Monday, February 9, 2015

The Dandelion Field by Kathryn Springer (Review)



  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (January 27, 2015)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310339632

This handsome firefighter makes a living coming to the rescue, but Gin doesn't need a man to fight her battles.
After Raine’s dad walked out, Ginevieve Lightly  never lived in one place too long, a rambling lifestyle that defined her daughter’s youth. When their car dies in Banister Falls, Wisconsin, Gin promises Raine they can stay until she finishes her senior year of high school. Gin will do anything to make sure her daughter has a bright future . . . a future that’s compromised when Raine reveals she’s pregnant.  
Dan Moretti has only ever called Banister Falls home. After losing his best friend in a tragic accident, Dan devoted himself to responding to fires, rescuing the helpless, and guiding Cody Bennett, his best friend's son, through life. With Cody being the epitome of the good kid, it was an easy job. Until he says four little words: “The baby is mine.”
Knowing gossip of Raine's pregnancy will erupt sooner or later in the small town, Gin's reflex is to grab the suitcase and escape to a new city, a new life. But with each passing day, Gin's feet stay rooted in Banister Falls, and she falls a little more for this local firefighter who shows her not all men abandon women at the first sign of smoke. 
As Gin and Dan do the best they can to guide the two teenagers through their early entry into adulthood, they discover together that romance can bloom in the rockiest of situations. And God can turn the pieces of a broken past into a beautiful new beginning.


My Review:

I read this book in one sitting Saturday afternoon. It was engrossing. I started reading and could not stop. The characters and plot were well developed and interesting. My only thing is the ending was not as satisfying as I expected considering how the book developed. I loved the characters I was supposed to and disliked the others. The main focus of the book is really more Gin and Dan than Raine. I felt the pregnancy was more like a subplot to Gin figuring out life which I did not mine. I liked the flashbacks to how Cody and Raine's relationship developed too. They were both good teens who made a mistake and were redeemed. The writing was lyrical and a good example of a contemporary Christian fiction book. Recommended to fans of the genre. 





KATHRYN SPRINGER
is a full-time writer and the award-winning author of Front Porch Princess. She won the ACFW 2009 Book of the Year award for Family Treasures. Her most recent book,The Soldier's Newfound Family, hit the New York Times best-seller list in November 2012.
Kathryn grew up in northern Wisconsin, where her parents published a weekly newspaper. As a child she spent many hours sitting at her mother's typewriter, plunking out stories, and credits her parents for instilling in her a love of books-which eventually turned into a desire to tell stories of her own. Kathryn has written 19 books with close to two million copies sold. She lives with her husband and three children in Marinette, Wisconsin.

Review copy provided by Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.

Home is Where My People Are by Sophie Hudson (Review)


  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (January 16, 2015)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414391731


All roads lead to home. It’s easy to go through life believing that we can satisfy our longing for home with a three-bedroom, two-bath slice of the American dream that we mortgage at 4 percent and pay for over the course of thirty years. But ultimately, in our deepest places, we’re really looking to belong and to be known. And what we sometimes miss in our search for the perfect spot to set up camp is that wherever we are on the long and winding road of life, God is at work in the journey, teaching us, shaping us, and refining us—sometimes through the most unlikely people and circumstances. In Home Is Where My People Are, Sophie Hudson takes readers on a delightfully quirky journey through the South, introducing them to an unforgettable cast of characters, places, and experiences. Along the way, she reflects on how God has used each of the stops along the road to impart timeless spiritual wisdom and truth. Nobody embodies the South like Sophie Hudson, and this nostalgic celebration of home is sure to make even those north of the Mason-Dixon line long to settle in on the front porch with a glass of sweet tea and reflect on all of the people in our lives who—related or not—have come to represent home. Because at the end of the day, it’s not the address on the front door or even the name on the mailbox that says home, but the people who live and laugh and love there, wherever there might happen to be.

My Review:

I thought this was a good memoir written with Southern flair. I did read and enjoy her first book A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet too. This book is a collection of stories about her life mainly focusing on family and her spiritual journey. If you are not into spiritual/Christian books, this is not going to be a book you like. I liked how she shared her struggles and the ways she made it through. There were many lol moments too. Home is where my people are summarize the book perfectly. Recommended. 





