Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Review of "The Romance of the Sugar Plum Fairy"

Review of The Romance of the Sugar Plum Fairy

by Amanda Tru


After one last performance, Calyssa Durant will be trading in her ballet slippers for an uncertain future.

Having sacrificed so much of her life to become a ballerina, Calyssa has met her goals only to long for something more. She will dance the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy in the 'Nutcracker' one more time before quitting her traveling ballet troupe.

But, when a late-night rehearsal ends with surprising danger, Calyssa and theater owner, Nikolas Clauson, are caught in a battle with an unexpected villain. As the smoke clears, Calyssa finds herself on a journey to her own, real-life 'Land of the Sweets'. Will she also find her own Nutcracker Prince, or will his stormy past and current secrets be more than this ballerina can overcome?

Other books in the Typecast Christmas Collection:
'Curtain Calls and Christmas Wishes' by Cynthia Hickey
'Act of Love' by K.R. Jordan
'Scrooge Falls in Love' by Susette Williams

What could possibly be more romantic for a Christmas romance than a real-life Sugar Plum Fairy meeting her very own Nutcracker Prince?  Calyssa and Nikolaus (or Nik) fill the roles to perfection.  Add to the mix a delightful little daughter, Nina.    Nina dreams of being a real ballerina herself and Calyssa has the ability to help Nik's daughter fulfill her heart's desire.   
Calyssa has made dancing her life and now she wants more.    Will she let her heart lead her body and follow Nik to the "Land of the Sweets"?  I am a huge fan of  Amanda Tru and I finished this delightful romance in two sittings.   Amidst planning for my youngest daughter's wedding, this book has been my own personal "get away".   Get a copy of this book and drift away with Nik and Calyssa.   
I was given a copy of this book by the author in exchange for my honest review.
About the Author:
Amanda Tru
With a lifelong love of reading and writing, Amanda Tru loves to let her imagination paint pictures in a wide variety of genres. Her current book list includes everything from a Christian time travel / romance series, to an action-packed suspense, to a romance involving a mysterious department-store Santa.
Amanda is a former elementary school teacher who now spends her days being mommy to three little boys and her nights furiously writing. Amanda lives in a small town in Idaho where the number of cows outnumbers the number of people.
Find out more about Amanda Tru and her upcoming books at her website http://amandatru.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Review of The Letters by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Review of The Letters

(Inn at Eagle Hill, #1)

by Suzanne Woods Fisher


Rose Schrock is a plain woman with a simple plan. Determined to find a way to support her family and pay off her late husband's debts, she sets to work to convert the basement of her Amish farmhouse into an inn. While her family, especially her cranky mother-in-law, is unhappy with Rose's big idea, her friend and neighbor, Galen King, supports the decision and he helps with the conversion. As Rose finalizes preparations for visitors, she prays. She asks God to bless each guest who stays at the Inn at Eagle Hill. As the first guest arrives and settles in, Rose is surprised to discover that her entire family is the one who receives the blessings, in the most unexpected ways. And she's even more surprised when that guest decides to play matchmaker for Galen King. 
With her signature plot twists combined with gentle Amish romance, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher invites readers back to Stoney Ridge for fresh stories of simple pleasures despite the complexity of life. Fisher's tale of God's providence and provision will delight her fans and create many new ones. Welcome to the Inn at Eagle Hill.
This story feels like coming home after a long time away.  It felt wonderful to see characters from Suzanne's previous works in this story.  I felt like I was there in the new Inn at Eagle Hill as I read.  What a wonderful retreat of rest and refreshing.  I know that I have certainly felt the need to "run away" and leave the hurts of this world behind and what better place to do this than an Amish home in Stoney Ridge?  
I think I will give a call to the phone shack and make my own reservation with Rose.  
"What?  It's a fictional setting?   I can't go ?"  Sniff, sniff.   "NOW what shall I do to escape? hmmmm, I think I will read another book of Suzanne's."     
"What??? Book #2 is not out yet?"  Stomps away.  "I think I'll just go back to bed!
I received a free pdf version of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

About the  Author:
Suzanne Woods Fisher

In no particular order, Suzanne Woods Fisher is a wife, mother, writer, lifelong student of the Bible, raiser of puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind, a gardener and a cook...the latter two with sporadic results.

Suzanne has loved to write since she was a young teen. After college, she started to write for magazines and became a contributing editor for Christian Parenting Today magazine. Her family moved to Hong Kong for four years, just as the internet was developing, and she continued to write articles in a 44-story high-rise apartment, sending manuscripts 7,000 miles away with a click of a key.

After returning from Hong Kong, Suzanne decided to give her first novel a try. For four and a half months, she worked on an antediluvian computer in a cramped laundry room. She didn't even tell her husband what she was up to. When the novel was completed, she told her family at dinner one night that she had written a book. "That's why there's no food in this house!" said her slightly insensitive sons.

Undaunted...Suzanne found a small royalty publisher for that book and wrote three more (all earned multiple). With help from an agent, she has five books currently under contract with Revell. On September 1st, Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World, a non-fiction book of stories and examples about the Old Order Amish, will be released by Revell. The Choice, a novel about the Amish, will follow on January 1st.

