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 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Always Watching

Always Watching
by
Lynette Eason

MY THOUGHTS:
Don't pick up this book if you don't have time to finish it! You will NOT want to put it down. 

Lynette Eason is a master of high paced suspense. Her characters are well crafted -- they have strengths and skills as well as weaknesses and faults. She puts the reader right in the center of the action. 
There are a LOT of characters in this book -- many of whom could be the stalker! Even with that many names it was pretty easy to keep track of who was whom as the book progressed. I thought I'd figured out the stalker about four different times -- and it was fun to find out the true one in the end.

If you like a fast paced book full of intrigue and action, this is a great book for you. I"m looking forward to reading more books in this series, Elite Guardians. It is about a group of women who have formed their own body guard/protection agency -- they are strong and well qualified, and they do an amazing job!

ABOUT THE BOOK:
Intensity. Skill. Tenacity.
The bodyguards of Elite Guardians Agency have it all.


When it becomes clear that popular psychiatrist and radio personality Wade Savage has a stalker, his father secretly hires Elite Guardians to protect his son. But when Wade's bodyguard is attacked and nearly killed, agency owner Olivia Edwards must step in and fill the gap. 

Olivia's skills are about to be tested to the limit as Wade's stalker moves from leaving innocent gifts at his door to threatening those closest to him--including Olivia. But in her mind, even more dangerous than the threats to her life is the hold her handsome client has on her heart.

"Lynette has written another fast-paced book. It's a race against death."--DiAnn Mills, author of Deadlock

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of the Women of Justice, the Deadly Reunions, and the Hidden Identity series. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. She lives in South Carolina. Learn more at www.lynetteeason.com.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Playing the Part

Playing the Part
by
Jen Turano


MY THOUGHTS
I have been waiting for so long (it seems) to read this book -- Jen Turano does such a good job of creating her characters that I long to read more about them. Whenever I pick one up I feel like I'm about to have an adventure with an old friend. Playing the Part gives the reader time to get to know Lucetta Plum, the beautiful actress we've met a few times in prior books.

As usual, Jen creates a whirlwind of activity surrounding some romantic tension and lots of laughs to bring another time in history alive. This book left me thinking about the story line for a long time after I was finished -- each character plays a part in their lives that others perceive as the real 'them'. As we all do in real life I suppose. As a result I've done a good bit of thinking about who I am really versus who others perceive me to be. Good fodder for prayer and contemplation!

Jen has turned out another winner. Playing the Part is full of quirky characters, fabulous homes, great friends, a huge dash of intrigue, and of course a few fun animals that add life and laughter. I'm already looking forward to her next book!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Lucetta Plum is an actress on the rise in New York City, but is forced to abandon her starring role when a fan’s interest turns threatening. Lucinda’s widowed friend, Abigail Hart, is delighted at the opportunity to meddle in Lucetta’s life and promptly whisks her away to her grandson’s estate to hide out.
Bram Haverstein may appear to simply be a somewhat eccentric gentleman of means, but a mysterious career and a secret fascination with a certain actress mean there’s much more to him than society knows.
Lucetta, who has no interest in Abigail’s matchmaking machinations, has the best intentions of remaining cordial but coolly distant to Bram. But when she can’t ignore the strange and mysterious things going on in his house, it’ll take more than good intentions to keep her from trying to discover who Bram is behind the part he plays.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
JenTuranoJen Turano is the critically acclaimed author of The Ladies of Distinction Series, published through Bethany House.  Her novel, A Most Peculiar Circumstance, was chosen by Booklist as a Top Ten Romance for 2013.
Playing the Part is Jen's eighth book, and the third book in the A Class of Their Own series.
When Jen’s not writing, she spends her time hiking around Colorado, socializing with friends and family, and taking great pride in watching Dominic, who will soon be off to college, turn into a remarkable young man.  (For readers of A Change of Fortune – Dominic was the inspiration behind little Ben – which is why you won’t be surprised to learn Jen’s been slightly taken aback over the fact Dominic’s turned out so well.)
Learn more about her, her books, and the Guilded Age at her website, HERE.


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Thin Ice

Thin Ice
by 
Irene Hannon



MY THOUGHTS
I really enjoy Irene Hannon's books. They are always action packed and full of intrigue, and Thin Ice is no exception! From the first chapter when former Olympic ice skater Christy Reed arrives at her sister's house only to find it totally engulfed in flames to the final scene, Hannon creates a riveting story that makes the book hard to put down.


