Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Her Nerdy Cowboy by: Annette Irby

I absolutely loved this short story by Annette Irby! A cowboy who likes books and wears glasses? Not your usual cowboy. But what a fun story! Logan McDaniels leaves his life behind to help his sister Macy when her husband dies. Will this change his life?

Claire Langley is helping Macy with the kids. Logan seems like a nice, bookish kind of man. She'd like to get to know him better, but she has to leave to take care of her mother. Would Logan want a long distance relationship? Does he really like her?

There is a lot of story in this short, super sweet romance. Can't wait to read more by this author. I cried at the ending after being drawn in by the characters and the real life events. Logan wants to teach high school English. Claire wants to open a daycare and be near her parents. How can he and Claire get together if they aren't living in the same place?

Pick up this great book today. Such a great book!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Love Unexpected by Jody Hedlund

I loved this story by Jody Hedlund. She brings the past to life. Emma Chambers takes a position as wife to Patrick Garraty. He is the lightkeeper and has a young son. His wife has recently died and he prays for help.

Patrick thinks Emma is an answer to prayer. Emma thinks she's not good enough. Patrick has a past he tries to hide from Emma, but will it come between them and drive her away? Emma has always wanted a home and family of her own, however she feels inadequate in fulfilling her duties. Can they learn to love each other and survive their past that won't stay in the past?

Pick up this book today for a great story that draws you in from the first page. Patrick's son Josiah is a wonderful addition to this story. I look forward to reading more books by Jody Hedlund.

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.

Hope Reborn by Caryl McAdoo

This is the third book in the series. You don't have to read the books in order to know what is going on, but I recommend reading them so you get the characters' back stories and they're great books as well! May Meriwether is a writer and she is going to interview Henry Buckmeyer for her next story, even if he does live in Texas. She is traveling from New York.

May has been through so much. Can she find the hope and peace she craves? She longs for true romantic love, but feels she has missed her chances. She comes to realize she's not perfect. Can Henry accept her the way she is?

Henry's daughter reads May's books and wants to meet her. She hasn't been this excited since her mother died. She also has four sisters and a brother. May asks her to help her rewrite her manuscript. Henry won't let her stay in town, so May has to stay at his home.

May is so happy to have someone help her. In the meantime, she gets to know Henry. Can they put their past behind them to find hope in their future? Henry has his faith in God, but May doesn't share his beliefs. Will that tear them apart before they even have a chance to find out what they have? Will the secrets from their past tear them apart?

Henry's children and the hog hunting scene draw you into the story. May poses questions about God, faith, salvation. May and Henry have secrets they are holding onto. Can they let go of their past to have a future together?

This is another great book by Caryl McAdoo. Can't wait to read more!

I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Raspberry Kisses by Cecelia Dowdy

I loved this book by Cecelia Dowdy! It's a sweet Christian romance with lots of decadent bakery creations throughout the story. Rhea and Raven Simms are twin sisters. Rhea's husband died two years ago. He was a pastor and she has vowed to never fall in love with another minister.

Martin Lane is a minister asked to speak at a retreat. What is it about Rhea that draws him to her? She looks just like Raven, a lady that has been chasing him relentlessly to go out with him. Which sister will he choose?

Rhea's bakery can't compete with the new store that sells bakery items. She is losing money and can't pay her bills. Raven has been in an accident and needs Rhea's help. She wants Rhea to go to a Christian retreat in her place to spy on the pastor, not to switch places but to spend time with him to see if he is dating someone else. In exchange, Raven will give Rhea the money she needs for her rent and past bills.

But what happens when Raven starts to have feelings for Martin? Can she tell Raven the truth or will the truth keep her from giving her the promised money? Martin has offered to help Rhea with her bakery so it will turn a profit. Rhea's faith had dimmed after Stan's death. Can she rekindle her faith in God and love?

Martin wants the lead pastorship position at his church, but a new congregant has accusations about his past and his ability to lead. Will she be able to keep him from doing what he feels God has called him to do? He feels that if he is voted in it would be God's seal of approval.

Haunted by his past, trying to overcome it, can Martin learn that he's forgiven and rest in God's forgiveness and love? Can Rhea and Martin see their love for one another, or will Raven keep them apart? Can they overcome their obstacles and find the love God has for them?

Scriptures are interwoven throughout Raspberry Kisses for an encouraging faith-filled romance. I look forward to more books by Cecelia Dowdy.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Christmas Cake by Joyce Swann

A few years have passed since Michelle interviewed Esther Cook in The Thanksgiving Gift. Michelle is making Esther's Christmas Cake. Esther was the first person to talk to Michelle about Jesus. I enjoyed this story of faith and hope during the Christmas season. Michelle's mother doesn't know Jesus and sees no need for salvation. She worked hard to turn Michelle's father away from being a Christian. We don't understand why God lets things happen the way they do. Sometimes we just have to trust God to know.

Michelle compares the cake to Jesus. The cake is plain; people overlook it for the flashier desserts. Jesus isn't flashy, but He is perfect and when someone experiences Jesus Christ, they can't get enough. In order to understand the satisfaction He brings, you must experience it for yourself. No one else can explain it to you or experience it for you. This story filled my heart with peace. As events unfold, Michelle's mother must decide where she will be spending eternity. Where will you be spending eternity?

The Christmas Cake is the second story in the Holiday Collection. You don't have to read these in order, but it helps to figure out characters and to understand the back story. I like that these stories contain the salvation message and offer peace, hope, love, and forgiveness. I am uplifted and encouraged as I read these stories. They don't take long to read, but are filled with inspiration and hope regardless of what you are going through.

I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Whatever Is Done by Bridgett Henson

Cindy Maxwell is not looking for another husband. She is busy raising her son Trevor. But when Ray Simmons takes an interest in her son, can she block the feelings in her heart?

Trevor catches Ray Simmons' eye when he's fishing alone with Ray's friend James. Ray hadn't settled down yet, but Trevor's need for a father pulled at Ray's heartstrings, causing him to think maybe he was missing out. Cindy Maxwell's husband Cole died, and she was left to raise Trevor on her own, among the churchfolk who felt she should live a certain way so they wouldn't talk. When she meets Ray, she pushes him away. No way is she going to ruin her reputation by going out with him. But everywhere she turns Ray is there.

