Tuesday, June 27, 2017

"The Angel Answer Book" Book review





The Angel Answer Book 

by Robert J. Morgan



23647135

Uncover the mystery of angels and their roles in our lives!


Angels have been present since the beginning of time, yet we’re filled with more intrigue and myth than with facts about these heavenly creatures. In this practical Q&A format, bestselling author and pastor Robert J. Morgan uncovers the mystery of angels—in the teachings of the Bible, in their role in relation to Christ, how they impact Christian beliefs, and in personal accounts of our present-day lives. This is an up close and revealing look at what angels do for us as they carry out their purpose in God’s overall plan for His kingdom. 

MY REVIEW:  Even people who don't profess to be religious or spiritual will acknowledge the presence of angels or will say that someone who has died is now an "angel".  This book is one of the best and most informative books I've read about angels.  Angels were not always in heaven with God. He created them when He began his work of creation and Satan along with his followers did not get removed from heaven by God until sometime in the first three chapters of Genesis.   Satan first appears in the Garden of Eden in chapter 3 of Genesis, so we know that Satan attempted to take over and become God sometime before that point and the creation.

         Robert J. Morgan uses scripture verses and personal stories where possible to examine and explain the existence and purposes of angels.  The book examines both a presence of angels who work toward good, those who delve out punishment and judgement and the fallen angels.   So many of the verses used were given new meaning for me.  I saw them in a new light and understanding.  I highly recommend this book to those who are simply curious as well as the more serious seeker and those who wish to use it for reference.  It would be very helpful to anyone teaching on the subject.  The one addition I would like to see would be artwork or photographs.  
      
        I rate this book 5 stars.   I received an ebook of this work of non-fiction from netgalley and the publishers..  I was not required to give a review but I was encouraged to do so.  It is my pleasure to provide this book review and all opinions expressed are mine.

About the Author:
Robert J. Morgan

Robert J. Morgan is the teaching pastor of The Donelson Fellowship in Nashville, Tennessee, where he has served for 35 years.  He is a best-selling and Gold-Medallion winning writer with more than 35 books in print and more than 4 million copies in circulation in multiple languages.  He is a writer for Dr. David Jeremiah and Turning Points Magazine, and has many articles published in other leading Christian periodicals.  He is also a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Rob has appeared on numerous national television and radio shows.
He and his wife Katrina have three daughters and fourteen grandchildren.  He is also co-owner of Roan Mountain Bed and Breakfast in Roan Mountain, Tennessee (roanmountainbedandbreakfast.com). In 2014, Rob was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree from his alma mater, Columbia International University.  Visit his website at http://www.robertjmorgan.com/

Sunday, June 25, 2017

"Delilah" Book Review

27066703

Delilah:  Treacherous Beauty Book Review

Dangerous Beauty #3

by Angela Elwell Hunt


Book Description:
A Complex and Compelling Glimpse at One of the Bible's Baddest Girls 

Life is not easy in Philistia, especially not for a woman and child alone. When beautiful, wounded Delilah finds herself begging for food to survive, she resolves that she will find a way to defeat all the men who have taken advantage of her. She will overcome the roadblocks life has set before her, and she will find riches and victory for herself. 
When she meets a legendary man called Samson, she senses that in him lies the means for her victory. By winning, seducing, and betraying the hero of the Hebrews, she will attain a position of national prominence. After all, she is beautiful, she is charming, and she is smart. No man, not even a supernaturally gifted strongman, can best her in a war of wits.

MY REVIEW:   Delilah is often used as an example of the sort of woman one does not want to model their own life after....the Bible has little to tell us of her background or details about her life before she became involved with Samson, the one whom God had instructed should never have a razor put to his hair.  This story is of course fictional and supposes what led an innocent baby named Delilah to become one of the Bible's baddest of the bad girls.  We know from historical facts that it was not easy being a woman in a man's world in Biblical times.  
       I did of course read the story of Samson and Delilah from the scriptures in the Bible and what I glean from God's Word is that he intended for Samson to do exactly what he did when he destroyed the entire company of Philistines along with the rulers, giving up his own life as he killed more people with his death than he had in his entire lifetime.  God used a weak man, one who loved beautiful women and ultimately lost his eyes and his strength due to one of these women, the beautiful Delilah.  He used a woman we truly know little about for his purposes, but we can imagine what her life was like and it has been very captivating to follow Ms. Hunt's version of the possibilities contained within Delilah's life.  Her secrets have been given wings with the words of this book.  I also must say that the cover of this book is stunning in its beauty.
      I rate this book 4 stars as I did have to keep referring back to the title of each chapter to remind myself whether this was Delilah or Samson's "voice".  This did slow my reading down a bit but did not take away from my desire to keep reading ahead.  While this book is the third in a series, it is a stand-alone as well since each of the books features a different "dangerous beauty" of the Bible.
      I received a copy of this book from netgalley and the publishers and I was not required to write a review, although it was encouraged.  The words here are my own and all opinions expressed belong solely to me.

