Showing posts with label Christian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christian. Show all posts
April 16, 2014

Review - The Queen's Handmaid

The Queen's Handmaid
By Tracy L. Higley
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pub. Date: March 18, 2014
Retail: $15.99
ISBN: 978-1401686840
Pages: 400
Buy Link:
Blog Tour:


I can't believe this month is half way over already. 2014 is flying by way to quickly, but I have made time to read several new titles, including The Queen's Handmaid by Tracy L. Higley.

Now, I'm mostly a fan of books set in the 1800s, but The Queen's Handmaid is set in 39BC, which is a bit of a stretch from the wild wild west era. Though I don't read books from this time period, however, I do watch movies (Gladiator) and television series (Spartacus) that are sent around that era, so I thought I would give the book a shot.

The Queen's Handmaid centers on a young woman named Lydia, who happens to be the handmaid for Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt. She doesn't have a family, as she has been an orphan since birth, and she now resides in the Queen's palace, where she spends her days taking care of the Queen's children.

Age is catching up with Cleopatra and having a beautiful young handmaid is causing a few problems, as men are taking notice of Lydia, especially Herod, the Galilean governor.

April 15, 2014

Easter Gift Guide: A Place In the Son: Fitly Joined Together in Love and Growing in Christ

A Place in the Son
Fitly Joined Together in Love and Growing in Christ
by Clarence Ogle
Publisher: New Book Publishing (paperback), Certa Publishing (Kindle)
Pub. Date: November 4, 2013 (paperback), April 6, 2014 (Kindle)
Retail: $18.88 (paperback), $3.99 (Kindle)
ISBN: 978-1939748140
Pages: 440

Purchase Links:
Amazon (paperback)
Amazon (Kindle)
Book Description:

"A Place in the Son: Fitly Joined Together in Love and Growing in Christ" is a guide to growing in Christ in harmony with other true believers. Readers are urged to examine their beliefs and their lives and surrender all to Christ. The God who is Love has a calling(s) and a place in the body of Christ for every unique person. The wonderful works of God are accomplished as believers obey the Head, Jesus Christ, and love and serve with their assigned partners in the body of Christ. "A Place in the Son" calls believers to press on, to step into the realm of the supernatural, and to enjoy daily fellowship and intimacy with God. Personal experiences and testimonies of God's faithfulness combine with the Word of God to inspire readers. Both new believers and seasoned saints will find enlightenment and encouragement in the pages of this book. The call of "A Place in the Son" is loud and clear: "Search the Scriptures! Know who you are in Christ! Wake up, sleeping giants!"

About the Author:

Clarence Ogle is a retired soldier and certified public accountant living in El Paso, Texas. He has shared the gospel of Jesus Christ and the love of God with inmates in local jails for over twenty-five years. He currently teaches the "Growing in Christ" course at the Rogelio Sanchez State Jail. Clarence serves as an elder in his church - Destiny Family Christian Center. He and his wife Hayriye have been married for forty-four years and have children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

April 3, 2014

Review - Maybelle in Stitches

Maybelle in Stitches
Quilts of Love Series, Book16
By Joyce Magnin
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Pub. Date: March 18, 2014
ISBN: 978-1426752803
Pages: 240
Buy Link: Paperback
Blog Tour:


I have had the privilege to read several installments of the

Quilts of Love Series this year. No, I'm not a quilter, actually I don't even know how to run a sewing machine, but I have plenty of quilters in my family, so I do respect the hobby. I do love reading almost any kind of novel, which is one of the reasons why I first signed up to read the Quilts of Love Series.

The 16th installment, Maybelle in Stitches, is set during WWII and is centered on Maybelle Kazinski. Her husband, Holden, was called off to war, so she finds herself working at the Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock in Chester, Pennsylvania as a welderette. A woman working in a shipyard may seem a little odd at first for 1943, but many women during the war had to get jobs to support their family while their husbands were fighting overseas.

March 27, 2014

Review - It Had To Be You

It Had To Be You  
A Christiansen Family novel, book two
By Susan May Warren
Publisher: Tyndale
Pub. Date: January 17, 2014
Pages: 480
Blog Tour:
Buy Link: Paperback


As most of my blog readers already know, I prefer historical romances over most contemporary romances, but I signed up to review It Had To Be You because the cover reminded of the romance book jackets from the 80s. Plus, I'm already fan of Susan May Warren's novels.

It Had To Be You centers on Eden Christiansen, who has put a hold on her dreams to help her younger brother, Owen, get his life on track. She would rather be focusing on her writing career, but she is stuck writing obituaries. Plus, she gets sidetracked every time a family member or friend needs her help. In this case, Owen doesn't even want her help, which makes the whole situation even more stressful for Eden.

