Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Out of Control

Out of Control
The Kincaid Brides Book 1
Mary Connealy

Julia is interested in fossils, dinosaurs and the caves around her home. She became fascinated with these things on her walks to get out of the house and away from her father. She becomes trapped in a cave and Rafe rescues her and takes her home. What follows is a hilarious account of Julia's family, Rafe's family and the trials they've endured to get where they are at.

I really enjoyed this story. The plot was mildly funny, sad, and intriguing. It swept me along as it wove between the two families.  I think my only complaint would have been the stubbornness of the main characters. I became frustrated with them several times. How in the world could anyone tolerate someone this annoying and pig headed? In fact, Julia was rather abrasive for large parts of the book. I'm hoping that the next books have less of them and more of the brothers and Audra.
The story was well told and held my attention the entire time (even with the annoying Julia). Definitely another author to add to my list of favorites. And I'll be checking out the next books in the series.

I received this book free of charge in exchange for my honest review.

A Hint of Murder: The Writer

A Hint of Murder: The Writer
Lia Fairchild

Alicia is a murder mystery writer. And someone is copying the murders in her books. She's completely freaked out and worried. Her publisher and son come to comfort her, but it doesn't stop the harassing phone calls or the break in. It also doesn't stop the guilt and worry.

I love a good murder mystery. And this one's a good one. This is a short story that packs a lot into only a few pages. And it's well worth the read. I had no clue until the very end who the murderer was. And I'm usually good at guessing these things. My only complaint was that it wasn't nearly long enough. I can't wait to get my hands on more from this author.

I received this book free of charge in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Harvest of Grace

The Harvest of Grace
An Ada's House Novel
Cindy Woodsmall

Sylvia isn't a typical Amish woman. She loves working on her father's dairy farm more than she enjoys being home. When asked by her beau to marry she puts him off. He doesn't want to wait forever and decides to marry someone else. She can't live in her community and see them every day so she decides to accept a position as a farm hand in a town two hours buggy ride away.
To be happy again Sylvia must learn to forgive as she wants to be forgiven.

I enjoyed reading this book. It was well written and flowed well. The spiritual aspect was thought provoking without appearing preachy. My only complaint would have been the confusion I felt at reading the 3rd book without having read the first two. I was able to make assumptions and guesses about what had happened, but it did make the book very confusing in parts. My advice would be to read the first two books first since this one really didn't seem to stand alone very well.

I received this book free of charge from WaterBrook in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Terminal Diner

The Terminal Diner
Mary Pat Hyland

Elaina's mother left when she was sixteen. Her only advice - "Men like pies." So Elaina has spent the past twelve years working in the family diner making the best pies in the state. Her sister has a life, her friends have a life, but her life is the diner and making pies that men love. Then 9-11 happens and her life (and the lives of many others) will never be the same.

For some reason I started reading this book expecting a murder mystery. There is murder and a bit of mystery, but I would classify this as more of a romance than a murder mystery. The story centers around a group of people and a diner located close to the airport (hence the name of the diner).

I'll be honest, for the first several chapters of this book I was very bored. I know that the author had to lay some groundwork for the story to make sense, but the story just plodded along. Then, all of the sudden, it picked up and I couldn't put the book down. There were a couple of characters that could have been developed a bit more to help with the story line, but for the most part I enjoyed the book once I made it past those first few chapters. I will definitely be checking out her other books.

I received this book free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion.

Monday, August 22, 2011


Kim Cash Tate

Kelli made a terrible mistake and the guilt has weighed on her mind for seven years. But she didn't sin alone and she can't forgive her friend who let her down in her moment of need.
She returns to her hometown to be near her family and finds out that her friend is back as well.
This book is about God's amazing forgiveness, love and healing power. Anyone dealing with death, adultery, rejection and abortion will find this book an inspiration.

Cherished is a beautiful story of renewal. It will touch your heart and make you laugh. It will also make you examine your heart. Forgiveness can be painful and healing at the same time. Kelli and her friends found out that we are cherished by our heavenly Father.
The book was really fun to read. The author mixed Christian music (of all kinds), romance and theology all together to create a wonderful and fun book to read.

