stars.  I don't know what I'm going to do with the next one.  Have to readjust my rating scale I guess.  I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from Bethany House Publishers. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

House at Homecoming Review

"The House at Homecoming Cove" by Ginny Baird begins as a simple romance, but then the ghosts enter the picture.  I would classify this as a romance/mystery/ghost story.  There is a little something for everyone.  Melissa is a pianist that writes music for television shows.  She has writer's block, therefore, she rents a house in Homecoming Cove for a month to set her mind straight.  While there she meets Stone, the caretaker's goodlookin' grandson who does the yard work.  The two have sort of de ja vu thing going on and an instant attraction turns to romance.  Melissa learns of the house's story and the legend of Fiona, the ghost of the house.  As Fiona is haunting the two, the romance is brewing.  When they aren't gazing they are trying to solve the mystery of why Fiona is haunting in the first place. 
Though an experience romance reader might find the story predictable, the younger reader will love it.  It is a sweet romance. Making out, no sex.  I would recommend it for the teen to 30 year old crowd.  Or really any one wanting a little romance and is tired of the "just sex" part.  I received this book from the author through the Sweet Team. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Good things come in threes

"An Amish Christmas Gift" is a group of three novellas by three different authors, Amy Clipston, Ruth Reid, and Kelly Irvin.  All three books are about romance brewing in Lancaster County at Christmas time.  Nothing deep or complex here; just sweet romance.  Reid's "An Unexpected Joy" was my favorite so I will review that one.  Abigail is a talking whirlwind that at the ripe old age of 24 has given up on marriage and has plans to buy her own horse to ease her growing need for independence.  She takes a job with Micah, helping his grandmother around the house, in order to pay for the horse.  Along the way she does what she can to help her cousins who are on the brink of shunning.  Their son, who has jumped the fence, has returned from the army with a case of PTSD. 

Some of these novellas are better than others, all are good.  I received this e-book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Bigfoot needs friends too (spoiler)

"Elwood Bigfoot:  Wanted:  Birdie Friends" by Jill Esbaum is a children's picture book about Elwood, a bigfoot, who is lonely in the wilderness.  He does love birds, though.  So in order to make bird friends,  he jumps through all these figurative hoops in order to bring them in; and finally changes his behavior around them to win the birds over.  Though the pictures are wonderful, the book is kind of depressing.  I felt sorry for him most of the time and even though it ends (spoiler alert!) with him winning over the birds for friends, he has to change who he is first.  It's a sad book.  I won this book in a giveaway from Grandma's Cookie Jar. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

sadie speaks

Sadie Robertson, co-star of Duck Dynasty on A&E, has written "Live Original" a book on bettering oneself and keeping it real for the teen reader.  Though is it written for a teen by a teen, it is still an awesome book for any age.  In my opinion, Sadie is the next Joyce Meyer. Though both leave areas of improvement in their writing, both have a message that they can communicate on an across the universe level.  They can deliver the message to both sexes and all age groups without confusion.  They tell it like it is.  Robertson delivers a message of improving oneself, forgiveness, confidence, and Godly love.  Sharing that love.  Standing your ground with kindness.  I really like this girl.  Because she isn't a main star on the show, I didn't know too much about her personality.  This book left me kind of glad I didn't, because I rather enjoyed getting to know her through her own writing rather than A&E's version.  I give it 4.5 stars.  I received this e-book through www.edelweiss.abovethetreeline.com

Live Original: How the Duck Commander Teen Keeps It Real and Stays True To Her Values  -     By: Sadie Robertson, Beth Clark

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Restoration #3

"On This Foundation" is book number 3 in The Restoration Chronicles written by Lynn Austin.  Austin has been following the migration of the Jews back into Jerusalem after the exile had come to a close.  In "Foundation", Ezra has retired from being a governor and Nehemiah has taken over.  Nehemiah's primary concern is the rebuilding of the wall and safety of the citizens in Jerusalem.  There are two side stories as well.  Chana, a young woman whose fiancée has been murdered, has become interested in courting Malkijah, a rich land owner with many servants.  And Nava, one of the servants that works for Malkijah, is desperately trying to be free to marry her fiancée and not the son of her master.  (or whatever he has in mind) 
I find that each installment to the Restoration novels is written better than the last.  They hold my interest longer and the writing is better.  The characters tend to be more in depth as well as the story lines more involved.  However, these are some really long books.  Close to 500 pages.  I find them easier to read the first couple of hundred pages, and then slow things down, take a break and read a different book a little while.  I think that helps keep the story fresh.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Bethany House Publishers. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Master Passion review

Alexander Hamilton is one of our founding fathers and yet we seem to know so little about him.  First Secretary of Treasury, twenty dollar bill, and something about a dual.  In " A Master Passion:  The story of Alexander and Elizabeth Hamilton" by Juliet Waldron our curiosities are peeked and our eyes are opened.  Hamilton is not your traditional forefather.  He was the illegitimate son on a brilliant yet unfortunate prostitute in the West Indies.  After being abandoned by his father, orphaned, set to work at the age of 10 and sexually abused by his employer, Hamilton became the original American Dream story.  He came to the colonies for an education and a chance for a better life.  In the search for that life he married Elizabeth, the daughter of a wealthy plantation owner.  Waldron's novel, though I don't know how much is true, follows the Hamiltons in their quest to begin a new country.  The story not only lets you look at how the country was built from a working man's point of view, but lets you look into the Hamilton's marriage.  So close a look, that the reader may feel a little guilty for eavesdropping, the author is so good at giving a realistic image.  Though this book is long, it is also very good.  I received this book from Passages to the Past: HFVBT for a tour. 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

In 1492 Columbus sailed.......