Owen is an NHL rookie and if he doesn't get the correct guidance, his life will easily run off course in a hurry. Eden steps in, less like a sister and more like a surrogate mother, when she approaches the hockey star enforcer, Jace Jacobsen, who acts tough on and off the ice. Asking this hothead to help her brother is not going to be harder than what she thought it would be.

March 21, 2014

Review - A Sky Without Stars

A Sky Without Stars
Quilts of Love, Book 15
By Linda S. Clare
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Pub. Date: February 18, 2014
ISBN: 978-1426752797
Pages: 272
Blog Tour:
Buy Link: Amazon


Last year, I happen to stumble across the Quilts of Love series from Abingdon Press. Though I don't know how to quilt, I have several family members that do, so I do respect the hobby and is one of the reasons why I signed up to review the newest book in the series, A Sky Without Stars, written by Linda S. Clare.

Set in 1951, the fifteenth installment centers on a Lakota woman, Frankie Chasing Bear, who finds herself raising her son, Harold, alone after husband is suddenly killed. To honor their heritage, she is trying to pass down the Lakota ways to her son, but it is difficult for her to do with her son uninterested in his past.

Lakota decides the only way to help her son respect their ancestors is to make a Lakota Star-pattern quilt, something that can be passed down to him one day and become a reminder of his heritage.

March 8, 2014

Review - Distortion

Moonlighter Series, Book Two
By Terri Blackstock
Publisher: Zondervan
Pub. Date: March 11, 2014
ISBN: 978-0310283140
Pages: 352
Buy Link:
Blog Tour:


I have seen Terri Blackstock's books in book catalogs, but I only started reading her books about two years ago. Her writing style is different than most Christian authors. Most books in the genre tend to be strictly a romantic story, but Terri Blackstock centers the majority of her books (at least the ones I have read) around a mystery of some sorts. Last spring, I reviewed her novel Truth Stained Lies, book one in the Moonlighter Series, and earlier this year I got a change to review a ARC of the second book in the series titled, Distortion.

Distortion centers on Juliet Cole, whose life is completely torn away when she witnesses her husband of fifteen-years gunned down before her very own eyes. Now a widow and the only parent to her boys, she is determined to keep them safe no matter what the costs.

What she thought was a random murder turns into something else when she discovers threatening voice-mails. Afraid for the lives of her children, Juliet turns toward her sisters, Holly and Cathy, for help, but the mystery may be too big for them to handle, so they once again enlist PI Michael Hogan to help them find the killers.

March 4, 2014

Review - Mark Of Evil

Mark of Evil
The End Series, book 4
By Tim LaHaye and Craig Parshall
Publisher: Zondervan
Pub. Date: February 4, 2014
ISBN: 978-0310334545
Pages: 416


There have been many 'end of times' fiction novels written over the years, but the best has been the Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. After the series ended, Tim LaHaye teamed up with author Craig Parshall for The End Series. For some reason, I thought the series concluded with Brink of Chaos, but I was wrong, as the fourth novel, Mark of Evil arrived in bookstores last month.

Similar to the Left Behind series, the rapture has occurred and millions of people have disappeared in the blink of an eye. The non-Christians (of the sinners) are the only ones that remain on Earth, as the Antichrist reign of terror is about to begin.

Mark of Evil centers on Ethan March, who has now become a Christian after the rapture. Ethan, along with Jimmy Louder, Rivka Reuban and other believers are hiding from the Global Alliance Police, whom are under the influence of the Antichrist.

This is unlike the world we have known, there are now BID-Tag implants in people, robotic police units and flying drone-bots, in which all of these things are used to stop the believers from spreading God's message to others.

March 1, 2014

Review - Where Courage Calls

Where Courage Calls
By Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan
Publisher: Bethany House
Pub. Date: February 4, 2014
ISBN: 978-0764212314
Pages: 336
Buy Link:
Blog Tour:


Author Janette Oke's novels cross my radar after I watched the TV-movie Love Comes Softly on the Hallmark Channel back in 2003. I ended up buying all the books on eBay, including the spinoff  Prairie Legacy books. Over the years, I have picked up a few other novels by the author. I was pleasantly surprised and excited to hear about her new novel Where Courage Calls, which she co-writes with daughter, Laurel Oke Logan.

Where Courage Calls is the seventh novel in the Canadian West series, written fourteen years after the sixth novel, When Tomorrow Comes. The first book in the series, When Calls the Heart, was turned into a TV-movie on the Hallmark Channel, followed by a weekly series.

