Monday, July 13, 2015

Gone Without A Trace


Gone Without a Trace
by
Patricia Bradley


MY THOUGHTS:
This is a great detective story! A serial kidnapper is on the loose, and his activity is escalating. A young woman has been kidnapped and her time may be running out. Alex Reynolds is the PI on the case, and he has extra incentive to solve the case -- if he doesn't find her within three weeks his grandfather will force him to take steps toward a career that will stifle him.

He meets up with Livy Reynolds, a detective who is reeling from a questionable shooting and a subsequent 'freeze up' that could have resulted in her partner's death. Livy also has an ulterior motive in this situation -- her cousin Robyn disappeared two years earlier without a trace, and it is suspected that perhaps she was the victim of similar foul play.

This is a pretty straight-forward detective story with plenty of viable suspects and a lot of suspense toward the end. The characters are well-rounded and realistic, and I found myself cheering for their victories. I'm hoping that Patricia Bradley will write more books in this series -- I'd love to learn more about how their lives turn out!

ABOUT THE BOOK:
The past is repeating itself--and time is running out

It's been more than two years since homicide detective Livy Reynolds's cousin disappeared from Logan Point. Unlike most people in her hometown, Livy has never believed that Robyn left voluntarily. When Dallas private investigator Alex Jennings contacts her concerning a senator's missing granddaughter who was last seen in Logan Point, Livy notices eerie similarities between the two disappearances. With self-doubt plaguing her and an almost instant dislike of the self-assured PI, she's finding this investigation an uphill battle. But with the prospect of finding her cousin on the horizon, she'll have to find a way to work with Alex--before it's too late.

Award-winning author Patricia Bradley keeps you on the edge of your seat with a case--and a relationship--that is anything but certain.

"Patricia Bradley has hit a home run. The suspense is high, the romance is sweet, and the villain is one you want to see caught and brought to justice. Gone without a Trace, a novel of forgiveness and finding one's place in the world, brings home the point that while not everything in life may go the way you want, God is still in control. Can't wait for the next book!"--Lynette Eason, bestselling, award-winning author of the Hidden Identity series

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Patricia Bradley is the winner of a 2012 Daphne du Maurier Award and a 2012 Touched by Love Award and was also a finalist for the 2012 Genesis Award. The author of Shadows of the Past and A Promise to Protect, she is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. Bradley makes her home in Mississippi. Learn more at www.ptbradley.com. SIGN UP

Thursday, July 09, 2015

The Innocent

The Innocent
by
Ann H. Gabhart


MY THOUGHTS:
Ann H. Gabhart has written several books about the Shaker community in Harmony Hill, and I have really enjoyed them! The Shaker religion is fascinating to me -- a community who found joy (theoretically) in work and simplicity yet had an amazing number of confounding rules that must be followed. The Innocent is a story of a woman in love with her husband who went off to fight the Civil War and went missing two years prior. Destitute and attracting unwanted attention, she escapes to the brothers and sisters among the mysterious Shaker community. There she encounters a grim-faced mentor and struggles to fit in. When she stumbles upon proof that things aren't as simple and honest as they seem, she must find a way to make sense of it all.

Gabhart has done a wonderful job of researching the Shakers and the lifestyle they lived. She writes with an ease that makes you feel as if you are right beside the main character, seeing and feeling what she encounters. I really liked this book -- in addition to the great story line it caused me to stop and really clarify what I believe about God and why.


ABOUT THE BOOK: 

She longs for peace--for her land and her heart--but can it truly be found at Harmony Hill?

Carlyn Kearney has spent two lonely years not knowing whether to mourn or to hope after she receives word from the Union Army that her husband is missing. When the war ends without further word, Carlyn finds herself penniless, in debt, and forced from her home. With nowhere else to go, she seeks refuge at the Shaker village of Harmony Hill.

The Shakers profess peace through simple living, but to Carlyn, the Shaker life seems anything but simple. When mysterious deaths disturb the peace of the village, Carlyn falls under intense scrutiny. Can a kind sheriff help her expose the true culprit?

Bestselling author Ann H. Gabhart invites fans back to Harmony Hill for a story laced with intrigue, romance, and heart.

