Friday, November 28, 2014

Pound Foolish by Dave and Neta Jackson (Review)




  • Paperback: 332 pages
  • Publisher: Castle Rock Creative, Inc. (September 25, 2014)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982054499



Greg Singer coordinates consumer sports shows for powerboats, four wheelers, snowmobiles, and jet skis-macho toys for outdoor men like himself. But the job puts tremendous stress on his marriage with Nicole, who for the first time notices the handsome lawyer at the end of the block. "Greener pastures?" When the recession hits Greg's industry, he thinks the crisis is merely an opportunity for God to bless him with unmatched prosperity, a promise he hears preached each Sunday, and he steps out in bold faith . . . But is he being "pound foolish"? The fourth in the Windy City Neighbors series, POUND FOOLISH explores the economic upheaval and uncertainties challenging every family. Intersecting with PENNY WISE (book three), the Jacksons employ the innovating storytelling technique of "parallel novels." Though each book follows its own drama and story arc, the characters' lives become intertwined and affect one another. Pound Foolish returns us to Beecham Street-a typical American neighborhood . . . where a growing friendship brings new meaning to prosperity.

My Review:

This is the fourth book in the Windy City Neighbors series. I have enjoyed reading the series this far. That said this was not my favorite book. I have not liked Greg Singer from the beginning. That may have been on purpose by the authors, I'm not sure. I still like the way the story is written using the technique of "parallel novels" and the characters staying the same throughout. Characters from previous books make an appearance in each book after. I enjoy learning more of their stories in the background. The main plot line in this book is the relationship between Greg and Nicole Singer. Greg is all about money and it starts to consume him. When he loses his job instead of finding another regular one he explores the crazy ones that pop up on the computer like selling a new energy drink. I found interesting the sermons being preached at their church and the way Greg was able to twist them to fit his money ideas. Nicole was the only one that realized the preaching was not sound. Greg and Nicole have communication issues anyway. Greg learned the hard way that get rich quick schemes do not work. He almost lost everything. Many couples will be able to relate to the struggles Greg and Nicole experience. The ending felt a little unreal but otherwise good. I look forward to reading book five in the series.



Dave and Neta Jackson are award-winning authors living in the Chicago area where their parallel novels from the Yada Yada House of Hope and Harry Bentley series are set.
As a husband/wife writing team, Dave and Neta Jackson are enthusiastic about books, kids, walking with God, gospel music, and each other! Together they are the authors or coauthors of over 100 books.
Find out more about Dave and Neta at http://www.daveneta.com/


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

Christmas at Rose Hill Farm by Suzanne Woods Fisher (Review)








  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (September 2, 2014)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800721930


Bess Riehl is preparing Rose Hill Farm for her Christmas wedding, but her groom isn't who she thought it would be. Billy Lapp is far away from his Amish roots working as a rose rustler for Penn State and wants nothing to do with Stoney Ridge, his family, or Bess. And that suits Bess just fine. Why should she think twice about a man who left without a word, without any explanation? It's time she moved on with her life, and that meant saying yes to Amos Lapp, Billy's cousin and best friend. But as Bess and Amos's wedding day draws near, her emotions tangle into a tight knot. She loves Amos. Yet she can't forget Billy.

When a "lost" rose is discovered at Rose Hill Farm, Billy is sent to track down its origins. Get in, identify the rose, and get out. That's his plan. The only catch is that he's having a hard time narrowing down the identity of the lost rose, and he can't get those tropical blue eyes of Bess Riehl out of his mind.

As the history of the lost rose is pieced together, it reminds Bess and Billy--and Amos, too--that Christmas truly is the season of miracles.

Join bestselling, award-winning author Suzanne Woods Fisher for an Amish Christmas to remember. Filled with heart-twisting moments amid the sweet anticipation of love, this story will charm readers into the holiday spirit.

 My Review:

I enjoyed reading this Amish Christmas Love story. The characters and plot were well developed and interesting. The love triangle was Bess, Billy, and Amos. Bess is a sweet Amish girl who is in love with Billy. He left the Amish years ago due to a misunderstanding and family issues.She never forgot him or stopped loving him. He became a rose rustler and lived among the English. Amos is Billy's cousin and loves Bess too. After Billy disappeared Amos started courting Bess. He finally got Bess to commit to a wedding date. Enter Billy right before the wedding. He came back because Bess found a possible "lost rose" on her grandmother's rose farm. Bess realized she still loved him but he was like a porcupine. The romance between Bess and Billy was great. I felt so bad for Amos but the chemistry between Bess and Billy was undeniable. The author uses flashbacks to tell part of the story. They were necessary but not always welcome.  The main theme of forgiveness came through nicely. I highly recommend all of this author's Amish stories.








