Tuesday, July 25, 2017

On Love’s Gentle Shore (Prince Edward Island Dreams #3)


Title:  On Love’s Gentle Shore (Prince Edward Island Dreams #3)

Author:  Liz Johnson

Pages:  336

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Revell

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

The other books in the series are The Red Door Inn and Where Two Hearts Meet.  I think to really appreciate the tale it is helpful to read the first two books as the character’s story continues to develop with each book.

In this story, we meet Natalie who formerly lived on the island and left for a time and is now returning to be married per her future husband’s desire.  Natalie left in hurry years ago as she tired of the whispers of gossip and the way she thought people thought of and about her.  Now, a grown woman, she feels like she did years ago and cannot wait to be married and leave the island along with her past to never return.  However, her plans don’t quite go as she had envisioned, starting with her fiancée returning to Nashville to help take care of a problem with recording a record for an artist.

Throughout the book it touched my heart to see Natalie confront her fears, the gossip and her past. How she comes to really understand how the people loved her and tried to care for her is an eye-opening and heart-touching moment for Natalie.  Plus, she runs into her childhood friend who was the one always there to help her through some of the roughest of her youngest years with her mother.

Here is a wonderful tale of redemption, real love and overcoming the past in order to embrace a brighter future!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, July 24, 2017

My Daughter’s Legacy (Cousins of the Dove #3)


Title:  My Daughter’s Legacy (Cousins of the Dove #3)

Author:  Mindy Starns Clark & Leslie Gould

Pages:  397

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Harvest House

My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.

After meeting Nicole in book one and reading about her continued trouble with addiction in book two, now readers get to hear her story in book three of the series.  She has just completed her first year of college successfully.  She has been substance free for the whole time and has no intention of going back to her former life.  She is healthier than ever and with summer approaching she is going to live with her sister and intern at a local ranch that uses horses for rehabilitative therapy.  However, before she can begin her summer break, she decides she must share a secret she has kept at her grandfather’s request since she was six years old.  The secret sheds a little light on the mystery of the disappearing dead body that has plagued Nicole, her sister and her two cousins for years.  As the four cousins come together once again, can they finally discover what really happened all those years ago?

In alternating chapters, readers are taken to the past of 1864 and learn about Therese Jennings.  Therese lives in Virginia, which is a Confederate state, but she is anti-slavery.  Her father was from the North and taught his daughter that slavery was wrong.  Her mother is from the South, but abided by her husband’s wishes.  Now that Therese’s father has died, her mother returns to the family plantation, refusing to free the slaves as her grandfather requested in his last words.  Therese can’t live under these conditions so she takes a job in Richmond as a governess and begins volunteering at a local hospital to nurse wounded soldiers.  Therese must decide if she can stand firm in her beliefs as well as who is trustworthy as all is not as is appears.

I so enjoyed this final book in this interesting series!  The authors did a great job of blending the story between past and present to make it easy to read and follow each timeline.  The look at the past in each book was especially captivating.  I liked learning about Richmond near the end of the Civil War and what life was like in this southern city.  The romantic angle for both Therese and Nicole was also one that piqued my interest.  I do recommend reading these books in order.  For an intriguing look at history and mystery, this is a series that will fit the bill!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, July 21, 2017

"Searching for Irene" Review & Giveaway

Link: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0ae98b8a99/


Title:  Searching for Irene

Author:  Marlene Bateman

Pages:  268

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Covenant Communications, Inc.

My rating is 4 stars.

I always like to read a good mystery and this was a good one!  I was unfamiliar with this author, but when the chance came to review it, I jumped!  The story is set in the 1920s in Virginia.  Anna Coughlin is in her mid-20s and has something not many women have…a college degree.  She works as a financial advisor of sorts, preparing tax documents, payroll records and estate planning.  Her younger sister, Irene, works for the same firm.  A few months ago, Irene accepted a live-in position to get all the paperwork in order for taxes at a wealthy estate in Virginia.  She writes to her sister frequently, but the letters stop coming and Anna begins to worry.  She finds out that her sister has disappeared.  A search was undertaken at the time of her disappearance, but all that was found missing from her room was a suitcase.  Most of her possessions were left behind, giving the impression she was planning to return.