"The Innocent is another well-crafted tale from the pen of Ann H. Gabhart. With characters that will steal your heart, Gabhart introduces a desperate young heroine who seeks safety among the Shakers during the post-Civil War era and a sheriff determined to come to her aid. A rich and rewarding read you won't want to miss!"--Judith Miller, award-winning author of Refined by Love series

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several Shaker novels--The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, The Blessed, and The Gifted--as well as Angel Sister, Small Town Girl, Love Comes Home, Words Spoken True, and The Heart of Hollyhill series. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky. Learn more at www.annhgabhart.com.

Monday, July 06, 2015

Made With Love


Made With Love 
by
Tricia Goyer and Sherry Gore


MY THOUGHTS:
What can be better than a book about an Amish pie shop that includes recipes from a renown Amish cookbook author and pie contest judge?

This book is a wonderful collaboration between Sherry Gore (the cook) and Tricia Goyer, an award winning author of best selling Amish books. It is the first in the new Pinecraft Pie Shop series about a family residing in the Florida town that is a favorite vacation spot for the Amish.

Made With Love introduces us to Lovina Miller, a young Amish woman whose lifelong dream is to open a pie shop in the town of Pinecraft, Florida. She's accepted that she will probably never marry, so she's set her sight on becoming a business owner despite the concerns of her parents. The oldest of five unmarried girls, Lovina believes she isn't pretty enough to get a suitor so she's moved on to other endeavors.

Noah Yoder, an Amish man with a tragic past, has moved to Pinecraft with three wayward Amish teens to start a new life and hopefully influence the lives of his charges through hard work as carpenters. He makes a deal with Lovina to remodel a warehouse for her shop in exchange for salvage rights to the items within.

Goyer and Gore do a fabulous job of bringing these characters to life. I really appreciated the depth and honest portrayal of emotions all involved in the story face. I won't give anything away, but this story actually brought me to tears during a particularly touching scene. I love it when a book drags my emotions through the gamut instead of just being a 'nice' read! This is one of those books where I almost found myself praying for the characters involved.

And, as a fabulous bonus, each chapter ends with wonderful traditional Amish recipes for many wonderful things -- pies, desserts, main dishes, snacks, and more! Not only was it a wonderful read, but my family will be enjoying this book for years to come through the recipes.

I highly recommend this book for those who love Amish stories AND for those who may think Amish books are formulaic -- this one is definitely unique in it's setting and story line.

This book is available for preorder on Amazon here

 
ABOUT THE BOOK:
A Dash of Love, a Pinch of Hope, and a Whole Lot of Good Cooking
 Lovina Miller should be thrilled. Pinecraft, Florida, has everything a young Amish woman could ask for: sun, sand, volleyball games, and evening singings in the park. But Pinecraft lacks the one thing Lovina desperately wants—a pie shop of her own. She longs for a place to gather with the community and serve the treat she loves.

A young carpenter named Noah Yoder strolls into her life and offers a way to make her dream come true. But before Noah and Lovina can build a shop—and a life—together, they must each face heartaches from the past. Is their new love stronger than their regrets?

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Tricia Goyer is a homeschooling mom of six, grandmother of two, and wife to John. A bestselling author, Tricia has published 50 books to date and has written more than 500 articles. She is a two time Carol Award winner, as well as a Christy and ECPA Award Nominee. Tricia is also on the blogging team at TheBetterMom.com, FortheFamily.com and other homeschooling and Christian sites.

Tricia volunteers around her community and mentors teen moms. She is the founder of Hope Pregnancy Ministries in Northwestern Montana, and she currently leads a Teen MOPS Group in Little Rock, AR. Tricia, along with a group of friends, also blog at www.NotQuiteAmishLiving.com, sharing ideas about simplifying life.

Sherry Gore is former editor-in-chief of Cooking & Such magazine, the author of "Simply Delicious Amish Cooking", "Me, Myself and Pie" and a weekly scribe for the national edition of the Amish newspaper, The Budget, established in 1890. The National Geographic Channel featured Sherry prominently their documentary series, Amish: Out of Order. Sherry's culinary adventures have been seen on NBC Daytime; the Today Show; Mr. Food Test Kitchen; and Fox, NBC, CBS and ABC News affiliates across the country. Sherry is a year-round resident of beautiful, sun-kissed Sarasota, Florida, the vacation paradise of the Plain People. She has three children and is a member of a Beachy Amish Mennonite church. When not spending time with her family, writing, or eating, Sherry is a cooking show host, and an official pie contest judge. 

