Wednesday 30 May 2018

Book Review: Cul-de-Sac Kids Collections Three and Four

From The Back:

Blossom Hill Lane is the best neighborhood ever--mostly because of the kids who live there, and the fun they share. Join Abby, Jason, Dunkum, Stacy, and their friends as they learn together with the rest of the Cul-de-Sac Kids the value of friendship and faith.

Tarantula Toes Jason Birchall is starting a zoo in his bedroom! Besides a bullfrog, Jason now owns a tarantula. Will Jason use his scary-looking pet to trick his pals?

Green Gravy Student of the week Carly Hunter decides her class needs to go green for St. Patrick's Day. But her brother Jimmy doesn't want to join in. Who will win this brother-sister tug-of-war?

Backyard Bandit Mystery Stacy Henry and her cul-de-sac friends put together a big yard sale. But then some of their old treasures disappear! Is there a bandit in the cul-de-sac? 

Tree House Trouble 
When Abby Hunter and Stacy Henry build a cool tree house, it causes big trouble. Especially when they start posting signs that read Definitely No Boys Allowed!

The Creepy Sleep-Over 
Dunkum Mifflin is excited to go to a class sleep-over. But the weird shadows and strange noises in the old mansion have him spooked! Can Dunkum get over his fears?

The Great TV Turn-Off 
Eric Hagel decides that the entire cul-de-sac shouldn't watch a speck of TV for a whole week. All the kids agree. But can they get the adults to go along with the plan?

From the Back:

Blossom Hill Lane is the best neighborhood ever--mostly because of the kids who live there, and the fun they share. Join Abby, Jason, Dunkum, Stacy, and their friends as they learn together with the rest of the Cul-de-Sac Kids the value of friendship and faith.

Piggy Party Tired of winter, Carly Hunter decides to test the class guinea pig's skill for weather telling. When Carly's friends hear of the experiment, they join in--and bring their pets. Can trouble be far away?

The Granny Game 
Abby Hunter's parents are out of town, and strict Grandma Hunter has come to stay. Then relaxed Granny Mae shows up, too. Can Abby's very opposite grannies get along? 

The Mystery Mutt 
Stacy Henry thinks everyone should choose a Fruit of the Spirit to work on in the new year, but Jason Birchall disagrees. Can a surprise discovery change his mind? 

Big Bad Beans 
Jason Birchall is saving every penny for a bike. He's storing his money in a secret place--somewhere he hides other things, too. Will Jason's perfect plan turn out to be a mistake?

The Upside-Down Day 
It's Spirit Day at Blossom Hill School, and there's a new girl with a big secret. Can Abby Hunter and her class figure it out? Or will spunky Leslie Groff outsmart them?

The Midnight Mystery Dunkum Mifflin turns detective when his cousin's dog suddenly disappears into the night. What's happened to Ellen's guide dog? Can Dunkum and his friends unravel the mystery?
My Reflections:
My kids have grown up on Beverly Lewis Cul-de-sac kids collections, so imagine the youngest's delight when not one series but two arrive with the opportunity to review! 
I have been a devoted fan of this authour, I devour everything written by her. I can always count on her novels weather geared for children or adults to be clean, entertaining and heartwarming, there is still a takeaway lesson to reflect upon.
Join the fun and get your kids ready for the summer with all these exciting stories. Have you written your kid's book lists yet? Well hurry up Summer will be here before you know it and your kids will be begging for something to do. There are enough books in the series to stretch the summer though! 
Not only will your children learn faith lessons and sound problem-solving skills in a real to life atmosphere where not all the children are believers. Kids learn from the characters how to be lights in their circles of peers.
Blossom Hill Lane is an exciting neighbourhood with a variety of backgrounds and problems to solve. My daughter read these so fast, and by the time we sat down to read together she skipped ahead and kept spoiling the suspense. Don't make my mistake hide these books for bead time read aloud, what a great way to bond! I also found having the books together in bound series was much easier than separate books, as they are short stories and I often found books scattered all over little one's floor. I love that we have 6 together in one book, less for this mom to clean up, and there is nothing better than holding a book, no ebooks for this family! A highly recommended series form this seasoned mom!
This 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.
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 12 languages and have regularly appeared on numerous bestseller lists, including the New York Times and USA...
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Monday 28 May 2018

Book Review: Keturah

From the Back:

In 1772 England, Lady Keturah Banning Tomlinson and her sisters find themselves the heiresses of their father's estates and know they have one option: Go to the West Indies to save what is left of their heritage.

Although it flies against all the conventions, they're determined to make their own way in the world. But once they arrive in the Caribbean, conventions are the least of their concerns. On the infamous island of Nevis, the sisters discover the legacy of the legendary sugar barons has vastly declined--and that's just the start of what their eyes are opened to in this harsh and unfamiliar world.

Keturah never intends to put herself at the mercy of a man again, but every man on the island seems to be trying to win her hand and, with it, the ownership of her plantation. She could desperately use an ally, but even an unexpected reunion with a childhood friend leaves her questioning his motives.

To keep her family together and save the plantation that is her last chance at providing for them, can Keturah ever surrender her stubbornness and guarded heart to God and find the healing and love awaiting her?
My Reflections:

Lisa T Bergren starts a brand new series with "The Sugar Barron's Daughters" series. This book is set in the 1770's, and we travel along with the Banning sisters as they journey from England to their late father's estate in the West Indies. 

Fraught with many obstacles along the way these sisters share an impermeable bond which is quite remarkable in itself. I think this is one of my favourite aspects of this novel. Although this plot really didn't catch my interest, I found many things I enjoyed about the read. The ultimate was the breathtakingly unique backdrop of the West Indies. Oh, how I would live to journey back to this time to experience the scenery alone! I also found the progression of emotional freedom to be uplifting and touching all at the same time. 

