Thursday, November 03, 2016

Finding Riley

Finding Riley
by
Dan Walsh

MY THOUGHTS
Dan Walsh has a way of bringing a voice to animals that is charming and endearing. Finding Riley is the second book in the Forever Home series (the first is Rescuing Finley), but it definitely can stand alone (however I recommend reading Rescuing Finley -- it's fabulous!).

I really enjoyed the story line of this book -- what a great concept to integrate shelter pets with the homeless! Dan really brings out the difficulties and lifestyle of the homeless who live in tent cities -- a place most of us never see.

The writing in this book was not quite up to what I've seen Dan do in the past. Some of the characters and conversations seemed a bit simplistic and forced, but that did not detract from the story. Dan definitely has great insight into the behavior and perspectives of dogs, as demonstrated both in this book and Rescuing Finley.

If you are interested in a sweet book that provides insight to both the lives of the homeless and the perspectives of dogs, this is a good one!

ABOUT THE BOOK
An unexpected surprise brings the Mitchell family of Savannah a chance to experience the Christmas trip of their dreams. An unexpected disappointment threatens to turn it into the worst Christmas ever. John Finch and his friend Alfred live in the woods. Been doing it for decades. He likes wintering in Florida, but this year’s been particularly harsh. Between the cold, freezing rain and terrifying lightning storms, John’s starting to wonder how much more of this lifestyle he can take. A new friend enters the picture and changes everything. Kim Harper, the dog trainer introduced in Rescuing Finley, is contacted by a billionaire philanthropist seeking her help with a new dog training project that will help the homeless. Is he for real? And is her co-worker right, does this rich handsome man’s interest in Kim go far deeper than her dog-training skills?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dan grew up in Florida and his primary interests through high school were basketball and surfing. In 1985, he was ordained as a pastor and served in the same church for the next 25 years. In August 2010, after three of his novels were published by Revell-Baker Publishing Group, Dan retired to write full time.
Dan's novels have received rave reviews from USA Today and magazines like Publisher's Weekly, Library Journal and RT Book Reviews. His first, The Unfinished Gift, won two ACFW Carol Awards. His other books have won numerous awards and appeared on several national bestseller lists.
Dan has published seventeen novels. In addition to writing, Dan enjoys public speaking. He is married to Cindi and they have two children and two grandchildren.

I received a free electronic copy of this book with no expectations for a review.

Finding Margo

Finding Margo
by
Jen Turano


MY THOUGHTS
Ok, I admit I pretty much only read books I love because my life is pretty crazy and I don't have much time for reading. So whenever Jen Turano writes a new book it immediately jumps to the top of my Must Read list!

Up to this point Jen's books have all been historical romances with a hysterical story line. I have learned that I must not drink ANYTHING while I read her books unless I intend to spew my coffee (or whatever) all over my Kindle because they are that funny!

I was curious about Finding Margo because it's her first contemporary romance. Honestly I'm not much for fiction with the primary intent being romance -- I really love a good mystery or suspense book that just happens to have some romantic chemistry best. Finding Margo definitely fit the bill -- within the first couple of chapters I was both intrigued and laughing at the crazy situations Margo encounters. This book also had me in tears -- something that doesn't happen often when I read.

Turano takes us behind the scenes of the pop music icon who just happens to become stranded in an Amish small town that is hauntingly familiar. After a couple of attempts on her life, Margo learns that the quiet community is not all it seems. Add a hunky FBI agent and a slightly injured duck and this book has all the elements of a best seller!

Turano has another winner -- I highly recommend Finding Margo (well, only if you want to laugh).

ABOUT THE BOOK
Off the charts and on the run.

International pop star Margo Hartman could use a night off. A grueling tour and overbearing entourage have sent her over the edge. It's time for this diva to disappear. And who would think to look for the superstar in a small Dutch town in Ohio?
Sheriff's deputy Brock Moore is undercover as well. He knows Margo isn't who she appears to be, but her uncanny resemblance to a local Amish woman is raising all sorts of questions... the kind that make her a target for a killer.
Both are determined to find answers, but their mutual attraction stands in the way of either of them doing it alone.
Is finding Margo the solution to Brock's problems or just the beginning...?
JenTurano


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A USA Today Best-Selling Author, Jen Turano has written the critically acclaimed Ladies of Distinctionseries, and A Class of Their Own series, published through Bethany House Publishers. Her novel, After a Fashion, was chosen as a top pick from Romantic Times, as well as being named a top ten romance of 2015 from Booklist.  It is also a nominee for Romantic Times 2015 Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her book, A Most Peculiar Circumstance, was chosen as a top ten romance by Booklist in 2013. Her seventh book, Playing the Part, released in the spring of 2016, and will be followed by a new four-book series, Apart from the Crowd. When she’s not writing, Jen spends her time outside of Denver with her husband and neurotic Cattle Dog, enjoying herself as an empty-nester since her son recently abandoned her for the college life. She can be found on Facebook or visit her on the web at www.jenturano.com. She is represented by the Natasha Kern Literary Agency. Her books may be found in fine bookstores, or follow the Baker House Publishing link to find additional places to purchase her work.


