Thursday, May 28, 2015

Centralia by Mike Dellosso

This was an interesting suspense novel. It is about Peter / Jed whose reality is set on end when he realizes that there are things he doesn't understand about his past. He has been part of a secret government agency and has had his brain altered by them. He must dig through all the differing fragments of thoughts and memories running through his brain and fight off all the very real thugs that are chasing him to try to get him back into the program or destroy him.

The author uses the real "burning city" (underground) of Centralia, PA as the location of the secret facility and the blending of facts about that and the story are interesting.

This book was intense and required a lot of concentration to try to figure out what was going on but it was riveting and I had trouble putting it down to do other things. I loved how the little girl's faith was the key and when Peter / Jed remembered his faith and put it into action, God's protection became real to him.

I was given a copy of this book by Tyndale House in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Taken by Dee Henderson

Every time I think Dee Henderson has reached the mountaintop in her career she outdoes herself again. I loved this book! There is no immediate danger or violence in this book but the suspense is ongoing. The characters are intriguing and the plot is riveting.

Shannon Bliss was abducted at age 16 and eleven years later she resurfaces outside Matthew Dane's hotel room asking for his assistance in getting back to her life. Matthew's daughter Becky had been through a similar experience and Shannon had read about it in the newspaper and chose him to help her too.

I love the enduring faith of the characters that is just a part of their personalities and who they are. I love that they consulted God when the going got tough. I love that they relied on each other and a set of trusted friends (some were my old friend from previous Dee Henderson books). I love how laid back they were even in times of extreme stress and the simple things that they enjoyed about life. I would love to have friends like these.

This book brought new insight on the difficult transition for people who have been victims of horrible crimes like kidnapping. The PTSD that they deal with is as serious as that of our armed forces. All such victims should be treated with respect and given all the help they need to recover.

I highly recommend this book to all my reading friends.

I received this book from Bethany House in return for a fair and honest review. Confession time, I would have bought it regardless. I can't pass over a Dee Henderson book and wait anxiously for the next one to come down the pike.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Chance of Loving You (Romance Collection)

This is an anthology by
Author Terri Blackstock - view author info
Author Susan May Warren - view author info
Author Candace Calvert - view author info

Terri Blackstock and Candace Calvert are two of my favorite authors and I have also read Susan May Warren’s work in the past.

The first story, by Terri Blackstock, is about a couple who meet in a restaurant and end up sharing a winning sweepstakes ticket (10 million each). It was not Terri Blackstock’s normal fare and it felt contrived, as if she was trying to make something up to fit this spot in the book. The characters were not very likeable and the circumstances and reactions of the two were not very credible.

The second story, by Candace Calvert, is about a dietary aide in a hospital who falls in love with the CSI Photographer who is regularly visiting his grandmother in the hospital. This is typical Candace Calvert fare and I loved it!

The third story, by Susan May Warren, was hard to follow at first but it turned out to be a fun story. It’s about a couple who grew up together and went to the same college but misunderstanding had forced a wedge between them that neither wanted. A fishing tournament throws them together again and sparks fly.

All in all this was a fun book and I will recommend it to my friends that like these types of stories. This book was provided to me by Tyndale House in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Tiffany Girl by Deeanne Gist

This is the most fun book I've read this year. I always love Deanne Gist's books but this one is extraordinary!