Can he really change and be the man she needs him to be to love her and help raise her son? When Ray finds Cole's Bible, he discovers the help he needs inside the pages. Can Cindy learn to let go of her past, to accept Ray? Can they both find the faith and hope to have a future together?

God's love is unlimited. Regardless of what you have done in the past, God can and will forgive you if you'll just believe in him. This story will pull you in with God's love and forgiveness. This book is the third in a series, but you don't need to read them in order. The other books give you the back story on some of the other characters, but you don't need to read them first to enjoy this book.

I look forward to reading other books by Bridgett Henson. The characters and true to life situations pulled me in and I didn't want the story to end.

I received a free book in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Christmas in the Rink by Dora Hiers

I loved this novella by Dora Hiers! A wonderful story to read for the Christmas season. Chaney Mitchum had a skating future with Connor Weddington until he left town without looking back, turning his back on skating and her. Why did he leave without a word? Where did he go?

Chaney gave up her dreams of a skating future with Connor as her partner. Now she's a skating instructor raising her niece. But she can't get Connor out of her mind or heart. What would her future have been like if Connor had stayed?

Connor came back to town and is now a mechanic. Chaney gets stuck in a ditch and Connor comes to the rescue. Connor and Chaney's chemistry on the ice and off is palpable in this story. When Connor left, he took her aspirations for the future and her heart with him. Can Connor find what he's lost since leaving the rink behind? Can Connor find the forgiveness he needs to enjoy the Christmas season with Chaney?

They each had choices that affected their futures. Now that they are back in the same town, will those choices affect their future? Chaney needs help getting her students ready for an upcoming recital. What better choice than to ask Connor to help. But can her heart take it? Tis the season for love, faith and joy and what better way to experience them than by reading this book!

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

Threads by Mary Howard Wright

Ever wondered what it would be like for the German immigrants coming to America? Threads is a fictional story of a German family deciding to leave Germany and head to America. This is the first book in the Tapestry Series.

Fletcher and Rachel's love spans from Germany to Blacksburg, VA where they move. This first book describes when they fell in love, their journeys on the ship from Germany, and Fletcher getting things together in Blacksburg to have his family come over later. He works in the Big Vein coal mine in Montgomery County, VA in order to save enough money to be able to afford to bring his family over from Germany to be with him. The trials they face, the hardships they endure, and their growing love for each other are realistically portrayed. I enjoyed this glimpse into life in Germany before coming to America and how their life started here in Montgomery County, VA. Fletcher and Rachel's story is about life, love, sickness, death, faith, and hope.

I look forward to reading the other books in the series. Wright drew me in with her story and her life-like characters. I can't wait to read the next book in the series to see what happens. Each chapter is preceded by a scripture reference. I would recommend this book to anyone who is curious about their ancestors from Germany and what they went through to come to America, has ties to the Montgomery County area of Va, or those who enjoy a great story about the early settlers.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Calculated Risk by: Zoe McCarthy

What happens when your future isn’t what you thought it would be? Can the sticky note queen be worth the risk of falling in love? These characters felt like family members. I didn’t want to leave them at the end of the story. Looking forward to many more books by Zoe McCarthy!

Cisney Baldwin and Nick LeCrone work together. She is a marketing rep who loves her sticky notes and he is an actuary who loves his numbers. When Cisney’s boyfriend jilts her right before Thanksgiving, Nick invites her to his family’s house for the long weekend. Sparks start flying.

Cisney suspects Nick has a problem communicating. She thinks he needs remedial communication classes. Shouldn’t he know how to handle conversations? Nick thinks Cisney should ask questions instead of waiting for him to tell her. She has the outlook of a fairy princess. Can these two get past their hurdles and find true love? Don’t miss this book to find out!

Nick gets upset when Cisney impresses his family. Why would he? She’s not his girlfriend. He just invited her when her plans with her boyfriend fell through. But will his matchmaking family push them farther away? Can they get past what they think they know about each other?

Who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. God gives us the scriptures we need to help others. We just have to listen. Cisney and Nick must learn to trust God; he’s always on your side.

Memorable characters, engaging plot, and great romance kept me turning the pages to finish this story. I laughed at Cisney and Nick’s assumptions, and cried when things didn’t go as planned. For a book to get lost in, pick this one up today!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Christmas, Actually by Anna J Stewart, Anna Adams, and Melinda Curtis

Christmas, Actually is three novellas. The themes in all these stories is about being hurt, what secrets they are holding so no one will find out. The Banning siblings Callie, Jack, and Nick each get their own stories. These are three great stories and you will love each one!

The Christmas Wish by Anna J Stewart
Sometimes we as adults need help with our kids, just need to know there is another adult who understands, or who will stand with us, even if the other person is a teacher who has seen it all. Callie Benning lives in Christmas Town. Dean Galloway is just passing through with his seven year old daughter. What happens when a seven year old doesn’t like Christmas and she is staying in a place called Christmas Town at Christmas? She tries sabotaging everything to do with Christmas not realizing she is hurting others. Can Callie help heal her heart and in the meantime help Dean? This is a great story. I loved the seven year old daughter. Sometimes you don't have to be very old to be hurt and not understand why things are the way they are.

The Christmas Gift by Anna Adams
Sophie Palmer is pregnant but the father of her baby, Jack Benning, doesn’t want anything to do with her. He will take care of the baby financially but will have nothing to do with them. Why is he adamant to break all ties? Why is he now a stranger after everything they have shared? You will enjoy Sophie and Jack's story!

The Christmas Date by Melinda Curtis
Gina Vernay owns The Tea Pot. She has given up on Christmas, dating, and love, but decides to step outside her comfort zone to sign up for online dating. Nick Banning sees her computer screen one day and decides to sign up too. He's secretly liked Gina but didn't know how to ask her out. They've both been hurt by others and the things people say to each other. Can they learn to trust each other! Great story!

Evergreens and Angels by Mary Manners

I love Mary Manners' books! This book has it all: romance, God's love, and the Christmas season. Can Brynn Jansen trust Dillon with her heart? Can he trust her not to run off with his?

