Saturday 31 May 2014

Book Review: Gathering Shadows

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ISBN # 9780764211577

From The Back:

Wynter Evans is a promising young reporter for a television station in St. Louis, but even a bright future doesn't take away her pain over the disappearance of her brother nine years ago. So when she stumbles across a photograph of a boy with an eerie resemblance to him, she can't pass up the chance to track him down. With research for work as her cover, she sets out with one of the station's photogs for the place where the picture was taken: the town of Sanctuary.

Almost as soon as she arrives, she meets the town's handsome young mayor, Rueben King, and together they begin to uncover long held secrets that could tear the small town apart and change everything Wynter thought she knew about her life. As the truth of her family's past hides in the shadows, it's clear someone will stop at nothing to keep the answers she's searching for hidden forever--even if the cost is Wynter's very life.

My Reflections:

Nancy Mehl is one of my first pick Author's, so when this book came across my computer as an option to review there was absolutely no hesitation! You will not be disappointed with this Romantic suspense, it has all the elements of a top rated best seller.

The characters, Wynter, Reuben, Elijah, Esther, Zack and Landon all have such distinct personalities they breath life and action into this story making it a vibrant believable narrative. You get insight into each characters personality and can relate to their lives in a very relational way, that my friends is a real writing gift, the very reason Mehl deserves the high accolades given in this review.

The plot is solid, and certainly keeps your attention throughout the book, both the mystery and strong character development will keep your attention anchored. The message of forgiveness, is heart warming and sincere, Mehl drives home the fact that God's children (you and I) will make many mistakes in life, but his love will never waver. He loves us, mess-ups and all.... The ending of this storyline will have you satisfied enough with your "happy ever after," yet firmly planted in the realities of life giving you the best kind of ending one could expect in a convincing true to life story.

I am highly anticipating book two in Nancy Mehl's "Finding Sanctuary" series, another superb success for this writer!

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group"

About the Author: 
 Nancy Mehl

Nancy Mehl

Nancy Mehl is the author of fifteen books and received the ACFW Mystery Book of the Year Award in 2009. She has a background in social work and is a member of ACFW and RWA. She writes from her home in Missouri where she lives with her husband, Norman, and their...
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Monday 26 May 2014

Book Review: Slienced

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ISBN # 9780764211959
From The Back:
Jake Knew Something Was Wrong.
But He Never Guessed
How Wrong.

A relaxing day of rock climbing takes a disturbing turn when Kayden McKenna's route brings her face-to-face with a dead climber. Is it a terrible accident or something darker? When the case is handed to overburdened sheriff Landon Grainger, he turns to Jake Westin for help. With Jake's past now revealed, he's ready to use his talent for investigation again--but he could never prepare for where the mystery will take him.

Kayden's climbing expertise soon leads her and Jake to the realization that the death was no accident. And worse, it seems the killer is onto them. When strange things begin happening in Yancey, Jake is terrified that once again his world may put someone he loves in danger. But the truth is far worse than he could ever imagine. 

My Reflections:
This is Pettrey's fourth book in the Alaskan Courage Series, and I have had the opportunity to read book three Stranded in this series. For character development purposes I recommend you read these novels in order to get their full benefit. However if you are like me and pick it up in the middle it is doable.

Pettrey has the uncanny ability to snare you from the first pages of her adventurous quests and not let you free until the book has expired. Danger, tension, romance, excitement, and mystery are just a few of the elements this book features. You will certainly have the need to finish this book in one long sitting so, please take my advice and don't start late at night like I did, or you will pay for it the next day.

Silenced centers on Kayden McKenna and Jake Cavanaugh. When Kayden  and Jake are thrown together to solve a murder, they soon find they are the hunted. The pair have feeling for each other, but lack the courage to let their feeling be know. Kayden holds everyone close to her at arms length, not letting anyone in. She is tough and independent. Jake is hopelessly smitten with Kayden, he is a man with a past. Jake has lost more than any one man should, and his past may just have caught up with him!

This story is extremely fast paced, leaving you on the edge until just the right moment. Don't even try to figure out the who- dun- it, just enjoy the thrilling speed at which this novel generates. 

Looking forward to the 5th and final book of this series, wonderful job Dani Pettrey!
 "Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group"

About the Author:

Dani Pettrey is a wife, home-schooling mom, and the author of the bestselling romantic suspense novels Stranded, Shattered, and Submerged, winner of the 2013 Holt Medallion for First Novel and the Colorado Romance Writers 2013 Award of...
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Sunday 25 May 2014

Book Review: One Perfect Spring

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ISBN # 9780800722678
From the Back:
 "Irene Hannon is one great storyteller."--Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times bestselling author
Independent single mom Claire Summers is doing her best to make lemonade out of the lemons life has handed her. Workaholic Keith Watson is interested only in the bottom line--until a letter from Claire's eleven-year-old daughter reaches his desk and changes everything.

