Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Haven by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Book Description:
Spring brings new life, young love, and second chances to Stoney Ridge.

On a warm spring day, Sadie Lapp returns home to her quiet, unassertive life in Stoney Ridge after spending the winter in Ohio.

Gideon Smucker, an awkward schoolteacher, has been in love with Sadie since childhood and eagerly awaits her return. But does Sadie feel the same about him?

Will Stoltz, a charming and impetuous college student, has been banished for a semester and sent to babysit endangered peregrine falcons nesting at the Lapp farm. He'd rather be anywhere else . . . until he befriends Sadie.

As the hopes and ambitions of these three young people converge, life in Stoney Ridge may never be the same.

Once again, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher intrigues and delights with a story that explores the bonds of friendship, family, and true love in this captivating series.

My Thoughts:
This was an enjoyable read.  Sadie comes home to Stoney Ridge after being away for the winter.  She brings a bit of a surprise back with her and some assume the worst.  Will is in Stoney Ridge to keep watch on some endangered falcons and he has some secrets of his own.  Gideon is excited that Sadie is coming home.  Which of the men will capture her attention and her heart is the big question!
I was happy to revisit Stoney Ridge and 'see' some of the people we met in the first book in this series, the Lapp family is wonderful!  Sadie was an entertaining main character and getting to know her was entertaining.  I liked that it wasn't certain which of men she would choose and that there were several twists and turns through the book.  
I rate this a 3/5.  While I enjoyed the book, it didn't grab me and engage me, but I do look forward to visiting Stoney Ridge again!

Thank you to litfuse for the review copy of this book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Texas Haven by Kathleen Ball

Book Description:
Advertising for a wife seems like the answer to all of Burke Dawson's problems. He wants a wife and kids without emotional attachments, but he has no idea how much havoc one woman can cause.

Annie Douglas has her heart set on her hunky cowboy's love and she isn't about to stop until she gets it.

My Thoughts:
This was a good one!  Annie has had a hard life.  Burke has his own issues to deal with and has decided to get married but it involve no emotions.  When their lives entwine is when things get interesting and heated!
The characters were real!  At least that is the way the author made them feel.  She did a good job with making them come off the page and you feel either love or hate for them depending on the character.  I enjoyed watching Annie grow and get stronger.  Burke was such a strong and tough cowboy with a good heart!
This was a 4/5 for me.  I'm looking forward to more from this author.
Thank you to the author for the review copy of this book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Don't Cry for Me by Sharon Sala

Book Description:
Mariah Conrad has come home. Badly wounded on active duty in Afghanistan and finally released stateside, she has no family to call on and nowhere to go—until Quinn Walker arrives at her bedside. Quinn…her brother-in-arms, ex-lover and now maybe her future.Quinn brings Mariah to his log cabin in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky to rest and recuperate both physically and emotionally. While she's incredibly grateful, Mariah is also confused and frustrated. She's always stood on her own two feet, but now even that can literally be torture. She's having flashbacks and blackouts, hearing helicopter noises in the night. She wants to push Quinn away—and hold him closer than ever.

But will she get the chance? Those helicopters are more than just post-traumatic stress; they're real—and dangerous. Bad things are happening on the mountain. Suddenly there's a battle to be fought on the home front, and no guarantee of survival.

My Thoughts:
Wonderful!  Mariah was hurt in Afghanistan and has come home but has no one to come home to.  Quinn makes it where Mariah comes home to him.  They have an intriguing past that leads to an even more interesting future.  Mariah's recovery will take time and effort on both of their parts.  Her flashbacks are so real but is something in real life triggering them or is she going crazy and just hearing things?
I'm so glad to see this family again!  I love how close and great they are.  Mariah and Quinn's relationship is wonderful to watch grown and unfold the whole time they are helping each other with coping.  She fits well into his family and is even protective of them.  Bear, helicopters and strange voices all lead you on a thrilling ride through this book.
I rate this a 5/5.  I can't wait for more from this wonderful author!

Thank you to netgalley for the review copy of this book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Dying to Read by Lorena McCourtney

Book Description:
Cate Kinkaid is just dipping her toe into the world of private investigating until one of the many resumes she has floating around lands her a real job. All she has to do is determine that a particular woman lives at a particular address. Simple, right? When the big and brooding house happens to contain a dead body, this routine PI job turns out to be anything but simple. Is Cate in over her head?
Readers will be hooked from the very first chapter of this fast-paced and witty romantic mystery from bestselling and award-winning author Lorena McCourtney.

