Wednesday, December 28, 2016


I received a copy of MURDER AND MISTLETOE by Jane Firebaugh in exchange for an honest review.  This is the third installment in the series White Mountains Romantic Mysteries. 

I loved mysteries novels, and this one has it all.  Great characters, snappy dialogue, and a mystery that will keep you guessing.  My favorite part of all was the setting.  It becomes its own place.

Josh and Olivia make an excellent pair of detectives.  I adored the chemistry between the two of them.  I look forward to reading more about them.

Monday, December 26, 2016


The cover captured me.  I love the image of the stone – and of course the title is catchy too.  I dove in late at night, and didn’t expect to read as much of it as I did in one sitting!  The characters are endearing.

My favorite part is how well the female and male characters were written.  I’ve read quite a few romance novels – all of them by women – where all the characters sounded female.  It made some of those books quite awkward when both of the main characters seemed like the same person.  Hey, opposites are supposed to attract! 

The romance in GYPSY STONE was perfect.  Sometimes the romance is heavy handed, or feels wishy-washy.  There was just the right amount, and she wrote them tastefully. 

The setting is another aspect you’re sure to enjoy.  The setting in a story makes or breaks it for me, and this setting was described beautifully.  You feel as if you are there.

I do recommend this, but because of the romantic aspects, it would be most enjoyed by a fellow romance lover.

Monday, December 19, 2016


I received a copy of A SPECTACLE OF GLORY: GOD’S LIGHT SHINING THROUGH ME EVERY DAY: A DEVOTIONAL by Joni Eareckson Tada with Larry Libby from Zondervan in exchange for an honest review. 

This is a 265 day devotion book.  I have read a few in the past – my uncle introcued me to them – and I have found great peace with reading devotionals.  I admit that I don’t always read them just once a day.  Often I will return to it or read a few passages at once if I am feeling stressed.

Each page in A SPECTACLE OF GLORY is donated to a new day.  The passages are based on scripture and succinct, and because they are just a page, it is perfect for someone with a busy schedule.  I really like that the book is pocket-sized.  It is perfect for taking with you.

A little background on Joni, the author: She has been a paraplegic for about fifty years.  Her words come from the heart of someone who has a close relationship with God, and someone who knows what it is like to have a disability, but still live each day to the fullest. 

This devotional makes an excellent gift, especially with 2017 right around the corner.

Friday, December 16, 2016


TALLAS is further proof that Cathrina Constantine is an author to look for.  Her stories are gripping, her characters real, and the adventures are unique.  This is my fourth book by her, and my favorite so far.  This is a dystopian, and you might be thinking “another one?!”  There are a lot of dystopian books out there right now, and you will be happy to know this doesn’t fall in with those.  It can easily stand on its own.  I don’t want to list those books I feel can’t, but I’ve read quite a few that seemed to be published just to fall in with the “dystopian craze.” 

My favorite character was Keeyla.  I could connect with her on different levels, and could see myself doing many of the same things she did.  She and Doogan flee from their “utopian” city into the wilderness.  Each page opens to a new adventure.

This is the first book in the Tallas series.  I look forward to reading book two.

Note: I received a copy of TALLAS from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The King is Dead by Al Burke

Al Burke

The King is Dead





Title: The King is Dead

Order link:

Release date: 20th December, 2016

Tag line: ‘Die running or die fighting’

Publisher: Bella Tulip Publishing


Etruvia has known peace for twenty years. But this time of peace has brought corruption and greed. The nobility has taken control, and the memories of great victories of old have faded. Crime is rife and the once proud people are little more than peasants.

As a great evil rises in the desolate north, can a forgotten king and an embittered former war hero wake a nation from its stupor and build an army strong enough to give it a fighting chance?



Author Bio:


Al is a father of two little angels/demons currently residing in Vancouver, although he grew up in Dublin. When he's not raising little Burkes, he works in his local library. As a writer, he's covered sports for years, but has only written a solitary novel. Fear not, there is more in the pipeline.



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Release Blitz Post

Would you fight for a country you owe nothing to?

The epic fantasy novel by Al Burke is now live!