Anna has always protected Irene as she had to raise her when their mother was always at work.  Irene is headstrong, impetuous, beautiful, full of life and not afraid to push the envelope of propriety.  Anna has always lived in her shadow, but loves her sister deeply and will do whatever is necessary to find her.  She decides to investigate on her own as the police don’t seem to be doing much.  She takes a job as Irene’s replacement at the mansion in Virginia, but she tells no one of her relationship to Irene.  She begins asking questions and stirs the pot as strange things begin to occur.  Anna is also at odds with the young heir-to-be, Tyler Richardson.  He is attractive, but gruff, distant and sometimes downright rude.  He is against Anna being hired, but his father overrules him.  Tyler and Anna butt heads initially, but Tyler soon learns that Anna is quite efficient and knows her job well, plus his father likes her.  As Anna keeps her identity secret and continues her quest, the stakes are increased and her heart ignores her brain when she falls in love.  What happened to Irene?  Did she leave to meet a man and run off to get married?  Did she steal some things from the mansion and take off for the big city?

The had a Gothic feel in certain creepy parts that I liked as it raised goosebumps on my arms!  The ending was a surprise reveal, which I found well done.  I didn’t really like the character of Tyler much as he seemed too hot and cold, going from rude and mean to smoldering gazes for Anna.  Anna had a determined mindset that she didn’t waver from even facing danger to herself.  The mystery was a little slow in some portions, but overall flowed well.  I liked the crusty character of the father, Lawrence Richardson the best.  I would like to read more from this author and would recommend this book for any mystery buff.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, July 20, 2017

My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island (Maude’s Mooring)


Title:  My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island (Maude’s Mooring)

Author:  Carrie Fancett Pagels

Pages:  256

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Barbour

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

Maude Welling is the main character in the story.  She is expecting to inherit an inn on the island.  The inn has been in the family through her mother’s side though her father doubted she could run it without a husband.  When her childhood friend returns to the island and she expects to become engaged to him, imagine her surprise when he returns with a friend!

Maude is a very independent, head-strong woman who sets her course with little thought of how it will impact her or anyone else.  When a young wealthy man shows up on the island, Maude begins to be drawn to him, but doesn’t really understand what she is feeling.  There are many other interesting characters in the story that bring depth to the book.  It was very fun and exciting to read!

I hope you grab a cold soda and relax as you enjoy a wonderful tale from author Carrie Fancett Pagels!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.”

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Cover Story (A Branigan Powers Mystery #2)


Title:  The Cover Story (A Branigan Powers Mystery #2)

Author:  Deb Richardson-Moore

Pages:  280

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Lion Fiction

My rating is 5 stars.

News reporter Branigan Powers is looking forward to the Christmas holiday as her nephew and niece are coming home from their respective colleges.  Branigan’s niece, Charlie, however is involved in a serious car accident that leaves her in the hospital.  When Branigan first visits her niece, she tells her that an old-fashioned style hearse ran her off the road and that her passenger, Janie Rose, seemed scared even before they left campus to drive home.  A death results from the accident, causing devastation to a family.  Curiosity and a need to find the truth drive as well as being assigned to do a story on the accident, drive Branigan to begin searching for answers.

She is led to the town’s local college where she makes some startling discoveries with the help of a local homeless man, Malachi Martin.  Malachi wants the truth too because he has watched Charlie grow up and sees her compassionate heart for others.  He wants to find out who caused her harm.  Malachi and Branigan pool their resources as they once again interact with some homeless people as in the first mystery in the series titled, The Cantaloupe Thief.  Branigan uncovers secrets that cause the danger to herself to escalate.  She has also begun perhaps a budding romance with a detective, Chester Scovoy.  He wants her safe, but knows her instinct to ferret out the truth will lead her to investigate no matter what he thinks or says.  He just knows he will try his best to keep her safe.