"The Columbus Code" by Mike Evans is a conspiracy novel that follows the myths and truths of Christopher Columbus.  John Winters is a Secret Service agent on leave with PTSD.  His mother has recently died and when going through her estate he discovers that he is most likely a descendant of Columbus and his mother's dying wish was to prove the link.  During his research he meets Sophia, a scholar, that leads him to the legend of the diary of Columbus and the global rule of one man.  Coincidently, Maria, John's daughter, is working for a law firm that has taken her to Spain into the lion's den of the very man plotting to take over the world.  The antichrist. 
Going into this book I quickly realized that I knew little about Columbus.  Other that he "discovered America" and supposedly had a venereal disease, I knew nothing.  This book dives into the rest of it.  I am not sure how much is true.  I know that he kept diaries, but since I was informed about this in a documentary about alien chasers; I am pretty sure they aren't secret.  As far as writing goes, Evans has a journalist background and is a Middle East analyst, so it takes on political angle.  Evans is able to go back and forth with telling the story between male and female characters well.  The ending reads like a part two will be coming.  I will definitely be reading that.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Worthy Publishing. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Catch Review

"The Catch" by Taylor Stevens is the newest novel in the Vanessa Munroe series.  Munroe is a hired mercenary that is to assist in the guarding of a gunrunning boat from Djibouti to Kenya.  However, the hired guns don't know that the boat is running guns; they think they are just there for protection.  When the pirates aboard the ship, Munroe escapes taking the unconscious captain with her.  She arrives in Kenya to investigate why the boat was running guns without Amber, the wife of the leader of Munroe's outfit's, knowing anything about it and who is behind it.  While searching for information, she discovers that the Captain is the one they want and things are not what they seem.
The Munroe books are not necessary to read in order.  I hadn't read any before and though I would have followed a little better, it was not necessary.  Munroe is a multi-language speaking, highly intelligent, vastly experienced, fighting machine.  She passes as a man while in Africa which does kind of throw off my mental image.  Too much Hollywood in my brain, I suppose.  She is characteristically comparable to many of the men that is written about for example:  Reacher and Bourne.  Which is nice to see that she doesn't need a man to hold her hand while they run from bad guys.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from www.bloggingforbooks.com

Friday, October 16, 2015

Battle of Adobe Walls

"Buffalo Trails"  is a historical-fiction work by Jeff Guinn.  Though most of the story is true, the main character, McLendon is not.  McClendon, CM, as he is sometimes called has joined forces with Bat Masterson on the prairie outside of Dodge City, Ks working as a bone collector, wannabe Buffalo Hunter.  When the two men hear of Billy Dixon's plan to make a large hunting party and take it down to Adobe Walls, TX to finish off what is probably the last of the massive buffalo herds they decide to strike up on a big moneymaker.  Meanwhile, Quanah Parker, a Comanche war leader, has constructed a plan to unite three different tribes to fight off the whites with a greater force. The two groups come to a head at Adobe Walls and the 4 day battle is on. 
This book, though long, is extremely well written.  There are some graphic parts when methods of torture and killing is being told.  There is also a rape scene.  Both groups are very violent.  There was just waaaay too much testosterone roaming around on the prairie at that time.  Excellent book.  Be ready to cringe. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from www.firsttoread.com

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Photograph review

Beverly Lewis' new novel "The Photograph" is a stand alone novel, but ties in to several of her other novels with characters and location.  Frona, Eva, and Lily are three orphaned sisters of young adult age.  They are single and Amish.  The combination of these four characteristics puts them in a rather tight spot.  Their brother has inherited the house they are currently living in and that means they need to go.  However, they cannot just move out and get jobs.  So they are on the look out to marry fast or in Lily's case, a desperate measure of leaving the People.  Lily strikes out on her own and leaves the other sisters searching for her.  Jeb is an Ohioan carriage maker that finds the Little Women book that Lily has left on the train.  Following the clues, he begins to search for her as well.  However, things get tangled up when he mistakes Eva for Lily.
Beverly Lewis is by far the best Amish writer and can generally do no wrong when it comes to writing.  In this novel, I kept rooting for Lily to make her getaway since I felt she really had no other choice.  She was being tossed out on her ear and leaving the People seemed like a good way to make a life.  But when Lewis brings the characters full circle and shares the difficulties of leaving the Plain life, the reader starts to see a whole new side of things.  How do you live when you are trying to be something you are not?  Good book.  4 stars.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Bethany House Publishers.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Mama's favorite Robertson

I knew Jep Robertson would be my favorite Robertson when he went cruising by the duck shop on a dolly saying "Hello, Clarice" and no one acknowledged him or even flinched.  I was cracking up.  I knew I had picked the right one when in the book, "The Good, The Bad, and the Grace of God" he wrote that he had watched the entire series of X Files while he was supposed to be working.   This is the latest release of Duck Dynasty star books and it tells the story of Jep and Jessica Robertson.  Jep would be the baby; mama's favorite.  The book goes back and forth in telling with one chapter written by and telling the story of Jep and the other of Jessica.  Jessica's story tends to ramble, which she admits to doing during speeches.  However, when she tells the story of her first husband, she sticks to task and tells the story well.  I especially like how she takes ownership of her part in the story.  That is a story more young women need to hear and lesson they need to learn.  Jessica would make a great mentor.  Jep's story is told in a more disciplined orderly manner.  He tells of his trials in life.  There are several.  Sometimes I was thinking " I don't think I should know this", but I guess it is his story to tell.  Jep's writing is very clever and funny.  I think this dude is hilarious.  I received this book in exchange for my honest review from www.booklookbloggers.com

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

star crossed lovers

"'Til We Meet Again" by Ray & Betty Whipps with Craig Borlase is the true story of star crossed lovers in war-torn Europe during WWII.  The story is told with a narrative of Ray and his journey from his hometown to Navy Air School to Army infantry in France and eventually POW in Germany.  Betty's side of the story is told through letters home and to Ray.  Ray was injured while fighting and came to the hospital where Betty was nursing.  The two felt a kinship with their Christianity unity and fell in love.  When Ray recovered he was sent back to his unit and was almost immediately taken prisoner. 
This is an amazing story.  The writing is superb, the story amazing, and the reader will have difficulty tearing themselves away from the book.  I loved this; 5 stars!  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Tyndale House Publishers. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Little Prince Noah

"The Prince who was Just Himself" is written by Silke Schnee and illustrated by Heike Sistig.  This is a children's story of Prince Noah's introduction to his royal family.  Noah is a bit different.  That's ok with some and not with others.  But he is full of love, wonder, and patience.  Prince Noah has Down's Syndrome.  When the kingdom is attacked by Scarface, Noah brings the villain to his knees by showing him love and compassion. 
This book is aimed at children, but as a read-to.  I really loved this book!  I feel it should be in every child's library.  It not only explains Down's Syndrome to a child in a way that can be understood, but also teaches tolerance as well.  The illustrations are wonderful and cheerful.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Handlebar Publishing. 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Come Rain or Shine