Get your copy of The King is Dead on Kindle or paperback now

Brought to you by Bella Tulip Publishing


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Monday, December 12, 2016

Lucifer's Harvest

I received a copy of LUCIFER’S HARVEST by Mel Starr from Lion Fiction via Kregel in exchange for an honest review.  It is the ninth installment in the Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon. 

I must say that I am a sucker for historical fiction.  I am a sucker for mysteries.  What is better than a mystery set in the Middle Ages?  I am a huge fan of history, so I love it when books reference historical characters as everyday occurrences.  Such things always give me a happy chill.

In this book, Hugh is sent to battle against France by wishes of Baron Gilbert and Prince Edward.  I found it sad that he didn’t know if he would return to his wife and children.  Now that I have a baby son, I feel differently about parental separation. 

It turns out that Sir Simon Trillowe is another fighting man.  From the series, you know that he and Hugh are enemies.  Then, Sir Simon Trillowe is found dead.  A mystery ensues with lots of intrigue and the usual beautiful, detailed descriptions of the setting.  I love this series for how it immerses the reader in the time period.  Something to note is that this book is shorter than usual.  I found that some parts felt a bit rushed, but overall it was an enjoyable read like usual.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Of Stillness and Storm

I received a copy of OF STILLNESS AND STORM by Michele Phoenix from Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review. 

Lauren, Sam, and thirteen-year-old son Ryan go to Nepal to work as missionaries.  I loved watching each one learn to live in this new setting, while struggling with inner turmoil.  At parts, Lauren reunites with a man from her past and questions if it is betrayal to her marriage.  Ryan suffers from depression and not wanting to go to Nepal with his parents.  Meanwhile, Sam deals with his Christian calling.

I found this book to be totally engrossing.  I’ve read other books about missionaries, but they didn’t dive into the emotions as deeply as OF STILLNESS AND STORM does. Rarely do they focus on the child’s story the way that this book talks about Ryan.  Normally the missionary books talk about the setting and the good done by the missionaries.  This book is about the toll missionary work takes on the family.

I read this during my maternity leave.  It made for an excellent read, one I can easily recommend.  I found it cool that my baby son’s name is Aidan and one of the characters was named Aidan.  What a coincidence!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Bleeding Hearts



Bleeding Hearts by Dana Louise Provo

Finding love is difficult, especially when it tries to kill you.


Bleeding Hearts is a new adult, romantic suspense traditionally published by Clean Reads. Orphaned at an early age, now twenty-four-year-old Camryn Lucks is ready to commit to find that special someone, and so accepts a date from a charming, gallant, handsome stranger. The last thing she imagines after accepting that first date with Carson would actually be the beginning of her worst nightmare. 

Red roses, a reminder of her parents' killer, soon become an emblem of horror for Cami as one by one, those closest to her fall victim to a serial killer. Cami becomes an obsession for Carson, the man she had finally allowed herself to love. Not only is he vying for her heart, but also her life.  

Finding herself in a whirlwind of torments shadowed by the blood-colored bloom, Cami finds solace in Isaac, a neighboring police officer. She’s desperate to escape the haunting memories, but she must revisit them in order to catch her would-be killer. Living life in constant fear has driven Cami to second-guess every choice she makes. Will the police catch the illusive murderer, or will Cami be forced to face him once again? 

Purchase the eBook of Bleeding Hearts below!

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Short Excerpt from Chapter One  

My arm trembles as I grip the cool handle of my pistol, keeping a firm grasp to ensure it doesn’t slip out of my sweaty hand. It usually stands sentry in my left nightstand to scare the nightmares away. But this isn’t a dream. The room is dark and hides the face of the man whose intent is to kill me. But I know who he is. A metallic taste fills my mouth; I want to gag. My blood drips off the blade in his hand in slow, steady beats on the carpet. My arms shake as I lift the barrel and point it in his direction. He doesn't move. His heavy breaths alert me to the meager distance between us. 

We’re at a stalemate. 

