9.30.2012

Stardust by Carla Stewart ~ Review

Stardust: A Novel

My Review: One woman's journey towards moving on and forgiving.

Georgia Peyton is in the 1960's left who is left a widow by her cheating husband. Georgia then inherits motel, called Stardust, that need more than a few improvements . And she get more than a few interesting guests, for instance her mother-in-law and her dead husband's lover.
Will Georgia ever be able to forgive those who have wronged her?

It's been a long time since I've read a book told in a first person-second person, conversational tone, and I must say that it's something I really enjoy, and Ms. Stewart did it wonderfully.

I really enjoyed this book with it's many interesting characters, and the realistic way it dealt with how hard it is to forgive those who have cut you to the bone, especially when they aren't being very forgivable. I guess the only thing that I didn't like was how the story didn't seem to be progressing as quickly as I would have liked, but otherwise a great book.

Overall, a well written story, with a sweet romance, about a journey towards forgiveness.

I received this ebook from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thanks.

9.26.2012

His Love Endures Forever by Beth Wiseman ~ Review

His Love Endures Forever (Land of Canaan Series #3)
My Review: A tale of forgiveness and unending love.

Danielle finds herself pregnant and single when her Amish boyfriend, Matthew Lapp runs away from his responsibilities.
Levi, Danielle's best friend, feels God calling him to marry Danielle so he obeys, risking the wrath of his loved ones.
Will Levi and Danielle be able to weather the winds of hardship together?

His Love Endures Forever was a written in an easy to read style, making it a speedy read. I've read just about every book by Ms. Wiseman, but for some reason this one just didn't "click" with me as much as the others, though there was still much to enjoy about this third novel in The Land of Canaan series.

Levi was an excellent character who had a strong faith in God, and was noble and true. I liked how he reacted to things realistically and kept calm, he never foolishly overreacted when things got tough.

And I really liked the scenes with Martha and her new husband Arnold, because Martha is so full of fire and spunk, while Arnold is a calming influence and a very sweet man.

I guess my main problem with the book was how Sarah, Levi's ex, was just determined to break him and Danielle up. And she was just unreasonable!

I liked how Danielle and Levi built their relationship on their friendship, and how Levi was determined to show Danielle God's love. So while this book wasn't my favorite from this author, I really liked how Danielle had to make peace with so many things in her past and learn to forgive. I kinda of thought that at the end there were some open threads, so I'm hoping that means there will be another book soon!

I received this ebook from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!


 

9.24.2012

A Patchwork Christmas by Judith Miller, Nancy Moser, and Stephanie Grace Whitson ~ Review

A Patchwork Christmas: Three Christmas Romances with Bonus Handcraft Patterns and Cookie Recipes

Lucie's Review: Three Christmas tales stitched with love.

Seems Like Christmas by Judith Miller

~ Karla is a young woman living in one of the Amana colonies, dumped by her one-time fiance, and convinced that she is too plain to ever wed. Karla faithfully sews her younger sister's wedding quilt, in preparation for the coming nuptials. When suddenly an old friend from the past comes back into her life. Maybe it's not too late for Karla after all...

This one was probably my favorite out of all the stories. I have never read anything about the Amana colonies before, so I found it really fascinating, and I learned tons.

I liked the characters, and I thought that the interaction between Frank and Karla was great, and I really wanted them to be together! Karla and Frank had great interaction. A sweet Christmas tale of love and life in the Amana colonies.

A Patchwork Love by Stephanie Grace Whitson

~ Jane and her daughter Molly are on their way to Denver to meet Mr. Higgins for the first time. A man with whom Jane could one day have a future. But when the train gets stuck and Molly falls ill, Mutti and her son Peter offer their assistance. Will this sudden detour become a meeting that could have only been predestination?

This story started out slow for me, because Jane and Molly were on the train for quite a long time, and then it took awhile for Jane and Peter to finally meet. So in my personal opinion I thought that the story could have been shorter so that things could move faster. But after Peter and Jane met, I thought things moved much quicker, and I enjoyed the story.

I really liked the character of Mutti, who was Peter's mother, she was smart and good humored. And I really liked Peter's horse, also named Molly :) A good man has got to have a good horse!

I liked how this story had little twists that came unexpectedly, because I would try to figure out where it was going and something would come up, which was refreshing. A sweet prairie tale.


The Bridal Quilt by Nancy Moser

~ Ada and Samuel are a courting couple from upper class New York. One night Samuel goes slumming with his friends and he comes upon a young orphan on the street being coerced into joining a gang of street bandits. From that one experience Samuel turns his life around and follows the his calling to work to support the orphan home. He also breaks it off with Ada.
A year later will Ada and Samuel have a second chance at love?

This story was hard for me to read because I had a hard time understanding why the characters made the choices that they did, and the setting just wasn't my style. But that aside, I liked how Samuel was so moved by his experience and was willing to give all to help others.

I guess my main problem was that I just didn't like how manipulative Ada's mother was, it was a nightmare! I liked how Samuel grew spiritally and Ada grew to have a more personal faith.  A tale of full of angst.

A lovely collection of historical fiction set against a variety of surroundings. I think that that there is a story in here for everyone!

I received this ebook from the publisher in return for an honest review. Thanks!

9.22.2012

With Every Letter by Sarah Sundin ~ Revell Blog Tour and Review

With Every Letter (Wings of the Nightingale, #1)

My Review: Sarah Sundin writes the best WWII dramas of any I've read!

Two outcasts connect through anonymous letters filled with encouragement and friendship in the midst of WWII.

Ms. Sundin writes a historical novel that has it all, emotion, well researched history, and friendship.

 I was surprised with how much I connected with the characters, especially Mellie. She struggled to connect with people, and people often mistook her shy awkwardness for conceit and aloofness. In her character I saw myself. I guess I just really liked Mellie, because she was so much like me, and she wasn't a blond-haired, blue-eyed girl, but had a different ethnic backround.

With this book I wasn't sure at first if I would be drawn in, because the main characters don't meet till much later in the book. But I truly felt that they were able to connect through their letters to each other. And I ended up loving the plot!

The characters grew in so many ways, and they had to take leaps of faith and go outside of their comfort zones. Both of the characters had to fight to not let what other people thought of them to define them, and I was cheering for both of them the whole way through! Many of the side characters surprised me and I loved this touching story of friendship.

The historical details are very precise and I can tell that Ms. Sundin put alot of work into the researching of this book.

Overall there wasn't anything that I didn't love about With Every Letter, there were so many little details that Ms. Sundin brought together beautifully, and some were very poignant. And I just loved both Mellie and Tom and how they faced their struggles in a very realistic way, and how they grew in their faith. With Every Letter is a well woven tale of love and friendship, and I highly recommend it!