I received this book free of charge from Booksneeze in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck

The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck
Kathleen Y'Barbo

Charlotte is a headstrong, independent, often clumsy, only child. She is a worry to her father and often a menace to those around her. She desperately wants to join her father in business, but he wants her to grow up first. He strikes a bargain with her that involves marriage to a man she hardly knows. She is full of schemes that will enable her to get out of this marriage. Her only problem is convincing her husband to go along with them.

The book started out slow for me. It seemed to bog down with details of her escapades and her seeming hatred for the idea of marriage. I found it hard to like her. She was stubborn and disrespectful to her father. Her refusal to listen to anyone was frustrating.
The story was well written and after the first half seemed to move a lot faster. Most readers will enjoy the plot and the romance of the story. So even though I didn't enjoy parts of it, I would still recommend it to anyone who enjoys the Christian fiction genre.

I received this book free of charge from Waterbrook in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Head in the Sand

Head in the Sand . . . and other unpopular positions
Linda M Au

This book reads like a journal or blog about various subjects the author is thinking about. It's written with each chapter covering a different subject. It's humor and reality mixed together. I was actually reminded a little of Erma Bombeck. The author is a wife and mother and quite a few of her thoughts are on those two subjects.
I have to be honest, I wasn't sure what I'd find reading a non-fiction humor book. These subjects are hard to "make funny", in my opinion. But the author was able to take ordinary situations and find the humor in them. Several times I was left with the impression that this author MUST be related to me. I laughed my way through the entire book. And when I wasn't laughing I was saying "Oh my word. This woman has been to my house."
I would recommend this book for a good laugh, but also so you can find humor in the everyday stresses of life.

I received this book free of charge in exchange for my honest review.

Smack-Dab in the Middle of God's Love

Smack-Dab in the Middle of God's Love
Brennan Manning and John Blase

Smack-Dab is a children's book about how wonderful God's love is and how it's big enough for all of us. It takes a childless couple that minister to the children in their community and builds a simple story around them. My kids enjoyed the book and loved the pictures.
My son was a little confused by some of the Spanish words, but thankfully they were simple and I was able to tell him what they meant.
It was a great little book and would make an excellent gift.

I received this book free of charge from Booksneeze in exchange for my honest opinion.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Apolo Drakuvich

Apolo Drakuvich
G. W. Jefferies

This book is hard to describe. From the description I was expecting a crime novel or at least a memoir type book. But this book appears to be just the rambling thoughts of a drifter who can't decide how he wants his life to go. I finished the book and was still wondering what the whole point of the story was supposed to be.
I also felt frustration with the main character Apolo. Are people really that clueless about life? Do they really do things that they know are pointless and yet do them anyway?

I really hate to give bad reviews and will try to find something redeeming about every story I read. But with the typos and the rambling thoughts of an aimless man, I am really struggling. There were some good reviews so I know there are people who enjoy this sort of thing. I just wasn't one of them.

I received this book free of charge in exchange for my honest review.

The Sable City

The Sable City (The Norothian Cycle)
M. Edward McNally

Sable City falls into the fantasy category. I'll admit right from the start that I'm not a fantasy fan. There are a few that I enjoy, but most are not my style. This book was actually interesting, so that's saying a lot from me. The book wasn't riddled with errors or confusing parts and considering my dislike of the fantasy genre was well written. I did get bogged down in the descriptions and battles, but from what I can gather this is a normal part of fantasy. When writing fantasy the author has no choice; they must give descriptions since we've never met these creatures or countries in our other reading.

Not sure if I'll be reading any more fantasy books, but if you are a fan of the genre then I highly recommend this book. The author has a great writing style and will keep you entertained the entire book.

I received this book free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Mercy Come Morning

Mercy Come Morning
Lisa Tawn Bergren

I picked this book to review because I had read some books by this author many years ago. It wasn't anything like I was expecting based on my previous experience, but I'm so glad I chose to read it.

The story begins with a woman returning home to her mother's death bed. Her mother has Alzheimer's disease so in some ways she's already gone. But Krista returns to settle some issues in her own mind about things that happened when she was a child. She's also dealing with a lost love and the ramifications of starting the relationship again.