Where Courage Calls was written as a companion story to the new series, which centers on Beth Thatcher as she leaves the life that she has always known and travels to western Canada for a teaching position, following in the footsteps of her aunt Elizabeth (main character from When Calls the Heart).

February 21, 2014

Review - Hopeful by Shelley Shepard Gray

Return to Sugar Creek, Book One
By Shelley Shepard Gray
Publisher: Avon Inspire
Pub. Date: February 4, 2014
ISBN: 978-0062204462
Pages: 256
Buy Link:
Blog Tour:


I grew up reading Goosebumps, Fear Street and other horror novels. Plus, I watched countless horror films, but for some odd reason one of my guilty pleasures is reading Amish fiction. I can't explain it, but it started thirteen or fourteen years ago when I first read a Bethany Lewis novel, who was one of the few authors writing Amish romances at the time. Fast forward to the present day and you can find dozens of Amish fiction titles in the bookstores. It is practically becoming its own genre.

At first Bethany Lewis was the only author I would read writing the genre, but I slowly began reading other authors, whom have all put their own spin on the Amish life. Another one of my favorite authors of the genre is Shelly Shepard Gray, so when I had a chance to review her newest book "Hopeful" through Liftfuse Publicity Group, I instantly signed up to review it.

"Hopeful" centers on Miriam Zehr, who spends most of her time working at the Sugarcreek Inn, a popular restaurant of the town residents as well as the many tourists that stop by the Amish town. From one look at Miriam's lovely smile you would have never guessed that she would rather be somewhere else. She has always dreamed of getting married and starting a family, but she has low hopes that that will ever happen.

February 17, 2014

Review - The Sinners' Garden

The Sinner's Garden
By William Sirls
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pub. Date: December 17, 2013
ASIN: 978-140168738
Pages: 416
Blog Tour
Buy Link: Amazon


Last year, I reviewed The Reason by William Sirls, so I eagerly accepted to review his newest novel, The Sinners' Garden, which I received a free copy from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest thoughts.

The Sinners' Garden focuses on fourteen-year-old Andy Kemp, a young boy whose life has been in chaos due to his scared face. His father was very abusive, resulting in his disfigurement. Due to his low self-esteem, Andy hides himself from the world; huddling himself in a corner reading a book; trying to hide the fact that  he suffers from anger issues buried below the surface.

Andy has distant himself from everyone, including his mother, whom is forced to seek help from the boy's Uncle Rip, who spent some time behind bars, to set the boy straight. Uncle Rip wants to become a father figure to him, but easing Andy's pain is going to take a miracle from God, which is exactly what happens when Andy begins hearing odd music through his iPod.

December 14, 2013

Review - Unforeseeable by Nancy Mehl

Road to Kingdom - Book Three
By Nancy Mehl
Publisher: Bethany House
Pub. Date: September 1, 2013
ISBN: 978-0764209291
Pages: 336


Late one night in the summer of 2012, I couldn't sleep, so I grabbed a book from my TBR pile, which happened to be Inescapable by Nancy Mehl. I was instantly hooked into the intriguing plot, reading nearly 3/4 of the novel before finally falling asleep. Naturally, I was more than excited when I saw Unforeseeable was up for review and I eagerly signed up to review it. Honestly, I thought this was the second book in the Road to Kingdom series, but it is actually the third book. I ended up buying the real second installment, Unbreakable, as I wanted to read it before jumping into the third and final novel.

Set in Kingdom, Kansas, Callie Hoffman is starting to settle down in the small community. She is planning on wedding Levi Housler, who happens to the new pastor of the Kingdom Mennonite Church. She spends her days working at the town cafe side-by-side with her future sister-in-law, Lizzie Housler.

November 27, 2013

Review - A Bride For Keeps

A Bride For Keeps
By Melissa Jagears
Publisher: Bethany House
Pub. Date: October 1, 2013
ISBN: 978-0764211683
Pages: 336


It looks I'm finally catching up on a few book reviews. I have read several titles over the last few years with a mail-order bride plot, so I wasn't looking forward to reading another one. I sometimes make my book decisions by either the author's name or the cover of the book. I liked the book cover to A Bride For Keeps, so I signed up to review it, but little did I realize it involved a mail-order bride plot.

In A Bride For Keeps, Everett Cline has used the mail-order bride service three times and three times he has been jilted, leaving him very little faith in ever finding love. A nosy neighbor, Rachel, with well-meaning intentions wants him to have a bride and brings a mail-order bride to town.

To escape her violent past in Massachusetts and start anew, Julia Lockwood joins the mail-order marriage faraway in Kansas. Her husband-to-be, Everett, isn't exactly thrilled to see her, as he only learned about her minutes before her train arrived in town.