“Available September 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

I received this book from the publisher in return for an honest review. Thank you!

 
Celebrate with Sarah by entering to win a eReader (winner's choice of Kindle Fire or Nook Color)!

See what folks are saying about With Every Letter!


One fortunate winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire or Nook Color (winner’s choice)
  • Handmade With Every Letter First Aid Kit
  • With Every Letter by Sarah Sundin
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 26th. Winner will be announced at the “With Every Letter” Author Chat Facebook Party on 9/27. Connect with Sarah, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at a trivia contest, and chat with readers just like yourself. There will also be gift certificates, books and a Book Club Prize Pack to be won (10 copies for your book club or small group)!

So grab your copy of With Every Letter and join Sarah on the evening of the September 27th for a chance to connect with Sarah and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book – don’t let that stop you from coming!)
Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter
Don't miss a moment of the RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 27th!

Unending Devotion Winner!

Unending Devotion

 
 
The winner of Jody Hedlund's Unending Devotion is...
 
Beth (bharbin07...)
 
Congratulations!

9.21.2012

Unending Devotion by Jody Hedlund ~ Review

Unending Devotion
My Review: A riveting read, with genuine characters.

Lily Young is determined to find her younger sister, even if it means searching among the Michigan lumber camp brothels. Lily travels with her dear companion, an older man named Oren who is fiercely protective of her, and is like a father to her. She came to find her sister, but love just might be lurking in the form of Connell McCormick.
When Lily stumbles into Connell's life--literally--Connell can't help but feel attracted to her pure kindness and spirit, but can he overcome the scar of his past and open his heart to someone new?

Unending Devotion is going right onto my favorites shelves, I loved it! The characters were well built and the pages flew by, there were humorous moments to offset the harsher and more heart-breaking elements of the story, a perfectly balanced tale.

I loved the characters. I felt that they were well developed and that I could connect easily with them, even though I have never faced anything as hard as the things that they dealt with. Lily was a likable heroine, prone to act perhaps a bit too quickly before thinking, but I could understand why she made the choices that she did.
Oren wins the prize for best side character, I loved his lovable gruffness, and his constant threats to blow the brains from any guy who so much as looked at Lily twice! He was amazing!
I also really liked Stuart, the brave and noble widowed newspaperman, I'm crossing my fingers that he'll get a story of his own someday. He was such a nice guy!
Connell was the perfect hero, in that he had his flaws and he struggled to keep his feelings in check, but he was honorable above all and his actions spoke for his strength.

The setting felt gritty and realistic to what I imagine a lumber camp would be like, and I thought that Ms. Hedlund always found a wonderful way to describe the scenes.

From the way that this book rocketed to a start from the very first page, to the very end Unending Devotion was a book I loathed to put down. I loved how this book had plenty of action and intense moments, with sizzling romantic tension, and as I said before this book is straight to my favorites shelves! The characters came to life for me in this thrilling tale of life in the lumber camps of Michigan. This is a book I heartily recommend!

I received this book from Jody Hedlund and Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

9.18.2012

Where Love Grows by Jerry S. Eicher ~ FIRST Wild Card Blog Tour and Review

Where Love Grows (Fields Of Home #3)
Lucie's Review: Old love is rekindled in this wonderful tale from Jerry Eicher.

A family drama interwoven with a sweet romance. Where Love Grows is a story of love, family, and forgiveness. This book is actually the first time I've read a book by this author, who came highly recommended to me by a friend, so I thought I'd give this one a shot. And I'm glad I did!

At first it helped that there was some back story and I was able to catch up with everything that had happened in the last few books just by reading and figuring some things out. This book is pulsing with drama and has some great characters that are easy to connect with, I learned alot more about the docterine and practices of the Amish.

I liked how there were a lot of characters that I got to know quite well and how the story all came together. The relationship between Steve and Susan was so cute! There were some heart-breaking parts too, so I really felt like this book had it all. I felt that is was really a realistic look at Amish life, and I understood why Susan made the choices that she did.

I think that my favorite character was probably Steve, because he was such a good man who was wise and patient.

Overall, a very enjoyable read that I was able to really get into without having read the first two in the series. I liked how this book had good themes and the characters were very well done. A book I would happily recommend.


I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!





It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!




You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:




and the book:


Harvest House Publishers (September 1, 2012)

***Special thanks to Ginger Chen of Harvest House for sending me a review copy.***


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:






Jerry Eicher’s bestselling Amish fiction (more than 210,000 in combined sales) includes The Adams County Trilogy, the Hannah’s Heart books, and the Little Valley Series. After a traditional Amish childhood, Jerry taught for two terms in Amish and Mennonite schools in Ohio and Illinois. Since then he’s been involved in church renewal, preaching, and teaching Bible studies. Jerry lives with his wife, Tina, and their four children in Virginia.



Visit the author's website.



SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

In Jerry Eicher’s conclusion to his popular Fields of Home trilogy, readers will be delighted to attend the wedding of Teresa, the young Englisha girl who has come home with Susan Hostetler to learn the ways of the Amish---and in fact to become Amish herself.

Product Details:

List Price: $12.99

Paperback: 320 pages

Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (September 1, 2012)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0736939458

ISBN-13: 978-0736939454



AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:







Susan Hostetler made her way to the barn to hitch the horse for the drive to the small farmstead where James and Teresa would live after their wedding next week. Susan smiled as she thought of Deacon Ray’s struggle to get used to the idea that his son James was marrying an Englisha girl. Nee, it had not been easy for him. Of course, Teresa was Amish now. In the months since she had arrived with Susan, Teresa had turned into a model of submission and humility. Deacon Ray shouldn’t complain even if Teresa’s baby, Samuel, had been born out of wedlock before she came to the community. Yah, in an unwed state, but wasn’t changing one’s life for the better a commendable thing to do? Of course it was.



And Teresa was now properly baptized. She knew how to cook, wash clothes, and sew with the best of the women. She even had her own quilt completed and stashed in the cedar chest upstairs awaiting the day she and James would marry. She would spread the quilt on their bed and be able to say with complete honesty that she had done much of the work. There had been help from Mamm, five of Susan’s eight sisters who lived nearby, and Susan herself. Between the work on the quilt, helping Teresa adapt to her new life, and now the plans for the upcoming wedding, the months had sped by.



Summer was waning, and it wouldn’t be long until snow would be covering the Amish farms spread among these rolling hills of southern Indiana. But now was not the time to think of snow. The rest of summer lay ahead, followed by fall, and perhaps a glorious display of Indian summer. How appropriate that would be for all of them. And Teresa deserved a wonderful stretch of gut weather, both before and following her wedding day. It would be fitting after the hard road she’d traveled after arriving in the Amish community.