This was a great mystery!  I couldn’t put it down as I was so interested in finding out where the story would take me and who was guilty of murder.  I was totally surprised at the ending!  I liked the character of Branigan because she refuses to give up and wants justice served.  She will keep asking questions until she gets an answer one way or another.  I also liked the romance element that has begun with this installment.  Malachi is a homeless veteran who still has problems, but they don’t keep him from helping others.  He doesn’t help in the hopes of getting something from someone, but because it is the right thing to do.  I’m excited for the next book in the series and have no reservations with recommending this book.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

A Letter from Lancaster County (A Novel)


Title:  A Letter from Lancaster County (A Novel)

Author:  Kate Lloyd

Pages:  336

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Harvest House

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

Two sisters are on their way to visit with an aunt they haven’t seen in years after the death of their mother.  Angela and Rose are as different as two sisters can be and unfortunately, they don’t currently enjoy a close relationship.  What was really intriguing to read was their inner thoughts about how they really felt about each other among many other topics.  Angela has a marriage that is less than satisfying and Rose is a single woman who truly is a unique character.

Through their time with their aunt readers will enjoy seeing the adventures they have, the talks, walks, and interactions with their aunt and others in Lancaster County.  As I read further and further into the novel, I was captured by the tale woven not just about the women, their experiences and such but about their spiritual life or lack thereof.

It was fascinating to see how in the story the truth about things not always being what they seem came true in a couple of instances.  I enjoyed Rose’s character because her personality just seemed to be determined, independent and a little bit of a stinker.  Whereas Angela seemed to be one who liked to take things personally and yet came to see herself in a different way by the end of the book.

I can’t wait for the second book to come out to see what the future holds for the sisters or any of the other characters I met for a short time in the pages of the novel.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, July 17, 2017

His Guilt (The Amish of Hart County #2)


Title:  His Guilt (The Amish of Hart County #2)

Author:  Shelley Shepard Gray

Pages:  268

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Avon Inspire

My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.

Waneta Cain and Mark Fisher work together at a local nursery.  Mark has returned after a two-year absence to his family’s home after the death of his father.  Mark’s younger brother has been gone from the Amish community for ten years, so Mark lives alone.  Mark is having a tough time being around most of the community because they still believe he is guilty of attacking a young Amish woman two years ago, even though the police declared him innocent.  He is now back and people seem to fear him or hate him.  Waneta Cain is no exception at first.  He knows she is afraid of him, so he keeps her at a distance.  He would like her friendship, but he will make it on his own if he must.

Waneta Cain is afraid of Mark at first, but quickly realizes she has found him guilty of a crime he didn’t commit so she extends the branch of friendship.  They begin a tentative friendship with Waneta defending Mark against verbal attack from a couple of her friends.  Then, a young woman is attacked and Mark is immediately suspected.  Waneta still believes in his innocence.  Then, another young woman is attacked and the police can’t seem to find any clues to the attacker.  Meanwhile Mark’s younger brother has returned to town and is in trouble with a gang.  He needs money and hopes Mark will sell the family home and split the proceeds.  Mark, however, has other plans for the home and his relationship with his brother remains abrasive.

My only negative about this story is that I wish it had more of a mystery element to it.  While there was a mystery in this story, it was fairly easy to figure out the culprit.  Other than that, I did enjoy watching the romance bloom between Mark and Waneta.  She seemed meek and mild, but when defending someone she cared about…look out!  She was strong in her defense.  Mark was a young man with a troubled and abusive past, but he tried his best not to abandon God like most of the people of the town had abandoned him.  He remained faithful to God and he received blessings.  These two characters had to learn to communicate with each other and not assume what the other was thinking.  A good lesson for anyone, myself included.  Book three in the series is titled, The Gift, and will be released in November 2017.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Lincoln Myth: A Novel (Cotton Malone #9)


Title:  The Lincoln Myth: A Novel (Cotton Malone #9)

Author: Steve Berry

Pages: 512

Year: 2014

Publisher: Ballantine Books

My rating 4 out of 5 stars.

What an interesting that starts with Lincoln in the White House and the wife of a General under his command who personally delivered a message from her husband.  From there the author builds a complex web of threads built by each character’s action, words and interaction with others.  Sometimes I couldn’t tell if the character was telling the truth or attempting pass on false information without getting caught.