The main character Keturah Banning is both courageous and flighty. She thinks she knows what she wants, but I suppose life has a way of changing one's mind and in this woman's life that is shockingly fast! 
One moment she has sworn off men the next she is drooling over his strong arms and chest! Now truth be told she has had some pretty traumatic experiences with her late husband, but I just found this aspect a little shocking in light of her strong reactions in the start of the novel.

All in all, I enjoyed many aspects of this book and am very interested in seeing what may happen to the other Banning sisters in upcoming novels!

This 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.

Lisa T. Bergren

Lisa T. Bergren has published more than 40 books with more than 3 million books sold combined. She's the author of the Christy Award-winning Waterfall, RITA®-finalist Firestorm, bestselling God Gave Us You, and popular...
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Monday 14 May 2018

Book Review: Beneath the Surface

From The Back:

After a harrowing experience with an obsessed patient, oncology nurse practitioner Leigh Weston needed a change. She thought she'd left her troubles behind when she moved home to Carrington, North Carolina, and took a job in the emergency department of the local hospital. But when someone tampers with her brakes, she fears the past has chased her into the present. She reaches out to her high school friend turned homicide investigator, Ryan Parker, for help.

Ryan finds satisfaction in his career, but his favourite way to use his skills is as a volunteer underwater investigator with the Carrington County Sheriff's Office dive team. When the body of a wealthy businessman is discovered in Lake Porter, the investigation uncovers a possible serial killer--one with a terrifying connection to Leigh Weston and deadly implications for them all.

Dive into the depths of fear with an exciting new voice in romantic suspense. Award-winning author Lynn H. Blackburn grabs readers by the throat and doesn't let go until the final heart-pounding page.
My Reflections:
A new series for the well-loved Lynn Blackburn! 
Be prepared to hold on tight as you are propelled into intense action with this new series "Dive Team Investigations." 
Some of my favourite plots are penned around stories with medical and law enforcement officials. Having worked in the medical field I find I really click with the characters and settings. 

Leigh Weston returns home to Carrington, North Carolina in hopes to escape memories of the past. Leigh, an Oncology nurse, garners the attention of a past patient who has turned stalker. Thankfully she is miles away and tucked into her safe hometown, or so she thought until strange occurrences start to happen. Where she felt peace and security would prevail there is only chaos and fear. 

Ryan Parker, a homicide investigator, becomes entwined into Leigh's life once again after the grizzly discovery of a dead body. These two are no strangers as Leigh is Ryan's best friend's sister and childhood love interest! Things may just get interesting.. But these two will have to hold on tight because things are bound to get more than impressive, perhaps just plain crazy! 

 I loved all the many characters in this novel, not just the main characters but also the supporting cast. I can't wait for the sequels to dig a little deeper into some of these stories! 
How many books will be in this series? 
Hopefully enough to delve into Keri, Gabe, Sabrina, Adam and Anissa's stories!

Once again Blackburn does not disappoint, her novel is filled with suspense, romance and non-stop adrenaline producing action. A must read if you love good suspense with solid moral footings. I am eagerly awaiting the next installment!

This 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.

Lynn H. Blackburn

Lynn H. Blackburn is the author of Beneath the SurfaceHidden Legacy, and Covert Justice, winner of the 2016 Selah Award for Mystery and Suspense and the 2016 Carol Award for Short Novel. Blackburn believes in the power of stories,...
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Thursday 3 May 2018

Book Review: In Places Hidden

From the Back:

The search for her missing brother leads to the most dangerous part of the city . . .
Camrianne Coulter's brother Caleb is a successful San Francisco attorney. But when three months go by without a word from the usually communicative Caleb, Camri boards a train to the booming West Coast city to find out for herself why he hasn't written. When she arrives at his home, nobody seems to know where he is, or what has become of him.

Camri's search for her brother leads her deep into the political corruption of the city--and into the acquaintance of Patrick Murdock, who Caleb successfully defended from a false murder charge. Getting to know this handsome Irish contractor challenges all of Camri's privileged beliefs, but Patrick is unshakably loyal to her brother, and he seems to know more about what happened to Caleb than anyone else. As the two edge closer to the truth behind Caleb's disappearance, they risk angering the powerful forces that control the city. Can Camri trust Patrick to protect her from the dangers that lie hidden in San Francisco's backstreets?
My Reflections:

This is book one of Tracie Peterson's newest series called Golden Gate Secrets. One thing you can count on with a novel penned by Peterson is her utmost attention to factual historical detail. 
This book is no different being set in San Fransisco year 1905, the setting truly is what inspired me. 

The story was a slow start and I didn't completely feel that I connected with the characters like I would have hoped. I did however really enjoy the historic aspects of this story. It is set just before a good part of San Fransico is destroyed by a massive earthquake which took many lives and basically flattened the city. Camriann (Camri) comes to San Fransisco to locate her missing brother. Along the way, she teams up with two other women, Judith Gladstone and Kenzie Gifford. Each of these ladies has their own reasons why they end up in the big city. Together they join forces and move in together, and secure jobs. While the backstory is somewhat murky on these two women I am sure in subsequent books more details will emerge.

The next instalments are set to be released in July 2018 (In Dreams Forgotten) September 2018 (In Times Gone By) If you are a Tracie Peterson fan you may like this new series, and if nothing else the setting is simply amazing!

This 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.

Tracie Peterson

Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 100 novels. Tracie also teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research. She and her family live in Montana. Learn...
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