Dillon Cutler is working at the family Christmas tree farm. He can't see himself falling in love with someone. He's been jilted; how can he trust another woman not to do the same thing?

Brynn Jansen is back in town helping her Nana recuperate from a broken hip. Will she be in town long enough for Dillon to know whether he likes her or not? And if he does, can she leave her life behind and move here to be with him? He doesn't want to move away now that he's back in town. Can she leave her life behind and start over here, with Dillon?

Dillon and Brynn met years ago when they were kids; now they are all grown up. Is the spark still there that was present back then? Mary Manners creates great characters. Even the secondary characters come to life and you feel like you are right there in the story. I would love to live in this town and never have to leave. If you love sweet Christian romances, you will love this!

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Daughter of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky

I love this series by Carrie Turansky. You do not need to read these in order to understand what is going on. It helps to get the back story on some of the characters, but it has no affect on this story.

Katherine Ramsey is ready to enter the social world. But when the time comes, a family scandal takes away her chance to find a suitable match. A man of wealth and a man following God's lead are trying to capture her heart. Which one will she choose? Kate is looking for love. Will she find it with the man who is in line to inherit from his parents, or from the one just starting out? Finding someone to love and who returns your love is a precious gift.

Katherine's aunt pushes Kate to get out there and meet the eligible bachelors during the season so she can find a suitable husband. Her cousin runs the family estate now. She needs a husband so she is not dependent on him. But who to choose? A medical student opens her eyes to the poor. Will Kate decide to serve others or live a life being served?

The characters pull you into the story. You won't want to stop reading until you find out which suitor has stolen her heart. God's love is intertwined in the characters' lives and the decisions they make.

I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Generations A Little Lower Than the Angels By: Caryl McAdoo

I enjoyed this Biblical Fiction story! This first story centers on Adam, Eve, Cain, and Abel. Have you ever wondered what it would be like, to live during their times? Caryl McAdoo puts together a story that makes you feel like you are there. At the end of the story is a list of questions and scriptures to see how her fictional story lines up with the Bible.

God’s comfort and grace have been with us from the beginning. Travel back in time and see it in operation. Namrel is an angel who watches over Abel after Cain has killed him. Abel has questions and Namrel answers them as he can. I had never thought so much about these characters as I did when I read this story. Adam and Eve living in the Garden of Eden are brought to life as Eve is tempted in the Garden by Satan. Why did God reject Cain’s sacrifice but accept Abel’s? Why did Cain react the way he did? A Little Lower Than the Angels is a wonderful Biblical adventure back in time! I look forward to reading more of these stories, bringing to life the men and women of the Bible while explaining the plan of salvation.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Her Tycoon Hero By: Narelle Atkins

I loved this story! Faith and romance come together in a wonderful book about forgiveness. Cassie’s had a wild past, but she’s gotten saved and God is helping her to overcome. But everywhere she turns, her past is coming back to haunt her. Can Ryan look past the woman she used to be to the follower of Christ she’s become?

Ryan works for Cassie’s dad. Did her dad set them up so she could get married? What about Ryan’s faith? Does he believe like she does? He can’t forgive his brother for the things he did in his past. Will his inability to forgive drive them further apart?

Forgiveness is hard, especially when it’s yourself you need to forgive. Can Cassie and Ryan learn to forgive to have a future together and have the faith to believe God can change someone? Just because you don’t have a perfect past doesn’t mean you can’t have a hope-filled future. God’s real and He loves us.

Her Tycoon Hero is an inspiring faith-filled contemporary romance. I loved the characters and the theme. I couldn’t put the book down until I’d finished it to see how it was going to end. Looking forward to reading many more books by Narelle Atkins!

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Searching For Home Spies of Chicago Book 1 By: Jessica Keller

Two generations; both searching. Solving her ancestor’s past, pushes Whitney Dean to reevaluate her future. Searching for Home tells two stories: Whitney’s from present day and Ellen’s from 1886. If you love history, genealogy, mystery, and a warm romance, you will love this book!

Owen Taylor, Whitney’s fiancé, is running for mayor. According to him, her past legacy causes voters to doubt his judgment. She must solve her great-great-grandfather’s shenanigans before it ruins Owen’s chance at an office or her future with Owen. He has put their relationship on hold until she straightens it out.

More than a hundred years earlier, Lewis Ingram was called a fraud, a riot inciter, and a cop killer. How can Whitney find out the truth about her ancestor? Nate Holland volunteers at the Chicago Historical Foundation. He helps Whitney search for the truth about her ancestor. What happened to Lewis that his past is still in the news now?

By reading letters from Ellen, Lewis’ sister, Nate and Whitney are able to piece together what was going on in Chicago in 1886. As Ellen learns about her brother’s escapades, she tries to find out what is going on. James, Ellen and Lewis’ friend, tries to keep her safe, even distancing himself from her in the hopes she won’t be targeted. Is Lewis involved in the revolt of the laborers? He states that violence is the only remedy for an intolerable society.

Can you do wrong and it be considered the right thing to do? Join Whitney and Ellen’s journey as they discover the truth in this intricately woven story of love, trust, and faith. What might you find if you look beyond the stable, decent, and secure? Find out in Searching for Home. You may be rethinking your future based on what Whitney and Ellen find out! I look forward to more books by Jessica Keller!

The Promise by: Beth Wiseman

A very thought-provoking book based on a true story. What if the reason for doing what you did was a lie? Mallory Hammond had one goal in life: to fulfill the promise she made to her dying cousin. She was unable to fulfill that promise, so she set out to find another way to do it: all the way across the world.

Mallory made a promise to her cousin. Many years later, she is finally able to fulfill that promise. But will it be at the cost of her own life? As she travels across the world to fulfill this dream, cultures clash and she may not make it out alive.

Tate Webber loves Mallory, but knows she cannot live her life in peace until she has saved a life. When that journey takes her overseas, she takes his heart with her. It’s a different culture, different men, different way of doing things. Mallory is unprepared for what she encounters. Can she make it back home?