Mamm hadn’t seemed worried back then by the attempt to match Yost Byler and Teresa. But Susan had been ready to panic before Yost finally decided, with Susan’s daett’s help, that marrying Teresa wasn’t a gut idea. Such a marriage would have been a disaster for Teresa and probably also for Yost. Yah, he needed a wife who had been born Amish to cook and clean for him. The gut news floating around the community was that Yost may have finally found an older widow as a potential frau.



Only a few days remained until Teresa’s wedding to James. It would take place here on the Hostetler home place, just like Daett had provided for all Susan’s sisters. How could things be more awesome than that?



Perhaps the icing on the cake was the love that was now beginning to stir afresh in Susan’s heart for her old flame, Thomas Stoll. Who could have imagined such a thing? Yah, she had loved Thomas since their school days, but that love came to a halt the day she caught Thomas kissing Eunice outside a hymn singing one Sunday night. Thomas had claimed he’d just had a “weak moment.”



After escaping into the Englisha world for a time, Susan was back now. And despite all the fuss, she and Thomas were getting together again. Of course, it hadn’t hurt that Teresa had encouraged her to restore the relationship after Thomas’s repeated apologies and continued attention. Mamm and Daett also gave their encouragement at every opportunity. But it was Teresa’s opinion that had carried the real weight. How strange that an Englisha girl should have such sway in her life. But that was how things had turned out. Teresa was now the friend closest to Susan’s heart.



Since Susan had returned from her flirtation with the Englisha world in Asbury Park, New Jersey, Thomas was the picture of repentance. Had he wanted to, he could be married to Eunice by now—or to just about any other young woman in the community. But Thomas hadn’t pursued anyone but Susan in the months since her return. The result was that Susan felt some trust returning in her heart for him. Perhaps someday soon her heart would be fully restored.



In the meantime, there was no need to rush into setting a wedding date, even with Thomas’s pleadings that they do. Yah, he loved Susan and wanted to marry her, but he also wanted to begin the work of taking over the farm from Susan’s daett. In fact, he wanted it very badly. Thomas had no background in farming since his daett was a cabinetmaker, but he was anxious to learn.



Mamm and Daett were older now and tired. They both yearned for the comfort of the dawdy haus, which would be built as soon as the matter between Thomas and Susan was settled by marriage. Until then, Daett had hired young Steve Mast to help with the farm. He’d started in the spring and was a hard worker—no doubt due to his being raised on an Amish farm over in Daviess County. During the days he worked Daett’s farm, Steve took his supper and lodging at Susan’s sister’s place. Ada and her husband, Reuben, lived just down the road a piece.



Steve was a rare find, Daett said. A real answer to their prayers. Not many Amish men were available for hiring out once they became of age at twenty-one. Either they were married, were planning to get married, or had work on their own family places.



Steve didn’t have work on his daett’s place, neither did he have a girlfriend or a prospect that anyone knew of. He was the second boy in a family of ten—six of them being boys. He wasn’t that handsome or forward about himself, a good quality for an Amish man.



Susan stopped just short of the barn and looked up at the swaying branches of the old oak where she’d once had a swing and had climbed to its highest limbs. She sighed to think she was too old for that now. But at least she was here. She was home, hopefully to stay.



It was here she had played in the front yard with her cousins and older sisters during many a summer. Here she had watched Daett harness the horses in the first light of dawn. Here she had watched him take the teams to the fields, where his tall form moved in and out of view all day. Here her heart had taken deep enough root that she was pulled back after her time in Asbury Park. Susan sighed again. Was this why she was giving in to Thomas? Was this why she was allowing him to bring her home on Sunday nights again? Was she accepting his attentions although still feeling a little uncertain about their future?



No, it was more than that. It was high time she made up her mind and settled down with a husband. Steve couldn’t work for Daett forever. And Daett was getting up in years. He and Mamm deserved to move into a dawdy haus and not work so hard. Was that how her love for Thomas would grow? Her desire to stay here in her childhood home, Thomas’s desire to farm, and Mamm and Daett’s desire to settle in a dawdy haus?



It was possible, Susan supposed. Hadn’t Mamm said love could grow anywhere? Anywhere it was allowed to, that is. Then Susan would allow it for everyone’s sake. If love came slowly for her, then so be it. She and Thomas would have a lifetime for her love to grow stronger. That it was beginning small and uncertain for her would be her secret.



As Susan reached to open the barn door, a man cleared his throat behind her. Susan jumped and whirled around.



“Umm…I have the horse ready,” Steve said. “He’s tied up in the first stall.”



Susan relaxed. “You didn’t have to do that, Steve. I would have done it.”



A hint of a smile crossed Steve’s face. “It was no trouble. Happy to do it.” He looked up at the clear sky. “It’s sure a beautiful morning.”



“Yah, it is,” Susan answered. “Well, thanks for getting Toby ready. I wasn’t expecting that. I know you’re busy with the usual chores Daett gives you.”



“Your daett is a gut man and a gut farmer.” Steve tugged the hat rim down over his eyes more. “He’s done a gut job keeping things up on the farm, even with his age.” With that, he turned to go.



Without thinking, Susan asked, “Do you have any secrets, Steve?”



He stopped and looked back over his shoulder. “Me? Secrets? I’m a pretty ordinary fellow. No secrets.”



“Really? I thought everyone had secrets.”



“Not me. I’m pretty much what you see. No secrets and no roots. I’m kind of like the dandelions in the field. I grow where Da Hah blows me.”



“So why don’t you have a girl?”



His eyes twinkled. “Maybe I haven’t found the perfect one yet.”



“Is that why you moved to a new community? To…”



“Scout the land?” He finished her sentence. “Perhaps. Do you have anyone in mind?”



“Nee,” Susan said. “And I don’t know why I even asked something like that. Maybe it’s that type of morning.”



He smiled. “I’m afraid you’ll have to look someplace other than myself for secrets. And no offense taken.”



“Thank you,” she said. “What do you think of Teresa and James?”



He raised his eyebrows. “They seem like a nice enough couple. Why do you ask?”



“Oh, no reason,” she said. “I suppose you heard about all the ruckus before they got together.”



Steve shrugged. “I don’t pay much attention to rumors. They look like they’re in love with each other. That should be gut enough for anyone.”



“I want nothing more from life,” she said, “than to settle down to a boring sameness, day after day, night after night, living in peace and love. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?”



“I don’t know about that,” he said. “I’m not much into boring. I’m surprised you are. I heard you’d been with the Englisha for a while. That’s not something a person does who’s looking for boring.”



“So now you’re paying attention to rumors?”



Steve laughed. “I didn’t really hear that much. People seem to think highly of you. And I’m sure your mamm and daett will be happy if you plan to stay. And Thomas, of course.”



