Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Story Keeper by Lisa Wingate

Jen Gibbs, an editor at a publishing house in New York City, goes on the hunt for the elusive author of a story that mysteriously appears on her desk. The hunt takes her to within a few miles of her hometown in the Blue Ridge Mountains. There she finds the author, Evan and meets up with the past she has been avoiding ever since she left home. The manuscript is the story of Rand and Sarra who traveled in these same mountains in the 1800s. Both stories, similar in theme, keep the reader enthralled enough to not want to put this book down until the last delicious paragraph is finished and then there is still the desire for more.

This is by far the best book I've read of Lisa Wingate's. She keeps getting better and better. This story seems like her masterpiece so if the next one is even better -- WOW! I loved both story lines in this book and the characters are rich in the culture of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I feel like I know a little more about this part of our country now and some of the issues the people there are dealing with (poverty, isolation, etc.) This is arguably the best book I've read all summer if not all year and I read a LOT of books. I truly cannot wait to see what comes next from this author.

I was provided a copy of this book by Tyndale for the purpose of reviewing it and I am thrilled to have the opportunity!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Miracle in a Dry Season by Sarah Loudin Thomas

This story is set in the early 1950s in West Virginia farm country. It is the story of Casewell Phillips, a local man who is a woodworker and musician and devout Christian and Perla Long and her little daughter Sadie, who come to stay with relatives and forge a new life for themselves. It is a story of long-held bitterness and forgiveness. It is a story of drought and renewing rain. It is a story of religious zeal and Christian charity. It is a story of redemption. Many of the other characters in the story have a story of their own and this adds to the richness of the story telling here.

The book is well written and keeps the reader captivated throughout. I read it in less than a day because I wanted to know what happened next. This author needs to be heard from again! I was a bit dubious about a couple of points of doctrine but overall the book told a tale that was consistent with the period and setting.

For a refreshing new voice in Christian fiction and a cozy read I recommend this book to all. I received a copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions and comments are my own.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Awakening by Traci Higley

Kallie is an ancient history buff and works at a large museum doing research into the lives and language of the Ancient Minoans. She is totally absorbed in this because she has no memory of her life before 7 years previous. She teams up with Dimitri Andreas, a rich philanthropist whose interest in her research is as strong as hers and they go on a world search for an artifact that will crack the code of the language.

Tracy Higley takes us through a whirlwind tour of Egypt, Venice (Italy) and the Greek island of Santorini. She has traveled to these places and has first hand knowledge of the tourist haunts in all these places which makes it real and fun. I have been to two of the three locations and enjoyed visiting again via this book.

I read this book pretty much straight through with a few brief stops when life got in the way. I was fascinating, mesmerizing and different from any book I've read recently. It is even different from most or all of Tracy Higley's other books, all of which I have devoured as soon as they came out. I am still reeling from the twist the storyline took and trying to process it but I would definitely give 5 stars to this book and recommend it to all of my friends. It's fresh and exciting and unique.

I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Murder at the Mikado by Julianna Deering

Drew Farthering and Madeline Parker, amateur sleuths, are making plans for their wedding when they get embroiled in a murder mystery at the local theater. The acting crew at the theater specialize in Gilbert & Sullivan comic operas and the Mikado is on the marquee when the owner and lead actor is murdered. The wife of one of Drew's employees and a former friend is implicated in the murder so they are determined to figure out who the culprit might be.

This book is set in the 1930s in England. I was skeptical at first as to whether I would like reading about this time frame but I was very soon caught up in the story and enjoying every second. Lines from Gilbert & Sullivan's shows ran throughout the story and that was fun. Apparently this is the 3rd in a series about Drew Farthering and Madeline and the ending hints at more to come. I am now on a mission to buy the two previous books and watch for number four to come out. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to seeing more from this author.

This book was given to me by Bethany House to review. I did not receive any compensation for the review, other than the pleasure of reading this book. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Friday, July 4, 2014


If God is not real, why do so many spend so much time and effort trying to discredit Him? Why is the whole world united in trying to destroy Christians and Jews? Who has been able to refute all the natural evidence and historical evidence of His existence? I am tired of all the ugliness that abounds. If we are just poor, uninformed mortals then why persecute us. Just feel sorry for us and move on. But the saddest things is the so-called "Christians" who don't understand what it's all about. Either they aren't reading their Bible thoroughly or they do not have a relationship with the Father. They do even more damage than non-believers. The Bible tells us that as we come closer to the end this kind of situation will become more and more prevalent. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

Thursday, June 26, 2014


Taryn Young, a brilliant programmer for a software company is on her way to her honeymoon and in the airport with her new husband when there is an explosion. She is injured, her husband is missing and soon she finds she's a person of interest in the terrorist plot to blow up the terminal. Enter the FBI and Taryn finds herself anxious to help solve the mystery and clear her name.

I have a new favorite author! I love this type of book, especially when it showcases the FBI. This one has more twists and turns and excitement and surprises than any other I've read lately. It kept me on pins and needles wondering what would happen next. The characters were endearing (except for the bad guys, of course) and the plot and action were phenomenal. Ms. Mills blends faith in God seamlessly into the story and I really admire that. Hopefully there are more books out there from this author or soon to be because I can't get enough!

This book was given to me by Tyndale House to review (thank you so much Tyndale!). I did not receive any compensation for the review, other than the sheer enjoyment of this read. All opinions expressed here are my own. Love it!!!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Stuck Together by Mary Connealy

Vince Yates, the unsalaried sheriff of Broken Wheel, TX has a lot of things going on in his life. His friend Jonas’ sister Tina is catching his eye but he also has his mother and his sister to watch out for and his mother isn’t tracking most of the time so she needs a lot of care. Tina is busy picketing the local saloon, cooking for the local cafĂ© and helping with Vince’s mother. Throw in some outlaws and all Vince’s friends and there is some excitement going on.

Let me qualify what I am about to say about this book with the statement that I love ANYTHING Mary Connealy writes. She is one of my favorite authors because of the humor she puts into all her historical romances. She keeps me laughing. But this book maybe not quite so much. In the cartoons, you know how you just keep wondering how Wylie Coyote and Elmer Fudd can be so dumb 100% of the time? Well both Vince and Tina’s thought processes strained my credulity to the max – Tina more than Vince, but both were a tad illogical most of the time. I like the smart women heroines, the tough-as-nails women heroines and the hard-working women heroines, but I’m not much for the clueless and I felt that way about Tina throughout this whole book. There didn’t seem to be much to her except faulty logic and blonde curls.

Having said all that, I was happy to have the next installment in the series and I can’t wait to see what Mary Connealy will come up with next.

I received this book free of charge from Bethany House for review. I am not receiving any compensation and this review is solely my own opinions.