Writing, for Suzanne, is a way to express a love of God and His word. With every book or article, she hopes readers get a sense of what faith really looks like in the daily grind. She hopes they realize that life can be hard, but God is good, and never to confuse the two.

Suzanne can be found on-line at: www.suzannewoodsfisher.com

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Review of Amish Pen Pals

Review of Amish Pen Pals: Rachel's Confession 

(A Christian Hope Novella with Study Guide)

by Karen Anna Vogel and Dr. Maryann Roberts


Rachael Yoder has a secret sin, a sin only her twin knew and carried to her grave. At 20, she pushes Samuel Miller's affections away, believing he deserves a better wife, although she loves him. 
When she finally confides in her pen pal, Rachael realizes she is forgiven and loved by God, but needs to confess her sin to the bishop, elders...and Samuel. 
Will she take her pen pal's advice and confess? If so, will Samuel ever see her as the innocent childhood friend he grew up with and loved his whole life, or be outraged? 
Or does Samuel have secrets of his own?
What a precious story of sin, guilt, and confession with forgiveness. I love the Granny Weaver stories. She and her husband both impart true wisdom to others. How lovely to see it done through letters as well as in person. The study guide at the end is very meaningful. I know that I have struggled with being bogged down by guilt which pleases Satan. God wants us free from guilt and sin. The study guide and the story line how we all can know this freedom. Thank you so much for this precious story, ladies. I am so happy I used a gift card to purchase this book.

About the Authors:
Karen Anna Vogel

This new series by Karen Anna Vogel will show how problems are solved the Amish way. Each novella will include a discussion guide written by Christian counselor, Dr. Maryann Roberts. Karen and Maryann want to bring Christian hope to their readers. 
Best-selling author Karen Anna Vogel is a trusted English friend among Amish in Western
PA and NY. She strives to realistically portray these wonderful people she admires, most stories being based on true stories. Karen writes full-length novels, novellas and short story serials. She hopes readers will learn more about Amish culture and traditions, and realize you don't have to be Amish to live a simple life. Visit her popular blog, Amish Crossings at karenannavogel.blogspot.com 

Dr. Maryann Roberts is a nationally licensed pastoral counselor through the National Christian Counselor
Association and is board certified in Marriage and Family. She is also an ordained minister of counseling and has been in practice since 2000 helping couples, individuals, teens and at times children to integrate their Christianfaith with Christian living within their families and relationships.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Review of The Militant Genome

 Review of The Militant Genome

by Braxton DeGarmo

The Militant Genome

A master gene for race? Geneticists say such a thing doesn’t exist. However, the Colonel, founder of the Missouri White Alliance, has devised a genetic weapon capable of devastating dark-skinned peoples globally. He is only weeks, maybe days away from implementing his viral version of racial cleansing’s “final solution.” There’s only one threat to his plan – a hotheaded member of the MWA has become the target of a nationwide police search for murder and the kidnapping of local celebrity Della Winston … and the unwanted attention risks bringing federal scrutiny to the previously unknown white supremacy group.

Sarah Wade, MD, has enough stress as a senior Emergency Medicine resident. She never expected that her discovery of a murdered medical student would inadvertently jeopardize her career. Or that the next-day murder of a Nigerian diplomat would lead to the kidnapping of her best friend, Della Winston. The cascade of events pull her – and Seamus O’Connor, the detective assigned to the high-profile medical center murder – into a life-threatening conspiracy of murder, kidnapping, and rising racial tensions.
My Review:
Braxton DeGarmo has written a compelling modern-day Hitler story. The story both appalled me and compelled me to read more and more.  This is definitely a story that will remain in your heart after reading.   A few times, the medical technical language was difficult for me to follow. This did not stop me from fully engaging in the plot however. There is a very strong Christian message and theme through out the story that impressed me.  The action is never ending and fast-paced!   This is an author to watch!  
I received a free copy of this book from bookfun.org (The Book Club Network) in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author:
Braxton DeGarmo

Braxton can't lay claim to wanting to be a writer all his life, although his mother and seventh grade English teacher were convinced he had what it would take. He went to Duke University, earned a Bachelor's Degree of Science in Engineering with a major in Bio-Medical Engineering, and found his way into medical school at the University of Cincinnati. Following a residency in Emergency Medicine at Madigan Army Medical Center, he served tours as the Chief, Emergency Medical Services at Fort Campbell, KY and as a research Flight Surgeon at Fort Rucker, AL. Who had time to write?
By the late 1990's, his professional and family life had settled down, somewhat, and his mother once again took up her mantra, "Write a book. You're a good writer." Yet, with no experience in writing anything other than technical articles, he hesitated to try his hand at fiction. That changed in 1997 when the local newspaper held a writing contest for Valentine's Day. Out of 1100 entries, he made it to the top five finalists and realized that maybe he could write fiction after all.
The next ten years saw him learning the craft of writing through local writers' groups, seminars, critique groups and more. "The Militant Genome" (©July 2012) marks his first formal publication. "Indebted" (©January 2013) and "Looks that Deceive" (©May 2013) are now available as well. His fourth book, tentatively titled, "All Things Remembered," is on target for a late fall 2013 release.
Fifteen years after that first hesitant start, he can't find enough time to write as much as he'd like. He now lives in Missouri with his wife, Paula. Their two children are grown and with three grandchildren nearby, "Papa" wears a number of hats.