“What do you think of him?”



“Thomas?” He paused for a moment. “You want me to comment on your boyfriend?”



“Yah, I’m asking you. Coming from another community, you might have an unbiased perspective.”



“What if I don’t like him? Can I continue working here?”



She laughed. “I’m not going to chase you off.”



“Well…”



“Come on now. Tell me the truth.”



Steve tilted his head sideways. “Thomas comes from a good family, as far as I can tell. Of course, I don’t know what secrets lie in his past. Maybe he ran off to the Englisha world for a while too. You know, something wild like that.” His eyes twinkled as he spoke the last line.



“So you think that’s a character flaw? You keep bringing it up.”



“Depends on why a person did it, I guess.”



“Let’s just say I had my reasons.”



“Fair enough,” he said.



They stood silent for a moment.



Susan finally said, “Well, I better get busy or Teresa will wonder what’s happened to me.”



“And I better get busy in the fields before your daett thinks I’ve gone lazy on him.” He turned and left.



Susan went into the barn thinking about the exchange. Steve hadn’t given away much about his past. Not that it was any of her business. But a person just couldn’t help wondering. Had some girl dumped him? He’d probably had his heart broken, and the wound was healing slowly and out of sight of the people who knew him.



She’d done much the same thing by moving to Asbury Park. True, it had been time spent among the Englisha. But Da Hah had brought good things out of the experience. That time of her life was nothing to be ashamed of.



Susan untied Toby and led him outside. Lifting the shafts of the buggy, she swung him underneath and fastened the tugs. Holding the bridle, Susan looked toward the house and waited. There was still no sign of Teresa.



Thoughts of last Sunday night buzzed through Susan’s head. Thomas hadn’t tried to kiss her yet. In a way she wished he would. It might hurry things along. But apparently Thomas wasn’t willing to rush things until she agreed to a wedding date. To his credit, he seemed to ignore the fact that Eunice still made eyes at him almost every Sunday night at the hymn singings. Mamm was right though. Susan needed to trust Thomas and believe he wouldn’t fall again just because Eunice batted her eyes at him. After all, Thomas claimed Eunice acted that way toward all the boys, which was partly true. To his credit, Thomas really didn’t want Eunice. He was choosing her—Susan. That was worth something, wasn’t it? Surely his persistence would arouse some of the old feelings she used to have for him.



And now here came Teresa, running across the yard, her face glowing with happiness. At least somebody had things figured out in this world.

Taming the Wind by Tracie Peterson ~ Litfuse Blog Tour and Review

Taming the Wind (Land of the Lone Star, #3)
Lucie's Review: A sweet western romance, in the heart of Texas.

This book had a bit of a slow start for me, but as the pages turned I became more invested in the story. I loved the way that Tyler and Carissa interacted with each other and the other characters around them. Carissa and Tyler were a really cute couple.

There were some great side characters in the form of cowhands, who loved to play jokes and their fellow man. I really liked how the book felt authentically western, with the ranch details and cattle drives.

There was some great good old fashioned western action, and an another piece was added to the plot emerged about halfway through the book that really kept me reading.

Carissa and Tyler both grew spiritually throughout the course of the book, and they learn to forgive and to trust God.

Overall, I enjoyed this western read. The ranch setting was authentic, and the book had great themes. You might not believe this, but this is the first Tracie Peterson book that I ever read. And I can tell you that I will probably be reading more in the future. This book shows both sides of a great western read, the day-to-day ranch life to the gunslinging grit of the untamed state of Texas. There were great side stories, and characters. I felt like Carissa and Tyler had a really genuine relationship, and the times that they were together were well used.  All in all, this book has plenty that recommends itself :)

I received this book from the publisher through Litfuse in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!

Buy the book here: http://ow.ly/dsGj5

About the Book: A young widow nursing the wounds of her past…

A cowboy with demons of his own…

Though grateful for the blessing of her daughter, Carissa Lowe has accepted that widowhood is her lot in life. Bound by fear and mistrust, she feels incapable of opening her heart again.
Tyler Atherton has never forgotten Carissa. When he discovers she’s living with her sister on a nearby ranch, his life becomes intertwined with the lovely widow’s. And Carissa’s daughter, Gloria, seems determined to wrap herself around his little finger. But while Tyler longs to provide a home and future for Carissa, he is haunted by an obligation he feels unable to fulfill.
Challenged by mounting hardships, can Carissa and Tyler preserve their fledgling love in a land as unforgiving and vibrant as the people who call it home?
 

 About the Author: Tracie Peterson is the award-winning author of over eighty novels, both historical and contemporary. Her avid research resonates in her stories, as seen in her bestselling Heirs of Montana and Alaskan Quest series. Tracie and her family make their home in Montana. Visit Tracie's Web site at www.traciepeterson.com and her blog at www.writespassage.blogspot.com

Check out all the other stops on this tour: http://litfusegroup.com/author/TPeterson
Celebrate with Tracie by entering to win a Kindle Fire!


 See what people are saying about Taming the Wind.



One winner will receive:
  • A Brand New Kindle Fire with Wi-Fi
  • The entire Land of the Lone Star series by Tracie Peterson

Hurry, the giveaway ends on 9/25/12. Just click one of the icons below to enter. The winner will be announced at Tracie's "Taming the Wind" Author Chat Party on 9/26Connect with Tracie, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at a trivia contest, and chat with readers just like yourself. There will also be gift certificates, books and a Book Club Prize Pack to be won (10 copies for your book club or small group)!


So grab your copy of Taming the Wind and join Tracie on the evening of the September 26th for a chance to connect with Tracie and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book – don’t let that stop you from coming!)

Enter via TwitterEnter via Facebook
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DON’T MISS A MOMENT OF THE FUN, RSVP TODAY. TELL YOUR FRIENDS VIA FACEBOOK or TWITTER AND INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. HOPE TO SEE YOU ON THE 26TH!




9.16.2012

The River Rose by Gilbert Morris ~ Review


The River Rose: A Water Wheel Novel
Lucie's Review:

Jeanne is a struggling young widow, with a daughter named Marvel. Jeanne suddenly finds herself the heir to a boat called the Helena Rose. But another heir also surfaces, Clint Hardin, a man of many surprises with the voice of an angel.
Can Jeanne and Clint learn to share a riverboat, and perhaps more?

My daughter finally talked me into reading one of her favorite authors, Gilbert Morris. There were some great characters, and some cute child characters. Things kept happening, which kept the story moving.

I really liked how Clint built a great relationship with Marvel, Jeanne's daughter. Jeanne was a very strong character, who was just so protective of her daughter and wanted the best for her.
Out of the side characters I just thought that the Doctor was well built, and was a kind man who encouraged Clint in his journey towards faith.