It’s a maze of trying to figure out how the White House, LDS, Cotton Malone, Cassiopeia and more players who are all attempting to get a hold of secret buried for centuries and known by few.  Not only that there is clashing of those seeking what they believe to be gold but their motives are as vast as the ocean.  When I read Steve Berry’s latest novel The Lost Order I enjoyed it immensely and now I am getting to know the regular characters in this series.

The dynamics constantly change, danger is assumed by all and even the leaders of the various government agencies and their agents are in conflict.  Abraham Lincoln is a favorite historical figure to me as I grew up in Illinois.  The research Steve Berry provides at the end of the novel was eye opening as there were facts of Lincoln I never knew.  Each novel tells a unique story as well as contained in the novel.  The characters however make appearances in each novel of the series.

The books in the Cotton Malone series in order are as follows:

The Templar Legacy

The Alexandria Link

The Venetian Betrayal

The Charlemagne Pursuit

The Paris Vendetta

The Emperor’s Tomb

The Jefferson Key

The King’s Deception

The Lincoln Myth

The Patriot Threat

The 14th Colony

The Lost Order






Friday, July 14, 2017

The Road to Paradise (A Vintage National Parks Novel #1)


Title:  The Road to Paradise (A Vintage National Parks Novel #1)

Author:  Karen Barnett

Pages:  344

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Waterbrook

My rating is 5 stars out of 5.

Ashford Brayden, or Ford to most everyone, can’t believe he has to spend his summer babysitting a senator’s daughter who thinks she knows nature!  Ford meets Margie Lane and realizes she has lots of book knowledge, but no practical hands-on experience.  Why must he be saddled with her?  He reluctantly takes her on hikes and tours of the park and slowly realizes her faith guides her life and she sees God at work in every aspect of life.  He is still doubting a God who would take his father’s life in an avalanche that happened two years ago.  Margie’s zest for life begins to impact Ford and he comes to want to spend more time with Margie, but could a park ranger and a wealthy senator’s daughter actually have a successful relationship?

Margie Lane has wanted to be a park ranger since she was a young girl, but in 1927 in Washington state that is unheard of.  She will settle for spending time in her beloved park at the foot of her beloved Mt. Ranier.  She has no desire to climb the mountain as she is afraid of heights, plus women don’t do that sort of thing, right?  She likes Ford and admires his survival skills, but knows she can’t allow a relationship with him as he hasn’t given his life to God.  Also, she has an obsessive ex who wants her to bend to his will, but this would make Margie miserable.  He wants her at all costs and when he threatens her beloved park, Margie has a big decision to make.

This is an absolutely delightful story!  At first, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like Margaret Lane as she seemed very naïve, but the more I read the more I came to her viewpoint and could identify with her love of God.  Every small flower or plant showed God’s unique creation to Margie and she was in awe of her Creator.  She felt nearest to him while in nature.  I came to see how strong Margie’s faith was and how she lived her life full of faith as an example to all around her.  The vivid descriptions of the scenery put me right there on the mountaintop and nearby surroundings.  I can’t wait for more books in this series!  I highly recommend this wonderful story of the early history of our National Parks System along with an added bonus of a romance!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The Separatists (A Newsmakers Novel #3)


Title:  The Separatists (A Newsmakers Novel #3)

Author:  Lis Wiehl with Sebastian Stuart

Pages:  340

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Thomas Nelson

My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.

Erica Sparks is back in her third book of the Newsmakers series.  This time a powerful woman from North Dakota is proposing secession from the United States.  She plans to fight the local senator for his seat as he is up for re-election.  If she wins, her public political agenda has avowed secession in a nonviolent manner.  Her private agenda, however, is something much more dangerous.  Erica is tasked with covering the story and interviewing this woman who is not what she appears to be.