"Come Rain or Shine" book 11 of the Mitford novels by Jan Karon tells the story of the wedding of Dooley and Lace, the constant duo of the previous novels.  The two are putting together a wedding, graduating from Vet School (Dooley), taking over a practice and farm, as well as adopting a 4 year old boy.  This seems like a lot and the two are handling it well.
This is the first of the Mitford books that I have read.  Though Karon did a good job of keeping the reader abreast of what had happened, should they not have read the rest of the series, it is still hard to catch up when the series is on book 11.  There were several times, that I had to either re-read or be confused for awhile till I figured out what was going on.  As a single book, the writing is good and easy to read.  The accents may be a little hard to pick out if you are a city slicker, but I liked them included.  Gave the characters a more personal touch.  I have heard from fellow bookaholics that the Mitford series is brilliant, so my recommendation would be to start at the beginning.  If you have already read the previous 10, than you better get started on "Come Rain or Shine!"  I received this book in exchange for a review from www.firsttoread.com

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Empire's End review

"Empire's End" or as it is sometimes called on sites "I, Paul"  by Jerry B Jenkins is the adult companion book to "I, Saul", a youth historical fiction about the Apostle Paul.  Though Paul wrote a huge chunk of the New Testament, little is known of his personal life.  In this fictional telling, Jenkins fills in the gaps starting with the horrors that Saul inflicted on the people of The Way and following him through his conversion and writings. 
The story starts off in an advanced writing style that might seem hard to follow for some, but the point is to catch up the reader with the politics of the times.  Following the Preamble, the writing takes a more readable fashion so that the reader can become more involved with the storyline.   Jenkins is one of the infamous duo who wrote "Left Behind" yet this is the first book of his I have read.  He is a brilliant writer, who writes with an intelligent fashion, yet can keep the reader interested without making it hard to understand. I  have always wondered how Christians found the 'turning a new leaf' of Paul to be authentic.  I don't think I would have believed him until he proved himself.  I don't think I would have forgiven him.  How many times have I lost something that could have been good because I wouldn't forgive?  He takes Paul's story and turns it into not only a thinker, but an adventure story.  I would recommend this to anyone, not just Christians as a good thriller. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Losing Yourself

"The Art of Losing Yourself" by Katie Ganshert follows two sisters:  Carmen, a meteorologist who is having fertility issues, and Gracie, a rebellious, unhappy teenager.  They are the children of an alcoholic mother who spent the majority of their childhoods neglecting them.  Carmen takes her experiences and turns them into an overachieving perfectionist.  Gracie takes hers and rejects any kind of hope and affection.  When Gracie gets in trouble at school she runs away to live in the motel that she as her sister had visited as children.   It takes her mother 8 days to realize she is gone.  Carmen and Gracie begin to bond and start  life fresh with the cleaning and remodeling of the motel. They get to know each other, plan their future's, recover from their pasts, and get in touch with God. 
The novel starts a little slow and Gracie is kind of annoying at first.  But don't let that make you put the book down.   Within a couple of chapters the book starts to find itself (for lack of a better phrase) and really takes off.  The reader becomes invested in the sisters and starts to cheer them on.  I never did grow to like the mother though.  Ganshert brings the sisters to God without becoming too preachy.  I really liked this book.  I have read all of Ganshert's books and I will continue to do so.  She is only improving as a writer.  I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from www.bloggingforbooks.com

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

lethal beauty review

"Lethal Beauty" the latest installment in the Mia Quinn Mystery series by Lis Wiehl.  In this novel Mia is prosecuting a man who is accused of killing a Chinese immigrant working in a "massage parlor".  Following the hung jury verdict, Mia's not taking no for an answer.  She continues to try and find a way of bringing the murderer to justice.  She stumbles into an evil web the Chinese undocumented immigration, and the underground world of slavery, prostitution, and drugs. 
I found this book brought to mind many things that I know to be true, yet had not put together.  "Lethal" is probably the best book of the series.  Wiehl didn't include the football player in this one, so he was sorely missed; however, I liked that the series took a turn to focus more on Mia.  The reader became more involved with her children and work place.  The women in this book became more of the heroes as well.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from www.booklookbloggers.com

Monday, June 29, 2015

Fruitful Wife review

"The Fruitful Wife" by Hayley DiMarco is a non-fiction book about the study of the role of a wife from the biblical point of view.  Di Marco breaks the roles apart into the fruits of a Christian: peace, love, etc.  She goes back and forth between biblical texts and personal experience.  I read the book little bits at a time with my devotional each day.  This took quiet awhile.  The possibility of a liberal minded woman taking offence to this book are probably pretty good.  There were a few parts where even I was like, "hey!".  For the most part the book sticks with a logical point of view.  I would recommend it for a newly wed or a woman looking to recharge her marriage.  I received this book in exchange for a review from Crossway. 

Silent creed review

If this book doesn't make you paranoid, I don't know what will.  "Silent Creed" is the newest in the Ryder Creed series by Alex Kava.  Creed, a former dog handler with the army, has been called in to do a favor for an associate.  A land slide has wiped out a research facility in North Carolina.  A classified, off the radar, research facility.  Creed has been hired to quietly search the area  for signs and bodies attached to the facility. The military's history of experimenting with lethal doses has been both carried out and denied for years.  The congress has finally acknowledged the cover up, but is still denying any assistance with the soldiers that were harmed.  Kava uses several different characters and their angles into the past military research and cover-up involving both the military and US citizens. 
Ryder Creed is my new favorite fiction hero.  Creed and his dogs are always diligent in finding their victims and solving the crime while they are at it.  Kava combines her new main character, Creed, with her established O'Dell series.  Maggie O'Dell is an FBI agent.  The dog handler point of view is a fresh new angle of mystery solving and the characters are well written.  I received this novel from First to Read. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Janette Oke's When Calls the Heart brought to life