About the Author:


Angela Hunt

     Christy-Award winner Angela Hunt writes for readers who have learned to expect the unexpected in novels from this versatile author. With nearly five million copies of her books sold worldwide, she is the best-selling author of more than 100 works ranging from picture books (The Tale of Three Trees) to novels.

Now that her two children are grown, Angie and her youth-pastor husband live in Florida with Very Big Dogs (a direct result of watching Sandlot too many times). This affinity for mastiffs has not been without its rewards--one of their dogs was featured on Live with Regis and Kelly as the second-largest canine in America. Their dog received this dubious honor after an all-expenses-paid trip to Manhattan for the dog and the Hunts, complete with VIP air travel and a stretch limo in which they toured New York City. Afterward, the dog gave out paw-tographs at the airport.

When she's not home writing, Angie often travels to teach writing workshops at schools and writers' conferences. And to talk about her dogs, of course. 

Readers may visit her web site at www.angelahuntbooks.com.


Saturday, June 10, 2017

"Dark Deception" book review

32510786

DARK DECEPTION Book Review

by Nancy Mehl 

New Edge-of-Your-Seat Read from an Established Romantic Suspense Author Kate O'Brien has been leading a quiet life in small-town Shelter Cove, Arkansas, for the past four years when her past suddenly comes roaring back to life. Four years ago, she and her twin sister were attacked by an elusive serial killer. Only Kate survived, and it was her drawing of the attacker--along with some last-minute evidence--that convicted the suspect.
She's been in witness protection ever since, but new evidence suggests the convicted man isn't the murderer and she's been subpoenaed to testify in the new trial. Nervous about the risk, she'll only agree if the same marshal who protected her during the original trial escorts her to St. Louis.
Deputy U.S. Marshal Tony DeLuca accepts the assignment to bring Kate to the trial, remembering how her strength impressed him. While in Shelter Cove, however, he gets a call from his chief, advising them to stay in Shelter Cove until a new development in the case can be straightened out. But when Kate's safety is threatened, Tony must race against the clock to keep her alive and put this ugly case to rest before anyone else gets killed.
 

MY REVIEW:  Nail biting suspense...murder....intrigue....romance....faith expressed by characters.....if you like all these elements, you will love Nancy Mehl's 2nd book in her Defenders of Justice series.   Kate is in witness protection after testifying against the man believed to have killed her twin sister.  He is sent to prison, and she fears for her life if he ever finds her....and then he is released from prison.  Will he come after her?  He would have to locate her first in the small town where she is hiding.  When evidence comes to light suggesting he is not the killer, Kate must testify again.  She is frightened and rightly so.   
      Nancy is one of my favorite authors and she did not disappoint me  in this book.  I did read book one in the series, and while this book can stand-alone, I think it would be helpful to read book one first.  I had a lot of trouble keeping the characters straight as there were so many different characters.  This did cause some confusion for me as I read.  
I highly recommend this book.   Readers who love suspense, thrillers and Christian fiction will be delighted.

      I am rating this book 4 stars.  I received a copy of this book from netgalley and the publishers.  I was not required to write a positive review.   All opinions expressed are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Nancy Mehl

Nancy Mehl lives in Festus, Missouri, with her husband Norman, and her very active puggle, Watson. She's authored fifteen books and is currently at work on a new romantic suspense series for Bethany House Publishing. 

All of Nancy's novels have an added touch - something for your spirit as well as your soul. "I welcome the opportunity to share my faith through my writing," Nancy says. "It's a part of me and of everything I think or do. God is number one in my life. I wouldn't be writing at all if I didn't believe that this is what He's called me to do. I hope everyone who reads my books will walk away with the most important message I can give them: God is good, and He loves you more than you can imagine. He has a good plan especially for your life, and there is nothing you can't overcome with His help." 

You can find out more about Nancy by visiting her Web site at: www.nancymehl.com or find her newsletter at: www.nancymehl.blogspot.com. She also is active on the Suspense Sisters: www.suspensesisters.blogspot.com and on FaceBook!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

"Prince Charles" Book Review

Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life Book Review

by Sally Bedell Smith

31575697

From the New York Times bestselling author of Elizabeth the Queen comes the first major biography of Prince Charles in more than twenty years--perfect for fans of The Crown.

Sally Bedell Smith returns once again to the British royal family to give us a new look at Prince Charles, the oldest heir to the throne in more than three hundred years. This vivid, eye-opening biography--the product of four years of research and hundreds of interviews with palace officials, former girlfriends, spiritual gurus, and more, some speaking on the record for the first time--is the first authoritative treatment of Charles's life that sheds light on the death of Diana, his marriage to Camilla, and his preparations to take the throne one day.

Prince Charles brings to life the real man, with all of his ambitions, insecurities, and convictions. It begins with his lonely childhood, in which he struggled to live up to his father's expectations and sought companionship from the Queen Mother and his great-uncle Lord Mountbatten. It follows him through difficult years at school, his early love affairs, his intellectual quests, his entrepreneurial pursuits, and his intense search for spiritual meaning. It tells of the tragedy of his marriage to Diana; his eventual reunion with his true love, Camilla; and his relationships with William, Kate, Harry, and his grandchildren.

