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.

Deceived by Irene Hannon (Review)


  • Series: Private Justice (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (October 7, 2014)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800721251

 A grieving mother. A mysterious child. And a dedicated PI who's determined to solve the puzzle.
For three years, Kate Marshall has been mourning the loss of her husband and four-year-old son in a boating accident. But when she spots a familiar-looking child on a mall escalator, she's convinced it's her son. With police skeptical of her story, she turns to private investigator Connor Sullivan for help. As the former Secret Service agent digs into the case, the boating "accident" begins to look increasingly suspicious. But if Kate's son is alive, someone is intent on keeping him hidden--and may go to lethal lengths to protect a sinister secret.

 My Review:

I enjoyed reading this Christian suspense/mystery book. It is book three in the Private Justice series but can stand alone. It also  had a touch of romance in it between Kate and Connor.  The bad guy did not seem really bad though. Greg Sanders and his son Todd just moved to St. Louis. He is a widower and seems like a very devoted dad. But his son Todd is very similar to Kate's dead son. Kate goes to Connor and asks him to investigate after seeing them together at the mall. The plot and characters were well written and interesting. It held my attention from start to finish. This is one of my favorite authors in this genre. Recommended.




 Irene Hannon is the author of more than forty-five novels, including Vanished, Trapped, and the bestselling Heroes of Quantico and Guardians of Justice series. Her books have been honored with two coveted RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America, a Carol Award, two HOLT Medallions, a Daphne du Maurier Award, two Reviewers' Choice Awards from RT Book Reviews magazine, a Retailers' Choice Award, and a National Readers' Choice Award. In addition, she is a Christy Award finalist, and Booklist included one of her novels in its "Top 10 Inspirational Fiction" list for 2011. She lives in Missouri. Learn more at www.irenehannon.com

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

Friday, October 3, 2014

Where Treetops Glisten by Tricia Goyer, Sarah Sundin, and Cara Putman (Review)



  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press (September 16, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601426488
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601426482

The crunch of newly fallen snow, the weight of wartime

Three siblings forging new paths and finding love in three stories, filled with the wonder of Christmas

Turn back the clock to a different time, listen to Bing Crosby sing of sleigh bells in the snow, as the realities of America’s involvement in the Second World War change the lives of the Turner family in Lafayette, Indiana.

In White Christmas by Cara Putman, Abigail Turner is holding down the Home Front as a college student and a part-time employee at a one-of-a-kind candy shop. Loss of a beau to the war has Abigail skittish about romantic entanglements—until a hard-working young man with a serious problem needs her help.

Abigail’s brother Pete is a fighter pilot hero returned from the European Theatre in Sarah Sundin’s I’ll Be Home for Christmas, trying to recapture the hope and peace his time at war has eroded. But when he encounters a precocious little girl in need of Pete’s friendship, can he convince her widowed mother that he’s no longer the bully she once knew?

In Tricia Goyer’s Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Meredith Turner, “Merry” to those who know her best, is using her skills as a combat nurse on the frontline in the Netherlands. Halfway around the world from home, Merry never expects to face her deepest betrayal head on, but that’s precisely what God has in mind to redeem her broken heart.

The Turner family believes in God’s providence during such a tumultuous time. Can they absorb the miracle of Christ’s birth and God’s plan for a future?



My Review:

I enjoyed reading this book of three Christmas novellas. They are all about the Turner family. Each story focuses on a different sibling during WWII. They flow seamlessly between stories. The rest of the family is in the background but I especially liked Grandma. The book begins with her while she is trying to get some Christmas spirit back for everyone. The authors did a good job with the characters. You cannot tell three different authors wrote the novellas. The characters and plot are consistent and well written. I felt a range of emotions while reading these books. They covered sad, funny, and sweet. Highly Recommended.


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

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Joyful by Shelley Shepard Gray (Review)






  • Series: Return to Sugarcreek
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Avon Inspire; Original edition (September 2, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062204505
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062204509



A young Amish couple gets a second chance at love in New York Times bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray’s final book in her Return to Sugarcreek series.

Randall Beiler is doing his best to put his family and the farm’s needs first, even forsaking love. But though he tries, Randall knows he needs help caring for his younger siblings and keeping the house together.

When his brother offers pretty Elizabeth Nolt a job taking care of the house and cooking for the family, Randall is furious—and guilty about the way he once broke Elizabeth’s heart. But when he learns that Elizabeth and her grandmother are struggling to make ends meet, he knows the offer, no matter how painful, is the right thing for everyone.

Elizabeth wants to refuse—to stay far away from the man who hurt her—but she needs the money. Though she vows to protect her heart, spending time in the Beiler household makes Elizabeth realize that, while she’s older and wiser, her love for Randall still burns strong.

Randal, too, seems to want something more. But does he want Elizabeth because he truly loves her—or because he needs a housekeeper? If Randall sincerely wants something more, he must find a way to show Elizabeth—or risk losing his chance at love forever.

Joyful includes a P.S. section with a letter from the author, discussion questions, and a teaser from her next book.

 My Review:

I enjoyed reading this latest book in the Return to Sugarcreek series.The main focus in this book is the relationship between Elizabeth and Randall. Two other couples have stories featured along side. Judith and Ben Graeber are still struggling with childlessness. They have their foster baby boy,James, but they might be losing him back to his real family. Pippa Reyes from the Amish restaurant is asked out by ex husband's friend and is exploring a relationship with him. Elizabeth and Randall were courting then he broke up with her unexpectedly because he thought he needed too in order to take care of his younger siblings. His brother Levi decides to hire Elizabeth to come cook and clean for them because Randall stinks at it. They all love Elizabeth and are waiting for Randall to get his act together. I liked Elizabeth but never liked Randall. Overall this was a good conclusion to the Sugarcreek series.