As the executive assistant to a philanthropic businessman, Keith is used to fielding requests for donations. But the girl isn't asking for money. She wants help finding the long-lost son of a neighbor. As Keith reluctantly digs into this assignment in his usual results-oriented style, he has no idea how involved he and Claire will become--nor how unusual the results will actually be. Who could have guessed that a child's kindhearted request would bring love and hope to so many lives . . . including his own?
My Reflections: 
One perfect summer is Hannon's second foray into a contemporary novel, her usual fare is romantic suspense. Although I have loved each and every romantic suspense I must say her writing is every bit as good in her 2 newest titles. 

This is a poignant story that is sure to have you running for the tissue box. It is a story about love and redemption, relationships and how one person even a 11 year old can change lives.

This story boasts several characters and several different story lines going on at once.  Hannon's ability to create realistic characters, complicated plot lines and weave them into a beautifully crafted story is a rare gift indeed.

The main characters daughter Haley Summers, pens a note to a company after learning that this business has assisted others. Haley is a selfless child who wants to help her neighbor to find the child she has given up for adoption.

Keith a workaholic dedicated to his job, is quite the opposite from sweet Haley, he cares mostly for the bottom line. When faced with beautiful Clair Summers Haley's mom he has second thoughts about flippantly giving up on this task. 

Clair a single mom is just keeping her head above water and is none too happy about her daughter's charitable deeds, after all Haley was not included in the private conversation, what is her neighbor going to think?

Maureen Chandler is a stunning and intelligent woman, Keith convinces Maureen to let him conduct a search for her adopted child...but are his reasons purely for Maureen's benefit or does he have other hidden motives? Can these two beautiful women help him come face to face with his past and the very thing he is working so hard to forget? 
This book is very real, and at points can become somewhat heavy with reality, But just at those times Hannon is able to show God's love and compassion through her expert writing abilities. Wonderful Spring read, highly recommended! Can't wait for Hannon's next book coming in October.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

About The Author:

 Irene Hannon

Irene Hannon

Irene Hannon is the bestselling author of more than forty romantic suspense and contemporary romance novels, including the Heroes of Quantico and Guardians of Justice series. Her books have been honored with two coveted RITA Awards from Romance Writers of...
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Thursday 22 May 2014

Book Review: Get Your Teenager Talking

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Are you and your favorite teenager having too many conversations like this?

"How was school?"
"Soccer practice?"
"Same as always."
"Anything interesting happen today?"
"Nice talking with you!"
Let's face it. Teenagers have a PhD in one-word answers . . . if we don't ask the right questions. 

In this book, veteran youth expert Jonathan McKee shares 180 creative discussion starters to help teens open up about issues that matter. You'll also find tips for interpreting their responses and follow-up questions. From light-hearted to more serious, these conversation springboards will encourage even the most reluctant teen to talk about friends, school, values, struggles, and much more.

My Reflections:
This is a short easy to read digest book. It boasts discussion starters for you to use with your teen, in an easy to follow format. It does all this without sounding canned or overly preachy. I was drawn to this book after a particularly difficult day with my fourteen year old. The uh hu, nope and i don't knows was enough to send a sane parent running. 

This book includes tips to get your child talking, 180 conversation starters, follow up questions and a conversation springboard section. I especially liked the quick additions section where a bible passage was listed and sample questions followed. Makes it easy to converse without all the effort. 

This no nonsense book is written for the public school child, I say this because as a homeschooling mom a lot of the book simply did not apply to our family. I am with my kids pretty much 24/7 so knowing what his favorite lunch to pack is a easy answer as I am at home and see what he likes and dislikes for lunch every day. That being said I found the "conversation springboard" sections extremely useful. I often struggle to come up with new and engaging topics, this will certainly come in handy in the months to come! 
I would recommend this book to any mom looking for tips on engaging your teen or pre teen in meaningful conversation.

I received this book free of charge from Bethany House Publishers in return for my honest review. Thank you Bethany House!

About the Author:

Jonathan McKee

Jonathan McKee

Jonathan McKee is an expert on youth culture and the author of more than a dozen books, including The Guy's Guide to God, Girls, and the Phone in Your Pocket and The Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide for Teenagers. He has twenty years of...
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Tuesday 20 May 2014

Book Review: Until I Found You

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ISBN # 9780764211522
From the Back:
Finding each other was only the beginning . . .

When Kate Darby swerves off a mountain road to avoid hitting a California condor, she ends up trapped in her car, teetering on the edge of a cliff. Terrified, she breathes a prayer that changes her life.

It's Nick Sheridan who comes to Kate's rescue. Nick is handsome and confident, and he seems to develop a habit of rescuing her, but Kate is in town only until her grandmother recuperates from a stroke. She's not planning to get involved with one of the locals.

Nick is a reformed veteran of life in the fast lane, a new Christian, and a travel writer. When he sees a car dangling on the edge of a cliff, the daredevil in him jumps into action. He doesn't expect to be swept off his feet by the car's occupant. He's made a vow--no dating for a year--but keeping that vow is going to be a lot more difficult now that he's met Kate Darby. . . .