Erica has also come up with an idea for a new television show that focuses on one issue per month.  The secession of North Dakota will be the first episode.  Erica also sees her marriage of 18 months floundering and failing.  She is at the peak of her career and works untold hours.  Her husband is languishing in his consulting business and longs to re-enter the world of news.  Jealousy rears its ugly head and another woman seems overly interested in Erica’s husband.  Erica’s 13-year-old daughter is also rebelling and causing Erica to feel guilt and insecurity.  As Erica continues her investigative reporting, she is threatened and people start dying.  The pressure mounts as Erica must juggle career and family.

While this is a compelling story and one that kept me riveted to the pages, I’m still wondering why this is published by a Christian publisher.  There is nothing about God or faith in the story.  This is a book I could have picked up in any secular section of any bookstore.  There was also a homosexual encounter in the story that I didn’t think added anything, but instead detracted.  Overall, I have enjoyed the stories in this series because they are intense, suspenseful and intriguing.  Erica Sparks in not a character I can relate to, but I find her interesting to read about.  They are current and could have been taken from any media outlet today.  I would like to see God in the story though.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Grounded Hearts Review and Giveaway





Enter Giveaway here:http://bit.ly/2tagCYg

Title:  Grounded Hearts

Author:  Jeanne M. Dickson

Pages:  348

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Waterfall Press

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

The story takes place in Ireland during WWII when Ireland at that time was neutral.  When a plane crashes and the injured pilot ends up at the door of a midwife, Nan O’Neil, she risks all to care for him.  As the story developed, I got lost in the well described scene of an Irish town and the personal history of Nan O’Neil.  The tale gripped my heart as she faced her worst fears and had to decide to risk loving again or captivity for the pilot whom she helps get well.

Some of Nan’s friends were just a hoot and brought laughter at times in different places of the book.  There were scenes filled with danger and suspense as well as the constant threat of another local man who helps look for the pilot they know should be in the area.  I found myself rooting for Nan to face her past and experience the peace she truly longed for and wanted as well as for Dutch to avoid captivity.

The story is an interesting look back into history in another nation.  I enjoyed learning Dutch’s personal history and anxiously read to see what choices he would make that would impact his future.  There is one character, the local doctor, whose ability to get medication and other necessities made Dutch’s flight to freedom intriguing.  The author does a great job of not revealing how Nan was able to accrue forged documents and other stuff.  By not revealing too much, it made the doctor a real intriguing mystery and kept me glued to till the very end.

Grab a copy and enjoy!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Dragon Seed Book Review (Study Guide included)


Title:  Dragon Seed Book Review (Study Guide included)

Author:  Marty Machowski

Pages:  160

Year:  2017

Publisher:  New Growth Press

Rating:  4 stars out of 5.

This is a story about a young teenager named Nick who is going through a rough time as his father passed away from cancer.  Since the funeral, he has become a rebellious son toward his mother.  He argues with her, is disrespectful to her, goes out to parties late at night, claims to be his own boss and doesn’t submit to his mother’s authority.  He does not realize that he is listening to lies from a hidden enemy.  This enemy is bent on sowing dragon seeds of pride into his heart, hardening it to keep him from seeing the truth that spiritual warfare is going on in the world and he is powerless to fight it without help.  Out of desperation, his mother hands him a book that contains his family’s dark secret. Nick reluctantly agrees to read the book and is soon drawn to the story.  He quickly discovers the family secret and learns about the real enemy in the world:  Lord Dragon.

I would recommend this book to others because it deals with sin and how sin affects us, but also that there is a plan of redemption.  It takes Genesis, the Gospels, and other bits of the Bible and relates them in a stylish and entertaining way.  It touches on how people tend to deal with grief; they’re either looking for someone to blame or they bury themselves in something entertaining or educational.  They don’t think to look to God, whom they sometimes blame as well, or to family members for comfort; they just push people away.  While being alone might be a good way not to get hurt emotionally, it’s not an entirely good solution.  We all need guidance, counseling, and healing for our brokenness.  We also need forgiveness and to forgive others.  Nothing pleases the enemy, Satan, more than to see us stumble, fall and turn away from God.  While we cannot fight the enemy alone, God is always there to give us strength and security.  We must submit ourselves to God’s authority.  We must be humble before Him and not let the “Dragon Seeds” of pride enter our hearts.  With humility and vigilance, we can keep the enemy from corrupting our hearts and interfering with our relationship with our creator.