My Thoughts:
I really enjoyed this 'Cozy Mystery'.  Cate has decided she is not good at her chosen profession so she it taking on some assignments from Uncle Joe until she finds a 'real job'.  When she finds a body while working the PI job, and meets the 'Who Done It' book club, her job gets really interesting.  She delves deeper to determine how the lady died only to find more than she'd bargained for.
The characters here have depth and I love that.  It isn't all out in the open for you to see but something the author crafts for you to realize.  Cate is a great character and I loved her whole personality.  I can see the book club being a group of the ladies I know! 
I rate this a 5/5.  I like this author!
Thank you to Revell for the review copy of this book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

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

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Stars Shine Bright by Sibella Giorello

Book Description:
After the FBI suspends her for bending its rules, Special Agent Raleigh Harmon is looking for a chance to redeem her career and re-start her life.

Sent undercover to a thoroughbred horse track, Raleigh takes on a double life to find out who's fixing the races. But when horses start dying and then her own life is threatened, Raleigh realizes something bigger-and more sinister-is ruining Emerald Downs.

Yet she's never felt more alone.

Her one contact with the FBI is Special Agent Jack Stephanson, a guy who seems to jump from antagonistic to genuine friend depending on the time of day. And she can't turn to her family for support. They're off-limits while she's undercover, and her mother isn't speaking to her anyway, having been confined to a mental hospital following a psychotic breakdown. Adding insult to her isolation, Raleigh's fiance wants them to begin their life together-now-precisely when she's been ordered not to be herself.

With just days left before the season ends, Raleigh races to stop the killing and find out who's behind the track's trouble, all the while trying to determine if Jack is friend or foe, and whether marrying her fiance will make things better-or worse.

Raleigh is walking through the darkest night she's faced, searching for a place where the stars shine bright.

My Thoughts:
I enjoyed this book.  Raleigh is going undercover but not without a lot of flack from some in the FBI.  Still, she is undercover trying to find exactly what is going on at the horse races.  Her contact is Jack Stephanson whom she has an intriguing relationship with.  There isn't much time left in the racing season so she has to work fast to find the answers that she needs for her case and her career.
I once again loved Raleigh.  She is a steady character though I hate what happened to her mother because of the last book.  I like that she is undercover and the little (not surprising) twist that Jack is her contact.  I still like him and enjoy their 'relationship'.  I enjoyed the story and Raleigh's 'Aunt' reminded me of several of my crazy family members!  I'm ready to see what's next for Raleigh
I rate this a 4/5.  Good solid read that is entertaining!
Thank you to litfuse for the review copy of this book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

DawnSinger by Janalyn Voigt

Book Description:
The High Queen is dying… At the royal summons, Shae mounts a wingabeast and soars through the air to the high hold of Faeraven, where all is not as it seems. Visions warn her of danger, and a dark soul touches hers in the night. When she encounters an attractive but disturbing musician, her wayward heart awakens. But then there is Kai, a guardian of Faeraven and of Shae. Secrets bind him to her, and her safety lies at the center of every decision he makes. On a desperate journey fraught with peril and the unknown, they battle warlike garns, waevens, ferocious raptors, and the wraiths of their own regrets. Yet, they must endure the campaign long enough to release the DawnKing—and the salvation he offers—into a divided land. To prevail, each must learn that sometimes victory comes only through surrender

My Thoughts:
I completely enjoyed this book!  Shae and Kai have been raised as siblings but that is only to hide one's true identity for safety.  When summoned to the Queen's deathbed Shae keeps close to Kai, as he is her guardian.  Dark visions haunt her and adventure begins that is dangerous but could be worth all the risks!
The author did a great job with this book.  Unlike a lot of Fantasy, this one is original!  I love that the characters have depth to them.  Different 'monsters' and creatures are intriguing to meet.  The descriptions were poetic, story was fast paced and overall it was a joy to read. 
I rate it a 5/5.  I can't wait for the next one!

Thank you to Kathy Carlton Willis Communications for the review copy of this book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Seeker of Shadows by Nancy Gideon

Book Description:
Susanna Duchamps risks discovery in New Orleans to settle a debt and to temporarily escape the controlled constraints of her place among the Chosen. What she, seeker of shadows, finds is an opportunity to make miraculous strides with her research into Shifter genetics . . . and an unexpected, though never forgotten, link to her complicated past.

Shifter club owner, Jacques LaRoche is fiercely protective of his freedom. Stripped of his memories of a former life, he longs for the mate now lost to him . . . until the enticingly familiar presence of a mysterious stranger from the north ignites a primal, nearly uncontrollable need to release the untamed beast inside him.

