Friday, May 22, 2015

In Good Company

In Good Company
Jen Turano

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.

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?

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 or Facebook page at 

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)
Katie Ganshert


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.


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
Lynette Eason

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!


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.

\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.

Friday, May 01, 2015

A Fun Chidren's Book

Tillie & Clementine - Noises in the Night
Dan Killeen

I don't usually review children's books, but since I've been reading stories over Skype to my grandchildren (ages 2 and 1), I thought I'd try this one out on them. The oldest, Sophie, is having some issues with scary things, so I was a little concerned about how this story would work for her.

The artwork in this book is adorable! It is easy to see that these girls love to play and have fun. When I read the story I make it sound silly instead of scary (which would also be a good alternative if kids like that). Sophie asks for this book first every time we skype!

There are a couple of things I change when I read it. In the story the father is portrayed as a bit incompetent. I tend to shy away from books that place either parent in a role like that, so I change the story a bit to make him more typical. When I mentioned this to the publicist, I learned that the father is based on the actual brother of the author. Killeen said he tells kids when he does readings that it's his brother complained about the way he drew him -- arms too hairy, stomach too big! Older kids may have fun with this, but at this point we're making Dad a pretty smart, competent dad.  

I also stop reading the story half way through -- at the end of the bedtime story Dad tells. That is about the right length for a Skype book, and it leaves out some of the scary/incompetent parts. But I imagine older children would have a lot of fun with the second half of the book!

I am looking forward to reading other Tillie & Clementine books. I like the concept of the stories, and I can't wait to see what adventures these girls get into! This book definitely has the stamp of approval of Sophie (and I'm sure Miles, who just turned one, loves it too. He just can't quite verbalize that yet)! I just learned that an third book in the series will be released this fall called Tillie & Clementine: Moonlight Sledding. He is also writing another book, not in this series, called Dillon and the Dinosaurs. Both sound like fun and I can't wait to check them out.

Dan Killeen has gone above and beyond by creating an amazing website with pictures from the book that kids can color! Check it out!  It also includes direct links for purchasing this book and others in the series.

Tillie and Clementine live with their parents in an old brick house down in Benton Park. One night, Mommy has to go to a neighborhood meeting, so it's up to Daddy to feed the girls and get them ready for bed.  But Tillie and Clementine are later awakened by strange noises coming from just outside their window!  What could it be, and what will they do?!

Dan Killeen is an author/illustrator living in beautiful and humid St. Louis.  He is the seventh of eight artistically inclined siblings.  Dan grew up reading old Peanuts books which his mom would pick up for him at garage sales along with his outfits.  While studying at Indiana University he contributed a strip featuring the beloved character Implosion Boy to the Daily Student newspaper.  More recently, Dan was awarded a fellowship honor from the Washington Post Writers Group for his comic strip entitled Steve.  He has worked in marketing, graphic design, and theatre production.

The Tillie & Clementine series is inspired by his brother’s two little girls and set in the historic Benton Park neighborhood of St. Louis.  All kids deserve to star in their own children’s book, so Uncle Dan is happy to re-create the adventures of his silly young nieces.

Thank you to Dan, Happy Fun Books, and  Joni Baker of Buoyancy Public Relations for providing a copy of the book for my honest review.