Flossie is a "New Woman" in the 1890s. She wants to strike out on her own as a single woman and artist. She accepts a job for Mr. Tiffany (of Tiffany stained glass fame) when he hires women to replace the men from his factory that are on strike. Against her parents' wishes, she moves out and takes up residence in a boarding house. Being an only child, she is hungry for family and embraces the other residents of the boarding house as her new family. One of the residents is a writer, Reeve Wilder, a man who also wants a family in the worst way but handles the acquiring of one from a whole different perspective. This novel take place in New York City and also in Chicago at the World's Fair. The author has done extensive research and I almost feel like I have visited that World's Fair and also have learned much about the culture of the time. There are so many fascinating aspects of our ancestors' lives that I have learned through Ms. Gist's work and I can't wait to find out what she will teach me next.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. However, if I had not I would have bought it at the first opportunity anyway because I would not have wanted to miss this one! These characters are engaging, likable and "fun to watch." Once I dove into this book I didn't want to come up for air. I am now adrift at the end of the story and wishing I was still experiencing it. I think this will be one of those rare books that I will actually visit again. There are so many books to read out there that I hardly ever read one again but I may have to make an exception for this one. Of course, I'm sure Ms. Gist is working on her next masterpiece so perhaps I will just wait and see. Delicious!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Finding Me by Kathryn Cushman

Kelli Huddleston has always been told that her mother and siblings died in a house fire. But when her father and stepmother die in a car accident and Kelli has to go through her father's things, she finds a whole different scenario emerging and decides to go find out for herself what really happened.

I was not familiar with Kathryn Cushman's work before but I intend to be very familiar in the future. What a great author to add to my "favorites" list!

This book kept me hooked until the very end. I needed to find out what happened more than I needed my sleep. The book and its characters found a home in my heart. Highly recommend!

Bethany House gave me a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Monday, March 23, 2015

When Grace Sings by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Briley Forrester, hotshot big city reporter, is in the tiny Old Order Mennonite town of Arborville to dig up some dirt on the residents. He and his boss think there must be more to the story than the outward appearance of these people. He stays at the Bed and Breakfast run by Alexa Zimmerman. She's not Old Order Mennonite but she lives plain since her extended family, the Zimmerman's are. Both Briley and Alexa have issues from the past that haunt them. Briley was abandoned at 5 and raised in foster homes. Alexa was abandoned as an infant and raised by Suzy Zimmerman.

Also featured in the story are Steven Brungardt and Anna-Grace Braun who are "published" to be married. Steven has inherited a farm in Arborville from his deceased grandfather. Steven doesn't want to be a farmer, he wants to be a teacher but he doesn't want to disappoint his parents and Anna-Grace. Anna-Grace isn't sure she wants to go to Arborville either because she has discovered that her birth parents are from there. She doesn't want to know who they are but she doesn't want to run into them either.

This story is a continuation of When Mercy Rains and this book is number 2 in the Zimmerman Restoration series. Book 1 deals with Suzy Zimmerman's return to her family with the daughter she raised (Alexa) and seeing for the first time since birth her own illegitimate daughter that had been adopted by a cousin.

Time out! I need to grumble at the author a little: Mrs. Sawyer, you left us hanging on Suzy at the end of book one. Now at the end of book two you leave us hanging on Suzy, Alexa AND Anna-Grace. Book 3 (since this is a trilogy) better be Faith Restored or some such and resolve all three of these. They are all begging for resolution.

Just so you know, that rant above was in fun. I love Kim Vogel Sawyer. She is arguably my FAVORITE of all favorite authors. She provided this book to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. I would have snarfed it up anyway because I've been waiting (impatiently) for this next installment in the story. Please speed-write book number 3, Mrs. Sawyer.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Dauntless (Valiant Hearts) by Dina L. Sleiman

All I can say is WOW! I loved this book! I love this time period, I love these kinds of stories and I want more! (And I don't want to wait till the Author's next installment. I want her to speed write!)

Lady Merry Ellison and Timothy Grey were once betrothed but her father's opposition to King John put a damper on the situation. Her parents and brother were murdered by the King's men and Merry and some of the village children were forced into exile by the circumstances. They formed a little band for survival and lived off their wits in the woods. Timothy, thinking Merry was dead too, eventually went to work for a nearby landholder. When he discovers Merry is still alive he doesn't know what to do. To let others know is to put her in danger.

This was so much fun -- a Robin Hood type of story. The characters are interesting, the time period is interesting, the political intrigue is fascinating and the storytelling is superb!

Bethany House gave me a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review but I would have bought it anyway and will buy any subsequent books by this author. Loved it!!