Sophie Hudson loves to laugh more than just about anything. She began writing her blog, BooMama.net, in November 2005, and much to her surprise, she's stuck with it. Sophie hopes that through her stories, women find encouragement and hope in the everyday, joy-filled moments of life. In addition to her blog, Sophie is a contributor to the Pioneer Woman's blog and serves as co-emcee for LifeWay's dotMOM event. A graduate of Mississippi State University, Sophie loves cheering like crazy at college football games and watching entire seasons of TV shows in record time. Sophie lives with her husband and son in Birmingham, Alabama.

Review copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Hidden Agenda by Lisa Harris (Review)


  • Series: Southern Crimes (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (January 6, 2015)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800721923


Michael Hunt is alive--and on the run. Presumed dead by friends and family, the undercover assignment he's been working for the past eight months has just been blown. With a hit out on his life and corruption inside the Atlanta police department, Michael finds himself hunted by both the cartel and the law. His only hope is the daughter of the man who wants him dead.

This nonstop chase from taut suspense writer Lisa Harris will leave readers breathless as they race to connect the dots before it's too late.

My Review:

I enjoyed reading this last book in the Southern Crimes series by Lisa Harris. I definitely recommend reading this series in order as the mystery develops through all of them. The characters and plot were interesting and well developed. It held my attention from the beginning and I could not wait to find out what happened next. My only issue was with the romance between Michael and Olivia, the daughter of the drug cartel leader. I felt like it was a little unbelievable and things developed really fast between them. The ending also worked out a little too easy and perfect but still satisfying wrapping up the loose ends. Overall this was a good Christian romantic suspense book. 




Lisa Harris is a Christy Award winner and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel for 2011 from Romantic Times. The author of more than twenty books, including Dangerous Passage and Fatal Exchange, Harris and her family have spent over ten years living as missionaries in Mozambique, where she leads a women's group and runs a nonprofit organization that works alongside their church-planting ministry. Visit www.lisaharriswrites.com for more.

Review copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.

At Home in Last Chance by Cathleen Armstrong (Review)



  • Series: A Place to Call Home (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (January 6, 2015)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800722487


Kaitlyn Reed and Steven Braden have always had a similar philosophy of life: when the going gets tough, they get going--out of town and away from the problem. Now they are both back in Last Chance, New Mexico, and trying to start over. Kaitlyn is working to reestablish a relationship with the seven-year-old daughter she left behind six months earlier. Steven is trying to prove to his family that he is not the irresponsible charmer they have always known him to be. As Kaitlyn and Steven find themselves drawn to one another, one big question keeps getting in the way: How will they learn to trust each other when they don't even trust themselves?

With emotional depth and characters who leap off the page and into the reader's psyche, Cathleen Armstrong continues to delight her readers and win new fans. Readers will be thrilled to return once more to the small town they've grown to love.

My Review:

This is the third book in the Place to Call Home series. The characters are the same but the focus changes to different characters in each book. This book centers on Kaitlyn and Steven. In the last book Kaitlyn leaves her daughter with her brother to run off with a man. I did not like her in the last book and it took me awhile to like her in this book. In the end I feel like I understood her character better. Steven was a charmer and still is with women. He is trying to convince everyone that he has turned on a new leaf. These two are perfect for each other. The book would not have worked as good if they were paired with a "perfect" no mistakes character. The characters and plot are well developed and the book held my attention. I hope there is another book in this series. I enjoyed reading all of them and the setting of Last Chance, New Mexico. Recommended. 



Cathleen Armstrong lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, Ed, and their corgi. Though she has been in California for many years now, her roots remain deep in New Mexico where she grew up and where much of her family still lives. She is the author of Welcome to Last Chance, winner of the 2009 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Award for Women's Fiction, and One More Last Chance.

Review Copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Give Books, Not Roses Giveaway from Hatchette Books

Dear Reader,

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! The crisp, cool air feels a little sweeter and stores are filling their shelves with greeting cards and candies. But instead of sharing the usual gifts, the way to someone’s heart can be through a story (and maybe a little bit of chocolate). Hachette Book Group is offering a “Give Books, Not Roses” Valentine’s Day giveaway for those of you who want to express your admiration for friends, family, and loved ones.
Links to purchase ~ 
Books-A-Million:  http://bit.ly/1xu5YKK
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1xX5cWD
ChristianBook.com: http://bit.ly/1yuAhiW
Love Gently Falling written by Melody Carlson is a romantic novella about the power of Valentine’s Day and how one woman discovers love while at the same time saving her family’s business. Successful hairstylist to the stars Rita Jensen returns to her hometown in Chicago after receiving news that her mother has suffered a stroke. Though Rita must come up with a plan to save her mother’s salon, the oncoming holiday and her undeniable feelings for an old classmate become quite a distraction.