Will she realize before it’s too late who she really loves? What if the unexpected happens? Was this what was supposed to happen all along? God can use our plan to accomplish His will. Tate believes this; he puts Mallory’s well-being in God’s hands. A riveting story of faith, hope, love, and trust in the God who can use us to fulfill his purpose.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Thanksgiving Gift By: Joyce Swann

I loved this short story by Joyce Swann. The Thanksgiving Gift is filled with hope, faith, and love, inspired by a true story from the author’s family. These characters will grip your heart and pull you into their story.

Michelle Madison is a reporter in Pittsburg, Kansas. She is going to interview Gracerville’s resident, Esther Cook, who is celebrating her 100th birthday. Everything should go according to plan: get in, do the interview, leave. But what Michelle learns during the interview, will change her life.

Esther tells Michelle about her life after she married Floyd. When everything seemed to be going wrong, she turned it over to God, and found peace beyond anything she’d ever experienced before. When she opened her heart to a little girl, Esther found that faith like a child is contagious. Children don’t see things as too hard for God. In their eyes, all things are under God’s control.

Esther enjoys telling everyone she meets about Jesus. She wants everyone to know about God’s love. You can’t change, repent, or work on things on your own. You have to let Jesus work in you. Michelle thinks she can be a secret disciple of Jesus. Esther tells her that either your secrecy kills your faith or your faith kills your secrecy.

Will you allow Esther’s story to impact your life as Michelle did? Testimonies are everything. What is yours? Pick up this great story today and let Esther’s story speak to your heart.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Hearts in Defiance By: Heather Blanton

I loved Hearts in Defiance. A Lady in Defiance is the first book in the series. You do not need to read it first in order to enjoy this one. Indians, Indian fights, saloons, this book has it all! Like an old fashioned western romance to read? This is it!

Charles McIntyre is cleaning up Defiance whether the Indians like it or not. Think your past will keep you from God? Look at his: a former pimp, saloon owner, and gunman. He will do anything to prove to Naomi Miller he isn’t the man he used to be, that God has made him a new creature in Him. Can she believe him? How about when his past comes calling? Can she trust him to not stray? He is now trying to bring legitimate businesses to Defiance, but how can he fight when someone is trying to set him up?

Hearts in Defiance is about Naomi and her sisters in Defiance falling in love with their men while taming the town. I laughed, cried, and cheered with these characters. I hated to say goodbye when the last page was turned. I am so hoping there is another book!

Naomi’s husband John died falling over a cliff. His twin brother Matthew then comes to town thinking he can take Naomi away. What will happen if Naomi doesn’t see through his charade and trades Charles for Matthew? Hannah Frink came to Defiance with Naomi when she found out she was pregnant and her boyfriend Billy would not stand with her. He chose his father’s fortune over here. Now he shows up in Defiance ready to win her back if she’ll have him. Rebecca is nearing forty and afraid to fall in love again. Her husband Ben and daughter Gracie were killed. Is it too late to find another who will make her heart rush and her pulse soar? Or has she found him already in Ian if she’d just open up and let love back in?

Where do these men stand with their women? You’ll have to pick up this book to find out. You’ll be glad you did. And with it being part of a series, you still can’t get enough of them. You’ll be wishing for more. Watch as the characters learn how to trust and hope in God, accept God’s love for themselves, and come to terms with their past. Charles thinks a lot about Paul who had, after one amazing encounter with Christ, lived a completely different life. He was a better man simply because of his relationship with Christ. As Ian states, “God has brought ye this far. He’ll finish what He’s started.” Wonderful book by a wonderful author. Can’t wait to read more!

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.

The Ruby Float A Tale of Hope By: Rick Nau

I love this story by Rick Nau! Grandfather Jesse tells stories to his grandchildren Daph and Josh. Everyone will enjoy his stories that are about God’s faithfulness and love, told as adventures that depict the loving nature of God.

In this story, Jesse is telling his grandchildren the story of The Ruby Float. It is about Hank who tells his grandchildren Sam and Nate about building a raft and sailing. They also search for treasures. Hank’s wife Harriet gets sick and Hank doesn’t come to tell Sam and Nate stories. Sam and Nate are left to explore on their own. Sam finds a ruby float with a message inside, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, the Resurrection and the Life. Whosoever believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.” With Harriet’s sickness, the children want to find out more about this man the Alpha and Omega, and how you can be dead but still live. They had never heard of him before. They use the information given to them by Hank to build a raft and follow where they think this float came from, an island out in the ocean.

Sam and Nate work together to get the raft to the island where they think these floats have come from. A storm comes upon them; they are shipwrecked. What will happen now? Can they find out about the floats and where they came from? Or more importantly, learn about this man they are seeking?

Embark on this adventurous journey to learn about the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Sam and Nate learn all about Him to take the message back to Hank and Harriet and to anyone who will listen. The message: that whoever believes in Christ shall never die. Hank and Harriet need the peace this message offers. Sam and Nate share the message with everyone who will listen.

I look forward to reading more of these stories by Rick Nau. They are simple enough for children to understand, but profound enough to hold the interest of adults. In each story I am drawn in to the characters and the message of God’s love and the true meaning of salvation, not by works, but by the grace of God. I love the cover of this as well. When you read the story you will see the significance. Sometimes I don’t understand how a cover was chosen. This one is perfect.

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Stop Acting Rich…And Start Living Like a Real Millionaire By: Thomas J Stanley

Happiness in life has little to do with what you wear, drive, eat, or drink. If you can’t afford to tip, don’t go eat where tipping is expected. That is part of the meal expense as well. Live below your means. Are you really rich or just acting rich? What makes a person rich? Cars, houses, eating at expensive restaurants, shopping at exclusive stores? You might be surprised by Stanley’s view of the rich. You need to be financially independent first. Live well below your means, by planning, saving and investing. Emulating the rich does not make you rich. Transform your income into wealth. Increased spending does not make you more satisfied with life.

I was not going to do a review on this book; however, I heard it stated that this book doesn’t tell you the tricks to be a millionaire. Did they not read the book? There is no trick to being a millionaire. It is hard work. You can do it whether you make a lot or a little. But it takes work, planning, and not living like you’d think a millionaire would live. People who make a lot of money can have it going back out in payments, buying an expensive house and things. People who don’t make a lot of money, but are saving and investing, have more money.