Ranging from his glamorous palaces to his country homes, from his globe-trotting travels to his local initiatives, Smith shows how Prince Charles possesses a fiercely independent spirit and yet has spent more than six decades waiting for his destined role, living a life dictated by protocols he often struggles to obey. With keen insight and the discovery of unexpected new details, Smith lays bare the contradictions of a man who is more complicated, tragic, and compelling than we knew, until now.

MY REVIEW:  While I have always been fascinated by the British royal family, I found                    some of the lengthy details boring in this book about the future king of England  Prince Charles. He seems to have a propensity for irritating the parliament and World Leaders with his unusual stances on important issues.   He rocked the world when he married Lady Diana Spencer and then he further shocked the world when he continued an affair with then married Camilla Parker-Bowles and divorced Princess Diana.  Surprisingly, the world seems to have accepted his marriage to Camilla even though there was much initial protest concerning the union between the two divorced middle-aged Charles and Camilla.
         I must state that I was and still am a huge fan of Princess Diana and I still feel that Prince Charles never loved her and only married her because of her purity and his need to produce an heir to the throne.  I believe that Diana was madly in love with him however, and suffered a broken heart which then led to several of her own affairs.  I woke at 5 a.m. to watch their wedding.  I did the same to mourn along with millions as she was laid to rest with her two precious sons walking behind the cortege with Prince Charles by their side.  I did have great respect for Prince Charles in the way he conducted himself at Diana's tragic death....traveling to return her body home, planning her funeral, and publicly showing his grief and supporting their sons.   My feelings of affection for Diana and distaste for Camilla likely colored my appreciation of this book, but the writing was impeccable even if a bit tedious at times.                                                                                                                                                
           I am giving a four-star rating to this book.  I highly recommend it to those who enjoy reading biographies as I do.  
           I received a copy of this book from netgalley and Random House to read.  I was encouraged, but not required to write a review of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.  

About the Author:
Sally Bedell Smith


Author of six biographies: Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch (Random House 2102); For Love of Politics: Bill and Hillary Clinton: The White House Years (Random House 2007); Grace and Power: The Private World of the Kennedy White House (Random House 2004); Diana In Search of Herself: Portrait of a Troubled Princess (Random House 2004); Reflected Glory: The Life of Pamela Churchill Harriman (Simon & Schuster, 1996); In All His Glory: The Life and Times of William S. Paley and the Birth of Modern Broadcasting (Simon & Schuster, 1990).
Contributing Editor at Vanity Fair since 1996.
Previously cultural news reporter for The New York Times, staff writer for TV Guide, and reporter-researcher for Time Magazine.
Awarded the Sigma Delta Chi Distinguished Service Award for magazine reporting in 1982; fellow at the Freedom Forum Media Studies Center at Columbia University from 1986 to 1987.
B.A. from Wheaton College and M.S. from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

"Discipline That Connects with Your Child's Heart" Book Review

Discipline that Connects with Your Child's Heart 

by Jim and Lynne Jackson

15704373

Ever feel stuck in a discipline rut? This book will help you develop a new "lens" for effective, caring discipline with your child. "Discipline that Connects" is a profound and deeply Biblical way of thinking about corrective discipline. In these pages you'll grow in insight about yourself and your child. You'll learn to: Prepare your heart and stay calm when your kids are not.Think on your feet and respond with confidence and wisdom.Turn behavior problems into opportunities.Help children learn to be responsible for their own actions and truly reconcile with others.Use creative consequences that build skills, values, and faith in your children.Get out of the discipline rut and into your children's hearts! 

MY REVIEW:  It would definitely have been useful if this had been available when I was raising my three daughters, but I wanted to read it to be a better grandparent to the precious little ones God has blessed me with.  I feel that I can also  be a resource to my stressed out daughters and stepchildren as they seek to raise their children with Christian principles.   The authors use scripture references to support the principles they address.   They encourage an approach to parenting that is sure to reach the soul of their children and be a balm to innocent little ones entrusted to their care by God.  Listening with love is a large part of the discipline plan they present in the pages of this book.   I would recommend this book to parents, grandparents, and those foster parents and others who are raising children.   I did feel that some of the book's discipline techniques could have been explained with fewer words.  Stressed out parents do not have much free time for reading.
     I give this book a 4 star rating.  I felt some principles could have been discussed in a shorty manner.  
    I received a copy of this book from netgalley and Bethany House Publishers.


Jim and Lynne Jackson:
Jim   Jackson


"Annie's Recipe" Book Review

Annie's Recipe Book Review

Hope Chest of Dreams #2

by Lisa Jones Baker

30547689

Three young Amish women, each gifted with a hand-carved hope chest, find that one by one, with patience and faith, their most blessed dreams for the future can come true... 