Friday, September 30, 2016

Tangled Webs

Tangled Webs
by
Irene Hannon

MY THOUGHTS
Have I said before that I love Irene Hannon's books? Every one I read is better than the last. She develops wonderful series based on complex characters who find themselves in difficult but realistic situations. I am holding her personally responsible for my laundry not getting done and dinner not being ready on time -- her books are SO hard to put down!

Tangled Webs takes place in central Missouri in the Mark Twain Forest region, where coincidentally I was travelling the same weekend I read the book. Her descriptions of those who hide in the woods to make meth had me looking carefully around ever turn, adding additional suspense to a book that I was already having a tough time putting down.

It is not necessary to read the first two books in the Men of Valor series, Buried Secrets and Thin Ice, but it helps to give a bit of background on the McGregor hunks. It was extremely satisfying to finally learn Finn's secrets and to meet him 'up close and personal'. If you like suspense, I highly recommend this book and any of Irene Hannon's work.

ABOUT THE BOOK

After a disastrous Middle East mission ends his six-year Army Ranger career, Finn McGregor needs some downtime. A peaceful month in the woods sounds like the perfect way to decompress. But peace isn't on the agenda once he crosses paths with publishing executive Dana Lewis, a neighbor who is nursing wounds of her own. Someone seems bent on disrupting her stay in the lakeside cabin she inherited from her grandfather. As Finn and Dana work together to discover who is behind the disquieting pranks, the incidents begin to take on a menacing tone. And when it becomes apparent Dana's foe may have deadly intent, Finn finds himself back in the thick of the action--ready or not.

Bestselling author Irene Hannon draws readers into a web of psychological suspense where danger lurks in dark corners . . . and keeps them captive until the very last page.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Irene Hannon is a bestselling, award-winning author who has written more than 50 romantic suspense and contemporary romance/women’s fiction novels. She is a seven-time finalist for and three-time winner of the RITA award—the “Oscar” of romance fiction—and a member of the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. Her books have also won a Daphne du Maurier award, two Carol awards, three HOLT Medallions, a National Readers’ Choice award, a Retailers Choice award, two Booksellers’ Best awards and two Reviewers’ Choice awards from RT Book Reviews magazine. One of her novels was also named by Booklist as a top 10 inspirational fiction books of 2011. In addition, she is a two-time Christy award finalist.

Irene, who holds a B.A. in psychology and an M.A. in journalism, juggled two careers for many years until she gave up her executive corporate communications position with a Fortune 500 company to write full time. She is happy to say she has no regrets!

In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, gardening and singing.  A trained vocalist, she has sung the leading role in numerous musicals, including “South Pacific,” “Brigadoon,” “Oklahoma” “The King and I” and “Anything Goes.” She is also a soloist at her church.

When not otherwise occupied, Irene and her husband enjoy traveling, Saturday mornings at their favorite coffee shop and spending time with family. They make their home in Missouri.

Saturday, September 03, 2016

The Room with the Second-Best View

The Room with the Second-Best View
by
Virginia Smith

MY THOUGHTS:
I am in love with the Goose Creek B&B Series! The characters are (mostly) lovable and well crafted, the town is full of drama and fun, and there are recipes! This third book in the series pulls together the other two in ways that are surprising, laughable, and just pure fun. Virginia Smith has a wonderful way of making every day crises into moments that bring people together and often result in them laughing at themselves as they work through issues. I'd highly recommend reading the first two books and the prequel to get the full story.

The Room With the Second-Best View shows how strong marriages can evolve and survive as people begin second careers and deal with unexpected issues. It addresses how new marriages can overcome unforeseen obstacles and demonstrates how struggles between friends can result in new commitments. And it does it all with a great dose of humor.

Virginia Smith has another winner!

ABOUT THE BOOK:
Excitement is in the air in Goose Creek, Kentucky, as the small town prepares to celebrate its 150th anniversary and the veterinarian's upcoming wedding. But trouble is brewing in this provincial paradise...

