Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Swallow the Swell

Swallow the Swell
Keddy Flett

Keddy and his girlfriend leave Austraila for South America. Told in a poetic type of first person it recounts his thoughts and experiences as he tries to better his life.

I've had this book for quite some time trying to make it through so I could write a review. It just isn't my style. When I saw all of the 5 star reviews I tried even harder, to no avail. The style of writing is a bit on the poetry side (something I really don't like) and tends to be almost like hearing Keddy's thoughts. It's definitely a thought provoking book if you care for this style of writing. Also note that this might not be the book for you if you don't like swearing. There seems to be quite a bit of that peppered through the book. Not a book I would want to read again, but don't let that stop you if you like poetry styled writing.

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

The Secret Keeper

The Secret Keeper
Kate Morton

Laural is sixteen when she witnesses a crime at her home that changes her life forever. It's a secret that she has kept until now. But now in her 60s and watching her mother slowly slipping away, she feels the burning need to fit all of the pieces of the puzzle together. Alternating between now and 50 years ago the story of the secret is told and everything Laural thought she knew about her mother is changed.

I had previously read The House at Riverton and enjoyed it. So I was excited to get this book for review. The secret is revealed in the very beginning of the book, or so I thought. Because the story keeps jumping back and forth between the now and then it can become a bit bogged down in the middle. But keep reading. The story not only picks up, but you'll find out even more secrets until the very last secret is revealed at the end. The storyline is intriguing, but the history that is intermingled with the story is engaging and captivating as well. Definitely a book worth reading.

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

Stand-In Groom

Stand-In Groom
Kaye Dacus

Anne is a wedding planner known around the world after an article in Southern Living. She would love to get married herself, but can't seem to find the right man until George walks into her shop - as a prospective groom. It's going to take all she has to plan a wedding for the guy who appears to be the man of her dreams.

The writing style in this book was fun and made for an easy read. The family dynamics were heart warming and appealing. My only complaint would be the amount of conflict between the couple. The entire book was filled with miscommunication and hurt feelings. I've never "met" anyone who misunderstood things so easily as these two people did. It didn't ruin the book, but was at times frustrating. Despite this, I would be willing to try another book by this author because I did enjoy her writing style.

Not Your Mother's Book

Not Your Mother's Book. . . On Being a Woman
A Collection of Stories from People Like You
Created by Dahlynn McKowen & Ken McKowen

Do you want to get inside the head of a woman? Do you enjoy good stories about women just like you? This book is a definite answer to those questions. Women from all ages and walks of life dish in sixty four different stories about what being a woman is all about. Think Chicken Soup women style.

I enjoyed these stories. The cover might not be appealing to some, but don't let that stop you. The stories are clean, funny, and uplifting. Stories about menopause, mammograms, and growing up a tomboy are all mixed together to bring an eclectic mix of fun for any woman. I look forward to reading more Not Your Mother's Books as they come out.

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

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Home in Drayton Valley

A Home in Drayton Valley
Kim Vogel Sawyer

Tarsie and her friends head for Drayton Valley in Kansas. But tragedy along the way means that Tarsie must trust God in ways she never thought possible. Her friend has asked the impossible. But with God all things are possible.

I really enjoyed this story. I read it in one evening. It was entertaining, romantic, and educational. The bits of history that were through out the book added a nice element to the story. Without giving too much away, I really enjoyed the plot in the story. My only complaint would have to have been Tarsie. She was a bit annoying at times and her thinking seemed skewed. My favorite character was Joss's boss. He really added a special element to the story.

I received this book free of charge from Bethany House in exchange for my honest reply.

Every Perfect Gift

Every Perfect Gift
A Hickory Ridge Romance
Dorothy Love

Sophie returns to Hickory Ridge to resurrect the old newspaper. But her previous stay in Hickory Ridge was spent in the local orphanage. Unsure of her parentage and her reception from the citizens is cause for stress in this historical novel.

I somehow completely missed that this book was part of a trilogy until I was almost finished reading. Earlier this year I read the second book and didn't care for it. So I'm thankful that I didn't remember that or might have gone into this book with a bit of a bias. Other than some confusion at times with feeling like I was missing pieces of the story, I enjoyed this book. The characters were fun and this book seemed to wrap everyone's stories up well. The history that was brought into the story helped too.  Since I didn't read the first book and it has been almost a year since reading the second I might have missed a few things, but as a stand alone book I still enjoyed it.