A soft glow from the lamppost just outside my window casts a sliver of light on his face. His dark, beady eyes that I have grown to know rake over my body like I'm another one of his many victims. He lifts the edges of his mouth into a smile. My heart plunges into my stomach. I know what that sinister expression means, and I think back to all the times he had looked at me like that before. I had been so blind. 

Before I react he lunges at me, grabbing onto my waist and twisting me to the ground. I shriek as my head slams against the bed frame. Black spots flood my vision. I squeeze my hand only to find it empty. My gun is gone. The sound of the knife clattering on the floor gives me slight hope. Not much though. He climbs up my body trying to pin my arms to the floor. I thrash my fists around, desperate to knock him off. 

“Get off!” I scream, pulling on his shirt and kicking him off balance. Wrapping his hands around my arms, my attacker cuts off the circulation of blood. Rug burns flare across my skin as he drags me across the carpet. He closes his hands around my neck, shutting off my air supply. I pull at his hands but it's no use; he has always been stronger than me. My pulse drums a frantic beat in my ears. The air slowly leaks out from my lungs, killing any hope I may have left. I search for the gun around the room; it may be my only savior now. 

"Why are you doing this?" I struggle to get the words out. He squints his dark eyes. I'm wondering if there might be a chance that he will stop this madness. I am wrong. 

"It'll be over soon, sweetheart." His hands again tighten around my neck, blocking the air from entering my lungs.  

Dana Provo has always loved books and reads everything from young adult fantasy to adult historical romances. When she’s not reading or writing her next novel, Dana can be found riding her horses and getting ready for competition. Dana lives with her husband and two house plants in Richmond, Virginia. 

Follow Dana on Social Media

Friday, December 2, 2016

Candle Day by Day Bible

I received a copy of CANDLE DAY BY DAY BIBLE by Juliet David, illustrated by Jane Hayes, from Candle Books via Kregel in exchange for an honest review.  This is a very unique Bible.  It has a built in stand, which makes it perfect for a desk, beside table, or the top of a bookshelf.  Each day features a simple yet beautiful illustrations, and a short story from the Bible.  Although these stories are short, they pique your interest and are perfect for starting a conversation with a child – or just giving yourself something to ponder.  I like the fact that you can then turn to the “real” Bible to explore more about the story, history, etcetera.  Because there is a different story for each day, this Bible expands the entire year and gives the child something to look forward to.

This Bible is intended for children, but can be enjoyed by adults too.  I’m an adult, and I love the concept of it.  I will be passing this around my family and saving it for my son when he’s older.  This makes an excellent Christmas gift.

This Bible pairs perfectly with CANDLE DAY BY DAY WALK WITH JESUS: THE STORY OF JESUS RETOLD IN 40 DAYS, also by Juliet David and illustrated by Jane Hayes. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Candle Day by Day

I received a copy of CANDLE DAY BY DAY WALK WITH JESUS: THE STORY OF JESUS RETOLD IN 40 DAYS by Juliet David, with illustrations by Jane Hayes, from Candle Books via Kregel in exchange for an honest review. 

This little book is a true delight.  By little, I mean that it is smaller than a normal book, which makes it delightfully portable.  Each story is written simply; this appeals to kids and adults.  As an adult, I enjoyed reading one story a night.  They gave me something to think about and I could read the Bible if I wanted more information.  The illustrations on each page are also simple, while still being poignant.  They better help you to ruminate on the story and its connection to Jesus.  There is also a take away question.  Instead of being complex or distracting, they complement the experience perfectly.

While I was familiar with many of the stories, some of them I wasn’t, and that made the reading experience all the more rewarding.

I only have good things to say about this book.  It will remain a keeper in my family.  I will be passing it on to my mom, and I will be saving it to read with my son when he’s older.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016



Today only, you can find HAVELOCK on sale for just 99 cents. As the sale ends soon, I thought it appropriate to share just how this story came about.

I’d had this idea for a spy novel for a while. I was always disappointed in the lack of female spies and the way the existing ones were portrayed. While they might be able to kick-ass occasionally, most ended up captured and needed to be rescued. Without a doubt, there was room for a strong-willed heroine who possessed the attitude and skills and absolutely no trace of the usual ‘damsel in distress’ element that plagues too many strong female characters.