Janette Oke's "When Calls the Heart" has been brought to life.  Originally a Hallmark Channel movie, the novel has inspired a series by the same name.  I received a 10 DVD Edition of the complete season one from Fly By Promotions through a giveaway at www.kitchentable4.com.  Included in the 10 DVDs is 6 discs of season one, the original movie (which is in the middle of the box), one disc is a "get to know" disc about Michael Landon Jr, the director, and Ms. Oke.  The other discs are the episodes split up as shown on the Hallmark Channel. 
I really liked this series.  I have been a fan of Oke and the "Love" movies for years, especially the first one.  I like this series better.  (other than the first Love movie of course)  Elizabeth Thatcher, a well-to-do young woman from the East comes to the wild west in pursuit of her dreams of  being a teacher.  She finds herself in Coal Valley, a company town, with a scoundrel for a boss and a strong, wise woman, played by Lori Loughlin, for a confidant and town leader.  The actors portraying the characters are a perfect fit.  The story lines move easy yet still have a distinct plot for each episode as well.  Erin Krakow plays Miss Thatcher.  You may recognize her from "Army Wives"; and her sister is played by Charlotte Hegele of Bomb Girls fame.  The acting is wonderful, exceeding expectations!  I love this story and the show.  I am DVRing season 2 right now.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Better all the time review

"Better All the Time" the 2nd book in The Darling Family series by Carre Armstrong.  I had not read the first in the series, and it isn't necessary to read to "get" this novel.  The series revolves around the Darlings, a large family with a Christian background, that seems to have a running theme of self-absorption and addiction.  The first novel followed Ivy, the oldest sister; this follows the three younger sisters, Laura, Sephy, and Amy.  Laura, who lives in Arizona, has replaced her addiction for pills in exchange for alcohol. Sephy is an overweight college girl with the inability to tell anyone no.  Though her family insults her regularly for that trait, they also demand it from her as well.  Amy is in the beginnings of getting a community art center off of the ground.  A work-oholic, she has tunnel vision when it comes to others, cannot keep her opinion to herself (thinks she shouldn't either) and has gotten a little infatuation going with Mitch, a contractor at the center. Though they were raised by seemingly decent parents several of them have one form of addiction or another and all can't seem to see past their own point of view. 
This is a well written book, difficult to put down. However,  Armstrong had many different story lines going at once, and her characters lacked likability.  The book would have been stronger had it focused on Sephy, the most likable of the group.  Sephy decides to loose her excess baggage and develop some happiness while she is at it.  Though in order to do both, she must find her backbone and use it; something she dreads doing.   I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Tyndale House Publishing. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Caleb's story

"Shadow of the Mountain: Exodus" by Cliff Graham is the fictional telling of the story of Caleb.  Little is known of Caleb, of Moses fame, and Graham has taken the liberty of researching and exploring Caleb's story.  In "Shadow" Caleb leaves home to live in Egypt and work as a stone sculpter for the pharaoh.  Shortly after arriving, he lets his testosterone crazed temper get the best of him and is sent to join an elite group of soldiers.  The novel follows him as he fights in the army and then meets Moses, as Moses is beginning his leading of the Hebrews out of Egypt. 
Most biblical novels are written by female authors; and while that is wonderful, it is refreshing to read something from the male point of view.  The book has a more straight forward telling and a lot more action.  Though Graham could be accused of being too violent; keep in mind that he is telling the story of a soldier and of a very violent time.  How else would you tell it?  I have read Graham before and he is a wonderful writer.  This novel is no exception.  I highly recommend this book!  I received this e-book in exchange for an honest review from Bethany House.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Beyond the romance

This is an amazing book!  "The Outer Banks House" by Diann Ducharme is a historical novel that is a romance, but also a period piece about the aftermath of slavery.  Taking place in 1868 in North Carolina island, Nags Head, Abigail is a southern planter's daughter that has a thirst for reading and education.  After arriving at the island in the Outer Banks home, she comes to teach a local "Banker" Ben to read and write.  The unlikely pair form a friendship, then a romance while they are exploring the class and race differences on the island. 
This book is engaging.  It is extremely well written.  The characters are realistic.  I was to write this review earlier today, but just had to finish it beforehand.  No regrets.  There is a part two, "Return to Outer Banks".  I will be finding and reading that book!  Five stars. Just a word of warning, there is a horrifying death scene in this book.  It isn't long, but it makes an impression.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from HF Virtual Book Tours. 


Monday, May 25, 2015

Soldier's family devotional

"While My Soldier Serves" authored by Edie Melson is collection of prayers for the family members of soldiers currently serving in the US Military.  It is written with many different people in mind.  For family members of all kinds for all kinds of soldiers.  The book has two parts: one with prayers for the service member and one with prayers for the family left behind.  Each entry has a quote, a prayer, and a scripture.  I read an entry from each section each day.  You could read it really any way you want. 
I liked the book and thought it was useful, however, it is about half written in the pronoun "she" which is very distracting.  My soldier serving is a "he".  I had a hard time getting involved with all of the "she" s.  I think maybe two books should be available, a "she" and a "he".  I am publishing this review for Memorial Day.  I have never lost a relative while serving in the military, though many have served.  Currently I have a step-son serving in the infantry in Africa, a nephew in the Marines serving as a corrections officer in Japan and my daughter's long term "significant other" is leaving for the army to South Carolina. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Love Letters Review

"The Love Letters" by Beverly Lewis is one of her best books.  Marlena is an Old Order Amish raised young woman whose parents have left the church to join the Beachy Amish ( a modern group of Amish).  Her Mennonite grandfather has recently died and she has gone to stay with her widowed grandmother.  While there her sister (who has left all of the above groups) is in a car wreck leaving her infant daughter in Marlena's care.  While in her new location she befriends her Old Order neighbors and their son with disabilities, Small Jay.  Small Jay, or Jake, as he would rather be called, has recently befriended a homeless man who has trouble remembering even his name.  There are many storylines interweaving and many faiths crossing in this novel.  Marlena starts to question which road she would like to take in her religion.  Where does she belong?  Small Jay, whose father appears to have no use for him, starts to question his care and where he belongs as well.  The homeless many has a mysterious bag of love letters who he may or may not be the recipient of.  Is someone our there looking for him?  To add to the reoccurring theme of where does one belong, Angela Rose, the tiny orphan, is looking for a place to belong as well, even if she doesn't know it.
I really liked this book.  Lewis usually can't go wrong.  She spent a little too much time in her past novels with the "tales of the missing kid"; but she has moved on with that and has developed a much more complex method of writing.  I like the new path she is taking with her novels.  Will continue to read more!  I give it 4.5 stars.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Bethany Publishers. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Tut meets Moses