I really liked the scenes towards the end of the book, there was a phenomenal courtroom scene that was just brilliant! That was one great lawyer!

Overall, this was a great book that moved at a steady pace. With plenty of action, especially at the end. This is a stand alone book, though second in a series, the characters of this book have no connection to the characters in the first book. The only connection to the first book is a similar circumstance with a riverboat. So don't be afraid to pick this one right up :) The characters were good and I thought that the characters were very likable, especially Jeanne, because she went through a lot! An enjoyable read.

I received this ebook from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!





 

9.15.2012

The Reunion by Dan Walsh ~ Revell Blog Tour and Review

The Reunion

My Review: What more can I say? Another absolutely amazing book from Dan Walsh!

Aaron Miller is the trailer park handyman and hero in disguise. Who has had his share of heartache, and bad decisions that changed his life forever. Will this Vietnam War veteran ever be reunited with the family he lost so many years ago?

There is something about Mr. Walsh's books that I just love. I savor every word, trying to avoid the inevitable event that I know will happen all to soon...Finishing the book. I did not want it to end! I came to love the wonderful characters, who touched my heart. Aaron was such a wonderful hero, selfless and honorable, a little rough around the edges but with a heart of purest gold. I also loved Dave and Karen's story, and how they came together.

Mr. Walsh's story-telling skills are amazing, he truly draws the reader into the story, in a way that makes it so that they never want to leave! I wanted to keep right on reading this book forever, because I loved the story and the characters so much. The characters felt real and compelling.

This is a tale sure to please, written with heart, and tinges of humor. The main character, Aaron Miller was a true hero in every sense of the word, and I just loved him. There's romance, family, long-lost relationships, in Dan Walsh's newest release. This is not a book to be missed! I can't wait to see what Mr. Walsh comes up with next!

“Available September 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

9.14.2012

Handpicked Husband by Winnie Griggs ~ Review

Handpicked Husband
Lucie's Review: Engaging from the first page!

Regina has two weeks to pick and marry one of the three men that her grandfather has chosen for her. So that means that she has two weeks to get rid of her potential suitors!
Adam is a New York lawyer who was wrongly convicted and wants to clear his name. Regina's Grandfather is the only person who believed in his innocence, so when he asks him to oversee the plan to get Regina married, he can't say no. But he finds Reggie crossing his mind more and more often...

What a hilarious adventure! I just loved how Reggie tried to get rid of all of her suitors, she was a genius and the things she did were a riot! There was a whole cast of characters, and they all interacted well. I was really surprised with just how much I liked this book and how I came to really like and admire a character that I wasn't sure that I would ever like.

This book was just delightful and possibly my favorite from this author, there was so much story to this book, even though it doesn't look like it's that long. The characters were well developed and the plot was so original, I loved how unpredictable many of the elements were!

This was also a really poignant read as well, with Reggie having a secret of her own, and the story of her past and how she needed to realize that God forgives all. I loved how thought provoking it was, and I kept asking myself "What if she'd done this instead?" Or "What if he hadn't reacted like that?" Because while they could have made different choices it all worked out for the best.

Overall and well written and satisfying read!

I received this ebook from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

9.13.2012

Band of Sisters by Cathy Gohlke ~ Tyndale Blog Tour & Review

Band of Sisters

My Review: A heart wrenching journey, that asks the question: What would Jesus do?

After the death of Lady Catherine, Maureen O'Riley finds herself without protection from her horrible employer, and she worries about her young sister, Kate, being left alone and all the moments when she can't protect her. So she heads to America with her sister and a 28 year old letter promising a future. But when they arrive Colonel Wakefield is dead and Maureen finds a job at what she supposes to be a upscale department store, but what she doesn't know is that it holds a terrible secret...
Olivia Wakefield is determined to help Maureen and Kate, and keep the promise that her father made to their father, but she can't find Maureen...

Wow, what a book! I really enjoyed Promise Me This so I was looking forward to reading Band of Sisters, and it lived up to my expectations. I thought that it started a bit slow, with everything happening so fast to Maureen and Kate, that it was hard to actually get into the story for awhile. But when I got to Olivia's part of the story, I liked her immediately, she had an admirable determination to do the right thing and change peoples' lives.

To be honest I didn't become completely involved in the story until about 1/3 of the way in, that was the point where I had a hard time putting it down :) I liked how this book dealt with the tough issue of Human Trafficking, in a compelling and heart wrenching story.

I liked the character of Olivia the most, because of how determined she was to right a wrong. Joshua Keeton was a great character too, such a nice guy! I did eventually come to like Maureen and Kate though both of them did frustrate me more than a few times over the course of the book!

Overall an excellent read, though it scared me a little in the beginning when I wasn't really sure if I would like it or not! But I loved it. This book was tough and it asked the age old question of: What would Jesus do? I just loved how that was woven into the story in such a thought provoking manner. A fulfilling and satisfying read, that will break your heart for all the right reasons.

Visit Cathy Gohlke's website here: http://authorcathygohlke.com/

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!


 

Jody Hedlund Shares a Secret + Giveaway!

Secret #8: My worst injury.
By Jody Hedlund, @JodyHedlund
I'm really fortunate that I've been blessed with good health most of my life. I haven't been in any major accidents. And in fact, I've never broken a bone.
Of course, I've had the usual scrapes and bruises. I got my first stitches when I was playing high school softball, and the ball decided to hit my sunglasses into my eyebrow, splitting it open nicely.
Then I gave birth to five children, including one C-section as well as stitches in places I won't mention.
I've had my share of painful moments.
But I'd have to say my worst injury came during a family vacation in the U.P. (Upper Peninsula) of Michigan. We were staying in a large cabin overlooking Lake Huron. It was fall, the changing leaves were gorgeous, and the weather perfect.
Now, if you've ever visited the shores along the southern stretch of the U.P., you'll quickly realize that the terrain is mostly rocky with Big. Jagged. Rocks.
And you'll also realize that storms sometimes seem to spring up off the lake out of nowhere. Especially when you're hiking on Big. Jagged. Rocks. With very young children.
My husband and I decided we'd have a better chance at out-running the storm, if we each gave one of our twins a piggy-back ride. I can see where your mind is going at this point, that you're thinking we may not have made the best decision to give piggy-back rides while out-running a storm on Big. Jagged. Rocks.
Well, if you were thinking that was a stupid decision, you were right.
I tripped. And in order to keep my daughter safely on my back, I didn't use any hands to brace myself during the fall.
Yes, I fell straight onto a Big. Jagged. Rock. And I slashed open my knee. Very deeply.
So now, I was out-running the storm on Big. Jagged. Rocks. While holding my knee together. With young children who were crying and scared.
Fun vacation, huh?
I ended up getting 12 stitches and having to keep my leg up for most of the rest of our time in the U.P. But thankfully, I was the one who got hurt and not one of my kids. There's always a silver lining to every story, isn't there?
Now that I've grossed you out, it's your turn! What's the worst injury you've ever had?