I liked this answer to what to say if you’re children ask why you do not supply them with the same collection of expensive consumer products as other kids in their school: never judge the true quality, the caliber of a person, by what can be purchased; often people who dress and drive as if they are rich, are not; and all that glitters is not gold (Shakespeare).

This book is about the differences between the spending habits of people who are really rich and the ones who want you to think they are. Millionaires typically live on 80% of their income and save and invest the rest. I was surprised to find that most shopped at Target, wore cheap watches, didn’t have a second home, or a boat. They drove an SUV, Toyota, or a Honda. The book also contains charts on what millionaires spend their money on, what their houses cost, and other items. If you’ve always assumed rich people spent all their money on things, you will be surprised by the research in this book that proves otherwise.

The Widower’s Second Chance By: Jessica Keller

This is book one in the Goose Harbor, Michigan, series. From the time Caleb Beck meets Paige Windom, he is fascinated with her. First of all, because she is burning her wedding dress, in the basement of the West Oaks Inn Bed-and-Breakfast, and then because she is unlike any woman he has ever met before. Can he let go of his fear to embrace a future with Paige; or will he let past events control him?

Paige is done with men controlling what she does and how she does it. She moves to Goose Harbor, Michigan, to start over. With a new teaching job, and volunteering at Sarah’s Home with the inner-city mentoring program, Paige has all she needs.

Caleb teaches science at the school where Paige now works. His wife Sarah died in an attack outside the home she founded for inner-city kids. When Paige shows up wanting to volunteer there, Caleb tells her she can’t. Why won’t she listen to reason? He knows it’s dangerous.

Caleb is broken by his past. He can’t forgive himself for the things that happened to people around him. He feels he should have protected them. Can Paige help him see he was not to blame? Can Caleb see that his trust needs to be in God? Will Paige learn the difference between control and caring? When you are broken and feel like all is lost, God is there always offering another chance. Even when you make mistakes, God is right there full of love with arms open wide.

The secondary characters were well thought out and brought additional life to the story. I would love to read more about the inner city kids and Amy, see how they are doing. Jessica Keller does a great job of bringing these characters and this town to life. Can’t wait to read more!

God is all about second chances. Caleb thought after his wife died, he would have to run around protecting everyone. Will he see that by doing that he is keeping them from growing? Paige is afraid of letting others control her because of her past experiences. Can she learn to trust Caleb so they can have a future together? Pick up this great book today about God’s love and how ever many second chances are needed to get it right, and enjoy Caleb and Paige’s story!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

I Like Giving: The Transforming Power of a Generous Life Practical Ideas, Inspiring Stories By: Brad Formsma

Experience the joy of giving through the stories in this book. See how the ripple effect transforms the lives of the ones who give, to the ones who receive, to the ones beyond. This book spoke to my heart. How can I give? In any way I want to! It can be time, money, a listening ear, a banana cream pie, or sparkly fingernail polish.

Want more joy in your life? Give. Want to be healthier, happier? Give. What do you have to lose? A little bit of time, a little bit of money. Try it and see what happens. Brad Formsma is convinced once you try it, you won’t want to stop. Families, friends, communities, will feel the impact of giving.

Have you experienced a nudge to give someone a hug? To say a kind word to someone standing in line with you? To send food to an elderly neighbor? How about to give a few dollars to someone you don’t know? Sometimes that’s God’s way of using us to help someone. God knows what they need and He uses us to fulfill His will. And what do we get for giving? Joy, happiness, contentment. And when you least expect it, a little something back for being a giver. Try it and see. Have you ever met an angry and bitter generous person? You just might get to experience the joy of seeing the look of astonishment on someone else’s face.

Formsma fills this book with encouraging stories of giving, and receiving, gifts. Now that I’m finished reading the book, I can’t wait for my chance to do something for someone. Wonder who or what it will be? Go out and give today and let the adventure begin!

I received this book free from Waterbrook Press in exchange for an honest review

Friday, September 12, 2014

Before Amen By: Max Lucado

Before Amen is a book about learning to pray. We don’t have time to pray, we don’t know what to say, we don’t know how to say it, and we wonder if God really listens when we pray. While reading this book, it was like Max Lucado was in my living room talking to me as I read. What a book!

I like to turn pages down, or highlight something to read again later. I would have highlighted the whole book. How do we address God when we pray? Father. That’s all we need. There are no secret words, no code words, just words from the heart. And you don’t even need to speak. God hears you. We all pray some, but to pray more, better, fire, faith, and fervency? Check out this book! Lucado does a great job breaking it all down and explaining how simple it really is. Believe God is who He is, trust Him with what you can’t handle, believe in His word, and watch God move.

Does your world change when you pray? Do your circumstances, regrets, past, change because you pray? No, but you are surrounded by peace when you turn it over to God. He can handle it. Just talk to Him. He is in control and will keep you safe.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs and don’t forget to thank him for his answers. If you do this you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:6-7 TLB)

This verse says it all. God’s peace. For you. Talk to God today and feel Him near. I love this book for the simple yet straightforward way to prayer.

I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.

Pre-order @MaxLucado’s BEFORE AMEN and receive a FREE book. And, Enter to WIN an iPad!

Prayer is simply a heartfelt conversation between God and his child. In Before Amen, best-selling author Max Lucado joins readers on a journey to the very heart of biblical prayer, offering hope for doubts, and confidence even for prayer wimps. Let the conversation begin.

Be sure to enter the Before Amen iPad Mini giveaway. AND if you pre-order a copy of Before Amen by 9/29, you'll receive a FREE ebook copy of Max’s best-selling Second Chances: More Stories of Grace.

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • An iPad Mini
  • Before Amen by Max Lucado
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 29th. Winner will be announced September 30th on the Litfuse blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit the Litfuse blog on the 30th to see if you won! (Or better yet, subscribe to their blog and have the winner announcement delivered to your inbox!)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Playing By Heart By: Anne Mateer

I loved this book by Anne Mateer. Set during the turn-of-the-century, Lula Bowman has continued on with her education, working toward her master’s degree in Mathematics. Everyone calls her Fruity Lu, except for her father who understands her. But when her brother-in-law dies, can Lula give all this up and come home to care for her sister and her children?