Everett has no choice but to marry Julia, but he is unaware of her excess baggage. She thinks of marriage as companionship only and there will be no children. It will take a miracle for the both of them to fall in love.
November 22, 2013

Review - Aloha Rose

Aloha Rose
Quilts of Love Series
By Lisa Carter
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Pub. Date: November 19, 2013
ISBN: 978-1426752735
Pages: 240
Buy Link:
Blog Tour:

Recently I have had the chance to review two books from the Quilts of Love Series, which each installment is written by a different author. The twelfth book in the series is titled Aloha Rose and is written by Lisa Carter.

Laney Carrigan's life is completely altered when her adoptive mother passes and leaves her a Hawaiian quilt. The red rose snowflake appliqué on a white background quilt was the quilt that was wrapped around her as an infant. Now it may be the only link she has in finding her parents or anyone related to them on the Big Island. Laney Carrigan hops on a plane headed for Hawaii in the hope finding her birth parents in Aloha Rose.

Upon arriving she is greeted by Kai Barnes, who happens to be adopted by Laney's birth family. She meets several relatives, whom a few gives her a tour around the island. She eagerly wants to be accepted by them, but Kai believes that she is nothing more than a gold-digger.
November 7, 2013

Review - What Once Was Lost

What Once Was Lost
By Kim Vogel Sawyer
Publisher: WaterBrook Press
Pub. Date: September 17, 2013
ASIN:  978-0307731258
Pages: 315


Kim Vogel Sawyer has been one of my favorite Christian authors for several years now and I was more than eager to review What Once Was Lost, but the book got shoved aside. Luckily, I stumbled upon the book last week and I finally got around to reading it.

Christina Willems has been taking care of the poor at the Brambleville Asylum on a small Kansas farm ever since her father died, but the unthinkable happens when a fire breaks out in the kitchen, leaving the residents homeless. She asks the mission board for help in repairing their home, but until then they'll need somewhere else to live.

She scrambles across the town looking for shelter for them. She talks Levi Jonnson, a mill owner, into taking in a young blind boy named Tommy Kilgore. Levi wasn't exactly thrilled about taking Tommy in at first, but once he got to know the boy, a bond quickly grows.

It seems as if the Lord is challenging Christina as obstacles keeping jumping in front of her at every corner and it seems the Brambleville Asylum will never get repaired, let alone ever reopen. Some of the residents are sleeping in stables, living in boarding houses in exchange for doing chores, and others are staying in decent homes.

October 29, 2013

Review - Beloved

Where The Heart Lives
By Robin Lee Hatcher
Publisher: Zondervan
Pub. Date: September 24, 2013
ISBN: 978-0310257776
Pages: 304
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Book Tour:


I'm well aware of author Robin Lee Hatcher, but I missed out in reading the previous books in the Where The Heart Lives series, Belonging and Betrayal, but the Beloved seems to more of a standalone novel.

The Beloved centers on Diana Brennan, who at young age was separated from her siblings and was put on an orphan train heading west, where she was adopted by a loving couple. At age seventeen, she fell in love with the handsome Tyson Applegate, the son of a wealthy mine owner. What started out as friendship, lead to courting and then marriage.

Settling down at a young age wasn't what Tyson really wanted and he eventually leaves Diana to seek out adventures in far off lands, which involved fighting alongside the Rough Riders in Cuba. During this time, he makes no attempt to send letters to his wife.

Years past by and Diane is ready to get on with her life and plans on having Tyson declared legally dead by the courts, so, hopefully,  she will get another chance at finding love and maybe get married again.

October 22, 2013

Review - Glittering Promises

Glittering Promises
The Grand Tour Series, Book 3
By Lisa T. Bergren
Publisher: David C. Cook
Pub. Date: October 1, 2013
ISBN: 978-1434764287
Pages: 464
Buy Link:
Blog Tour: 


In the third and final book in The Grand Tour Series, Cora Kensington's life changed forever when she learned the truth about her birth father, who happens to be a rich man, and her siblings, leading her to go on the Grand Tour to get better acquainted with them. While it has taken quite some time, she is finally connecting with her siblings, but she is still somewhat estranged from her birth father, though she hopes to one day have some sort of daughter/father relationship with him.