"Pharaoh's Daughter" by Mesu Andrews is A Treasures of the Nile Novel.  In this novel Andrews takes two true stories: King Tut  and Moses, and spins a what-if.  What if King Tut had been the unnamed pharaoh in the Moses story?  Tut's sister Anippe, lives in the Delta and is the daughter of pharaoh (Tut's father) that pulls Moses from the river.  There is nothing in history that says this is true, but then again, there is nothing that says it is not.  Andrews weaves a narrative of fiction that combines the maybes and blends an intriguing story. 
Because this story combines two true life stories, there are a lot of names and events to keep track of.  Luckily, the author included a map of the characters in the beginning of the book.  The reader will need to refer to it regularly.  Anippe and her sister Ankhe are forced to watch a birth when they are young.  The mother and baby both die, leaving Anippe too scared of childbirth to risk attempting.  She then adopts a Hebrew child as her own.  Her sister meanwhile just loves to stir the pot.  Ankhe is the most interesting character of the book.  Everyone seems to hate her and fear her.  And with good cause.  She is a nasty one!  This is a book that will take a lot of time to read.  No short cuts.  It is a good what-if though.  I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from www.bloggingforbooks.com

Monday, April 27, 2015

River's Edge Review

"River's Edge" book 3 in the Cape Refuge Series by Terri Blackstock,is a modern mystery in the Christian Fiction genre.  Ben and Lisa are a well-to-do couple who have been battling infertility for 13 years.  On the morning of Lisa's third try at IVF she turns up missing.  A local psychic leads the police to the location of the body.  Ben, who is in the middle of a heated mayoral election becomes the prime suspect.  As the puzzle pieces come together, the picture gets wider and wider.  The media turns the case into a national circus and one couple's trauma with infertility starts to hit home with another couple who is close to the story. 
I have not read any of the other Cape Refuge books, and though a few past references are made to the other books, they are not necessary in order to understand "Edge."  However, reading this novel makes we want to read the others.  Blackstock consistently turns out a good series and is very skilled at intertwining mystery and faith.  I would call it more of a Christian friendly novel rather than Christian Fiction.  Blackstock steers clear of becoming preachy.  Her characters tend to be Christian and she makes no apologies for that.  And I never did figure out the killer until she told me.  Highly recommend this book!  I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from www.booklookbloggers.com

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

the Hawthorne's

"The House of Hawthorne" by Erika Robuck is the novel based on the marriage of Nathaniel and Sophia Hawthorne told through the eyes of Mrs. Hawthorne.  The novel starts out with Sophia traveling to Cuba in an effort to relieve herself of debilitating headaches.  Sophia is an artist that suffers from severe headaches following artistic activity.  Upon her return she meets Nathaniel Hawthorne, the future author of "The Scarlett Letter".  The couple then begin a life together writing and traveling the world. 
House of Hawthorne is a who's who of the early 1800s.  Making appearances are the Emersons, Thereau, the Alcotts, Horace Mann, and the Pierces', as in President Pierce.  The novel is well written and bring to light a lot of issues of the time period and of the Transcendentalist movement.  There is no central storyline, it is more of a timeline in the couple's lives.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from First To Read. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Breaking Creed review

"Breaking Creed" by Alex Kava is the first novel in her new Creed series, branching off from one of her favorites, O'Dell, FBI agent.  In this novel, Creed and his highly trained dogs are in the business of finding whatever needs finding.  He tends to go back and forth between drugs and bodies.  Breaking combines the two.  O'Dell is searching for the killers, whom she suspects are cartel, in the "package" that was found in the Potomac River.  Meanwhile, Creed is searching for drugs on a boat run for the cartel, when he finds several children being shipped to Colombia.  This particular cartel is using children as their mules.  The two cases cross paths in Alabama and O'Dell and Creed join forces to solve the crimes. 
I had read the novel where the two had met before in the original series, so I was familiar with characters.  I love the story line, the characters, and the intrigue.  The only problem I had was that Amanda, one of the mules, seemed incredibly naive.  I found it hard to believe a girl that had lived the life she had would not catch on a little quicker.  She seemed much more typical.  Other than that, this is a great mystery.  I had received this book from First to Read, however, didn't read it in time to be deleted.  Soooo, this was actually checked out of a library.  I would recommend you go to your library and find it to.  Worth the read. 

Beyond OC review

"Beyond Orange County" by Lydia McLaughlin is the telling of life lessons by a former reality show star.  Lydia has been on a previous season of Housewives of Orange County. She brought to the show a Christian aspect; which is unusual for reality TV.  She tells of past life-lessons, quotes scripture, and gives a behind the scenes view of the show.  Let me say that first of all, I had never heard of McLaughlin, have never seen the show, and am not a fan of reality TV.  I picked this book for the reason that my husband was raised and lived in Orange County until he was in his mid-twenties.  Judging from his family, friends, and neighbors, I would have to say that McLaughlin's Orange County must be a little more affluent.  She is also much more religious than average Orange Countian as well.  So that being said, I really didn't have any type of back story going into this book.  A lot more would have been taken from it if the reader where a reality watcher, or at least seen any of the Housewives shows. 
Judging the book as an independent thing, McLaughlin is one heck of a writer.  Removing the subject matter; she can string words together very well.  There is no helper-writer mentioned, so I am assuming she did this entirely by herself.  She incorporated the scripture into the writing so that one didn't especially notice when it was happening.  This is a short book and a quick read.  I would definitely recommend this to someone interested in her or into reality television.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Worthy Publishing.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The last four are a doozie

