Friday 29 April 2016

Book Review: The Inheritance

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From the Back:

The death of clan patriarch Macgregor Tulloch has thrown the tiny Shetland Islands community of Whales Reef into turmoil. Everyone assumed Tulloch's heir to be his much-loved grandnephew David. But when no will is discovered, David's calculating cousin Hardy submits his own claim to the inheritance, an estate that controls most of the island's land. And Hardy knows a North Sea oil investor who will pay dearly for that control.

While the competing claims are investigated, the courts have frozen the estate's assets, leaving many of the locals in dire financial straits. The future of the island--and its traditional way of life--hangs in the balance.

Meanwhile, Loni Ford enjoys a rising career in a large investment firm in Washington, D.C. Yet, in spite of outward success, she is privately plagued by questions of identity. Orphaned as a young child, she was raised by her grandparents, and while she loves them dearly, she feels completely detached from her roots. That is, until a mysterious letter arrives from a Scottish solicitor. . . .

Past and present collide in master storyteller Michael Phillips' dramatic new saga of loss and discovery, of grasping and grace.

My Reflections:

Micheal Phillips first book in his Secrets of the Shetlands series was my last book to be reviewed this month. I have to admit that I was just a little disappointed with the slow cadence of this novel in the first quarter of the book. The settings and the characters seemed a little disjointed making it a difficult story for me to read and follow. 

Since my good friends just moved to Scottland I was intrigued by the small island and the townsfolk. Though the "simplified" local dialect was a tad challenging for me to understand it did manage to capture the mood and feel of the town and people. 

I enjoyed the concept of the novel and I was completely charmed by the rich heritage and culture interwoven in these pages. I found that as the plot thickened the book became more interesting. I think I was getting more accustomed to the writing style of Phillips, and that the story layers were shifting into place. So my advice to you is if you decide on this book do be patient, enjoy the leisurely unfolding of the story and don't expect a conclusion, you will have to wait for the next installment before that happens.

All in all, even though I found this book to be slower than other books by this author I think it has enough substance and beautiful scenery to keep the reader interested, especially if you enjoy a leisurely pace with good wholesome values like faith, community and one's heritage.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.


  1. Michael Phillips

    Michael Phillips

    Michael Phillips is a bestselling author who has penned more than seventy books, both fiction and nonfiction. In addition, he has served as editor/redactor of nearly thirty more books. Over the past thirty years, his persistent efforts have helped reawaken...
    Continue reading about Michael Phillips

Monday 25 April 2016

Book Review: The Atonement

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From The Back:

Jah, Lucy thought. Tobe would have known what to say.
"But what would he say to 
me if he knew the truth?" she murmured into her hands, leaning on the desk.

Alas, that was something she could not afford to find out.

The Atonement 
The mistakes of the past haunt Lucy Flaud, now twenty-five and beyond Amish courting age. Instead, Lucy focuses on volunteering in both the Plain and fancy communities of Lancaster County. Yet no matter how hard she strives, she never feels she's doing enough. Then her father strikes up an unexpected friendship with an Englischer in search of a simpler way of life. Lucy forms a connection of her own with the thoughtful young man even as she rejects courtship with her longtime Amish friend. Is it too late to embrace redemption . . . and the power of love?

My Reflections:

 This story is a heart-wrenching reminder that our sins are not to be carried on our own fallible shoulders. Jesus gave us a way to repent and move on as if nothing ever happened, clean, Unfortunately, the Amish work in different ways and their system involves public shaming and often disownment.

I so love Amish novels but this story broke my heart, probably because I have made plenty of mistakes along the way and without the redeeming God I have I would feel exactly as the main character Lucy Flaud feels: Alone, shameful and unworthy, striving to make up for past transgressions. Grace, love redemption those are the words I would describe as the crux of this book.

Three long years, this is the amount of time Lucy has been trying to pay the penance for her youthful transgressions. All of which have fallen flat. Not the volunteer work at MCC, feeding the needy or helping out at the Hospice, nothing has eased her burden. Feeling like she may very well implode Lucy tries to daily do her best to float through her long days without complaint, but when will enough be enough?
When Lucy's good friend Tobe Glick asks to go courting Lucy turns him down flat because she is determined to keep her shameful past to herself. 

Dale Wyeth is interested in living a simple life. Can this Englischer soften Lucy's heart, or was one English encounter enough to last Lucy a lifetime?

Which boy will win Lucy's guarded heart, and will she be able to forgive herself enough to look to God who is the ultimate forgiver of all sin?