My Reflections:

This is the first Victoria Bylin book I have read, and what drew me to this book was the beautifully crafted cover. It is stunning and drew me in right away, I had a stack of five books and picked this one on that merit alone.

The story starts off with an action packed punch. Kate meets Nick in a near death plunge off a mountains edge, this is where the book dived for me as well... I found the characters to be a bit flat in this tale I must admit, I tend to enjoy most books I review and usually can zip through a book in the blink of an eye. I had to blink a few more times with this one.

The characters Nick and Kate did not seem like a stellar love match to me. Kate is a tad clingy and can`t seem to decide what she really wants in life. Nick a new Christian has vowed to stay clear of dating for a complete year, and although they both have their convictions they both don`t seem terribly serious about any of them. Kate flip flops back and forth with her career as a advertising agent and running the Clarion, her Grandmothers small town newspaper. Nick`s new faith and the pull of a relationship with Kate who does not share his newly sprouted beliefs is a great idea to a wonderful plot, but this one just fell short of reaching its potential in my view.

The overall story line seemed a little forced and a little too predictable. The book also goes into great detail about the rescue of the Condors. (a bird that almost went extinct, but was saved by the intervention of a few dedicated individuals) I love birds, but I was not interested in the subject matter.

Now what I really enjoyed about this book was the story of Grandma Leona. Having worked with stroke patients in the hospital I was intrigued with Leona`s journey. I loved the insight this character shone on the plight of an individual who suffers a stroke and the pain and frustration that goes with it. This part of the plot was beautifully written, highlighting the impact anyone can have on the lives of others even when severely hampered..such a powerful message. This emphasized the truth that God has a purpose for everyone at every stage of our lives, healthy and whole, or not.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group"

About The Author:

 Victoria Bylin

Victoria Bylin

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Tuesday 13 May 2014

Moms' Night Out Give A Way!

                                                        Moms' Night Out

Who wouldn't like a night out? I know I could use one from time to time. So in light of this I am giving away one pass (admit two) to this movie. 

Just Tweet and Facebook a link to this blog and I will enter your name in the give a way, don't delay as this movie is now out. Leave a reply so that I can enter your name. 

 Thanks and good luck!

 For more details about this hilarious and heartwarming comedy, as well as a list of theaters showing the film, please visit .

Monday 5 May 2014

Book Review: The Last Bride

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ISBN # 9780764211980
From The Back:
 Come home to Hickory Hollow, Pennsylvania--the beloved setting where Beverly Lewis's celebrated Amish novels began--with new characters and new stories of drama, romance, and the ties that draw people together.

"Much of the credit [for the growth of Amish fiction] goes to Beverly Lewis, a Colorado author who gave birth to the genre in 1997 with The Shunning..."
--Associated Press

Of her Old Order parents' five daughters, Tessie Miller is the last to marry. She has her heart set on Amishman Marcus King, but Tessie's father opposes the match.

Impetuously, Tessie and Marcus elope to the English world, then return to Hickory Hollow to live as singles, trusting they'll convince the Millers to give their love a chance over time. But when the unthinkable happens, Tessie faces the almost-certain censure of the People. Will she find a reason for hope in spite of her desperate plight?
My Reflections: 
This is the fifth and final installment of the stand alone series Home to Hickory Hollow. I have read all of her last novels in this series and found this one to be just as good, and a little different. I absolutely love all the characters of Hickory Hollow and feel like I know them well, that is how good Beverly Lewis is at setting the stage for her stories. My favorite character all time is "the wise woman" She reminds me of my good friend Mrs Miller, always full of wise advice, open heart, open home and great tea (She even has peppermint.)
Tessie Ann is smitten with Marcus King, but Tessie's father disproves of their match. Tessie and Marcus decide to take things into their own hands and elope to the English world. Their plan is to return to Amish country and live as singles, giving Tessie's father time to approve of their relationship. Things rarely turn out as we hope when we are disobedient to God's will for our lives. The unthinkable happens and Tessie is left to pick up the pieces.

Mandy, Tessie's sister marries the man her father has chosen. But Mandy must come to grips with her resentments and feelings for another Amishman if she ever wants her marriage to yield the love it could. Can these sisters find happiness? Or will their impatience, willfulness and disobedience divide their hearts and families?

Lewis once again moves her readers, immersing them in a world where rules are not meant to be broken and life is a little slower. Lewis is one of my favorite authors, I know I say that about so many, but I really enjoy her Amish tales and the life she breathes into her characters, simply a wonderful story! 
  "Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group"

About the Author:

Beverly Lewis

Beverly Lewis

Beverly Lewis, born in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, is the New York Times bestselling author of more than ninety books. Her stories have been published in eleven languages worldwide. A keen interest in her mother's Plain heritage has...
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