Susanna dares not tell Jacques that she was the one who sacrificed his past and her future years ago to protect him and the secret she carried. But her arrival in New Orleans comes with consequences. When a bloody confrontation erupts between their enemy clans, will she betray her lover once again or throw her own life on the line so they can finish what they started?

My Thoughts:
I completely enjoyed this book.  It starts with a woman betraying her lover then switches to present day.  Jacques is the owner and operator of a very specific bar in New Orleans.  Susanna comes to a friend's aid straight into the lair of the man she betrayed.  She did it to protect him and a very big secret.  Now, he knows only that he is drawn to her completely and she has a hold on him no woman has ever had.  The problem is she is a Chosen and he is a Shifter, from two different worlds and classes. 
Susanna is an intriguing character.  She comes from a place where she isn't to show emotion but in reality is brimming with it.  Jacques is a MAN and protector that can handle most anything.  I loved the interactions between the two of them.  Also Susanna's love for her daughter and her daughter's rare abilities is wonderful.  The other characters make this story great as well.  Loved the plot and enjoyed the whole book!
I rate this a 4/5.  I really enjoyed all the characters!
Thank you to Simon & Schuster for the review copy of this book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Author Spotlight Alice J. Wisler!

Still Life in Shadows: An ex-Amish story
The mystic of the simple lifestyle draws us in. The horse-drawn buggies present a picturesque scene with the back drop of gentle rolling hills. We are mesmerized by groups of people who dress alike, live quietly, and refrain from using the modern conveniences we’ve grown to depend on. In our hectic days, we secretly wonder if life would be better if we lived as the Amish. We dream. Yet as we idealize this culture and religion, do we bother to look at the other side—the thorny side of the Amish life?
More and more Amish are leaving their communities. The recent Amish: Out of Order series on National Geographic showed viewers another glimpse of the Old Order life that tourist traps selling apple butter and quilts don’t portray. There’s even an ex-Amish Facebook group where members share from their hearts the anguish of being disowned by their parents for venturing away from the rules of Ordnung.
"Out here in the world, you leave the Amish, you are on your own," says Mose Gingerich, an ex-Amish man who left his home in Wisconsin for Columbia, Missouri. Now he helps youth leave their sheltered communities, calling himself an Ex-Amish Underground Railroad. He says the young men and women leave their Amish communities for a variety of reasons, some due to wanting more religious freedom, others wanting to further their education beyond the standard Amish eighth grade level.
Thanks to our connection via the Internet, Mose now knows that he was the inspiration for my recent novel Still Life in Shadows. Like Mose, my character, thirty-year-old Gideon Miller, helps Amish youth leave their communities in Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania to resettle in modern society. Gideon assists them in finding employment and offers them inexpensive places to live.
Although far from his community in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, my character is still plagued by his father’s harsh attitudes and past behavior. And even as Gideon tries to become more English, he struggles with God, mercy, and forgiveness in his new community in the North Carolina Smoky mountains. With the help of Kiki, a thirteen-year-old autistic girl, and her lovely older sister, Mari, Gideon is able to put to rest some of his demons and gradually embrace a loving God, but it takes a tragedy to bring him to his knees. He realizes that, despite what he’s been taught from birth, leaving the Amish doesn’t doom him to Hell. The free gift of God’s salvation is for all people, whether you wear a black hat and suspenders or a John Deere cap and a pair of worn Levi’s.
~ Alice J. Wisler grew up in Japan as a missionary kid, graduated from a Mennonite college, traveled extensively, and finally settled in North Carolina. She’s the author of Rain Song (Christy Finalist 2009), How Sweet It Is (Christy Finalist 2010), Hatteras Girl, A Wedding Invitation and now, Still Life in Shadows. Ever since the death of her son Daniel, she’s taught Writing the Heartache workshops and speaks at conferences on the value of writing through grief and loss. Visit her website: and join her on her author page on Facebook where she’ll be giving away prizes:!/pages/Alice-J-Wisler/333751835453
Book Blurb: After leaving his Amish community with just a duffle bag, Gideon vows never to return. He settles into life as a car mechanic in Twin Branches, North Carolina. Soon he’s known as the Getaway Savior, assisting dissatisfied Amish youth adjust to English life. But when his brother Moriah comes to visit, Gideon struggles with how to reach him. Told from the viewpoints of Gideon Miller and thirteen-year-old Kiki Yanagi, Still Life in Shadows is a story of finding a place to belong.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

I Thought I Saw A Dragon Late Last Night!!! by Clayton J. Liotta

Book Description:
“I Thought I Saw A Dragon Late Last Night” is a simple story about the wonder of a child’s vivid imagination. Follow a young boy as he goes in search of an elusive Dragon. Is the Dragon real or imaginary???
You be the judge...It is sure to bring out the child in us all...