Al Richardson agreed to open a B&B with his wife after his retirement in two years, but Millie secretly invites some guests to stay for the wedding. She plans to be the most gracious Southern hostess -- until a tumble down the stairs leaves her unprepared for their quirky and cantankerous first guest.

Meanwhile, the town's anniversary plans are in a state of chaos as the celebration committee scrambles to raise the necessary funds -- an effort spearheaded by a "newcomer," which ruffles the townsfolk's feathers. 

Goose Creek has lasted 150 years. Can it survive the next month?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Virginia Smith is the bestselling author of more than thirty novels. Her books have received numerous awards, including two Holt Medallion Awards of Merit. An avid reader with eclectic tastes in fiction, Ginny writes in a variety of styles, from lighthearted relationship stories to breath-snatching

 suspense. Visit her at www.VirginiaSmith.org.

Monday, July 18, 2016

MISSING
by
Lisa Harris


MY THOUGHTS:
This is the second book in the Nikki Boyd Files about a woman who is expert at finding missing persons. The first book in the series, Vendetta, won the 2015 Romantic Times Best Inspirational Suspense Novel award, so while you will want to read it because it's FABULOUS, it isn't really necessary to read before picking up Missing.

This story is full of incredible twists and turns which kept me from putting this book down - I finished it in just a few hours! I really appreciate the depth of the characters in the story. Nikki is a former teacher who changed careers after her young sister got kidnapped. Tyler is the husband of Nikki's best friend who died, and now the two of them provide each other support and friendship.

Missing kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time -- every time I thought I figured it out there was a new clue thrown in the mix that made me even more intrigued. This is a fast paced story with a well orchestrated plot that will force you to keep reading! I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did.


ABOUT THE BOOK:
Nikki Boyd isn't usually called in on homicides, her forte is missing persons. But when a case with two murdered and two missing pops up on a quiet suburban street, she's ready to start he investigation and find missing homeowners Mac and Lucy Hudson. When the first clues lead her to the boat of her friend, Tyler Grant -- and another dead body -- Nikki must untangle what ties Tyler to the Hudsons. The clues pull her into a deadly maze of counterfeit drugs and a killer who will stop at nothing to silence anyone who threatens his business -- including Nikki.





ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Lisa Harris is a best selling author, a Christy Award winner, and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense novel for 2011 from Romantic Times. She is the author of nearly thirty books, including the Southern Crimes series and Vendetta, winner of the Romantic Times Best Inspirational Suspense Novel for 2015. Harris and her family have spent twelve years living as missionaries in southern Africa. Learn more at www.lisaharriswrites.com.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Planted With Hope

Planted With Hope
by
Tricia Goyer and Sherry Gore

MY THOUGHTS
This is the second book in the Pinecraft Pie Shop series about an Amish family that lives in Pinecraft, Florida. The first book was Made With Love -- it was a great read but it's not necessary to read it first to enjoy Planted with Hope.

I knew this book was different right away -- it's one of the few books I've read that features a person with strong introvert tendencies as the main character! Hope is a young woman who is happiest when she is working alone in her garden, and being in a crowd seriously stresses her out. Goyer and Gore did a great job creating her character, and I really enjoyed getting to know Hope. This may sound a bit goofy, but they even let the reader get to know Hope in a way that an introvert would enjoy, which made the story even more intriguing to me. I love the way the authors allow Hope to grow without trying to change the essence of her personality.

Both authors have strong links to the Amish community, which makes all aspects of the series more authentic. I really enjoyed the peek into a different way of life, and best of all the book is full of fabulous recipes that I can't wait to try.

You can buy the book HERE


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ABOUT THE BOOK (from the back cover):
When Hope Miller is offered the plot of land behind her sister's pie shop to start a garden, she jumps at the chance. Finally -- some space away from her four sisters! But everyone in town seems to have an opinion about what she should grow and how she should grow it.

When the widowed schoolteacher, Jonas Sutter, asks if his students at the Amish school can help turn the plot into a community garden, Hope wonders if she will ever find the peace and quiet she craves. But God has a different plan for Hope -- a plan that will open her heart to all the blessings in front of her.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Tricia Goyer is a USA Today bestselling author with over 50 books to her name. She's well-known for her Big Sky and Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors Amish series. For more information visit Tricia at www.TriciaGoyer.com







Sherry Gore is the author of Simply Delicious Amish Cooking and Me, Myself and Pie and is a weekly scribe for the Amish newspaper, the Budget. Sherry's culinary adventures have been seen on NBC Daytime,  Today.com, and Mr. Food Test Kitchen. Sherry is a resident of Sarasota, Florida. She has three children and is a member of a Beachy Amish Mennonite church.