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Desperate Measures

Desperate Measures
by
Sandra Orchard


MY THOUGHTS:
If you are interested in a suspense novel with tons of twists and turns, this is a perfect book series for you! Desperate Measures is the third book in the Port Aster Secrets series.

When I first picked up this book I had not read the first two books in the series, Deadly Devotion and Blind Trust. Within a few pages I became confused about who the players were and felt that I was missing way too much of the back story. This is a more traditional series where each book is critical to the overall story, so I went and got the first two books. Desperate Measures definitely doesn't stand alone.

That said, the series is hard to put down! At times it seems like every character is the 'bad guy', then they are cleared individually...for a while. This is a complicated plot and it helps to read the books in close proximity to each other. Of course that isn't a problem because at the end of each book I was dying to find out what happened next!

Sandra Orchard is a master at keeping the reader guessing and causing him/her to keep the pages turning. This is not a series to start when you know you will have to put the book down frequently. I recommend this book for anyone who likes to try to figure out 'whodunit' in a complex story.

ABOUT THE BOOK:
Researcher Kate Adams has finally pinpointed the medicinal plant responsible for tearing her family apart. She's certain that discovering its secrets is her only hope of solving the mystery surrounding the disappearance of her father. Kate will risk anything to find the truth--even her budding relationship with Detective Tom Parker. But more people than she can fathom are after the plants and going it alone just might prove to be a fatal mistake.

Award-winning author Sandra Orchard pulls out all the stops in this breakneck and breathtaking conclusion to the Port Aster series. Fans will not be disappointed by the surprises they find inside.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Sandra Orchard is a multi-award-winning author of mysteries and romantic suspense with Revell Publishing and Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense imprint. She is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America and The Word Guild (Canada). A mother of three grown children, she lives in Niagara, Canada with her real-life-hero husband and writes full time…when not doting on her young grandchildren.  Learn more about Sandra’s books and bonus features at www.SandraOrchard.com or connect at www.Facebook.com/SandraOrchard
Sandra is represented by Steve Laube of the Steve Laube Agency.

Friday, May 22, 2015

In Good Company

In Good Company
by
Jen Turano

MY THOUGHTS:
Reading a book by Jen Turano is like spending a day with your favorite quirky friend! Her characters are real down to earth women with personality traits that get them into unusual situations. They always mean well, but well-meant often translates into humorous and difficult circumstances. In Good Company is the second book in her A Class of Their Own series. Millie Longfellow was an orphan who has become a nanny to the rich and famous. However her quirky thoughts on child-rearing don't set well with the elite and she is frequently searching for a new job.  Everett Mulberry has recently 'inherited' three rambunctious young children who chase away every nanny he hires. Against his better wishes, he hires Millie and the adventure begins!

Jen always adds fun animals to the mix, and this time it's a herd of peacocks and three rowdy puppies. They add all the more fun. With a mystery to be solved and high society to consider, her books are full of action, laughs, and love. And this one happens to have the BEST hiding place for a game of hide and seek that I've ever seen!

If you are looking for a light-hearted read with real life lessons about humanity and spirituality, check it out! It is highly suggested that you read the first book in the series, After A Fashion, first. While it isn't mandatory, there is a good bit of back story about Millie, Everett, and other characters who are mentioned in the book that is helpful.


ABOUT THE BOOK:
After spending her childhood in an orphanage, Millie Longfellow is determined to become the best nanny the East Coast has ever seen. Unfortunately, her playfulness and enthusiasm tend to bring about situations that have employers looking askance at her methods. After her most recent dismissal, Millie is forced to return yet again to an employment agency.

Everett Mulberry has suddenly and quite unexpectedly found himself responsible for three children he's never met. Attempting fatherhood while also pacifying the less-than-thrilled socialite he intends to marry is made even more complicated when the children scare off every nanny he hires. About to depart for Newport, Rhode Island, for the summer, he's desperate for competent childcare.