I would also recommend this book for its imaginative and entertaining storytelling, for its little plot twists and surprise ending.  After the story, there is a 12-day devotional on how we can humble ourselves and not let pride enter our hearts.  It provides examples of how pride is shown and Bible verses to remind people of its dangers and how to counteract the influence of pride in kids.  I wouldn’t say this book is for adults, but it’s definitely a book for kids and young adults who can learn something from the story and the devotional.  Please enjoy the book.  It looks like there’s an opening for a sequel.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, July 10, 2017

Freedom’s Price (Keys of Promise #3)

Title:  Freedom’s Price (Keys of Promise #3)
Author:  Christine Johnson
Pages:  331
Year:  2017
My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.
Tom Worthington is a captain of a ship that aids disabled ships to their destinations for a fee as well as legally recovers goods from wrecked ships.  Ten years ago, his father had his own ship stolen from him by a dastardly villain.  His father couldn’t make enough money to support his family without his ship and thus fell into debt.  He lost everything and his reputation was ruined.  The family had to leave Boston and relocate where his father had to work for someone else as a fisherman to support his family.  He died soon afterward, a broken man.  Tom has promised himself he will find his father’s ship and the man who stole it to exact justice.  Then, he meets Catherine Haynes, who is aboard a ship that barely survived a storm and needs repairs.  He helps her find passage to New Orleans, but can’t seem to let her go without his protection.  He feels bound to see her settled with family she has never met.  He also can’t get her out of his mind or his heart.
Catherine Haynes is forced to leave England or she will have to marry someone she doesn’t love thanks to her cousin inheriting the family estate.  Her father has died, leaving her at the mercy of a cousin.  The cousin plans to sell the estate that has been in the family for generations.  She decides to leave all she has ever known and go to America to live with her mother’s family, even though there has been no contact with them for several years.  They might not even know Catherine exists!  She meets Tom and is immediately drawn to him.  After spending some time together, Christine realizes there can be no future for them together.  He longs for the sea and she is bound for New Orleans.  Upon arriving there, however, she soon discovers that all is not as it seems and she has got the fight of her life on her hands.
In this third book of the Keys of Promise series, readers will learn that more than one character is willing to sacrifice for someone else to gain freedom and that it comes with a cost.  Dreams of revenge, justice and romance are just a few of the subjects depicted in this historical romance.  There are also elements of danger, suspense and evil too.  The life of the South before the Civil War is in the spotlight and the cruelty of slavery exposed.  Catherine and Tom encounter much more than they could have imagined in their quest, and I liked seeing their reactions to the different situations.  Catherine’s faith is woven into her life, but Tom struggles to let go of his anger and bitterness as they both must make choices that will change their futures. 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Out of the Shadows


Title:  Out of the Shadows

Author:  Emma Carrie                                                                                  

Pages:  87     Format:  ebook

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Dad and Me Publishing



Out of the Shadows, a novella by Emma Carrie, is a story about a teenage girl who is on the run from her “handler,” a man from her past. She had found refuge with a college professor, but when the professor dies from cancer, the mysterious girl, Emily, is on her own again. It was the dying professor’s wish that her best friend, Detective Victoria Tackett, would take Emily in because they would be good for each other. Throughout the story, Emily is on the run, but trying to borrow the letter that the professor had written to Tackett.

The story is well-written, and the mystery of Emily is interesting from the sense that I wanted to know what has happened to this girl, and why is she on the run, which is gradually revealed with veiled references to the man who is trying to find her. This novella is the first in a series, and I want to find out Emily’s story as her relationship to Detective Tackett grows and more about her past that has put her in danger. I think the story has promise as it continues to unfold; however, I did find this installment a little slow throughout the first forty to fifty pages, which made it difficult to keep my attention at times. The story’s action did pick up, which motivated me to invest myself more into it by the time I finished reading. I think that one thing that could have been improved would have been adding the antagonist to the story rather than just making vague references to him. I am confident he will show up in future novellas in the series, but the threat in this story didn’t seem to have a strong enough impact.