Having read almost all the original James Bond novels by Ian Fleming, I wanted to create a female character who would be more than a match for a man like Bond. And then I started to wonder what Bond’s daughter would be like had he actually succeeded in impregnating any one of the women he’d encountered over the years. In one of Fleming’s short stories, there was a female character who was out to take revenge on the people that killed her parents. She was fiery and passionate. She ended up as a Bond girl in the movie ‘For Your Eyes Only’ and her name was Melina Havelock (Judy in the original story).

I contacted the Ian Fleming Foundation in the UK, who own the rights to all the Bond novels, including the new ones, to ask if I could reference James Bond in any way in what I originally wanted to be a spinoff novel. They were extremely helpful but couldn’t grant the permissions I needed. The story had to be original. Which I took as a challenge to write a James Bond spin off without any reference to Bond himself, M, Q, 007, a license to kill, etc. The result was HAVELOCK.

Is Eliana Havelock the daughter of James Bond? Does she have her own ulterior motives? Is she as lethal as she is beautiful? One thing’s for certain . . . Eliana Havelock doesn’t need a license to kill.

An Excerpt from the Beginning of Havelock:

Ever had one of those days? The kind of days that challenge every skill, threaten every ethical standard, and undo every single concept of what you would ordinarily have considered an impossible situation? Despite near-perfect planning, I’m having one of those days right now.
It all started when I decided to find my father. I’ve never met him. His longtime vocation makes him a hard person to find at the best of times, but I recently discovered he was reported missing three years ago. He hasn’t surfaced since, and maybe it’s the paternal side of me, maybe it’s because my mother passed away and I’m seeking a parental figure, maybe I want to know why he never came back for me, but well… I gotta find out what happened.
And that’s why I, Eliana Havelock, now find myself tied to a chair in a dank basement somewhere near Karachi, Pakistan.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m about to be tortured.

Andrew Buckley - The Story So Far . . .

Andrew Buckley attended the Vancouver Film School’s Writing for Film and Television program. After pitching and developing several screenplay projects for film and television, he worked in marketing and public relations, before becoming a professional copy and content writer. During this time Andrew began writing his first adult novel, DEATH, THE DEVIL AND THE GOLDFISH, followed closely by his second novel, STILTSKIN both published by Curiosity Quills Press.

Andrew also writes under the pen name 'Jane D. Everly' for his HAVELOCK series of novels. His first upper middle grade novel HAIR IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES is now available from Month9Books with the sequel due out in August 2017.

​Andrew also co-hosts a geek movie podcast, is working on several new novels, and has a stunning amount of other ideas. He now lives happily in the Okanagan Valley, BC with one beautiful wife, three kids, one cat, one needy dog, and a multitude of characters that live comfortably inside of his mind.
Andrew is represented by Mark Gottlieb at the Trident Media Group.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Wickedly They Dream

What is even better than an awesome, edge-of-your-seat fantasy novel for teens?  When it has a rocking sequel of course!

WICKEDLY THEY DREAM is the sequel to WICKEDLY THEY COME by Cathrina Constantine.  One of my favorite things was how smoothly the two books flowed together.  You don’t have to worry about heavy backstory or thick recapping (but you can still enjoy this as a standalone).  You get to visit with the same old people, another aspect I loved.  (Books that are book two or three in a series, but have totally new characters have started to annoy me. A companion novel is good – calling it book two is not) 

In WICKEDLY THEY DREAM, Jordan attends high school and on the side trains to fight demons with her guardian angel.   Jordan is living with her grandparents, and decides to go help out her mother who is in another city fighting demons. 

I you’re looking for a young adult fantasy, WICKEDLY THEY DREAM will not disappoint you.  It will also appeal to adults looking for a great adventure.

Note: I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016


Beautiful cover on a beautiful story!

I received a copy of TRUTHSONG by Elisabeth Hamill in exchange for an honest review.  It is the second book in the “Songmaker” series.  I read book one prior, and was excited to dive back into the adventure.  Definitely read SONG MAGICK first, otherwise you won’t enjoy it to the full extent.