Lula comes home to care for her sister, Jewel. But she decides to only return long enough to help her back on her feet and then return to her graduate studies and teaching position. While she is helping her sister, Lula teaches music at the local school and takes on the coaching duties for the girls’ basketball team. She’s never played before, but how hard could it be? As Lula plays the piano for Sunday services, can she let the music calm her heart?

Chet Vaughn teaches math and coaches the boys’ basketball team. Every time a single lady comes to teach, she leaves married. He really hopes the next music teacher is an old lady and one that hasn’t set her cap for him. But he can’t refuse Lula’s request for help learning basketball, especially since she has offered to tutor his geometry students who are having a hard time grasping the concepts. How many different ways can you teach one subject?

Lula and Chet are searching for peace and love but they don’t know where to look for it. Principal Gray says God must have sent Lula to fill the teaching spot. How can that be when all she can do is count down the days till she returns to her studies? Chet’s brother went to fight in the war to take the place of their father who deserted. Chet’s mother thinks he is the coward for staying at home and not going to fight. He’s there to take care of her but she doesn’t see it. How can he have peace knowing what his mother thinks of him? Is this where God would have him be, helping the boys in town having a hard time?

Fighting against the stigma of the times, each fighting for what they believed in, can Lula and Chet see God working in their lives? Once you are where He has placed you, your heart is filled with peace and love. Will Lula and Chet find that for themselves, or will they continue on their own paths, forgoing what God has in mind for them? Pick up this great book today and read their stories. You will be encouraged and lifted up.

I received a free copy of this book from Bethany Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Theodora’s Children A Tale of Hope By: Rick Nau

I thoroughly enjoyed this story by Rick Nau! Theodora’s Children is a story about loss and forgiveness, filled with adventure, mystery, and lots of hope. Jesse is the grandfather and he is telling a tale to his great grandchildren Daph and Josh. Weaved into the adventurous tale is the hope of redemption and forgiveness.

Jesse tells the tale of a girl named Gretchen with a pony named Petey. All she wanted was a brother. Her parents can give her everything, except for a brother. She was very lonely. Her parents’ estate was about the size of a small country; the house like a palace with gardeners, servants, tutors, butlers, maids, and grooms. From the time she was five she requested a brother. She would tear into presents hoping this one request had been fulfilled, but to no avail. Right after her eleventh birthday, a surprise visitor comes to her window. Who has rescued her? Is it her imagined brother that she has named Tom?

On Gretchen’s adventures to learn who has recued her she follows clues on her pony to find where they have gone. She searches everywhere on her family’s estate, even through the deep, dark woods. When she finds who rescued her she ends up in another mystery to find out who should have received the letter, the gold coins, and the property. When she is called before the king to find out what happened, she learns about an invisible Father who cares about his children and who doesn’t want to see them suffer.

Theodora’s Children would be an excellent story for readers who like adventures, mysteries, and learning about God’s love in a way even a child can understand it. A king, lords and ladies, and a castle are part of the mystery as to find who the rightful people are. Pick up this story today for a great tale of redemption, love, hope, and faith. I look forward to reading other tales of hope from this author.

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Tried and True By: Mary Connealy

Kylie Wilde and her two sisters disguise themselves as boys to fight in the Civil War. Their brother was killed and their pa encourages them to do so. With the land exemptions they earned from fighting in the war, they set up homesteads. She is going to work her time, then sell her land and move back East where it is civilized.

Aaron Masterson is the land agent assigned to making sure the homesteads using the land exemptions are improving the land. When he sees Kylie, she is trying to fix her roof, in a skirt, and he rescues her from falling. He wants to then meet her brother. What is she to do? Kylie’s brothers (sisters) are better at building and repairing than she is. She is just biding her time till she can move back East. Can Aaron convince her they can make a life in the West?

Kylie really doesn’t feel like God wants her life to be spent in the West, in uncivilized territory, without even a proper bonnet shop or tea party to be found. She feels so far out she thinks even God wouldn’t be able to find her.

Aaron’s life is ruled by hate. He fought for the Union; his neighbors were killed and destroyed by the North and the South. When he comes back home the ones left run him off for his part in the Union fight. Kylie shows him there is no room for hate. He should love his enemies, and pray for those who persecute him. How can Aaron do that when his neighbors hated him and one even tried killing him for a war he had no control over? How do you get a new start? Only with God’s help can he release his hate and experience peace like never before.

Mary Connealy’s use of humor, God’s love and forgiveness, and people just being human makes for a wonderful story. I love the characters and can’t wait to read more about them. If you love great western historical Christian fiction you will love this book!

I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Beyond I Do By: Jennifer Slattery

The message in this book makes it a must read. Whether you’re already married or hope to be, do not miss this. Ainsley Meadows is ready to marry the man of her dreams. But is he really? It’s a predictable, safe relationship, but will that be enough for the years after she says I do?

Ainsley strives to do what God wants her to do. She goes to church, visits the sick and shut-ins, volunteers at a women’s shelter, but her fiancé Richard Hollis, a psychiatrist, is more interested in marketing his new book. He figures he will keep her busy enough after marriage with social functions to cut down on her time to associate with such people.

Her neighbor, Chris Langley, just moved in. His mother is in an assisted living home. She has Alzheimer’s. He sold his lawyer practice and bought a coffee shop in order to be closer to his mother. God has given him a vision for the coffee shop. Will it come to pass? Or will it go under first?

Ainsley is terrified of ending up like her mother, jumping from relationship to relationship, job to job. Who does God want her to marry? I loved how this theme was handled in this book. As opposed to just jumping into a marriage without thinking about the repercussions, Ainsley is feeling unsettled and wondering where these feelings are coming from. She wants to pray about God’s will and know who He has picked out for her. Being a Christian and your fiancé not, brings discord into their marriage from the beginning. He does not understand her desire to help others, go to church, volunteer her time. And when she voices these concerns, his response is to blame her childhood and the games her mother played for her indecisiveness about their upcoming marriage. When she questions his faith, he promises to go to church more. She is not convinced of his faith and salvation, however.