Although I had some minor issues as mentioned above, I still think this is a good story and has much potential as it continues to develop in the planned sequels. I do want to read the other novellas in the series as they become available.

My rating is 4.

Guest review by Cleve Johnson

Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/.  Also follow me on Twitter@lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457

Friday, July 7, 2017

A.D. 33


Title:  A.D. 33

Author:  Ted Dekker

Pages:  354

Year:  2015

Publisher:  Center Street

My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.

This novel should be read after reading A.D. 30.  Maviah’s story continues as she is now known as the Queen of the Outcasts.  Her beloved Judah has been imprisoned for two years as she has been traveling around, spreading Yeshua’s message and gathering the desert people to unite them.  She finally reaches Judah and they are reunited.  However, soon after, disaster strikes.  Maviah has lost her way and forgotten Yeshua’s teachings.  Her ever loyal “tower”, Saba, is with her every step of the way.  Because of her actions, she must now return to Petra and beg the queen’s help in order to save the life of one precious to Maviah.  She meets Herod again, and there are appearances by many characters from the first novel.

During her many miles of travel, she once again encounters Yeshua and is renewed in spirit.  She learns many spiritual truths and Saba also comes to believe in Yeshua and his teachings.  Readers see the ever-optimistic and joy-filled Stephen as he begins to teach Maviah’s young, desert protector, Arim, about Yeshua.  Her young adopted son, Talya, must face the challenge of his young life as he must face evil head-on without his mother’s protection.

While the author is a good storyteller, I never engaged with Maviah’s character.  There was no emotional connection for me.  The heavy theological content in this book might bog down some readers.  I know the author was trying to speak truth, and there are some profound moments between Jesus and individuals, but some of it was difficult to understand.  I really liked the author’s portrayal of Stephen; it brought him to life.  The story did hold my attention as I wanted to see how the various trials were resolved.  The portrayal of Yeshua was well done and I did relate to him, caring about him.  I do think the novel accurately depicted the life of a female in that time and the harsh lifestyle.  This was a different avenue than the usual writings for this author, and I applaud him for following where led.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Missing (Nikki Boyd Files #2)


Title:  Missing (Nikki Boyd Files #2)

Author:  Lisa Harris

Pages:  316

Year:  2016

Publisher:  Revell

My rating is 5 stars.

Oh my, has Lisa Harris written a great suspense-filled, tension-inducing thriller with this second book in the Nikki Boyd series!  This book centers around a woman, Lucy, who goes missing amidst the death of her husband and several other people.  Lucy’s husband worked for a pharmaceutical company, but had hired a private detective to get information proving the company is producing counterfeit drugs and putting them on the market to sell to people as if they were the genuine drug.  Who is after Lucy and why are they willing to kill to find her?  Nikki and her partner Jack are tasked with finding the woman while the local officials handle the murders.  However, one lead after another seems to result in death and Nikki is no closer to finding Lucy.

During her investigation, Nikki struggles to keep her true feelings from Tyler, best friend’s husband.  Her best friend, Katie, was killed in a boating accident 13 months previously and Nikki has done what she can to help Tyler through his grief by being a good friend.  Tyler is struggling to move forward in his life, but is unhappy with his current career choice.  He misses the challenge and adrenaline rush of being a soldier.  He has an opportunity for a security job overseas.  Nikki fears he will come back changed if he goes, but she encourages him to do what he must to be happy.  She tries her best to stay focused on the case, which becomes essential as Tyler becomes a target of the criminals who are searching for Lucy.

I really like how the relationship between Nikki and Tyler is progressing.  Nikki is very aware of Tyler’s grief and puts his needs before her own at great personal sacrifice.  This shows how much she loves him.  I also like how Nikki prays in the midst of her troubles and God answers.  I hope there will be resolution for Nikki and her family regarding the disappearance of her sister, Sarah, ten years ago.  That is a mystery I want solved!  I am so pumped for book three in the series which is to be released in the spring of this year!  This is one series not to miss if you are an action-loving, suspense-seeking reader.  Get a copy of book one, Vendetta, as well as this second book and prepare to be entertained.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”