This is fantasy at its best.  TRUTHSONG reminded me of all the fantasy novels I swallowed up as in high school.  I couldn’t get enough of the good versus evil, the love in the background, the magic that fills the air.    

I love Telyn as a character.  She is complex, and her magic speaks for itself.  A great role model for teens.

Highly recommended for fantasy fans like me.

Monday, November 14, 2016

End of the Roadie

I received a copy of END OF THE ROADIE by Elizabeth Flynn from Lion Fiction via Kregel in exchange for an honest review.  The is the third installment in “A Mystery for D.I. Costello” series. 

I found this incredibly entertaining and different.  I really can’t think of anything to compare it to!  The point of the story is that Brendan Phelan is a rock star, and during his acts, he uses gun shots and whips.  Boom – a gunshot turns out to be real and it results in a dead body.  Detective Inspector Angela Costello and her team start their investigation.

I love mystery novels and this is one of the better ones.  The characters are each unique and the mystery is complex.  I had no idea how it was going to play out – just the way I like my mystery novels!  I found it really cool how the book explored concerts.  I’ve only been to one concert, which was Reba at my local casino.  (I’m not even into country music, but I enjoyed watching “Reba” on TV so my dad surprised me with tickets)  I also found it entertaining to read how police teams work together.  I found it much more interesting than watching a crime show on TV. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Shattered Vigil

I received a copy of THE SHATTERED VIGIL by Patrick W. Carr from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.  It is a great, thick book – my favorite kind of epic fantasy adventure.  It sucks you right in and doesn’t let you go.

This is part of the Darkwater Saga – book two to be exact.  I’m new to the works of Patrick W. Carr, but he now has a fan in me.  I hadn’t read book one, but I will look for it now.  I also see there is a novella I was have to check out.

This isn’t a happy go lucky story, so if that is what you are looking for, you might want to find something different.  This is dark and gritty.  Some parts of the story are hard to read.  They are raw and real; the entire book is intense.  The characters prove that you can fight on in the most difficult of situations.  I don’t recommend reading this before bed.  The intensity will keep you up and the complex situations will keep you pondering.  There is, of course, also love, and there is some hope.

I recommend this series to fans of dark epic fantasy.  You won’t be disappointed if you give THE SHATTERED VIGIL a chance.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016


I received a copy of SONG MAGICK by Elisabeth Hamil in exchange for an honest review. 

This is a beautiful young adult novel about lost magic, love, and adventure.  The romance isn’t strong, but the action is.  I loved how the scenes were described with such poetic imagery that they were easy to picture.  Telyn is a strong main character who teens can look up to. 

I recommend this to fans of young adult fantasy or anyone who is looking for a young adult that is a little different.

Monday, October 31, 2016

The Name I Call Myself

I received a copy of THE NAME I CALL MYSELF by Beth Moran from Lion Fiction via Kregel.  First of all, let me say that this is such a fun cover!  Okay, onto the story.  It feels like a chick-flick movie, so it is perfect reading for before bed, or whenever you feel like a pick me up tale.

THE NAME I CALL MYSELF focuses on the relationship between Faith Harp and Peregrine (love the name!) Upperton.  You may know him better as Perry.  Did I mention that he’s a multimillionaire?  That just adds another layer to the story. Faith struggles with her relationship due to an abusive past with men. 

Faith’s past is catching up with her.  Her stepfather is being released from prison and he wants revenge.  He also wants revenge on Faith’s brother Sam, who is struggling with mental issues.  Faith’s life is a complex web, and she is trying her best to keep it all together.  Things start to improve when she is drafted into the church choir.  I don’t want to give anymore away, but know that the story is complex and emotional.  You will be instantly sucked into Faith’s world.  If you’re like me, you’ll find it to be a one sitting read.  You won’t want to put it down!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Shadow of the Storm

I received a copy of SHADOW OF THE STORM by Connilyn Cossette from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.  It is the second book in the “Out from Egypt” series.  Unfortunately I didn’t read book one prior to book two.  I’ll have to look for it now, as this book was quite addicting.  Also, you don’t need to have read book one to enjoy book two.  I understand some characters resurface, but if you only pick up book two, you won’t be confused.