At wit's end with both Millie and Everett, the employment agency gives them one last chance--with each other. Everett is wary of Millie's penchant for disaster, and she's not entirely keen on another snobby, grumpy employer, but they're both out of options. As Millie falls in love with her mischievous charges and tries to stay one step ahead of them, Everett is more focused on achieving the coveted status of society's upper echelons. As he investigates the suspicious circumstances surrounding the children's parents' death, will it take the loss of those he loves to learn whose company he truly wants for the rest of his life?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jen Turano is the acclaimed author of The Ladies of Distinction Series, published through Bethany House publishers. Her second novel, A Most Peculiar Circumstance was chosen by Booklist as a Top Ten Romance for 2013. Her fourth book, A Match of Wits, released in July, 2014, while a new series, A Class of Their Own, will begin hitting the shelves in early 2015. She is a member of ACFW and makes her home outside of Denver, Colorado with her husband and teenage son. Visit her website at www.jenturano.com or Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/jenturanoauthor. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Art of Losing Yourself

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Art of Losing Yourself
WaterBrook Press (April 21, 2015)
by
Katie Ganshert


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Award-winning author, Katie Ganshert, graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison with a degree in education, and worked as a fifth grade teacher for several years before staying home to write full-time. She was born and raised in the Midwest, where she lives with her family. When she’s not busy penning novels or spending time with her people, she enjoys drinking coffee with friends, reading great literature, and eating copious amounts of dark chocolate.



ABOUT THE BOOK

Just like in my dream, I was drowning and nobody even noticed.

Every morning, Carmen Hart pastes on her made-for-TV smile and broadcasts the weather. She’s the Florida panhandle’s favorite meteorologist, married to everyone’s favorite high school football coach. They’re the perfect-looking couple, live in a nice house, and attend church on Sundays. From the outside, she’s a woman who has it all together. But on the inside, Carmen Hart struggles with doubt. She wonders if she made a mistake when she married her husband. She wonders if God is as powerful as she once believed. Sometimes she wonders if He exists at all. After years of secret losses and empty arms, she’s not so sure anymore.

Until Carmen’s sister—seventeen year old runaway, Gracie Fisher—steps in and changes everything. Gracie is caught squatting at a boarded-up motel that belongs to Carmen’s aunt, and their mother is off on another one of her benders, which means Carmen has no other option but to take Gracie in. Is it possible for God to use a broken teenager and an abandoned motel to bring a woman’s faith and marriage back to life? Can two half-sisters make each other whole?

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Art of Losing Yourself, go HERE.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

No Place To Hide

No Place To Hide
by
Lynette Eason



MY THOUGHTS:
From the first few sentences of the prologue, No Place To Hide takes the reader on a wild race to the finish. Ian Lockwood is being chased by the FBI for possible treason and he's being chased by the bad guys who want to be sure he doesn't foil their plot. Jackie Sellers is a long time friend who works for Operation Refuge, an organization that protects those who have no where to turn.

This is the third book in the Hidden Identity series, but it definitely can stand alone. There is a lot of action and violence in this book (not graphic), and the read really needs to focus on the story to keep up with it all. I feel like I missed a few things and occasionally had to back track to keep it straight.

I really enjoy Eason's books. She does a fabulous job of researching a story and definitely keeps a reader on the edge of her seat! This is definitely a Christian book, but it doesn't preach or throw religion in your face. She keeps it realistic based on the needs of the character, and each basic character is confronted with God in a way that helps him or her grow during the process.

There were a few too many coincidences and character links in this story to make it feel real, but that doesn't take away from the action and sense of adventure one gets as you race toward a potential disaster.

A very creative and exciting book! You can get a copy of it here!


ABOUT THE BOOK:

She'll defend her friend until the bitter end--but is she in over her head?
It's not every day you see your childhood friend and onetime crush on national news. Jackie Sellers just wishes it were under different circumstances. She can't believe that Ian Lockwood is wanted in connection with a terrorist plot, and she's determined to find him and help him clear his name. Unfortunately, she's not the only one looking for him. The FBI wants him captured. The bad guys want him dead. Ian just wants to stay alive long enough to prove his innocence and prevent a catastrophe.

Lynette Eason delivers nonstop action as Jackie and Ian travel a dangerous road--one that may lead straight to destruction.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
\Lynette Eason grew up in Greenville, SC. Even as a young girl, she knew she wanted her life to reflect the love of Jesus Christ.
After graduating from the University of South Carolina with a Business Degree she used for a very short time (sorry Mom and Dad), she moved to Spartanburg, SC to attend Converse College where she obtained her Masters degree in Education. During this time, she met the man she would marry—the boy next door!
She is married to Jack Eason, who speaks, leads worship, and consults ministries around the country. They have two children.
Lynette’s books have appeared on the ECPA and CBA bestseller lists and have won several awards


Thank you to Revell Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.