Readers who adore Beverly Lewis will not be disappointed with her newest novel, I know I wasn't! Tested and true this author always comes through with heart melting stories interspersed with nuggets of  wisdom.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc


  1. Beverly Lewis
    Photo courtesy of Gene Photography

    Beverly Lewis

    Beverly Lewis, born in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, has more than 17 million books in print. Her stories have been published in eleven languages and have regularly appeared on numerous bestseller lists, including the New York Times and...
    Continue reading about Beverly Lewis

Sunday 24 April 2016

Book Review: Counted With the Stars

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From The Back:

Sold into slavery by her father and forsaken by the man she was supposed to marry, young Egyptian Kiya must serve a mistress who takes pleasure in her humiliation. When terrifying plagues strike Egypt, Kiya is in the middle of it all.

Choosing to flee with the Hebrews, Kiya finds herself reliant on a strange God and drawn to a man who despises her people. With everything she's ever known swept away and now facing the trials of the desert, will she turn back toward Egypt or surrender her life and her future to Yahweh?

My Reflections:

I love to submerse myself in biblical fiction! I know it is not everyone's cup of tea but imagining what it may have been like during this time in history always fascinates me. 

Connilyn Cossette has penned an intriguing novel with her debut book called "Counted with the Stars." She had definitely made an impact on the publishing industry with her work!

The novel starts off in Egypt at a time prior to the plagues and the Exodus. The strong start and the steady pace of the plot kept the pages flying and the interest high. 
This story was told in first person point of view, I was delighted that this author has the ability to breath life into the other characters through this form of prose.

I enjoyed imagining the way it would have been to experience the failing of idol Gods to Yahweh's supreme force. The main character Kiya's whole belief system was shaken and she must decide who she must follow.

I think my favorite part of this novel was when the characters were still in Egypt. The plagues, the scenery it just set my imagination on overdrive. This author has the gift of engaging the reader, and weaving an exceptional story. I can't wait for her second book to be reaquainted with the characters I have come to love.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc


  1. Connilyn Cossette
    © Ami Trull Photography

    Connilyn Cossette

    When she is not homeschooling her two sweet kids (with a full pot of coffee at hand), Connilyn Cossette is scribbling notes on spare paper, mumbling about her imaginary friends, and reading obscure, out-of-print history books. There is nothing she likes better...
    Continue reading about Connilyn Cossette

Saturday 16 April 2016

Book Review: Like Never Before

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From The Back:

Maple Valley became Amelia Bentley's haven after her heart and her dreams of a family were shattered. But when the newspaper she runs is in danger of closing, she pins all her hopes on a story that just might convince the new owner to keep the paper running.

After his biggest campaign success yet, widowed speechwriter Logan Walker has the chance of a lifetime: a spot on a presidential campaign. But first he has to return to his hometown to sell the newspaper he's suddenly inherited.

But instead of a quick sale, Logan finds himself helping Amelia chase her story. She's scrappy, but wounded. He's dependable, but lost. And working together to break the story on Maple Valley's unsolved mystery is just the start of the sparks that fly in the office and in their hearts.

My Reflections:

 I fell head over heels with the beautiful backdrop of Melissa Tagg's new book Like Never Before. The charm of the Maple Valley reminds me of my own small town and made me so happy to be living in such a fabulous community! Expect to be dazzled with quirky characters, a quaint community and breathtaking scenery.

This is the second book in the Maple Valley series, and although I didn't read her first novel I was able to easily read this as a stand alone.
I am however eager to purchase her first book in this series titled, "From the Start."

Logan Walker a political writer and campaigner is an extremely compassionate devoted single father who is being torn in so many different directions at once. He is tired and ready to snap, searching for something just out of his grasp he is ripe for change, but those changes never included inheriting a newspaper publishing company in  rustic Maple Valley?

Amelia Bentley is a sweet and slightly stubborn character, delightfully quirky and filled to the brim with life and zest!
She is a woman hiding behind a facade. She has no other choice after all she has just come out of a failed adoption and a crumbled marriage how else can she  keep it all together than to fake it until she makes it? What does any desperate woman do when she is about to crack, she throws herself into a project. That project happens to be the small hometown newspaper in Maple Valley.
However Amelia is concerned that the new owner may shut her beloved paper down just when she is feeling a sense if purpose again.

As always Melissa Tagg weaves the story around her well developed characters and is able to create enough detail and drama to pull the reader in, evoking strong emotions along the way. Beware this book will make you laugh, cry and sigh all in the same page!

I would highly recommend this book if you are in need of a good clean romance that is humorous, engaging, well rounded with substanince.
I am eagerly anticipating book three in the series, great job Melissa Tagg!