Unending DevotionYour browser may not support display of this image.
Publisher's Weekly calls Unending Devotion "A meaty tale of life amid the debauchery of the lumber camps of 1880s Michigan . . . exciting and unpredictable to the very end."
To celebrate the release of Unending Devotion, Jody is giving away a signed copy. Leave a comment (along with your email address) to enter the drawing. Valid only with US or Canadian addresses. Giveaway ends: 9/22/12
For more secrets about Jody and additional chances to win her newest release, visit her Events Page to see where she'll be next in her "Fun Secrets About Author Jody Hedlund" blog tour.
Also join in the Pinterest Photo Contest she's hosting. Find more information about it on her Contest Page.
Jody would love to connect with you! Find her in one of these places:
Website: http://jodyhedlund.com/
Blog: http://jodyhedlund.blogspot.com/
Facebook: Author Jody Hedlund
Twitter: http://twitter.com/JodyHedlund
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jodyhedlund/

           *GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED*

9.11.2012

For Such a Time as This by Ginny Aiken ~ Review

For Such a Time as This: A Women of Hope Novel
Lucie's Review: Slow to start, but a great ending.

Olivia Moore's family is suffering from the drought, barely able to put food on the table, when Olivia gets the opportunity to work as a nanny for banker Eli Whitman and his two rowdy boys. But when the town begins to speak against her, she finds herself facing marriage to Eli in order to save her reputation. Can a marriage of convenience become a marriage of love?

This book started off in a fun interesting way, but then slowed. I guess I found the situation rather unrealistic, because Olivia's reputation should have been fine because Eli had a cook who was always there. But besides that I liked the book, Olivia was able to form strong bonds with the two kids. For most of the book, I guess I was wondering when Olivia and Eli's relationship would pick up because for most of the book they really weren't together.

The Esther allegory didn't come in till about over halfway, and it was kind of funny because it was like "Aha! That's why its called, For a Time Such as This!" Because for the longest time I didn't really see it.

Overall I guess I would say that this book was slow to start, but had a very climatic ending, full of action. I felt like it took awhile for this book to really get where it was going, but after I got past that I came to enjoy the story. There's a little mystery and I liked how the Esther theme played out. I really liked the way that Olivia handled the kids and how she won their hearts, in my opinion Olivia bonding with teh kids was probably the winning relationship in the story. So in the end a great book, after I got past the slow beginnings and tidbits I found hard to believe.

I received this ebook from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!

When Hope Blossoms by Kim Vogel Sawyer ~ Review

When Hope BlossomsLucie's Review: A heart-warming Mennonite read.

It has been three years since her husband died, and Amy and her children decide to make a new start in  a Mennonite Community in Kansas.
Tim is an orchard owner, and neighbor to Amy and her children. When Amy needs help promoting her memory quilting business she goes to him to help her set up a business website.

When Hope Blossoms is an enjoyable read with heart-warming characters and sweet moments of humor. I liked how all of the characters were well well developed and each of the children stood out and shone on their own uniqueness.

Bekah struggles with fitting in and being Mennonite while Tim is still healing from the death of his wife and son, and I felt that those characters especially grew throughout the course of the book.

The characters had great interaction with each other and I learned more about the Plain Mennonite lifestyle.

Overall this book was touching and engaging. And I felt that the relationships progressed naturally. I really liked how the characters felt real, because they had their flaws, but somehow that only made me like them more! A book that I would definitely recommend!

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

 

9.10.2012

Sneak by Evan Angler ~ Team Novel Teen Blog Tour

Sneak (Swipe, #2)

My Review: Each book just gets better!

I was really excited to read this book and find out what would happen next to Logan, and I sure wasn't disappointed. In fact, I actually like Sneak way better than Swipe and I really liked that book!

The action is pulsing, and I love how the story switched from one scene to another. There were things happening everywhere, and no sooner had the author thrown one characters off a figurative cliff, then the scen would flip over to another scene where I would become engrossed in that plight, to find that they would be left in a You-can't-leave-them-now moment! I loved it, the well crafted cliffhangers had me glued to the pages and reading when I was supposed to be doing something else...It was that good.

Mr. Angler did a terrific job of creating a strange and frightening world that is all too realistic. Every single one of the characters' sides of the story were engaging and realistic, no one truly knows who they can trust.

In this story I felt like there was alot more action with Logan on the run, plus there were all sorts of secret codes and I loved how they used old signs that were akin to the hobo sings of the 1930's and the ancient ichthus. There was also more of a connection with the characters coming across seeds of Christianity, which made this book very profound with the demonstrative way they were used. 

All in all a wonderful page-turing read that left me waiting in suspense for the next installment. In my personal opinion this book was better than the first, though I totally recommend reading the other books too as it was amazing as well! A gripping read that is a high speed chase of action and fictional political intrigue, and a courageous hero who will do anything to get his sister back.

I received this book through Team Novel Team in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!

Buy the book HERE!

About the book:
In a future United States under the power of a charismatic leader, everyone gets the Mark at age thirteen. The Mark lets citizen shop, go to school, and even get medical care—but without it, you are on your own. Few refuse to get the Mark. Those who do . . . disappear.
Logan Langly went in to get his Mark, but he backed out at the last minute. Now he’s on the run from government agents who will stop at nothing to capture him. But Logan is on a mission to find and save his sister, Lily, who disappeared five years ago on her thirteenth birthday, the day she was supposed to receive her Mark.
Logan and his friends, a group of dissenters called the Dust, discover a vast network of the Unmarked, who help them travel safely to the capital city where Lily is imprisoned. Along the way, the Dust receives some startling information from the Markless community, opening their eyes to the message of Christianity and warning that humanity is now entering the End of Days.
When the Dust finally arrives in the capital, it seems that all their careful planning is useless against a government that will do anything to bend its citizens to its will. Can the gentle words Logan has found in a tattered, banned Bible really stand against the most powerful military the world has ever known? Can Logan even sacrifice his own freedom, choosing to act through faith alone?

Book trailer:
Check out Evan Angler's Blog : http://www.evanangler.com/ Check out all the othr great stops on the blog tour! ADD LibrarianBlooming with BooksThe Book FaeBook Nook 4 YouBookworm ReadingChristian Book Review BlogHeavenward ReviewsJill WilliamsonLabor Not in VainManiacal BookwormOh, Restless BirdThe Pen and ParchmentReviews by JaneShadow Writer World

9.08.2012

Love's Reckoning by Laura Frantz ~ Revell Blog Tour & Review

Love's Reckoning (The Ballantyne Legacy, #1)
My Review: An achingly beautiful epic.