Of course I especially enjoy that her books are set in the St. Louis area -- it's always fun to read about familiar landmarks!

The antagonist in this story seemed just a bit over the top, but then again he's crazy, right? I found myself disbelieving the storyline a bit at the climax of the book, but it didn't ruin the overall appeal of the story.

I fully enjoyed this book and highly recommend it for anyone who likes suspense laced with romance. And I plan to read every book Irene writes in the future!


ABOUT THE BOOK

After losing her parents in a car accident and her sister to a house fire, Christy Reed has been mired in grief. Life is finally starting to feel normal again when an envelope arrives in the mail--addressed in her sister's handwriting. And the note inside claims she is still alive.


FBI Special Agent Lance McGregor, a former Delta Force operator, is assigned to reopen the case, but he's coming up with more questions than answers. If Ginny Reed is still alive--who is the woman buried in her grave? Where is Ginny? And is Christy a pawn in a twisted cat-and-mouse game--or the target of a sinister plot? As he digs deeper, one thing becomes clear: whoever is behind the bizarre ruse has a deadly agenda.



Bestselling author and two-time Christy Award finalist Irene Hannon warms readers' hearts as they root for a romance between Lance and Christy, but she pulls out all the stops as this high-stakes thriller chills to the bone in a race to the finish.

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 holds a B.A. in psychology and an M.A. in journalism, and in
 her spare time, she enjoys cooking, gardening and singing.  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.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Rescuing Finley

Rescuing Finley
by
Dan Walsh

MY THOUGHTS:
It's been a long time since a book made me cry and it actually caught me by surprise! It is hard to describe this book in a few words -- sweet, poignant, heartwarming, gut-wrenching are just a few I would choose.

This is a story of unconditional love and hope as told from three perspectives: a dog who gets left behind, a veteran with physical and emotional scars, and a young woman who made too many wrong choices early in her life. Each of them gets a second chance at a future they never expected.

 
Dan Walsh has done a masterful job at creating a story full of realistic characters that draw at your heart. I love his portrayal of the Paws for Prisoners program -- a real opportunity that seems to make a huge difference in the lives it touches.

I learned a lot about dog training, PSTD, and redemption in this book -- and it was written in such a manner that I couldn't put it down. I was thrilled to discover it is the first in a series - I can't wait for the next book to come early next year!

Another winner. I plan to read every book Dan Walsh writes! Since I've finished the book I keep going back to the story in my mind, and I really appreciate the thoughtfulness Dan put into creating this book. In addition, I learned some great tricks that have helped my three crazy dogs!

Disclaimer -- I was given a free copy of this book to review. This review is totally my own perspective -- I loved it!


You can pick up your copy when it releases on Thanksgiving day here.

ABOUT THE BOOK:
Amy Wallace has made plenty of mistakes in her young life, but she didn't see this one coming. Chris Seger is a marine serving in Afghanistan. His life is forever altered by a single, fateful step. A mother of another Afghan war vet suffers a devastating loss, which changes the course of Finley's life for good. Finley is a mostly golden retriever, who suddenly finds himself alone and confused in a dog shelter. Later, he's brought to a prison to be trained in a special program for female inmates. Could this prison actually become the place where Finley finally finds freedom? Rescuing Finley tells the story of how one rescue dog powerfully impacts three tragic lives and puts all of them on a road toward redemption and healing.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Dan’s novels have received popular and critical acclaim, getting rave reviews from USA Today and magazines like Publisher’s Weekly, Library Journal and RT Book Reviews. His very first, Unfinished Gift, won 2 ACFW Carol Awards. It’s still in print 6 years later and has sold over 50,000 copies. It’s available in hardback, paperback, Ebook, audiobook, large-print and in several languages. His other books have won numerous awards and appeared on several national bestseller lists.
As of this moment, Dan has 15 novels on the shelves (soon to be 16). His 13th novel (the first to be published independently), is called When Night Comes. It released on November 1st, 2014. In March 2015, his first non-fiction book, Perfect Peace released (a 31 Day Devotional). His last 2 novels with Revell have also come out in 2015. The Legacy, the final book in the Restoration series with Gary Smalley came out in April, and 

Keeping Christmas released in September.
- See more at: http://www.danwalshbooks.com/about-dan/#sthash.7oL7jXdN.dpuf