My Thoughts:
I adored this book.  I requested it because my son is into dragons right now and he loved it!  So far, we've read it probably 5 times and he still asks for it!  At 4 years old, it is a new favorite of his.
The pictures are cute, the story line is simple enough for him to follow but interesting enough to keep his attention.  Even my 2 year old daughter enjoys it!  They loved 'finding' the dragon in all the pictures and I'm sure we will be reading this for many nights to come.
I rate this a 5/5.  Adorable book!

Thank you to the author for the review copy of this book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Tidewater Inn by Colleen Coble

Book Description:
Inheriting a beautiful old hotel on the seaward shore of Hope Island could be a dream come true for Libby. The inn cries out for her restorer's talent and love of history. She's delighted to learn of family she never knew she had. And the handsome Coast Guard lieutenant she's met there on the island could definitely be the man of her dreams.

But Libby soon realizes that only way she can afford the upkeep on the inn is to sell it to developers who are stalking the island. The father who willed her the inn has died before she could meet him, and her newfound brothers and sisters are convinced she's there to steal their birthright. Worst of all, her best friend and business partner has been kidnapped before her eyes, Libby's under suspicion for the crime, and her handsome lieutenant clearly doubts her innocence.

Libby's dream-come-true is becoming a nightmare. Can she find her friend and establish her innocence? Must she sell Tidewater Inn and lose her family again? Or can she find a home for her heart on the beautiful shores of Hope Island?

My Thoughts:
This was a good book.  Libby is shocked when she learns she inherited the Tidewater Inn from her father.  Not only that he left it to her but the fact that he was alive years after her mother had told her he'd died.  Now she gets to meet some family she never knew she had but with all the trouble that seems to be following her, is she going to be able to keep them?
I loved the depth of the characters in this book.  The author does a great job of weaving Christian principles through the book without it feeling forced.  Complications, secrets and mysteries are around every corner and it was difficult to put this book down. 
This book is a 4/5.  It was a good mix.

Thank you to litfuse for the review copy of this book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Lethal Legacy by Irene Hannon

Book Description:
The police say her father's death was suicide. But Kelly Warren says it was murder--and she has new evidence that she believes proves it. Detective Cole Taylor doesn't put much credence in her claim, and nothing in his case review suggests foul play. But when Kelly ends up in the emergency room with a suspicious life-threatening medical condition, the incident strikes him as more than just coincidence. Digging deeper, he discovers she's linked to a long-ago crime. Is history repeating itself? And who wants Kelly silenced?
With her trademark high-intensity action and taut suspense, Irene Hannon closes out her Guardians of Justice series with a story of old grudges and budding romance that is sure to increase her substantial fan base.

My Thoughts:
I loved this book.  Detective Cole Taylor has plenty of work to do but when Kelly Warren tells him she doesn't believe his fellow detective came to the right conclusion, he has to take it seriously.  Her father would have never committed suicide and now she has the evidence to prove it.  Cole isn't certain Kelly's 'evidence' is enough to warrant reopening a closed case but then suspicious things begin to happen.  Now Cole must investigate and stop someone from hurting the woman he is coming to care a great deal about.
I enjoyed the past characters of the series making appearances.  I liked Cole already but LOVED getting to know him better.  Kelly was a great female lead and she was just what Cole and his family needed.  There are some twists, turns and plenty of suspense in the book. 
I rate this a 5/5.  It was a wonderful ending to a great trilogy.
Thank you to Revell for the review copy of this book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Friday, August 3, 2012

ARC Giveaway!

Hello!  I have a few sets of ARCs to give away, here is what you have to do:  Leave a comment here with your email address and tell me the best/worst review you've seen on my site.  Also, if you have a preference, please state which one, two or if you'd like to be entered for all 3.  Giveaway will be open until August 20th and the winners will be chosen using a randomizer.

Option 1:  Two Lethal Lies by Annie Solomon, My Dangerous Pleasure by Carolyn Jewel, The Taken by Vicki Pettersson, & Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf.

Option 2:  The Pack by Jason Starr, The Counterfeit Madam by Pat McIntosh, Stealing Mona Lisa by Carson Morton & Dying in the Wool by Frances Brody.

Option 3: Murder Unleashed by Rita Mae Brown, Murder on Fifth Avenue by Victoria Thompson, Dark Side of Valor by Alicia Singleton, & Buried in Buttercream by G.A. McKevett