Silas finds himself among a strange lot, when he takes an apprenticeship with Liege Lee and finds himself caught between his two very different daughters. One, Elsbeth is deceptive and coniving, while the other daughter, Eden, is pure and gentle with an inner steel. Liege informs Silas that it is tradition for the apprentice to marry one of the master's daughters, what will Silas do? Will he marry one or neither?

Wow, what a journey! This is the first book I have ever read by Laura Frantz, but I must say that now I am probably a life-long fan and am dying to read everything else she has written!

Just as a whole this book was amazing, I loved the characters, loathed others, and the historical feel was stunning.

I had never heard of the tradition of the apprentice having to marry the daughter of his master before, which makes sense because with a new young nation old traditions were often left behind. Ms. Frantz weaves historical details into an intricately heart wrenching read flawlessly, one of the things I really liked was how she used old fashioned words in a way that felt realistic and natural. In essence bringing history to life. This wasn't an easy story to read, because there were times when I was so frustrated with what Eden had to put up with, and her sister Elsbeth was shamelessly horrible!

Overall, a stunning read that encompasses so many of the things that make a novel great, truly an epic.
I just loved the hero Silas, he was such a great guy who stood up and wouldn't let himself be pushed around, I loved the scenes between him and Eden. This book just blew me away, I loved it!

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

“Available September 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

9.07.2012

Full Disclosure by Dee Henderson ~ Review

Full Disclosure
Astor's Review: Dee Henderson has outdone herself with Full Disclosure!

A single phonecall leads to a rollercoaster of adventure!

This book was an excellent comeback, with pulsing action that made the book hard to put down, and then after the halfway mark impossible to put down!

Part of the reason I liked it was because Ms. Henderson brought in characters or characters with connections from all of her other series like the O'Mally's and Uncommon Heroes. Which is something that I understand is kinda more for her old fans, and might be confusing for someone just picking up this book.

There was plenty of action and an intricately, winding, twisting plot that had me guessing and turning the pages rapidly. It was really cool to see characters from her past books come together!

There was plenty of action and the ending was something I never would have guessed! The story swerved thorugh a series of twists and unexpected turns. And I the unpredictability was fantastic! I book I definitely recommend!

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exhchange for an honest review. Thank you!



 

9.06.2012

Meet the Skeptic: A Field Guide to Faith Conversations by Bill Foster ~ Review

Meet the Skeptic: A Field Guide to Faith Conversations
My Review: A must-read for every Christian!

Have you ever struggled in a conversation with a skeptic, when talking about topics like faith and ethics? And the skeptic seems to have all these answers that sound irrefutable, but you know there has to be a way to reason with them logically! If you have ever had a tough time explaining you faith, then this book is for you. Engaging and easy to follow, with a touch of humor, Meet the Skeptic is a very helpful resource.

I thought that this book made many excellent points about what a skeptic believes and where they come from, and it helped me better understand how to have a faith conversation without compromising.

I found this book to be easy to read, and fun even, because of the captivating and engaging way in which it was written. And though this book is about finding the flaws in a skeptics reasoning and worldview, Mr. Foster makes it clear that we should always  speak the truth  in love.

I really the format of this book and how the points were concise, yet easy to understand. Mr. Foster teaches how to respond to tough questions about evolution, absolutes, and the truth of the Bible.

After having read this book I feel more prepared to Meet the Skeptic, and I know that this is a helpful tool that I will read over and over again. This book is excellent. I highly recommend it, especially to teens and young adults, who are forced to defend their beliefs to their politically correct peers. But I also recommend this book to adults, and pre-teens :) A book that is just too good to miss!





 

A Groom for Greta by Anna Schmidt ~ Review

A Groom for Greta
Lucie's Review: A charming Amish read.

When Greta's fiance breaks it off with her in front of the blacksmith, Greta makes a deal with Luke to set him up with her sister, Lydia. But when Lydia sees how Luke cares for Greta she in turn devises a plan to get Luke and Greta together!
But will Luke's secret destroy everything?

A charming tale of love among the Amish! This was an entertaining tale, with a great plot and characters.

This book was set during th Great Depression, and it was interesting to see that part of history from the Amish point of view. The pages turned steadily. And I liked how Luke handled things pretty once they came up, and he was a pretty great.

Greta was a great main character who was outgoing and had a lightness about her, like she wasn't super serious or anything.

I think that my favorite character was Lydia because she was  really good-hearted and she wanted the best for her sister.

Overall a great Amish read with great interactions and plotlines. A book that I really enjoyed.  I would definitely recommend this one :)

I received this ebook in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!
 

9.05.2012

The Surrender by Gilbert Morris ~ Review


The Surrender
My Review: Another historically charged read from Gilbert Morris!

The Surrender tells the two intertwined tales of the fictional Tremayne family along with the love story of Robert E. Lee's devotion to his wife.

I have been a fan of Gilbert Morris's book ever since I was eleven and his were the only adult books beside Janette Oke's that I was allowed to read. The Surrender is another great novel, historically acurate and engaging.
One of my favorite things about this book was how Mr. Morris does such a great job of portraying Robert E. Lee. I also enjoy how the historical facts are woven into the story so that what is going on all around is explained, while making it so that the reader comes away with a better understanding and knowledge of the time period.
The characters are likable, (unless they aren't supposed to be) and deport themselves with honor. Morgan was a great main character, who like Robert E. Lee had a passion for his country and felt that it was his duty to fight for it even if he didn't agree with everything it stood for.

Overall, another great novel from Gilbert Morris. In my mind Gilbert Morris is a timeless author, I have enjoyed his books for years, and intend to enjoy them for years to come :)

I received this ebook from the publisher in exhchange for an honest review. Thank you!

Unlocked by Karen Kingsbury ~ Review


Unlocked

My Review: A heart-warming tale told from many different points of view.

Holden Harris is a autistic. But when he reconnects with a childhood friend, he slowly comes alive again, inspiring and impacting many lives.

Believe it or not this is the first Karen Kingsbury I have ever read, and I must say that I enjoyed it. Ms. Kingsbury has a lovely easy to read style that I believe pretty much anyone whould find engaging. The story was told from multiple points of view, not just two or three, pretty much every character got a chance to tell a part of their story.

I really loved Holden's point of veiw the best though, because he was such a beautiful person, inside and out, and he was always praying for people. And that way I got to see how he was in there, yet he just needed to be heard.

The story moved along quickly, and there were times that I just couldn't stop reading. I came to love the characters, though it was super sad at some points.