Now in Italy, Cora must finally come to terms with her true feelings for Will and deal with her attraction to the Pierre de Richelieu. Worst yet is that there is a slue of journalists chasing her father, siblings and herself as they all want to the "rags to riches" story to headline their newspapers and magazine, something the family would like to avoid at all costs.
August 23, 2013

Review - Whispers on the Dock

Whispers on the Dock
Postcards from Misty Harbor Inn, book 3
By Evangeline Kelley
Publisher: Guidepost Books
Pub. Date August 1, 2013
ISBN: 978-0824932596
Pages: 288
Buy Link:
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To honor their late mother, the Marris sisters bought the Misty Harbor Inn on the Nantucket Island, despite the fact they are all in their 50's. The youngest sister, Sam Carter, is looking forward to entering her mother's blackberry cobbler recipe in the Summerfest baking fest, as winning the contest would be a great way to promote the Inn, but it is not going to be easy as the previous winner plans on keeping the title no matter what the costs.

Misty Harbor Inn has its own secrets, which the sisters have been trying to unravel to what happened to the original owner's young widow, Hannah Montague, who mysteriously disappeared in the year 1880. Now their most recent guest, an elderly woman, may be the only the person who can unravel the mystery for them. The woman shows them a photo album that will change their lives. It seems their mother had lived at the Inn as a child, something she had never mentioned to them when she was alive.

Why did their mother lie? What was she hiding?
August 19, 2013

Review - Winter in Full Bloom

Winter in Full Bloom
By Anita Higman
Publisher: River North Fiction (Moody Publishers)
Pub. Date: July 19, 2013
ISBN: 978-0802405807
Pages: 304
Buy Link:
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Lily Winter returns home to visit her estranged mother in the attempt to get her mother to have some sort of relationship with her daughter, who's now in college. Lily's husband recently died of a heart-attack and to make matters worse she found evidence that he might have been cheating on her. With her daughter at college, she hopes reconnecting with her mother after a ten year estrangement would bring new joy in her life, but she isn't exactly welcomed by her mother, who happens to leaves her with a bombshell. Lily has a twin sister, Camilla, living in Australia!

Despite her fear of planes, Lily hops on a flight to Melbourne, Australia, in all hopes to meet the sister she never knew existed. Almost as soon as she arrives, she hits a brick wall, but her luck turn for the better as an Aussie, named Marcus, insists on helping her track down Camilla. Marcus use to be a bestselling author until a terrible accident shoved his life off course.

As Lily is finally reunited with her twin, sparks fly between Lily and Marcus, but their pasts may still haunt their future.

July 20, 2013

Review - Rosemary Cottage

Rosemary Cottage
By Colleen Coble
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pub. Date: July 9, 2013
ISBN: 978-1595547828
Pages: 336
Buy Link:
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In this sequel to last year's Tidewater Inn, Amy Lange (a midwife) travels to the Outer Banks of North Carolina to mourn the death of her brother, Ben, who was lost at sea from a surfing accident, at least that is what everyone else has told her happen to Ben. Amy does her own investigation and starts to wonder what actually happened to her brother, while at the same time she helps out the local community as a midwife.

Her only help in finding the truth behind her brother's disappearance may come from a coast guard officer, Curtis Ireland, who may not be up to the task as he currently has his hands full raising his young niece, Raine, after his sister, Gina, died in a boating accident. Normally, he wouldn't go out on a limb to help a complete stranger, but there is something special about Amy and he agrees to help with her investigation.

July 16, 2013

Review - A Bride For All Seasons: The Mail-Order Bride Collection

A Bride For All Seasons: The Mail-Order Bride Collection
By Margaret Brownley, Debra Clopton, Mary Connealy, Robin Lee Hatcher
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pub. Date: June 18, 2013
ISBN: 978-1401688530
Pages: 400
Buy Link: Paperback
Blog Tour Link:

I've been trying to cutback on my reading and focus more on my writings, but I became interested in this anthology when I learned Mary Connealy and Robin Lee Hatcher were two of the authors, which I received a free copy from Litfuse Publicity Group and Thomas Nelson in exchange for my honest review.

The year is 1870 and four women, Mary-Jo, Ellie, Luvena, and IMegan, are looking for a second chance at life by becoming a mail-order bride, which the ads are placed in the Hitching Post Mail-Order Bride Catalogue.

In Margaret Brownley's And Then Came Spring, Mary-Jo Parker travels from Georgia to Kansas to marry a successful attorney, Daniel Garrett, only to arrive in time for his funeral. Here is another shocker; Daniel has a son, which he never mentioned in his letters to Mary-Jo. Her hope of getting married may not be over as the sheriff, who happens to be Daniel's brother, offers to marry her.


Rating System

AMAZING!!! Go get this book right now!!

Great! Highly Recommend

It's ok. Borrow from a friend material.

Not that good but at least read the blurb.

Leave it on the shelf!

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