Annie Mast and Levi Miller were best friends until his father was shunned by the church. Now, ten years later, Levi has returned to Arthur, Illinois, for a brief visit, and he and Annie discover their bond is as strong as ever. Spending as much time together as possible, Annie finds herself dreaming of a future with Levi. And Levi is soon dreaming of building a home on a beautiful local hillside--to live in with Annie. Yet their longings are unlikely to become reality... 
Levi is part of the English world, and while Annie cannot see herself there, she knows she must reveal her heart's truth to him. And Levi, strongly reminded of his Amish roots, knows he must heal the bitterness of the past. And together, with love on their side, they just may find their way to an answered prayer...

MY REVIEW:  Hope chests are so special.  I never had the pleasure of owning own myself, except for a very small cedar one that a local furniture shop gifted to every senior girl upon our high school graduation.  I treasured that little chest and kept special things in it...the hand-tatted handkerchief that my grandmother made, love letters from my husband from our dating days, etc.  Sam makes hand-carved ones with special meaning for each recipient.  Annie and her sisters have made it their mission to minister to Sam after the death of his wife, and he has a unique bond with them.  He gives wise counsel to Annie as she renews a friendship with Levi from her school days in the Amish schoolhouse .  They were inseparable in their younger years and they find that the desire to spend time together is just as great if not even greater.  But he is now English and mamm and the Amish community disapprove of their relationship as they fear she will leave the Amish faith and become English.   Will their love for each other be realized?  He doesn't want to leave the English world and she doesn't want to leave the Amish.  Can God help them find a way to be together?  
        I loved reading this story and discovering new things about Annie and her sisters.  They share a special bond and this resonates with me as I feel the same way about my sister and four brothers.  Family is important to me, just as it is for Annie, Levi, and the Amish in general.  My faith in God drives my decisions and that is certainly true for the Amish.  Levi was once Amish himself so this is still vital to his life as well.  Lisa Jones Baker incorporates faith beautifully into the words of her writing.  This book would be appropriate for teenage readers as well as adults.  
      I am pleased to say this book deserves a rating of 5 stars.
      I received a gift copy of this book from netgalley and Kensington Publishing Corporation.

About the Author:
Lisa Jones Baker



Lisa Jones Baker grew up near a small Amish town in Illinois that she frequented with her family on weekends. She's also a dog lover and a fan of Scottsdale, Arizona, where she spent nearly two decades. Lisa graduated from Illinois State University with a French major, has been on 5 out of 7 continents, and considers her parents the best in the world. Raised in a Christian home, Lisa has always been blessed with love and support.

Monday, May 1, 2017

"More Than a Marriage" Book Review

Book Review of More Than a Marriage

Wells Landing Quilting Circle #3

by Amy Lillard

32791718

In the close-knit Amish community of Wells Landing, Oklahoma, a women’s quilting circle welcomes a new member who is struggling to keep her marriage together—or let it go . . .

Quiet and unassuming Tess Smiley is new to Wells Landing. She is also newly married to Jacob Smiley. But already she is finding that married life isn’t the gentle union of contented devotion she had envisioned. Rather, the old-fashioned qualities that had endeared her to Jacob have become a source of inner confusion. As his father did with his wife, Jacob has begun treating Tess like a servant, taking her for granted, no longer surprising her with little presents. And once he began his job at the Englisch shed company, he has become more interested in his company smartphone than in spending time with Tess . . .

Jacob can’t see what Tess is upset about and continues his boorish ways, ignoring her pleas to attend marriage classes. Tess loves Jacob with all her heart, but it’s her heart that tells her she must take a stand. With surprising determination, she asks for help from her new community and is welcomed into the home of her friend Clara Rose and her husband Obie. Only then does Jacob begin to see how deeply his behavior has hurt Tess. But is he too late? He may be contrite, but he will need to show much more than that to win her love all over again . . . 


Book Review:  What a different book this Amish romance is!  Amy Lillard has taken a huge step outside the typical Amish fiction work and I love it!  I appreciate the fact that she steps away and dares to risk acceptance of a different storyline than the norm.  This book is inviting and one I read with relish!  
      
Tess is upset when Jacob uses his cellphone that he received from his work boss to use for business. The Amish normally do not use cellphones except for business, but Jacob makes a facebook page and stays on it all the time.  Tess feels forgotten and disrespected.  Jacob just doesn't see that he is hurting Tess.

I can understand how Tess feels to want to be noticed and cherished by her husband.  In marriage, it is important for couples to do things together and feel happy to be with their spouse.  I would feel neglected as well, but I would continue to be faithful to my marriage and would not consider giving up.   I really love that this book veers from the works of Amish fiction.

My rating for this book is 5 stars *****
I received an ebook of this Amish fiction from netgalley.  No review was required. All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author:

Amy Lillard

(Taken from amazon's author page)
I'm a wife, mother, and bona fide Southern belle. Published author, expert corn bread maker, and Squirrel Princess.

I live in Tulsa, though I was born in Mississippi. I moved to the Sooner State when I was seventeen and met my soul mate and best friend not long after. I've retained a little of my Mississippi accent though most people think I'm from Texas. (?) Rob and I have been married for over twenty years and have a son-a mom proclaimed prodigy, of course!

I love homemade tacos, nail polish, and romance novels-not necessarily in that order. I'm a big fan of country music, a staunch proponent of saving the Oxford comma, and I'm shamefully obsessed with all things Harry Potter.