SHADOW OF THE STORM is considered Biblical fiction.  The story involves those who left Egypt in the Exodus.  Shira is a Levite woman and Dvorah is Egyptian.  I loved how each woman had a distinctive voice.  Nothing bothers me more in a book as when every character sounds the same.

Every character brings something to the story, making this a well-rounded plot with realistic dialogue and touching scenes.  I highly recommend this for fans of Christian fiction.  Pick up this book – you won’t be disappointed.

This book is going in my personal collection, as I have a feeling I will be rereading it time and time again.  I hope to see more books by Connilyn Cossette in the future. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Rhythms of Rest

I received a copy of RHYTHMS OF REST: FINDING THE SPIRIT OF THE SABBATH IN A BUSY WORLD by Shelly Miller from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review. 

I admit that my family and I do not always adhere to the rules of the Sabbath.  I always think of it as a day of rest – doing nothing, just relaxing.  That isn’t always possible when you work retail (as my mom does and I used to do), or when you have tons of housework to catch up on.  This book opened my eyes to new ways of considering the Sabbath.  The books guides you step-by-step into keeping with the Sabbath.  Just as the title says, it talks about how busy our worlds are.  It can’t be an excuse, but it can be something to think about seriously.  I also like that it doesn’t make you feel guilty for not honoring the Sabbath, but instead helps you to find the correct path.

If you’re feeling depressed or overwhelmed, or just looking for some peace, then read this book as well.  Each section is short, so you can read them in different sittings, or you can finish it all in one sitting.  Once you start reading, you won’t want to stop.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

A Day and a Life

I received a copy of A DAY AND A LIFE by Penelope Wilcock, part of “the Hawk and the Dove” series, from Lion Fiction via Kregel in exchange for an honest review.  I have read other books in this series, and I must say each book gets better and better.  I keep becoming more invested in the characters. 

A DAY AND A LIFE focuses on two monks, Brother Cedd and Brother Colin.  They live at St. Alcuin’s Monastary, where they question if they will ever find their place as God has intended.  I love reading about their feelings of self-doubt.  No, I’m not a horrible person like that (I hope!).  Rather, it feels real.  Everyone struggles with doubt at different times in their life, and these two show that even monks are human.

Part of what I love best about this series is how Penelope Wilcock paints us a beautiful realistic image of monastic life.  I haven’t had the pleasure of reading other books about monks (although I was told by someone that REDWALL shows monk life well.  Um…this series is realistic.  REDWALL is about talking animals).

I highly recommend all of the books in “the Hawk and the Dove” series to fans of historic fiction and Christian fiction.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Wickedly they Come

I received a copy of WICKEDLY THEY COME by Cathrina Constantine.  This is a young adult novel that kept me seriously riveted.  First off, the main characters name is Jordan.  How could I not love this book?  Name aside, I found her to be an excellent role model for teenage girls.  She’s tough, but family oriented and thinks about her decisions – while making sudden decisions as well.  She struck me as very real.

Onto the story.  I don’t want to give away spoilers or the plot, but I do want to say this is appropriate for teens and adults.  I count it as a “dark” novel, but not overly so.  There are demons.  They help to spice up the story.  The intensity of it only keeps it fast-paced rather than inappropriate. 

I recommend this to fantasy lovers, and anyone who enjoys a dose of good versus evil.

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Wish

I received a paperback copy of THE WISH by Beverly Lewis from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.   I read a lot of Amish fiction and share them with my mother for discussion, and I am always afraid that the plots will start to repeat.  THE WISH, I am happy to report, stays fresh.

However, I really didn’t care for it.  I wish I could say otherwise, because the plot is different – Leona’s friend leaves the church and then writes to her years later asking for help.  I just couldn’t get into it, though. I normally enjoy books by Beverly Lewis, but this one felt almost different.