"The Last Four Days of Paddy Buckley" by Jeremy Massey is definitely worth the read.  Paddy is a widower whose world is completely engulfed by his grief. He has buried himself into his work as an undertaker at a funeral home in Dublin when he meets Lucy, a new widow that is using the funeral services for her husband.   The two form an instant bond sharing their mutual mourning when Lucy falls dead.  This triggers a string of rather unusual and dangerous events involving mortuary accidents and the local mafia. 
This is an incredibly well written and riveting novel.  The author makes funeral home rituals and practices actually quiet interesting.  The action and romance keeps the reader reading well into the night unable to put the book down.  I give it four and a half stars.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from www.firsttoread.com

Monday, March 23, 2015

Never a bride

"Always a Bridesmaid" by Melinda Curtis is a spin-off book from the Christmas Kisses collection and part 2 in the The Bridesmaid Series.  Nicole is a master baker who is providing the desserts for Tiff, the runaway bride's wedding.  Nicole believes she is suffering from the Siberian Curse.  Where she involuntarily becomes invisible to men that she finds attractive.  Sean is a chef that is also working the wedding.  Though he is attractive, his high and mighty attitude prevents Nicole from finding him desirable.  Sean, however,  wants to partner with her in the business to expand his restaurant.  He uses the "curse" to his advantage and tries to teach Nicole how to win a man.  Of course he falls right into his own trap. 
In the usual Curtis fashion, this is a witty, romantic, well-written novel.  I love her sense of humor and her characters.  This is a very quick read and rather short novel.  Perfect for passing the time or living romantically vicariously through her characters.  Four Hearts!  I received this e-book for free from the Sweet Team in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

X Files

In October of 2013 I began to watch the X Files.  It started as something to do while eating lunch at my desk at work, but evolved into a sort of obsession.  I watched it every day.  Well, I took a break here and there, but mostly every work day I watched it.  I even watched the movies, but only as they came out with the series.  I plugged in The Lone Gunmen when it was aired into the proper place.  I have finally finished the series.  I have now started on the books.  There are 5 I think.  I am not into graphic novels so I won't read them.  If you are interested there are tons of those.  When X Files was originally on, I worked evenings, so I didn't watch it, except when I got home they showed reruns.  But they weren't in order.  So though I liked it and it scared the crap out of me while all alone late at night watching, I didn't really get into the whole conspiracy thing.  I didn't make much sense out of order.  Eventually they quit syndicating it, so that was that.  No Netflix, so no watching.  Now with the wonders of technology, I can watch as I please.  I feel a little weird now with no episodes to watch.  Guess I'll have to start over. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

deadly echoes review

"Deadly Echoes" by Nancy Mehl is the second novel in the Finding Sanctuary series.  Sanctuary is a town in Missouri that has a Mennonite influence and is a safe haven from the world.  Sarah is a young teacher whose parents were murdered when she was a child and spent the majority of her childhood in foster care.  Her sister, Hannah, who has recently reunited with her, has also been murdered in a similar fashion.  Sarah then takes over the care of Hannah's 10 year old daughter Cicely and the search for the killers of her parents and now sister. 
Sarah is an extremely naive character.  Though she is told over and over to be cautious, she still continues to tell everything she knows about the murders to pretty much anyone who asks.  All the while talking about how she needs to be cautious.  Where this can get annoying, let's face it; that's what most people would do.  However, it doesn't do much to hide the killer from the reader.  Not a lot of mystery here.  However, the storyline between Sarah and Cicely as they form a relationship is extremely realistic.  Cicely can really cut a person to the quick.  I like how the author has a no holds barred account of their relationship.  Good read.  I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from Bethany House. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Infinite exiles

"Exiles" by RJ Larson is Book One in the Realms of the Infinite series.  Though it is a book one, it coincides with Larson's Books of the Infinite Series.  I have not read the first series, so I spent the first couple chapters a little confused.  I would recommend reading the first series before starting this one.  I have Prophet and it is on my TBR list.  It just got bumped up the list.  In Exiles, Araine is a Atea follower who has found scrolls with scripture written on them.  Doubting the existence of Atea, Araine quickly grows to love the word of the Infinite, what Larson's characters calls God in the two series. Araine is being peddled off to a man of high ranking by her parents in order to boost their status.  Following a betrayal, she is taken into slavery.   Nikaros is a follower of the Infinite, but is taken from his family by Atea believers for a ransom.  The two young people form a union of sorts and help each other in the courts of their slavery. 
This novel is a Christian Fantasy.  It is told in a whole new way of exploring where Christian fiction can go.  Larson sets her mind wide open.  Fantasy readers out there will love it.  I received this book for free in exchange for a review from www.bookfun.org

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Ishbane existance

"The Ishbane Conspiracy" by Angela, Karina, & Randy Alcorn is a novel of the battle between good and evil that is being played out in teens: Jillian, Ian, Brittany, and Rob.  The chapters alternate between the goings on of the four teens and the demons that are assigned agent style to each kid.  Jillian's father has recently died and though she goes to church she isn't really into Christianity.  Ian is a jock who is rather obsessed with spiritualism and yet knows next to nothing about Christianity.  Brittany is a smart and popular girl who likes herself enough for everybody.  And Rob is a newfound Christian, who seems to have put Christianity into a contest. 
I didn't really like this book.  The kids are INDREDIBLY spiritual.  As in all spirits! They know about tarot cards, palm reading, Wicca, Hindu, anything.  My husband and I have 7 kids and 6 have been or currently are teenagers and they were never this into spiritualism.  The kids in the book know a lot about all kinds.  You name a crystal and they can give you an expert report.  Almost as if the novel was written by a champion occult googler.  There is a repeated theme of gloom and hopelessness in the novel.  Probably the demon presence has too much force.  The demons and angels are written in a style of angel and devil on the shoulder.  I have read that style display before, but have never really viewed it that way myself.  This isn't a poorly written book.  It is a well written book, but it isn't for me.  We didn't click at all.  I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from Multnomah www.bloggingforbooks.org