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc


  1. Melissa Tagg
    © David’s Gallery

    Melissa Tagg

    Melissa Tagg, author of Made to Last and Here to Stay, is a former newspaper reporter, current nonprofit grant writer, and total Iowa girl. When she's not writing, she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever. She's passionate...
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Friday 15 April 2016

Book Review: Brazen

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From The Back:

"Leeana's words have taught me how to be at home with myself."--Myquillyn Smith, The Nester; author of The Nesting Place

There are so many moments in life when we choose to silence our intuition, abandon our own voice, and play small, because of that accusing voice inside that whispers, "Who do you think you are, anyway?"

Who you are is a human--loved, worthy, and becoming. Who you are is a woman created by God to be and to do something unique. Who you are, deep down, is brazen.

Brazen means "without shame." Leeana Tankersley wants you to own that--to unapologetically claim who and whose you are and to know that you are enough. With moving personal stories and spot-on observations of the longings we all experience--to know we are loved, to feel comfortable in our own skin, to be heard--Tankersley invites you to receive your identity, to reclaim your voice, and to recover your soul.

Gritty and overflowing with grace, Brazen can set you free to be truly yourself in a world bent on molding you into its own image.

My Reflections:

The title of this book caught my attention right away. Who wouldn't want to be brazen, in a good way? To pick up this book is an act of courage a willingness to be more, not for the world but for God, for what he has made you to be. 

I have to be honest here this book felt a little new age ish, but not so much that I would give it a poor rating. I quite liked a lot of the suggestions and advice and will most likely need to reflect on my feelings deeper. 

I think the best take away tidbit I had from this book would be to be more aware of how I am living and how I react to the world around me. Am I listening to the soul bullies or the voice of God?
I want desperately to be who God created me to be and how I plan on consciously living a life that fosters his will is a lifelong journey that completely excites me.

This book is divided into three sections and has 40 short chapters. 
Each chapter highlights a "Reflection and Expression" section which helps the reader dig deep and encourages the reader to talk with God to delve into the crevices of unexplored areas in our life. At the end of each chapter you are encouraged to add to your "Brazen Board" A creative project that helps you understand yourself a little better in a unique and hands on task.

All in all I would recommend this book to individuals who are not afraid to dig deep. As I stated before I found this book a tad too liberal for me, although I was certainly able to read between the lines and gleen some fabulous tools for my tool box. Are you brazen enough to read this book?

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc


  1. Leeana Tankersley

    Leeana Tankersley

    Leeana Tankersley is the author of Breathing Room and holds English degrees from Liberty University and West Virginia University. She and her husband, Steve, are currently stationed in San Diego, California, with their three children: Luke, Lane, and...
    Continue reading about Leeana Tankersley

Thursday 14 April 2016

Book Review: Thin Ice

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From The Back:

If Ginny Reed is still alive--who is the woman buried in her grave?
After losing her parents and her sister, Christy Reed has been mired in grief. Now, life is finally starting to feel normal again--until an envelope addressed in her sister's handwriting arrives in the mail. And the note inside claims she is still alive.

FBI Special Agent Lance McGregor, a former Delta Force operator, is assigned to reopen the case . . . but he's coming up with more questions than answers. Is Christy a pawn in a twisted cat-and-mouse game--or the target of a sinister plot? As Lance digs deeper, one thing becomes clear: someone in the shadows has a deadly agenda.

My Reflections:

Thin Ice is Irene Hannon's second book in her Men of Valor series. In this book we delve into Lance McGregor's life. Having recently turned FBI from the elite Delta Force, he is thrown abruptly into his first case with eyes open and both feet firmly planted. 
Can Lance focus on finding the bad guy or will his newfound obsession with his client fog his judgment?

Christy Reed has had a tough life she has lost most of her family in tragedy, now just as she is starting to piece her crumbled world back together a letter comes, then another. These letters reveal a sinister message, leading Christy to believe her once thought to be dead sister may indeed be held hostage. A cat and mouse game between a sick and twisted psychopath and a heart sick Christy ensues. Will she find her sister alive and well, or is this just a sick game for revenge?

I so enjoy this author and her ability to keep you guessing and on the edge of your seat, this book was no exception. My only wish was that the budding love story did not take up so much of the plot. I found it a little unrealistic that Christy could be falling in love with her agent when she was in such an emotional state of fear and distress. Aside from this I quite enjoyed this second book in the Men of Valor series and look forward to reading book three.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.


  1. Irene Hannon

    Irene Hannon

    Irene Hannon is the bestselling author of more than forty-five novels, including That Certain SummerOne Perfect Spring, and the Heroes of Quantico, Guardians of Justice, and Private Justice series. Her books have been honored with three coveted...
    Continue reading about Irene Hannon
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