I believe that God is love. I guess that's why I love to write inspirational romances. The two go hand-in-hand for me.

I have always been intrigued with the Amish culture, their gentle ways and slower-paced lifestyle. (And I love, love, love the fact that they stay married for their lifetime.) But until recently I never thought to blend this interest with my penchant for romance. Okay, okay, I'm a bit old-fashioned and even enjoy the gender roles that are present in this culture. I love to cook and take care of my family. Yes, that's me June Cleaver with a laptop.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

"Upon a Spring Breeze" book review

Review of Upon a Spring Breeze

Every Amish Season, Book #1

by Kelly Irvin

30649243

Book Description

After a devastating winter, a spring breeze promises more than new flowers.… It promises a new chance at love.

Bess Weaver, twenty and expecting her first child, is in the kitchen making stew for her beloved mann, Caleb, one minute, and the next she’s burying him after a tragic accident. Facing life as a young widow, Bess finds comfort only in tending the garden at an Englisch-owned bed and breakfast—even as she doubts that new growth could ever come after such a long winter.

Aidan tries to repress his guilt over his best friend Caleb’s death and his long-standing feelings for Bess by working harder than ever. But as he spends time with the young son his friend left behind, he seems to be growing closer to the boy’s beautiful mother as well.

When a close-knit group of widows in her Amish community step in to help Bess find her way back to hope, she begins to wonder if Gott has a future for her after all. Will she ever believe that life can still hold joy and the possibility of love?
 

MY REVIEW:   Plans, dreams, memories, Bess and Caleb had so many plans, dreams, and happy memories together in their short married life.  Plans and dreams for their precious bopli to arrive soon.  There would be cuddles and snuggles with their darling bopli together.  Then those plans and dreams were shattered in a flash.  Caleb would not be snuggling and cuddling their precious bopli with Bess.  He would not be holding her close in their bed or brushing her long, glorious hair ever again.   Never.  Never. Never.   Bess wonders how a good and loving Gott could do such a horrible thing as to take her mann just before their bopli was to arrive.  But he did take him. 
      Bess needs love, support and encouragement now and Aidan promised his best friend, Caleb, who asked with his last breath for him to take care of his bopli.   He works to keep his promise to Caleb.   But poor Bess is sad and angry and grieving.  Can she come around and learn to love and have joy and laughter again?   Or will she drown in her sorrow?
     My heart went out to Bess and to Aidan.  I grieved along with them as they dealt with the loss of their dearest friend.  I don't know how I would have been able to handle life or to get out of the bed every day and walk around as though nothing had happened.   I don't agree with the Amish way of handling grief with never mentioning the name of the deceased.  I feel that people need to express their grief and talk about their loved one.  Kelly Irvin tells the story of love and loss in a way that is gut-wrenching and raw with emotion.  She tugs on the heartstrings of her readers as she tells their story.    I am so excited that this is the first book in the Every Amish Season series.  I am looking forward to hearing more about Bess, Aidan and their friends and family.
        I simply had to give this book a star rating of five!  because it's just.that.good!
        I received a copy of this book from netgalley and the publishers.  While netgalley would like for me to review the book if I choose to do so, I was not required to review this book and all opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author:
Kelly Irvin

Kelly Irvin's newest series, Every Amish Series, begins with the debut of Upon a Spring Breeze, in April. It is a four-book series published by Zondervan/HarperCollins Christian Publishing. This follows the Amish of Bee County series, The Saddle Maker's Son, released in June 2016. It is an ECPA bestseller. It follows The Bishop's Son, and the critically acclaimed bestseller, The Beekeeper's Son, which earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly. The reviewer called it "a beautifully woven masterpiece." The Beekeeper's Son was a finalist in the romance category of the 2016 ACFW Carol Awards Contest.

Kelly has novellas in The Amish Christmas Gift and The Amish Marketplace, both of which were also ECPA bestsellers. She is also the author of the Bliss Creek Amish series and the New Amish Amish series. The first series includes To Love and To Cherish, A Heart Made New, and Love’s Journey Home, published by Harvest House. The New Hope Amish series includes Love Still Stands, followed by Love Redeemed, which was an ACFW Carol Award finalist, and A Plain Love Song.

Kelly has also penned two romantic suspense novels, A Deadly Wilderness and No Child of Mine..

The Kansas native is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and ACFW's San Antonio local chapter Alamo City Christian Fiction Writers.

A graduate of the University of Kansas William Allen White School of Journalism, Kelly has been writing nonfiction professionally for thirty years. She studied for three semesters at the University of Costa Rica, learning the Spanish language. As a journalist, she worked six years in the border towns of Laredo and El Paso.

She worked in public relations for the San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department for 22 years before retiring earlier this year. Kelly has been married to photographer Tim Irvin for twenty-eight years. They have two young adult children and have two grandchildren. In her spare time, she likes to write short stories, read books by her favorite authors, and looks forward to visits with her grandchildren.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Book Review of "Clementine & Claudia"

Clementine & Claudia

by Piper Milton

31032372

The First World War is raging and sisters Clementine and Claudia are coping in very different ways. Clementine is a nurse on the front line, doing her best to save the lives of soldiers wounded while serving their country. Claudia, on the other hand, is living the good life in England, deliberately oblivious to the horrors her sister and so many others are living through. When they both meet their perfect man, their already fractured relationship is tested in ways they could never imagine.