Links to purchase ~ 
Barnes & Noble:http://bit.ly/13yw0BI
Books-A-Million: http://bit.ly/1uTtqMg

Keys of Heaven is the second book in Adina Senft’s Healing Grace trilogy. Amish widow Sarah Yoder helps her community by creating teas and tinctures from the herbs she grows. She struggles to find love with an Amish man, and she doesn’t know what to do about her attraction to her friend Henry Byler, who has turned away from her beliefs. Sarah’s story will show anyone that romantic love is not the only love that matters.

Valentine’s Day is an internationally celebrated day of romance, dating back to the 5th Century. But today, love touches our lives in so many different ways. Whether you are dedicating the day to your good friends or your life partner, treat them to these wonderful stories of courage, kindness, and love. 

Sincerely,
Christina Boys
Editor of LOVE GENTLY FALLING and KEYS OF HEAVEN"



Hatchette Books has generously offered a copy of both books above and the chocolate bar to one lucky winner. Please leave a comment on this blog post with your name and email address to be entered. Contest Ends on Friday February 13 at midnight. I will draw a  name and send it to the publisher. 

Saturday, January 31, 2015

A Stitch in Crime by Cathy Elliot

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Stitch in Crime
Abingdon Press (January 20, 2015)
by
Cathy Elliot


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Cathy Elliott is a full-time writer who lives in northern California and whose cozy mysteries reflect her personal interests from playing her fiddle with friends to antique collecting and quilting. Besides collecting (too much) cool fabric, she also enjoys hunting for antiques and is several years into recovery from her eBay addiction. UPDATE: She backslid a while back, enticed to bid on a 1945 Singer Featherweight. (She won.) But now she’s back on the wagon. Except for the recent crazy quilt pillow purchase. She also leads music at church and enjoys time with her grandchildren.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Thea James has accepted an assignment as co-chairperson for Larkindale’s first quilt show extravaganza. Juggling the new assignment with running her antique business, she’s already feeling frayed when things start to unravel. Mary-Alice Wentworth, a much-loved town matriarch, respected quilt judge, and Thea’s dear friend, is covertly conked on the head during the kick-off Quilt Show Soiree, throwing suspicion on her guests. It also appears that a valuable diamond brooch has been stolen during the attack. The family is furious. But is it because of their mugged mother or the missing diamonds? When a renowned textile expert goes MIA and the famous Wentworth heritage quilt disappears, Larkindale’s reputation as a tourist haven is at risk. Thea attempts to piece the mystery together and save the town’s investment in the quilt show before Mary-Alice is attacked again . . . with far worse results.

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Stitch in Crime, go HERE.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Beside Bethseda by Toni Erickson Tada (Review)



  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: NavPress (September 1, 2014)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612917122

A 31-day devotional from bestselling author and speaker Joni Eareckson Tada that takes readers on a month-long journey toward the deepest healing God offers. The entire book is framed against Joni’s visit to the healing pool of Bethesda to seek healing where Jesus healed.

As Joni relates aspects of her own journey in dealing with the most painful “unanswered prayer” of her life, readers will learn to see beyond potential quick fixes to the deepest and greatest solutions God has for them. As the journey continues, readers deal with topics such as contentment, patience, unanswered prayer, transformation through suffering, wrestling with God, and hoping in God.

My Review:

Before this book I did not really know this author. I recognized her name but did not know her story. She is well known Christian author and speaker. She was also left a quadriplegic after a diving accident when she was 17. Her full bio can be found here: http://www.joniandfriends.org/jonis-corner/jonis-bio/
This book is a 31 day devotional. It is a small book and quick to read. Each day has scriptures, a personal story from her, and a going deeper section. It centers around her trip to Betheseda. She prayed for healing but did not receive it. She shares how it affected her. She shows us to rely on God and him alone. She is encouraging and inspiring. 

Joni Eareckson Tada is founder and CEO of Joni and Friends, an organization that accelerates Christian outreach in the disability community.  Joni and Friends provides practical support and spiritual help to special needs families worldwide, and equips thousands of churches in developing disability ministry.  Joni is the author of numerous best-selling books, including When God Weeps, Diamonds in the Dust, A Lifetime of Wisdom, and A Step Further, winner of the Gold Medallion Award.  Joni and her husband, Ken, have been married for over 30 years.  For more information on Joni and Friends, visitwww.joniandfriends.org


I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.