Beyond I Do is a great book for young adults on the verge of marriage. It lays out questions you should ask, concerns you should talk about, and getting the discussion of salvation and faith out in the open to be sure both parties are on the same page. A relationship with Jesus is a personal one. It is a real relationship. Are you hearing from Him? What is He telling you? Before making that big time commitment, make sure it is the one He wants for you. Blessings from God do not bring added trouble.

This line stayed with me after reading this book: “Christianity isn’t about doing anything. It’s about accepting what Jesus Christ has already done.” We can’t earn His grace; it is freely given. Pick up this book today for a great read. I can’t wait to read more by this author.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Hearts Stolen by Caryl McAdoo

I laughed, cried, cheered, and flinched with these characters. I hated saying goodbye and hope to read more about them. Hearts Stolen is a historical Christian fiction book, the second in the series. Vow Unbroken is the first, but you don’t need to read it first in order to enjoy Hearts Stolen. But now that I’ve read Hearts Stolen, I have to go back and read Vow Unbroken just because I’m not ready for the story to end. Be ready to start a story you won’t want to finish.

Rosaleen “Sassy” Fogelsong Nightengale’s husband Charles told her not to go visiting her mother. This is in the early 1800s in Texas. She didn’t listen and is kidnapped by Indians. Sassy is a wonderful character. She has smarts, isn’t afraid, and is a very likeable heroine. Her faith in God kept her through her captivity of 5 years, until one day Levi Baylor shows up to rescue her and her child.

Charley Nightengale is Sassy’s son born soon after she is captured by the Indians while she was the third wife to Bold Eagle. He is a fun character. After Levi rescues them and they travel back to Texas, Charley’s dialogues and ways of thinking had me laughing. I’d love to see this as a movie. He’d steal the show.

Levi Baylor is a Texas Ranger. As he and his fellow Ranger Wallace Lusk transport Sassy and the other women back home, it is fun being along for the ride. You feel like you are really there. Levi and Sassy are great characters together and you are rooting for them to get together, but she is still married to Charles. What will happen when he delivers her home? Will Charles still want her after she’d been the wife of an Indian? How will she now fit into society? A fellow captive, Laura, has her baby after they rescue her. Wallace is enraptured. But is that love strong enough when he finally meets Levi’s cousin Rebecca? Will these two end up together, or will his cousin come between them?

What happens with God in the mix? I loved this angle of the story. The hearts of these men are so great, and the love for their women so strong, they’ll go through anything to keep them safe.

All the characters have to learn they have their pasts and none of them are perfect. But with God, peace and love reign no matter what you are going through. Peace like one of Sassy’s Granny’s heavy quilts. Now that’s peace! I thoroughly enjoyed this story by Caryl McAdoo and can’t wait to read more. The dialogue is engaging, the characters are unforgettable, the setting and descriptions move the story along without taking away from the story.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Bride in Store By: Melissa Jagears

What is the purpose of prayer? Can you follow your dream and follow what God wants you to do at the same time? God wants you as you are. All your hopes and dreams reside in Him. I loved this book by Melissa Jagears. These characters were so focused on fulfilling their dream they couldn’t see any other way to get what they wanted, but yet they weren’t happy.

Eliza Cantrell is a mail order bride. When she comes to town to find her intended, Axel Langston, she finds his business partner Will running the store. Axel is gone. She jumps in and helps make improvements to the store as she has had experience back East. Once Axel returns, how can she decide which man she really should marry, the one who sent for her or the one who takes her breath away?

Axel Langston finally returns to town finding his mail order bride has already arrived. He is prepared to marry her and have her run his store, something she has always wanted, her own store. What happens when she finds out about his past? Will she still marry him?

William Stanton is in love with a woman he can’t have because she is promised to another, not able to run the store he is managing due to being too kind and being taken advantage of, blindsided by a crook, and failing at medicine because he wouldn’t charge for his services and didn’t have enough education, afraid God would require more than he was willing to surrender. When you feel like you’ve lost it all, that’s when you give it all to God. William has a heart for practicing medicine but he doesn’t have the education to be a doctor. He tries, but doesn’t have faith in his abilities. Can Eliza convince him to go to school to be the doctor God has called him to be?

Which man will Eliza choose? Can she have her dream of owning a store and true love? This is a wonderful story of true love and believing God has your best in mind when things happen. Once I started reading this story, I couldn’t put it down. The writing, the characters, pull you in and keep you turning pages. Will read more by this author and hope there are more stories about these characters to see what happens after the end.

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Crooked Lines By: Holly Michael

This is a very interesting story. While Rebecca Meyer is going through life and what’s happening to her, on the other side of the world, in India, Sagai Raj is going through the procedures to become a priest. Both are following different paths, but they both end up asking the same question: Where do I go from here? By the end of the story they end up at the same place-relying on God for their futures.

Rebecca Meyer has had a difficult life and just wanted to get away. She goes farther than she ever dreamed, but life’s realities draw her back home, the same place she tried getting away from. After growing up, you see things in a different light. In her case, it gives her relief, a peace. I enjoyed reading her story so much. Her growing up, getting married, moving away from home will keep you turning the pages seeing where her life is going. She has always had one wish: to go to India. Will she get there? How can that come about after the way her life turned out? You’ll have to read to find out, but this is a great coming of age story and how God can orchestrate things from the beginning, even when you don’t know or think He even cares.

Sagai Raj has always dreamed of being a priest. It is a long, tiresome journey that takes many years of being in obedience to superiors and living a life being a servant to others. Sagai was born for this life. He wants to teach, to lead others to Jesus, to counsel, but how can he get there if the ones over him don’t see his potential and try to thwart him along the way? Reading his story brought all his struggles to life; all the accomplishments, the breaks sent to serve elsewhere that his superiors probably meant for punishment but he turned to doing good, made me see his heart for God and hoping he would finally become a priest. Can he hang on? Can he become a priest when his superiors say he isn’t qualified?

What happens when you let God have control to do His will? Amazing things, as Sagai and Rebecca will find out. As their lives become intertwined through a mutual acquaintance, the end of the story becomes the beginning. Can’t wait to read more! One part that stayed with me: Peace is not a place. It’s in your heart. Peace is when you are living the life God intended you to live.

These characters are brought to life and their struggles are so real you feel like you are there with them. I laughed, cried, and wished for more once the book ended. Enjoy!