The d├ębut novel from Piper Milton, Clementine and Claudia is a powerful and beautifully written story of romance and war and a wonderful addition to the romantic traditions of Penny Vincenzi, Soraya Lane, Brief Encounter and Downton Abbey.
 

MY REVIEW:  Historical fiction fascinates me.  I particularly love to read about the World Wars.   They are sad stories of love and loss, in most cases.   The stories of couples eager to marry and even to conceive a baby just in case the man does not return from the warfield are hauntingly beautiful.  The tragedy that many do not return is heartbreaking.  When I read knowing that, though this is fiction, the reality is that this was all too often the truth for far too many couples.   
   Two sisters who already have a volatile relationship both find the man they wish to marry.  Claudia realizes her dream before her husband, Alexander leaves for the warfield.  Clementine discovers her own true love but does not marry before they both return to the battlefield.   She saves lives and he is forced to take them.  Life continues to be volatile for the two sisters and in fact, it worsens and may never be repaired.   
     What a story!   This is the debut novel for Piper Milton and I would love to read more!   I can easily see the adventures of the characters of Clementine and Claudia continuing.  I know that I would love to meet the characters again.   So Piper, please consider this if you have not already.   Thank you for a beautiful, if sad, story.  
     My rating for this debut novel is 5 stars *****.
     I highly recommend this novel to lovers of historical fiction.  
     I received a gift of this book from netgalley and the publishers.  I was not required to write a review and all opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author:

Piper Milton is a mother of three and grandmother of four and lives on the south coast. Clementine and Claudia is her first novel.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

"Monday's Child" Book Review

Monday's Child Book Review
(Monday's Child Book #1)

by Clare Revell
15896003

Monday's Child must Hide for Protection... This was not the assignment Luke Nemec expected when he came to the UK—babysitting a beautiful widow. It wouldn't be so bad if Sara wasn't such a hostile witness. Despite her complaints and continued jibes, Luke finds himself falling for her. When, Sara Barnes is thrown into the witness protection program, she becomes the 'wife' of Lt. Luke Nemec, an American cop on temporary assignment with the British police. Despite Luke's American bravado, she finds he's kind and considerate in ways her late husband never was. But things aren't always what they seem, and Luke soon realizes he's fighting a battle of two fronts to keep Sara safe. Loyalties are called into question, and he's no longer certain who he can trust. Luke is way out of his depth. As the threats against Sara escalate, it's a race against time to find her husband's killer before Sara is silenced forever. 

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK:  Oh, my goodness, Clare Revell, you are responsible for the dark circles under my eyes today, because I just had to stay awake last night until I knew how the conflict would be resolved!  Sara and Nick are two of the most adorable people.  The tension and sarcasm between them was so cute as there was obviously instant attraction between them.  But Sara is grieving, hiding from her husband's killer, and in witness protection and NICK is assigned to be her guard 24 hours a day.   She feels like a prisoner.  She feels alone.   
         Who wouldn't feel these emotions under the circumstances?  I imagine it would be incredibly difficult to go through the Witness Protection program.  It would also be unthinkably horrific to witness your husband's murder and suffer injury from gunfire yourself.   This novel was full of suspense, romance, and humor!  
         I would definitely recommend this novel to readers.

My Star Rating: (1 being poorly written and 5 being excellent book)   5 Stars!  *****
I received a copy of this book from netgalley and the publishers .  I was not required to write a review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author:
An image posted by the author.

Clare is a British author. She lives in a small town in England with her husband, whom she married in 1992, and her three children. Writing from a early childhood and encouraged by her teachers, she graduated from rewriting fairy stories through fanfiction to using her own original characters and enjoys writing an eclectic mix of romance, crime fiction and children's stories. When she's not writing, she can be found reading, crocheting or doing the many piles of laundry the occupants of her house manage to make.
Her books are based in the UK, with a couple of exceptions, thus, although the spelling may be American, the books contain British language and terminology. 
The first draft of every novel is hand written.
She has been a Christian for more than half her life. She goes to Carey Baptist where she is one of four registrars.

"Fixing Perfect" Book Review

Fixing Perfect

by Therese M. Travis


24408469

In the community of Avalon on Catalina Island, a psychopath is kidnapping children and perfectly posing and painting the bodies of adult victims to resemble disabled artist, Robin Ingram. 

Robin struggles with feelings of imperfection, and knowing some madman has a macabre agenda—which includes fixing her—is unsettling. She’s relieved when paramedic Sam Albrecht steps up to help. 

Sam believes he knows the identity of the killer, and he wants nothing more than to prove it in order to keep Robin out of danger. Then Sam is arrested as a suspect for the crimes, and Robin’s life is thrown into a fresh whirlwind. She may not know who the real killer is, but she does know Sam is innocent…and she will find the proof to set him free, or she’ll die trying.