The story deals with the pains and inadequacies we see from our childhood perspectives. Sometimes our parents aren't what we thought they were. And sometimes we understand things better when we are in their shoes.
This story will resonate with those who are dealing with relatives who have Alzheimer's, but it also touches on the relationship between children and parents vs. grown children and their parents.
 It's about past, present and future. It's about love, forgiveness and opening our hearts to love.

I enjoyed the story as a story. But I also appreciated the theme of forgiveness running through. The author wrote in such a way that lead me to believe she's lived (or thoroughly researched) this experience. And to me this is the sign of a great writer; writing that pulls me in with their words and places me in the story. I felt like I would recognize the care facility where her mother was staying or the town where Krista grew up. Wonderful writing and a wonderful story of redemption.

I received this book free of charge from WaterBrook Press in exchange for my honest opinion.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

All I See Are Stripes

All I See Are Stripes
Teresa White

This book is a children's book from Dorrance Publishing Co. that talks about a little horse. He becomes friends with a horse that is very different from him and he's confused.

I enjoyed this book right along with my son, who is five. It's a cute little story, but the theme that runs through it is great, especially since my son started school this year. It deals with the issue of meeting someone who is very different from you. And it's okay to be different and to have friends who are different.
I liked the discussion questions in the back as well. It spawned some great conversations.

I received this book free of charge in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Keeping Grace Alive

Keeping Grace Alive
Annie Lee
Grace is the step-daughter of a politician. She's sweet and he's evil. She's honest and he's not remotely honest. She loves life and he's killed more than he's saved.  He wants her married to a man of his choosing or dead. Since she refuses to marry he places a hit on her.
But he chooses the wrong hit man. This hit man decides to keep her alive.
The next few months are a game of cat and mouse between the hit man, Grace and her step-father.

This book is mostly romantic with a bit of intrigue thrown in. I really enjoyed reading this book, but am having a difficult time writing the review. It's obvious to me that this is the first book by the author. There are some areas that aren't clear or grammatically correct. Also some of the characters are a bit unbelievable. I found my self a bit amused by some of the things that I could tell weren't very "real". But all that being said, I still enjoyed the book and feel that with time and experience this author could write some really great books instead of the okay one that I just read.
My advice would be to read the book knowing that it's the first.
I'll be reading her second book with the anticipation that she will continue to grow as she writes.

I received this book free of charge in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Death Plays Poker

Death Plays Poker
A Clare Vengel Undercover Novel
Robin Spano

Clare is a mediocre undercover agent who desperately wants to stay in the game long enough to prove she can do the job. So she takes an undercover job as a spoiled rich girl who wants to get into the poker world. She's looking for the serial killer who has been killing poker players, including an undercover cop.

I really enjoyed this book. I know very, very little about poker so was expecting to be confused. But the games were described in such a way that even a complete poker novice can follow. The characters were well developed and interesting. I really enjoyed Clare. She seemed real, believable and completely likeable. Her mistakes seemed to actually help her in a way, while keeping me amused. The author did a great job of keeping me clueless, almost to the end, on the identity of the killer.

I received this book free of charge in exchange for my honest review.

Becoming the Sheriff's Wife

Becoming the Sheriff's Wife
Trish Maudlin

The book begins with Abby running for her life. She's trying to escape an abusive boyfriend and return to her friend who she knows will keep her safe. After her move to the small town she meets a man who scares and yet intrigues her. But is it safe to love again or will he be just like her ex?

I enjoy reading a good romance story, so was really looking forward to reading this book. And although the abuse was hard to take, I really enjoyed the story line. The story seemed, for the most part, to flow well and moved along quickly. And it was wrapped up neatly with a happy ending just the way I like it. =)

The book did have a few grammatical and spelling errors, but not enough that it detracted from the story. But several times the story seemed to abruptly cut off the thought or wasn't clear enough for me to follow. It was brief enough that I caught up quickly, but was distracting.

All in all, it was a very enjoyable story and I look forward to reading more from this author.

I received this book free of charge in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, August 1, 2011


My Little Boy Blue is the winner of the give-away.
Please contact me so I can send you the book.