Saturday, February 13, 2016

Renovating the Richardsons

Renovating the Richardsons
by
Virginia Smith

MY THOUGHTS:

Time to relax on the veranda with a glass of sweet iced tea and visit with friends from Goose Creek! 

I am loving this series -- it takes the reader away from the stresses of our crazy life and lets her gently smile at the craziness of life in a small town full of big character. Oh, there are stresses for those who live there, but there is a just a different feel about it. Life moves at a different pace, issues are resolved creatively, and love and laughter just come naturally.


Ginny Smith crafts each word in this story in such a way that the reader forgets about the words and steps right into the waiting room of the new veterinarian or sits right on the sidelines of the big softball game cheering for the team. I found myself forgetting that I was reading and I lost all track of time as I got caught up in the story -- that doesn't happen often in our crazy life.

The Tales from the Goose Creek B and B series is just like a breath of fresh air. I can't wait to sit back and enjoy the next book!


ABOUT THE BOOK:

Things are finally starting to fall into a steady rhythm in the small town of Goose Creek, Kentucky. Millie Richardson is hard at work renovating a drafty Victorian house into a B&B. Her husband, Al, is busy writing checks for the renovations. And the new vet, Susan, has finally found acceptance from the town—not to mention a hunky new boyfriend, Justin.
But things never stay quiet for long in Goose Creek. The inner-county softball game is coming up, and Millie volunteers Al as team manager. But the softball team is a disaster. If they’re not going to embarrass themselves in front of the whole of Franklin County, Al needs Justin to play. But Justin lives just outside the city limits, and the rules say that players must live in town.
As if that weren’t enough to keep the town gossips busy, a massage therapist has come to town and opened up shop. Imagine—a massage parlor!—in Goose Creek! No decent Creeker will stand for it.
It’s up to Al and Millie—again—to save the day.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Virginia Smith is the bestselling author of twenty-six novels, an illustrated children's book, and more than fifty articles and short stories. An avid reader with eclectic tastes in fiction, Ginny writes in a variety of styles, from lighthearted relationship stories to breath-snatching suspense. Her books have been named finalists in the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence in Mystery/Suspense, the Maggie awards, American Christian Fiction Writer's Book of the Year Award, ACFW's Carol Award, and the National Readers Choice Award. Two of her novels A Daughter's Legacy and Dangerous Impostor, received a Holt Medallion Award of Merit. In 2008 she was honored to receive the prestigious Writer of the Year Award at Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference.

When she isn't writing or speaking, Ginny and her husband, Ted, enjoy exploring the extremes of nature – snow skiing in the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, motorcycle riding on the curvy roads in central Kentucky, and scuba diving in the warm waters of Mexico and the Caribbean.

Friday, February 12, 2016

The Prophetess

The Prophetess
by
Jill Eileen Smith

MY THOUGHTS:
Jill Eileen Smith knows how to make the Bible come to life.
She has written several stories about the life and times of women in the Bible, and she is a master of historical fiction.
Deborah, the prophetess and judge of Israel, has always been an intriguing character. She was the only female judge named in the Bible, and she ruled during a deadly time. How did she, as a woman, get the respect of the Israelite people to fill this difficult role? How did that play out in her daily life?
Smith has done a ton of research -- so much so that the reading of the book flows as smoothly as if the reader were watching the action live. She has created life-like relationships between Deborah and her family/community that fleshes out the little information we find in the book of Judges. 
This book will help the reader understand biblical history, life during the tough times of war, and the blessings of following God's lead no matter the cost.

ABOUT THE BOOK:
Canaan has ravaged Israel. The people are in hiding. All that stands between surrender and hope is one untested woman. 

Deborah will never forget the day her father and brothers left to worship at the Lord's tabernacle--or the wails of her mother after finding their bodies at the city gates. The memories of Canaan's cruelty haunt her and all of Israel. Now in this dark time, the Lord calls on Deborah to lead His people away from the idols of other nations and back to Him. 

Deborah never asked to be a prophetess or a judge over God's people. Still, she cannot deny His voice or the visions that accompany it. Can her family ever understand? Will her people believe God's calling on her life? And can the Canaanite menace be stopped?

With her trademark impeccable research and imaginative storytelling, Jill Eileen Smith brings to life the story of Israel's most powerful woman in this intriguing and inspiring novel.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jill Eileen Smith is the author of the bestselling Wives of King David series and The Crimson Cord, as well as the Wives of the Patriarchs and the Loves of King Solomon series. Her research has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times. She lives with her family in southeast Michigan.

Jill loves to hear from her readers. Contact her at www.jilleileensmith.com, or follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jilleileensmith or Twitter