 Writing, for Suzanne, is a way to express a love of God and His word. With every book or article, she hopes readers get a sense of what faith really looks like in the daily grind. She hopes they realize that life can be hard, but God is good, and never to confuse the two.

Suzanne can be found on-line at: www.suzannewoodsfisher.com

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

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Christmas Cat by Melody Carlson (Review)



  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (September 9, 2014)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800719661


After years abroad, Garrison Brown returns home to Vancouver to build a new life. When his beloved grandmother passes away a few weeks before Christmas, Garrison goes to her house to sort out her belongings, including six cats who need new homes. While Garrison hopes to dispense with the task quickly, his grandmother's instructions don't allow for speed. She has left Garrison with some challenging requirements for the future homes of her furry friends--plus a sizable monetary gift for the new owners. Garrison's job is to match the cats with the right owners without disclosing the surprise gift. Along the way, he may just meet someone who can make him stay.

Humorous and heartwarming, this latest Christmas story from bestselling author Melody Carlson is the perfect gift for pet lovers and anyone in whose heart Christmas holds a special place.


My Review: 

I enjoyed reading this sweet contemporary Christmas novella. We have three cats at my house that are spoiled rotten so I was interested in this plot line. I was not disappointed. The book held my attention from beginning to end. The author did a good job on telling the story from Garrison, a male, point of view. The story centers on Garrison inheriting his grandmother's six cats. She left very specific instructions on how to find them new homes. At first he plans on just giving them away easy but as the book goes on he finds himself getting very attached to them. He follows his grandmother's wishes and made friends along the way. One of which might end up being the love of his life. This was a touching Christmas story. The ending was satisfying and fit the book. Recommended.






 Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books with sales of more than five million. She is the author of several Christmas books, including the bestselling The Christmas Bus, The Christmas Dog, and Christmas at Harrington's, as well as The Christmas Pony and A Simple Christmas Wish. She received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series and Finding Alice. She and her husband live in central Oregon. Learn more at www.melodycarlson.com

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

Trading Secrets by Melody Carlson (Review)




  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (October 21, 2014)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800722272


The truth may set you free--but it might also land you in some uncomfortably hot water.

Over the years, Micah Knight has exchanged many letters--and many secrets--with her longtime Amish pen pal, Zach. But Micah's kept quiet on the biggest secret of all--the fact that despite her name, she's a girl.

Now Micah finally has the chance to meet her pen pal face-to-face. She wants nothing more than to experience life on Zach's Amish farm, but she's more than a little anxious. Will he be angry at her for deceiving him all these years? And will she risk losing his friendship to find something more?

My Review:

I thought this was a light book with an interesting concept. It is an young adult book with an Amish twist. Micah is English and her pen pal Zach is Amish. They have exchanged letters for years. She never came out and told him she was a girl. Now they are teenagers and Zach invites her to come to the farm. He did not know she deceived him until she got there. He did not react in a good way. Things did not get any better either for a while. I thought his actions went on for too long and were unbelievable. His Amish family also did not behave like the ones I am used too in this kind of book.One of his sisters helped her when she could. In the whole book his parents never warmed up to her.  Micah was the best developed character in the book. I was a little surprised at the ending but happy. Recommended for fans of the genre.






Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of more than two hundred books, including the Dating Games series, the Life at Kingston High series, Double Take, A Simple Song, and My Amish Boyfriend. She has received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for her many books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series and Finding Alice. Melody and her husband live in Oregon. Learn more at www.melodycarlson.com

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

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

At Bluebonnet Lake by Amanda Cabot (Review)








  • Series: Texas Crossroads (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (October 21, 2014)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800734343


Marketing maven Kate Sherwood's world is fast-paced, challenging, and always changing. The last thing she wants to do is slow down to a crawl at Rainbow's End, a dilapidated resort in the Texas Hill Country. But she cannot deny her ailing grandmother's request to visit the place where she and her deceased husband spent one glorious week (albeit fifty years ago). There Kate meets Greg Vange, the resort's handyman. But there's more to Greg than meets the eye--billions more, in fact, as he recently sold his successful software company and is at the resort in search of what's next for his life.