My Thoughts on this book:  I love the show "Criminal Minds" and this book reminded me of an episode of the show.  A psychopath is on the loose and in his sick, twisted mind, he thinks that he can fix a disabled female artist by kidnapping and killing innocent children and women. He then poses and paints the bodies and leaves them until the public understands his message.  This was a new author to me.  I had never even heard of her, but the description of the book drew me in.   I felt that her writing was well-structured and exciting. It left me eager to read more.  The only thing that bothered me as I read was that when I reached the middle of the book, I had already figured out who the psychopath was.  I like reading books where I don't know how the conflict will be resolved.  It makes the book more exciting when I am left to guess.  The suspense built and there were definitely many scenes with gory details.
        I highly recommend this book to those enjoy suspense.

MY STAR RATING:   4 Stars  (Scale of 1-5, with 1 beginning poor and 5 being excellent)
I received a copy of this book from netgalley.  A review was not required.  All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author:
Therese M. Travis started writing when she discovered books came from people--around the age of eight. At eleven, she produced her first book, a single, handmade copy of The Ghost of Scotland Yard. She has since discovered that Scotland Yard is not in Scotland. Short stories and plays followed, and then she discovered Christian fiction, which combined writing stories and God, two of her favorite things.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Review of Chocolate Soldiertru

Chocolate Soldier Book Review

(The Story of a Conchie)

by Hazel Barker

31427901

When World War II breaks out and men over eighteen are conscripted, Clarence Dover, a conscientious objector, refuses to go rather that compromise his principles. Instead, he joins the Friend's Ambulance Unit. From the London Blitz to the far reaches of Asia the war tests Clarence in the crucible of suffering. In the end, will he be able to hold his head up as proudly as the rest and say, to save lives, I risked my own?

One man will stand as God's soldier, not the war's soldier.
 

MY REVIEW:  World War II holds a true fascination for me. My uncle was killed in WWII in Normandy, France at the age of nineteen.  As I read the true story of Clarence Dover's conscientious objector status, I did not see why soldiers would be so offended. He did after all join the Friend's Ambulance Unit (FAU).  He risked his own life to save the lives of those who were fighting and killing.  He was serving and honoring God in the best way he knew how by refusing to bear arms and kill other young men.  I can also see the viewpoint of those who chose to fight to protect our freedom.  They also were doing what they felt was right for them.   
      Clarence Dover has a reason for being referred to as Chocolate Soldier but I will let the reader discover that for themselves so as not to spoil the book.  Readers will also be interested to see how Clarence's family and friends view him at the end of the war when they all return home.  
      I rated this book 4 stars as I would have liked a little more emotional connection with Clarence and the other main characters.   
       I received a copy of this book from netgalley.  I was not required to write a review of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author:Hazel Barker


Hazel Barker is married to Ev Barker's son, Colin.  Clarence was Colin's uncle.  This is how Hazel came to know this true story and recorded it in this novel.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Review for "The Case for Christ"

The Case for Christ:  Review

by Lee Strobel

73186

Using the dramatic scenario of an investigative journalist pursuing his story and leads, Lee Strobel uses his experience as a reporter for the Chicago Tribune to interview experts about the evidence for Christ from the fields of science, philosophy, and history.


My Review:  The Case for Christ uses scripture and commentary to explore the existence of Christ and how to prove it to oneself or others.  The author uses theologically sound arguments based on a series of questions listed below: 

Questions raised:  Can the biographies of Jesus be trusted?Do the biographies of Jesus stand up to scrutiny?Were Jesus' biographies reliably preserved for us?Is there credible evidence for Jesus outside his biographies?Does archaeology confirm or contradict Jesus' biographies?Is the Jesus of history the same as the Jesus of faith? Was Jesus really convinced that he was the son of God?Did Jesus fulfill the attributes of Gof?Did Jesus-And Jesus alone-Match the identity of the Messiah?Was Jesus' death a sham and his resurrection a hoax?Was Jesus' body really absent from his tomb?Was Jesus seen alive after his death on the cross?Are there any supporting facts that point to the resurrection? What does the evidence establish--and what does it mean today?    

In reading reviews of this book, I noticed that many who are non-believers did not feel that it convinced them of Christ's existence.  They felt the book was only useful to Christians.  I personally feel that this book would be a helpful tool for Christians to study for the purposes of witnessing to non-believers.  Expecting non-believers to voluntarily pick up this book to read it is likely unrealistic if they simply do not care to know as many did state was the case for them.
        I give this book a 5-star rating and recommend it for seekers and for believers as tool to study or to witness.  
        I received a copy of this book from netgalley.  I was not required to write a review.  All opinions expressed are my own.


About the Author:

Lee Strobel
                                                                                                                                                                                               Lee Patrick Strobel (born January 25, 1952) is an American Christian author, journalist, apologist and pastor. He has written several books, including four which received ECPA Christian Book Awards (1994, 1999, 2001, 2005) and a series which addresses challenges to a Biblically inerrant view of Christianity. Strobel also hosted a television program called Faith Under Fire on PAX TV, and runs a video apologetics web site. Strobel has been interviewed on numerous national television programs, including ABC's 20/20, Fox News, and CNN.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               ?