Shelley Shepard Gray lives in southern Ohio and writes full time. A busy wife and mother of two, she spends her days writing and keeping track of her two teenagers. Her two dogs keep her company when she writes in her basement.

Shelley enjoys writing about the Amish and visits Amish communities in Adams and Holmes counties several times a year. When not spending time with her family or writing, she serves on several committees in her church.

She also bakes a lot, loves coconut cream pie, and will hardly ever pull weeds, mow the yard, or drive in the snow.

Shelley also spends a lot of time on line! Please visit her website, www.shelleyshepardgray.com to find out her latest news...or become her friend on FaceBook.

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

Monday, September 22, 2014

Hidden in the Stars by Robin Caroll

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Hidden in the Stars
Abingdon Press (September 16, 2014)
by
Robin Caroll


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Born and raised in Louisiana, Robin Caroll is a southerner through and through. Her passion has always been to tell stories to entertain others. Robin’s mother, bless her heart, is a genealogist who instilled in Robin the deep love of family and pride of heritage—two aspects Robin weaves into each of her books.

When she isn’t writing, Robin spends time with her husband of twenty-plus years, her 3 beautiful daughters, 2 precious grandsons, and their character-filled pets at home—in the South, where else?

ABOUT THE BOOK

Following an attack that killed her mother and stole her ability to speak, 21-year-old Sophia Montgomery has no choice but to accept her estranged grandmother’s offer to return to their family home. Although detective Julian Frazier is working hard on the case, Sophia unknowingly frustrates him because her inability to speak thwarts her eyewitness evidence. The fact that Julian is undeniably attracted to Sophia doesn’t help either, so Julian hides his feelings as concern for a trauma victim and focuses instead on finding the killer.

Little do they know, the clues to solving the case may be right in front of them, displayed in Sophia’s mother’s “special” quilt design. Who will realize the secret Sophia’s unwittingly been hiding in plain sight? When the truth comes to light, will Sophia find her voice again? Or will the murderer—still at large—silence her forever?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Hidden in the Stars, go HERE.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Curious Case of the Missing Figurehead by Diane Noble

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Curious Case of the Missing Figurehead
David C. Cook (September 1, 2014)
by
Diane Noble


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Award-winning novelist Diane Noble writes stories that tap into the secrets of the heart.

With more than a quarter million books in print, Diane feels incredibly blessed to be doing what she loves best—writing the stories of her heart.

For the last three years Diane has been honored to be lead author for the popular Guideposts series, Mystery and the Minister’s Wife (Through the Fire, Angels Undercover), and has recently returned to writing historical fiction. She recently finished writing book two of her new historical series, The Brides of Gabriel. Book one, The Sister Wife, and book 2, The Betrayal, which are published by Harper Collins/Avon Inspire, are now in bookstores.

Now empty nesters, Diane and her husband live in the Southern California low desert, near a place known for the lush and beautiful gated communities of the rich and famous.

ABOUT THE BOOK

She’s Passionate about Solving the Case ... with the Town’s Life-Long Bachelor

El Littllefield runs The Butler Did It catering. It’s the perfect cover for her to solve “who-done-its” (nothing too dangerous, please!) in this small university town nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. While catering her most important event yet—a fancy retirement dinner for Dr. Max Haverhill, life-long bachelor and history dean—countless guests fall ill, a 200 year-old relic is stolen, and her best friend vanishes. All in the first hour.

As El and Max race to solve the mystery, they discover there’s more to their relationship than simply solving the case. Welcome to Eden’s Bridge—the perfect small town setting for big intrigue, romance, and humor.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Curious Case of the Missing Figurehead, go HERE


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Nowhere to Turn by Lynette Eason (Review)





  • Series: Hidden Identity (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (September 2, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800722094
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800722098



The day Danielle Harding takes her 11-year-old son, Simon, and flees from her abusive husband, is the same day Kurt Harding dies. A relieved Dani believes she and her son are finally safe--but in reality, the danger has just begun. When Kurt was alive, he took something important to a mysterious person. That person wants the item back and believes Dani now has it. As she and her son run for their lives, they have nowhere to turn, until she hires Adam Buchanan of Operation Refuge and goes into hiding. Unfortunately, she won't be able to hide for long . . .

From the first breathless scene, this tension-laced story will hold readers in its iron grip. Bestselling author Lynette Eason propels readers along at a breakneck pace in a race to discover the truth and a better future.

 My Review:

This is book two in the Hidden Identity series. It can stand alone although Summer and her husband make an appearance from book one. I did not like this one as much. It started off good but got repetitive on the action toward the middle. They kept going to a safe house and then being found many times. And I never bonded with the main characters, Danielle and Adam. I did like Simon, Dani's son who is deaf because of his father's abuse. The relationship between Danielle and Adam was not super sparky. There was a twist in the plot I did not see coming that surprised me. The other part of the mystery was easy to solve. So overall a decent Christian romantic suspense book. Not my favorite Lynette Eason but I am still looking forward to the next book in the series.




 Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of the Women of Justice series and the Deadly Reunions series, as well as No One to Trust. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. She has a master's degree in education from Converse College and she lives in South Carolina. Learn more at www.lynetteeason.com

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