Kate isn't looking for romance, but she can't deny the sparks of attraction that fly every time she and Greg are together. She even starts to see potential in the rundown resort. Could there be a future there? Or will Kate's long-sought promotion take her back to the big city?

 My Review:

This was an okay Contemporary Christian romance book. I was doubtful in the beginning that I would like it because the plot is predictable and done before. The characters were well developed though. I enjoyed the relationship between Kate and Greg. There was a secondary romance between Kate's grandmother, Sally, and Roy, a local. Rainbow's End was an interesting location. It reminded me of camp movies. I wanted to see more done with it in the book. This is the first book in the series so hopefully the next book in the series will start a revitalization of it. I look forward to reading the next book.





Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of the Texas Dreams series, the Westward Winds series, and Christmas Roses. Her books have been finalists for the ACFW Carol Awards and the Booksellers' Best. She lives in Wyoming. Learn more at www.amandacabot.com

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

Friday, November 21, 2014

A Promise to Protect by Patricia Bradley (Review)



  • Series: Logan Point (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (October 7, 2014)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800722814



Acting Sheriff Ben Logan hasn't heard from Leigh Somerall in a very long time, but it doesn't mean he can get her--or their whirlwind romance of ten years ago--out of his head. When she calls out of the blue, it is with a strange request to protect her brother, Tony. When Tony dies just days later, Ben is charged with a different task--protecting Leigh and her nine-year-old son, TJ, from the killers. But how can Ben keep an eye on Leigh if she's doing everything in her power to avoid him? And could the secret that Leigh is keeping change Ben's life forever?

Suspense, intrigue, and a touch of romance make A Promise to Protect perfect for readers who like their stories with a hearty dose of mystery.

 My Review:

This was a good Christian romantic suspense book. It is second in the Point Logan series and can stand alone. The characters and plot were well developed and interesting.  I felt like I was experiencing the events with them.The sparks flew between Ben and Leigh. It kept my attention from beginning to end. My mind felt blown away at the end. I can't wait to read the next book in this series.  Recommended especially to fans of Dee Henderson, Irene Hannon, etc.





 Patricia Bradley's manuscript for Shadows of the Past was a finalist for the 2012 Genesis Award, winner of a 2012 Daphne du Maurier award (1st place, Inspirational), and winner of a 2012 Touched by Love award (1st place, Contemporary). She is a published short story writer and is cofounder of Aiming for Healthy Families, Inc. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America and makes her home in Mississippi. Learn more at www.ptbradley.com

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

Available September 2014 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Murder at the Mikado by Julianna Deering (Review)



  • Series: A Drew Farthering Mystery
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (July 1, 2014)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764210976


When a celebrated ACTOR IS FOUND MURDERED IN HIS DRESSING ROOM, all signs point to Drew's old flame. But behind the curtains nothing is what it seems and this quickly becomes his MOST puzzling case YET.
Just as Drew Farthering thinks his life has calmed down some, Fleur Landis, a former girlfriend, reappears, in dire need of his help. She's married now, no longer an actress--but the lead actor in her former troupe's production of The Mikado has been murdered, and Fleur is the police's number one suspect.

Drew would rather focus on his fiancée, Madeline Parker, and their upcoming wedding, but he can't leave Fleur and her family in the lurch--even if she did break his heart once. As Drew, Nick, and Madeline begin investigating, they discover more going on behind the scenes of the theater troupe than could ever have been imagined. It seems nearly everyone had a motive, and alibis are few and far between.

Both the murder case and the presence of the beautiful, exotic Fleur put a heavy strain on Drew and Madeline's relationship. Will their still-young romance survive the pressure?


 My Review:

I did not enjoy this book as much as the previous books in the series. This book can stand alone but reading the first two adds background history to the characters. The pace for this book was really slow. The plot definitely meandered along. There was more dialogue than mystery/suspense. The ending was explosive though. The author did a good job creating the feel of England. The faith element was a little awkward and seemed like it was an afterthought. Overall it was nice to revisit Drew, Madeline, and Nick. I hope there is another book in the series.




Julianna Deering is the creator of the acclaimed Drew Farthering Mystery series. She has always loved British history and is a particular fan of the writings of Dorothy Sayers and Agatha Christie. She graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas with a degree in business administration and spent several years as a certified public accountant. She lives outside Dallas, Texas. Learn more at www.juliannadeering.com

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