Monday, March 27, 2017

4-Star Review of "The Idea of You"


Review of the idea of you

by Amanda Prowse


31828961

With her fortieth birthday approaching, Lucy Carpenter thinks she finally has it all: a wonderful new husband, Jonah, a successful career and the chance of a precious baby of her own. Life couldn’t be more perfect.
But becoming parents proves much harder to achieve than Lucy and Jonah imagined, and when Jonah’s teenage daughter Camille comes to stay with them, she becomes a constant reminder of what Lucy doesn’t have. Jonah’s love and support are unquestioning, but Lucy’s struggles with work and her own failing dreams begin to take their toll. With Camille’s presence straining the bonds of Lucy’s marriage even further, Lucy suddenly feels herself close to losing everything…
This heart-wrenchingly poignant family drama from bestselling author Amanda Prowse asks the question: in today’s hectic world, what does it mean to be a mother?
MY REVIEW:  Wanting a child with your husband is a reasonable desire and Lucy wants a baby very badly.  She and Jonah conceive three times, with each conception ending in miscarriage in the first trimester.  Lucy is heartbroken.  Jonah is upset but already has a teenage daughter from his previous marriage.  His teenage daughter comes for the summer at Lucy's urging, but things are not so great between Lucy and Camille. Learning to live together proves challenging.  
         I definitely relate to wanting a child so badly. I felt that I could not bear to live if I did not have a child of my own when I first married at age eighteen.  I now realize that I could have lived a fulfilling life without children, but the young me did not feel that way.  I did have a miscarriage scare when I was early in my marriage and it was devastating to me.  I became absolutely hysterical once I was away from the doctor.  I really enjoyed this book and I felt it handled infertility and adoption well, but I am very emotional and I cry while reading many books and seeing movies, and I only cried once briefly during the reading of this book.  I just felt that the author did not quite hit that deep part of me that completely connected with the characters, Lucy and Camille in particular.  I really liked Lucy.  I felt great empathy for Camille.  I just felt something was missing in the emotions of the characters.  I needed MORE.  The final portion of the book seemed to cover too many loose ends in a quick fashion and left some important details out.  
          I highly recommend this book and think readers will anxiously return to finish the book as I did.   I give this book a 4 star rating.
          I received a copy of this book from netgalley and I was not required to write a positive review.   All opinions expressed are my own.   
About the Author:
Amanda Prowse
Amanda Prowse was a management consultant for ten years before realising that she was born to write. Amanda lives in the West Country with her husband and their two teenage sons.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

4-Star Review of "A March Bride"

Review of A March Bride, A Year of Weddings #4

by Rachel Hauck

18168249

Susanna has found her true prince, and their happily ever after is just around the corner. But when Nate asks her to give up something precious to her, Susanna can’t help but wonder if it’s a sign that their love is not meant to be.
Susanna Truitt (Once Upon A Prince) is three weeks from royalty. She’ll soon marry King Nathaniel II of Brighton Kingdom. But when the government insists she renounce her American citizenship before the wedding, coupled with the lack of involvement by family and friends, her heart begins to doubt whether this marriage is God’s plan for her.
Nathaniel would do anything for his bride-to-be. But he knows his position requires that she give up a lot to be with him. Her life will never be her own — right down to her very identity. When she travels home to St. Simon’s Island, Georgia, right before the wedding, Nathaniel fears she won’t return. Gathering his courage, he devises a plan to win his bride all over again, and together they seek out a kingdom to treasure above all.

MY REVIEW:   Did you love Cinderella's story?  You know, the one where an ordinary girl meets her Prince Charming?  This book is definitely a Cinderella type story to please and enchant readers.  I did not read the prequel, Once Upon A Bride and I felt that I needed more information at times so I do recommend readers win that one first.  
    This book is simple and easy to read. It is one that is clean,with no sexual scenes apparent in many romance novels.  So parents can feel comfortable with allowing teenagers to read it.  It is predictable however, and didn't hold many surprises for me.  
     I am giving this one 4-stars and recommend it to readers who love a sweet, simple romance.
     I received a copy of this book from netgalley.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author:

Rachel Hauck

New York Times, USA Today & Wall Street Journal Bestselling author Rachel Hauck writes from sunny central Florida.

A RITA finalist and winner of Romantic Times Inspirational Novel of the Year, she writes vivid characters dealing with real life issues.

She loves to hear from readers. She also loves to encourage new writers and sits on the Executive Board of American Christian Fiction Writers.. 

A graduate of Ohio State University with a BA in Journalism, Rachel is an avid OSU football fan. She hopes to one day stand on the sidelines in the Shoe with Urban Meyer.

An avid Diet Coke fan, she is caffeine free. Sometimes you just have to compromise. 

She's never skied or jumped out of an airplane. She leaves such hijinks to Jason Bourne.

Visit her web site to find out more and click on the icons to follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

www.rachelhauck.com