The beginning chapters are very rushed.  A lot happens and my head was spinning.  I never got a good grasp of the characters.  Suddenly, Gloria is gone.  The story slows down a little, but still felt rushed. 

A lot of the book is Telling rather than Showing.  At first I cringed, then I moaned.  I’m not trying to be mean, but that really ruined it for me.  For example, instead of using dialogue, the story went: Leona said that would be great, and maybe they should try it.  Why not use dialogue for that?

“That would be great.”  Leona beamed.  “We should try it!” 

It isn’t a bad book, just not for me.  If you enjoy Amish literature, give it a try.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Fifth Column

I received a paperback copy of FIFTH COLUMN by Mike Hollow from Lion Fiction via Kregel in exchange for an honest review.   It is the second installment in the Blitz Detective series.  I really liked book one, so I was excited to explore this one.

The setting is World War II in London, England.  I am a sucker for historical fiction.  I’m also a sucker for mysteries, even if I can never guess the bad guy.  I enjoy Mike Hollow’s mysteries, as most of the ones I read are about Medieval England or the modern day.  I enjoy “exploring” the London Blitz.  He places you right into the action with his characters.

I’m often asked if you need to read book one before book two.  With this series, you should be fine picking up here.  This book involves Detective Inspector John Jago investigating a woman’s dead at a bomb site. 

I highly recommend this to history buffs and mystery fans.  It is certainly a page turner.  The mystery itself will keep you on the edge of your seat.  You can tell that the author, Mike Hollow, has certainly done his research.  This fine eye for detail is what makes FIFTH COLUMN really shine.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

A Lament for the Lost

I received a copy of A LAMENT FOR THE LOST by Nicole Thorn in exchange for an honest review.  The book is published by CHBB and is book one in the “Lost Ones” series.  It is mainly a young adult book, but I would recommend it to adults as well.

I went into this without knowing what it would be about.  Based on the cover I knew it would be intense – I never expected it to be this intense!  Wow.  I read it in one sitting.  (I wasn’t feeling well and it was a great escape from that)

Willow, the main character, is one of the most complex characters I have read about in a long, long while.  She’s part sweet, part twisted, part delusional…just altogether a wow character. I can’t wait to see what happens in book 2. 

5 stars from me.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Bible and Me

I received a copy of THE BIBLE AND ME: STORIES WITH A MESSAGE TO LIVE BY by Lois Rock from Lion Hudson via Kregel in exchange for an honest review.  This hardcover book is beautifully illustrated by Alida Massari. 

I read this children’s’ book a little differently than previous books.  Normally, I read them and think about my days in college learning to be an elementary teacher.  I think about the kids I taught and the kids I know through family.  This time, however, I thought about my soon-to-be-born baby (although this is geared more towards children than babies).  This is definitely a book I want to keep so that someday he can cherish it.  It is a hardcover, so it is perfect for treasuring for years to come.

The illustrations accompany child-appropriate retellings of well-known Bible stories.  I can see a parent reading this to his or her child, and having the shortened version expanded into a conversation.  I can also see the parent starting a conversation from these stories on how to be a better person and how to seek greater fulfillment from each day.

I highly recommend this as an addition to any children’s home library and as a great gift. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016


I received a copy of HOME: HOW HEAVEN AND THE NEW EARTH SATISFY OUR DEEPEST LONGINGS by Elyse Fitzpatrick, with a foreword by Paul David Tripp, from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review. This is an intensely powerful book. I struggle to describe it in just a few sentences. Basically, it addresses our longing for something more. Everyone has felt this way at one time or another. There has to be something more out there, somewhere I belong… Elyse calls that place the New Earth. It is where God has been preparing for you. The book uses beautiful pose to describe our feelings and the glory of the New Earth so well that you can almost taste it. 

Elyse Fitzpatrick includes passages from scripture and her own takes on them. I found this refreshing. She also uses personal stories to help bring her readers to her. Overall, an exceptional book. It is easy to become lost in the pages. I can see HOME working well during religious discussion groups or for family meditation. (There are discussion questions included at the end)

I am excited to see that Elyse Fitzpatrick is the author of multiple other books. I will have to look for them.