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Meyer's fruit teaching

"Fruit of the Spirit: How to Water God's Word in Your Life & Relationships" by Joyce Meyer is a seven CD teaching on Fruit of the Spirit involving Love, Faithfulness, self-control, gentleness, patience, peace, kindness, and joy.  Also included is a DVD and application book.  The first CD is the audio of the DVD, so I would recommend listening to the CDs first, then getting a recap of the first with the DVD.  The application book has lots of scripture and some reflective questions.  The scriptures are very short, but many in number.  If you are one to look up bible readings in book format, you might want to switch over to a website for easier look up to cut back on the frustration of constantly searching.  I used www.bibletools.org on a tablet. 
Joyce Meyer's strong suit is speaking.  Even if you were an atheist (which you wouldn't be for long after listening to these CDs), I would recommend you listen to Meyers for the common sense and advice alone.  She has a matter of fact way of speaking that really gets through to the listener.  Her teachings are clear and to the point.  There is no wishy-washy to it.  I  highly recommend these CDs to anyone searching for answers and to anyone wanting to get closer to God and what is expected of us here.  I received this teaching from Jody's Book Review giveaway.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

woodland review

"A Woodland Miracle" by Ruth Reid is an Amish Wonders Novel.  This is the second in the series and doesn't need to be read in order.  In Woodland, Grace has the early signs of muscular dystrophy and is making a go of it in Michigan at a lumber camp.  Ben, is an Amish rebel from Florida,  upon committing a little trespassing, following some questionable behavior with an Amish girl, Ben is sent to Michigan for some time to reflect.  Grace and Ben meet and begin a love/irritate romance. 
I really like Reid's Amish books.  I usually don't even get through Amish books, but I really like hers.  In the new series, the characters have their trials and are aided through God and His miracles.  In this book, Grace has been kidnapped and must be saved.  God is there to help Ben do it.  In Woodland, the locations of the characters is not your usual Amish scene.  Florida is sort of an Amish Vegas and Michigan is a secluded area with little interaction.  Therefore, it was an interesting take on the Amish usual.  If you like Amish fiction but are getting a little bored with the same old same old, than I recommend this novel.   I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from www.booklookbloggers.com

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

another esther novel

"Esther: Royal Beauty" by Angela Hunt is the first in Hunt's new series: A Dangerous Beauty.  Esther, as in the Bible Esther, is a Jewish girl who has drawn from the masses to be entered into a "Bachelor-esque" type game.  The most beautiful of all the virgins under the King, Xerxes, are to audition for the title of Queen through the bed chamber.  An original casting couch, if you will.  When the king puts into effect a genocide to all of the Jews in his kingdom, Esther (who has been hiding her heritage) begins to find a way to maneuver her husband into saving her people. 
The basic telling from the Bible is here, but historical facts have been applied to fill in the blanks and make a novel from it.  I have read and reviewed another Esther novel, "A Reluctant Queen", and if you have read it too, you can rest assured that the two novels are not the same at all. Feel free to read both.   "Reluctant" is a love story and "Royal" is not.  In "Esther", the women are treated mostly cruel. They are bought and sold, traded, stolen; as someone would a car.  The King is not someone you would ever dream of your daughter marrying, and there is always a scheme going on.  Rather than a romance novel, it is more of an adventure novel.  Esther is one tough cookie, but she is incredibly young and naive.  She makes for an interesting character.  The story is told by alternating chapters between Esther and Harbonah, the head eunuch.  Hunt also tells the story of eunuchs during this time period, which is rarely shared.  I give this book 4 stars.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Bethany House. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

always on my mind review

"Always on My Mind" by Susan May Warren is the 5th in the Christiansen Family series.  I have read the first book, but not the others and had no trouble following the story.  The Christiansens are a family that live in Minnesota, the land of freezing cold. The novel follows Casper, the middle brother, who lives to save the day.  Whether you want him to or not.  Casper had fallen in love with Raina the summer before only to discover that she had had a one night stand with his brother, Oscar.  After a fist throwing argument, Casper leaves Minnesota for Honduras to do a little treasure hunting.  Upon returning, discovers that that one night stand had resulted in a very pregnant Raina.  Casper and Raina begin to start over with separate and fresh lives.  The novel also follows a 1920's mystery to keep the suspense going and linking Raina and Casper together. 
The Christiansens have a bit of a God-complex.  They tend to see their way as the only way and that they can do anything and everything.  As life throws them fastballs, they, especially Casper, begins to figure out that only God can be God and that they can only do and control so much.  Now that I have read the first and last of this series, I am bummed that I have missed the rest.  They are definitely going on my TBR list.  The Christiansens are, while flawed, still very interesting.  They are loving, irritating, sometimes the underdogs, the heroes, well, they are a family like anybody else's.  The novel leaves you wanting more. Though it is a Christian novel, the author never becomes preachy.  It is a matter of fact, the Christiansens happen to be Christian.   I give this 4 stars and highly recommend it.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Tyndale Blog Network. 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

spouses with benefits

"Rescued By a Wedding" is a Marriage of Convenience novel from Harlequin written by Kathleen O'Brien and Melinda Curtis.  It is two romance novels: "Texas Wedding" and "A Marriage Between Friends".  If the sex was a salsa I would rank it a medium.  It's somewhere between sweet and porn.  Just right, I'd say.  Both stories have  some similarities.  Both have women in their late twenties that are stuck ten years in the past.  Both can't seem to move on.  Both women also have married men in order to bail themselves out of a jam.  Both women start off pretty crabby.
In Texas, Susannah must be married for one year in order to inherit the ranch that she has lived on all of her life and has been running alone.  She married Trent, an ex-high school boyfriend, who has been taking the blame for the death of Paul, a friend in common of the two, for 11 years.  She's a pretty unhappy woman.  So many things stand in their way to reunion:  little sisters, ex one-night stands, stalkers, etc.  The two have a lot to work out. 
In Between Friends, Jill and Vince have gotten married right out of high school when Jill realizes she is pregnant after a date-rape with another guy.  Jill then leaves Vince.  Fast forward 10 years and a casino deal has brought the two together on opposite sides of the deal.  The two battle it out on both fronts struggling to put the past behind them and decide a future with or without the other.
This is a pretty good romance.  I recommend it to pretty much any woman. The authors keep with the tried and true formula of a romance, yet, they throw in some comedy (especially Curtis) and add some flavor of action and mystery.   I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from The Sweet Team.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