Overall this is a heart-warming tale that makes for a great anytime read, I'm not sure of I'll pick up another Karen Kingsbury novel (those huge interconnected series' scare me a bit!) in the near future but I found this one to be very enjoyable, though there were some parts that were a bit of a lull for me.
But a great novel, with a main character who will steal your heart!

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
 

9.04.2012

The Treasure of the Celtic Triangle by Michael Phillips ~ Review

The Treasure of the Celtic Triangle (The Green Hills of Snowdonia, #2)
My Review: A lovely novel that evokes the classic writing styles of years gone by.

Percy has grown up and become a man, having accepted his uncle's dying request, Percy embarks on a quest to resolve the mystery of the Westbrooke estate, and hte answer might be closer than he ever thought.

Michael Phillips has written another memorable addition to his The Green Hills of Snowdonia saga. This book is written in a style and plot reminiscent of the late George Macdonald, which I believe was totally intentional.

I loved how the characters were carefully crafted, and there was mystery to the plot. But the thing that I most loved was that this was the kind of book that you might find on the shelves of a home 100 years ago, because of the values represented and solid biblical foundation.

The descriptions were detailed and I like how the characters interacted. Florilyn was a wonderful character who continued to grow, and I like watching these young people grow into the people that they were supposed to be.

Overall a wonderful book that I found very enjoyable.

I received this ebook from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!

Second Chance in Dry Creek by Janet Tronstad ~ Review

Second Chance in Dry Creek

Lucie's Review: My first trip to Dry Creek--and I loved it!

A strange girl appears on Gracie Stone's doorstep, and utters the name "Calen" before passing out.
As it would turn out, the girl, Renee is Gracie's neighbor, Calen's daughter. Calen has always had a spot in his heart for Gracie Stone, but has always respected her space and choices.
Gracie struggles to rebuild her life after prison and hold her head high, is it possible that she might have a second chance at love?

Though I haven't read any of the earlier books I had no trouble getting into this latest installment. There were times when I wished that I had read the other books so that I could have understood a little more of the backstory.

There was great interaction between Gracie and Calen, and I liked how they were a little older than your typical romance couple would be.

Gracie had to overcome the ghosts of her past and realize that her late-husband no longer had a hold on her anymore. I really liked how Calen wasn't too agressive in the relationship, but gave Gracie the time to find herself again.

Gracie's sons and daughters-in-law were so sweet, and created just a great sense of community. Overall this was a great read, I really liked how the relationship grew throughout the book. There was also a mystery, with plenty of suspense. I'm thinking that I'll be taking some more trips to Dry Creek in the future!

I received this ebook from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

9.03.2012

Be Still My Soul by Joanne Bischof ~ Please Rank My Review!

Be Still My Soul: A Novel
My Review: Have you ever read a book that was just so good that you hesitate to start another, because you know that the next has a high bar to meet? Well, that's how I feel after reading Joanne Bischof's Be Still My Soul.

Lonnie Sawyer is a quiet girl, raised in the mountains. When her father sees her with Gideon O'Riley he forces them to marry, though that is that last thing that either of them wants. Gideon resents Lonnie for putting him in this tough spot. Can God mend the seams of a relationship broken from the start?

Ms. Bischof has a beautiful writing style that has a sort of lilting smoothness to it, that breathes life into her storytelling. What I loved about this tale was how it was gritty and realistic, set in the Appalachian Mountains. Lonnie and Gideon's lot is hard, and they are both tested by how they choose to deal with the situation they were thrown into.

What was interesting was how from the first I strongly disliked Gideon, he was far from the kind of hero that you usually read about. Yet he grew throughout the course of the book, and by some miracle I went from despising him to cheering for him. I just loved the characters of Elsie and Jebediah, especially Jeb, who was a strong father figure and stood up for what was right. All of the characters were so strong.

This tale is one of heartache and pain, and about hope coming when it seems like all hope is lost. Yet it was a sort of coming of age tale too.

Overall all this book is engaging, and paced steadily to keep the pages flying by. As I said above, I just loved Ms. Bischof's writing style, and her descriptions that took me there. Be Still My Soul  is a beautiful, heartfelt tale of forgiveness and starting over, with deep characters and a stunning mountain setting.

Much thanks to Joanne Bischof and Multnomah Publishers for providing me with a complimentary review copy of this book :) Thank you!

 

9.02.2012

Montana Dreams by Jillian Hart ~ Review

Montana Dreams
Lucie's Review: A sweet secret child tale set in Montana dairy country.

When Millie sees her ex-fiance in the grocery store, she is determined to avoid him. She has a secret that she never told him, Simon, her son, is Hunter's.
When Hunter sees that Millie Wilson is back in town he finds himself pleasantly pleased to see her again.
Can God bring this fractured couple back together?

This was a great read, I loved how the characters interacted with each other, and how Hunter built a relationship with his son, Simon.
I loved how this book was really engaging, what with me just wanting Millie and Hunter to get together.

The characters were well written, and I liked the Montana dairy farm country setting.

There was one time when I was like, "Hunter is a cowboy type guy, why is he teaching Simon to post?" Because the cowboys I know would laugh at posting a trot, but that just might be me.

Overall this was a great read with great characters, and relationships. I liked how Hunter was a man who could realize when he'd made a mistake. A sweet story of forgiveness.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!

 

9.01.2012

The Soldier's Wife by Cheryl Reavis ~ Review

The Soldier's Wife
Lucie's Review: A post-Civil War romance that brings two people from opposite sides together in the unlikeliest of ways.

Jeremiah (Jack) Murphy hears the cries of a dying man, Thomas Garth, on the battlefield, Thomas asks Jack to take his belongings back home to his wife, and Jack agrees. When Jack meets the lovely widow Sayer Garth he finds himself hesitant to leave.
 Can hearts heal in the wake of a nation in post-war tumult?

This story was a little different then other Love Inspired's because it took awhile for the main characters to meet. But I liked how the back story was woven into the story, so I was able to understand what had transpired in Sayer's first marriage, and that was kind of a sweet story of its own.

I liked how the relationships were formed and how Jack also bonded with Sayer's young sisters-in-law. And there was a great complexity to this story that made it more realistic.

There was also a great spiritual side to it, because the war took a huge toll on Jack and her doesn't know how to pray anymore and has moments when he struggles physically. I felt that his struggles were very realistic for what he had gone through.

I really liked the characters. Sayer was a smart, quick thinking woman, and Jack is a great guy who has his struggles. There were well developed side characters, I especially liked Rorie, and Thomas's sisters.

Overall, this book was a little different, but a totally satisfying read. There was a really great climatic ending, and so humorous parts where Jack was trying to avoid Sayer because he was falling for her.
A great read, with action, and great characters.

No review required, I just liked this book :)