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

The Marriage Mistake

The Marriage Mistake
Jennifer Probst

Carina sneaks into the woods with the magic book to try to secure a man for herself. She has promised not to use the spell, but no one will know. The only problem is - she doesn't list the qualities she wants. She lists the name of the only man who interests her.

I enjoyed this book. I still think the second book is my favorite, but I liked this one. This one also seemed more funny than the last two. The character's struggle for independence was entertaining and the story flowed well. It will definitely make more sense to read the previous books first, but this book can stand alone. Can't wait to read more by this author.

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

Thursday, November 15, 2012

My Life Map

My Life Map
A Journal to Help You Shape Your Future
Kate & David Marshall

Everyone has dreams for their future. Some have even put goals and wishes down on paper. Life Maps was created to help solidify and plot exactly what you want for your future and how to achieve those goals. The maps include past, present, and future.

What an intriguing concept. I'm a huge list and goal maker and was completely unaware that a book like this existed. So I was certainly in my element filling out the questionnaires and charts. But even less goal oriented people will be able to make use of this book. Its simple instructions and fun questions make it easy to use. Definitely a book to share.

Check out this link for more information. 

I received this book from BlogHer and was compensated for my review.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Memory Thief

The Memory Thief
Emily Colin

Madeleine's husband, Aidan, is a mountain climber. On his last trip out she feels a premonition and warns him not to go. Despite her begging he goes with the promise to return no matter what. But when she receives a call from their best friend she knows that her fears are confirmed.

Without giving too much of the book away, I'm not huge on the whole ghosts, life after death kind of story. So I was a little leery of reading this book.  But I was pleasantly surprised. This is an amazing book for being a debut novel. The writing flowed well. The characters were likable, even when not so perfect. And the story was told in a captivating and enthralling manner. So even though the plot wasn't my normal type of genre, I'll definitely be checking this author out again.

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

Monday, November 5, 2012

Accidentally Amish

Accidentally Amish
Valley of Choice Book I
Olivia Newport

Annie is running from the danger surrounding her company. By chance she lands in an Amish barn for the night. That chance encounter will change her life forever. Finding family history and perhaps a chance at love are just a few of the things that happen because of her ride into Amish country.

The characters were fun and the story was engaging. The book alternated between the current story and giving a little back story on the ancestors of the main characters. It lent an interesting twist to the story and provided information on some of the reasons the characters chose their path in life.
I enjoyed the story, but it wasn't one of my favorites. It intrigued me enough to look at the 2nd book when it comes out, but it certainly isn't gripping and high suspense. It also left quite a few questions unanswered. 

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

Twice a Bride

Twice a Bride
The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Book 4
Mona Hodgson

Willow is a young widow who decides to settle in Cripple Creek near her brother. She wants to become an artist and finds the perfect job coloring photographs. But her first meeting with her employer, Trenton, doesn't go as planned and the sparks fly between them.

This was book four in the series and was filled with references to the previous books and their characters. Since I'd read two of the previous three (reviews here and here) I didn't feel as lost, but I don't think this book would be good as a stand alone read.
Of the three that I've read, I have to say I enjoyed this one the most. It was sweet and cute. There was the usual misunderstandings that a typical romance story has, but it was easily resolved and the story seemed to flow well. I also liked the secondary story of Miss Hattie that was in the previous books and seems to conclude in this book. All in all, it was a cute, feel good story.

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

Tangled Ashes

Tangled Ashes
Michele Phoenix

Marshall Becker "Beck" is an architect with issues. He arrives in France to restore a castle that was used by the Nazi during the war. But he isn't the only one chasing dreams and demons. Someone is destroying the castle at night and he needs to find out who or he will never meet his deadlines.

World War II books, especially those dealing with the cruelty of the Nazi, are often dark and difficult to read. Tangled Ashes was told in two parts. One part told the history of the castle and the other was the modern tale. Telling the story this way seemed to lighten up the book. And I'll be honest I enjoyed the WWII part the most. The characters were more likeable and believable. The main characters in the modern story were Beck and Jade. I thought the author was going for a romance story, but if she was it failed. The ending seemed to explain the puzzles, but didn't conclude. It left the modern day characters with hope for a better future, but based on their parts in the book they probably weren't going to get better. I really enjoyed this book, but I'm not sure I would read a second book based just on the modern characters. I read the book in one evening, so it was fast and enjoyable. But while I enjoyed it, I don't think I loved it.

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