women of the word review

"Women of the Word" by Jen Wilkin is an in depth how-to book on bible study.  This is not a book for beginners.  This is a book for those that are ready to really get in there on their bible study.  Wilkin is easy to relate to (for women anyway, can't speak for men).  She breaks down the process of both reading and understanding the bible the way it was meant to be read.  She will get you really into the meaning behind the words.  It is a lengthy book, however, so it isn't for the lazy.  I would highly recommend it for anyone preparing to lead a study or considering making teaching their occupation.  Or of course, anyone really wanting to get to know their bible.  The writing is excellent.  She makes it easy to understand.  If the point of one book is to be able to read the other, you don't want the first to be difficult as well, right? Though the book is aimed at women, the methods used expand across all sexes.   I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from Beyond the Page.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

full bloom review

"Winter in Full Bloom" by Anita Higman is the novel of an emptynester-widow who has attempted to reunite the relationship with her mother that is 10 years estranged.  Lily's mother is a piece of work.  She's a nasty woman that no one would normally be friends with.  In fact, she had to hire someone to be her friend.  Upon meeting her mother, she discovers that she has a twin sister that was given up for adoption due to illness.  She travels to Australia to meet her sister and along the way meets Marcus, a fellow Texan living in Australia, and sparks start to fly.
This book is a good book for reading on the beach.  It amuses without being to involved or hard to follow.  It is an easy read.  I like that the reader can get to know Australia.  I have never been and other that Crocodile Hunter, know very little. This book will make you want to go there on  whim, cuz..... well, why not?   I only wish the reader could have gotten into Lily's head a bit more.  I received this book for free in exchange for a review from The Book Club Network. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

queen's gambit review

"Queen's Gambit" by Elizabeth Fremantle is the novelized telling of Katherine Parr, the sixth wife of Henry VIII.  The author notes that the majority of the novel is of a true telling, however, some of the characters have been created or added to.  Katherine Parr is twice widowed and had no children when the King sets his sights on her.  He chooses her primarily for her ability to maneuver appropriately in the position of Queen.  She has no choice in the matter.  After the order of marriage comes to Katherine, she begins a delicate chess game of battling for her life.  People around her fall in and out of favor with the King regularly.  The trick is to fall back in before he has one executed. 
I am thoroughly fascinated with the Henry VII saga.  I love to read these stories, so I have several versions and authors to compare to with this novel and Fremantle.  I liked that she stuck close to reality and how she told it in a modern fashion.  The reading is much easier than some.  Some authors when telling of the Tudors get a little hoity toity with their speech.  Fremantle keeps in mind her audience.  It is enjoyable and fascinating.  I really liked this version and will be reading Fremantle again.  I received this book for free in a www.goodreads.com giveaway. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


" A Pledge of Silence" by Flora J. Solomon is one heck of a book.  The novel follows Margie from the time of her acceptance into nursing school in the 1930's to 2000.  Margie goes to school following high school and gets a nursing diploma.  Though she has her life all planned out with her fiancé; life itself has other plans.  With a shortage of jobs, she joins the army reserve.  Then WWII breaks out. Margie is stationed in the Philippines.  Plans keep changing, until Margie has no plans at all.  After being taken captive by Japanese, her main plans are to try to eat....someday.  Solomon does a really good job of bringing the horrors to life throughout the book.  This is one of those books that you can't stop reading.  Unspeakable acts are done to Margie and she comes home a broken woman.  She seeks help eventually and the struggle continues for the rest of her life.  This is a book not only about war, but also about PTSD.  The length is rather long, but the books sticks with you and you won't mind it.  I give it 5 stars.  Excellent book.  I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from www.librarything.com

Thursday, January 15, 2015

the tutor review

"The Tutor: A Novel" by Andrea Chapin is the fictional telling of the 'lost years' of William Shakespeare.  Shortly after marrying and fathering three children, Will, leaves his wife and becomes an actor and poet.  He takes a temporary job as a tutor at a manor where he meets Katherine.  The orphaned thirty something niece of the Lord of the house.  The two strike up a relationship of both attraction and assistance.  She helps him write his poem and worships him.  Which he loves.  He has a brilliant way with words (obviously), and a performance level that is astounding both on paper and off.
In this telling, Will is a cad.  He likes them all.  Age, sex, station, looks, they mean nothing to him as long as he is adored.  The writer does an excellent job of bringing the main character, Katherine, and her thoughts and feelings into the reader's mind.  When I was growing tired of Will and his smuttiness; Katherine was growing tired of him too.  When I started to want more for her, she did as well.  I know little about Shakespeare so I cannot really tell you how historically accurate this story is, but it is very entertaining.  I give it 4 stars.  I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from First to Read.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

I'll be home for........

"Home for Christmas: Stories for Young and Old" is a collection of short stories about Christmas.  Some of the authors are Pearl Buck, Ruth Sawyer, and Henry Van Dyke.  The stories have all ranges, mostly from a historical viewpoint.  They cover many eras and cultures.  Some are better written than others.  My favorite would be "Christmas Day in the Morning" by Pearl Buck.  It's about a man whose children have families of their own so he is left with his wife on Christmas.  He begins to think of Christmases past, when he had gotten up early to surprise his father with doing the milking for him.  Which got me to thinking of when my son at the age of 5 told me "supper's ready" and I went into the kitchen to find the table set and each plate with half a ham sandwich on it.  I must have bawled for half an hour after reading that story!  The stories will touch you; there is a story for everyone in here.  I received this collection of stories for free in exchange for an honest review from  Handlebar Publishing. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

It's all Greek to me

"The Patmos Deception" by Davis Bunn is a superb novel enriched in Greek history.  Nick and Carey are two Americans hired to track down missing Greece artifacts that are being stolen from the country.  Dimitri is a gorgeous man from Greece that rents his boat for tourism.  With the crisis that Greece is going through, it has been turned from a country you would want to visit, but wouldn't want to live there into not even that.  The economy is tanked and the government corrupt.  Dimitri is hired to move "items" with his boat; items he assumes correctly are stolen.  However, things are even worse than Dimitri imagines. 
Davis bring Greece to life.  The reader feels drawn not only to Greece's history, but it's present as well.  The characters are well developed.  The ending left things wide open for a series, so hopefully he will feel moved to write that because I am not through with this story!  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Bethany House Publishers.