I was given a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Around the Bend Sandy Cove Series Book 4 By: Rosemary Hines

I loved this book by Rosemary Hines! You do not need to read the other books in the series to keep up with what is going on. This book can be read as a stand alone, or you can read the other books to get the earlier stories of the characters. If you have read the other books, you are not bogged down with details that you already know. The cover for the book is a great choice!

Michelle Baron’s adopted son Caleb is reunited with his birth mother. How will that affect his relationship with the woman who has been raising him for six years? Grandpa Phil receives some bad news. How will he deal with it? Can the rest of the family see God at work in his life? Michelle’s mom Joan moves back to Sandy Cove after her husband dies. Can she move forward in her life as it is now?

Rosemary Hines does an excellent job in this story dealing with Alzheimer’s, growing older, and giving up a life of independence. Each one learns that change is hard and it takes God to recover from your past mistakes. Caleb’s birth mother Amber must come to terms with giving Caleb up, but can she do that now that she’s older and more able to care for him on her own? Can Joan learn how to move forward without her husband?

God offers His love, grace, and forgiveness, but we must accept it, which is hard to do at times. How do you forgive someone for driving when they knew they shouldn’t and they kill someone? How can you have peace when God calls a loved one home? How can you make up for the mistakes you’ve made in the past and move forward with the future God wants you to have? All this and more is brought to light in this book. Pick up this book today for an insightful, encouraging read into God’s love for us and how He brings all things to good. Can’t wait to read more by this author!

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Romancing the Widow By: Davalynn Spencer

How can you move on when it feels like your life is over? Martha Stanton’s husband is struck down by a stray bullet. Martha moves back home with her parents. She can’t have children. Who would want her? She must rediscover God’s love for her and learn how to open her heart to the love of another.

Haskell Jacobs is a Colorado Ranger. He is tracking a horse thief and the path leads him straight to Martha. His father taught him to judge wisely with evidence. Pastor Hutton, Martha’s father, states that faith is the evidence of what we hope for and evidence of what we can’t see. It’s proof of the invisible. Haskell can tell who the horse thief is when he gathers the evidence, but can he prove his love to Martha? Can she look past her fear of guns and see his heart?

Martha is terrified of Haskell’s gun. Can she trust him to use it wisely? What if someone else she loves is hurt by a gun? The day of apple picking is the day of change. The horse thief confronts Haskell and Martha. Can Haskell keep her safe, or will she fall by the bullet she fears so much?

I enjoyed this story of Martha and Haskell. Martha must learn to trust God and Haskell. With faith and hope she can move forward with her life and with God. She must learn to trust Haskell to take care of her and Haskell must learn to rely on God for the hopes and dreams of his heart.

A statement that stuck with me after I finished the book: “It’s often difficult to see a parent’s wisdom when you know them so well.” Martha talks with a friend of hers who tells her she had the advantage of listening to Martha’s mother’s wisdom. Children tend to disregard their parent’s advice, but some of the best wisdom can be found in them. They don’t want to see their children hurt and want what’s best for them. This sentence summed that up.

For a great inspirational romance, I highly recommend this book and this author! Her characters come to life and the story lines pull you in and you don't want to stop reading. I have enjoyed each of her books that I have read and look forward to reading many more!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

His Montana Sweetheart By: Ruth Logan Herne

I love this book! The old west, horses, cowboys, what’s not to love? Olivia Franklin left Jasper Gulch to pursue her education and got married. She is back to put together a biographical history of the town for the centennial. But she didn’t come back the same person she was when she left. Her husband divorced her. Her grandparents come to live with Olivia and her parents when her grandfather is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and she can’t let go of her past with Jack McGuire. He dumped her while she was pursuing her education when he got injured playing ball. Olivia knows she’ll run into him sooner or later since Jasper Gulch is a small town. What will she say? How will she act?

Jack McGuire is putting together a centennial league baseball game. He used to play baseball until he got injured. Taking a job in the city, he realized he didn’t like either, the job or the city, and finally came back home when his mother was ill and cared for her until she died. But now Olivia is back. Can she forgive him for breaking her heart when he lashed out because of his ball career ending injury?

Olivia has to come to terms with her lack of contact with her family over the years, and keeping her distance on purpose. She realizes she hasn’t seen her grandparents in years. Why did she let that happen? How does prayer figure into this? It didn’t seem to work in the past. Should she try it now? Will God still help her even though she hasn’t spoken to Him in a while?

Jack and Olivia work together to finalize plans for the centennial baseball game. They resemble the town, mired in the past. Love and peace, it’s what they both need, including a horse they pick up at the auction. Can they learn to let go of the past, open their hearts to love again, and lean on a God who loves them and has the best for them?

Jack thinks Olivia will waste her education staying in Jasper Gulch. Can he trust her to stay? Will she trust him after he broke her heart 8 years ago? Trust is a hard thing to come by, but with God’s help, they can put the past behind them and move forward together. Can they do that? Read this book for a great inspirational western romance!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Red Gold by Sandy Nadeau

I loved this faith-filled mystery by Sandy Nadeau! Mandy Phillips and her husband Jon run a ranch in Colorado. Things start happening around the ranch, a fire, brake lines are cut, a guest is kidnapped. Who could be behind these shenanigans and why? Mr. Shonee is their neighbor. He doesn’t like the idea of a guest ranch bordering his property. Could he be behind what is going on, or is it something more sinister?

Mandy and Jon work together to make the guest ranch work. Their faith in God helps them through the ordeals facing them as somebody wants the ranch shut down. When you have nobody else to turn to, who do you turn to? God, of course. And that’s just what the Phillips’ do.

Jenny is a great character is this story. She and her parents are staying in one of the cabins. She goes to church with Mandy and Jon while she is there. The conversations she has with God are so realistic. When she asks God if he is willing to be her friend, you can feel her uncertainty but hopefulness. When she gets in a bind and really needs his help, you can feel him helping her as she does.

I absolutely loved this inspirational mystery. Can’t wait to read more by this author! This sentence stayed with me even after finishing the book: We’re God’s children. If we expect forgiveness and love from our Lord, can we do less for our neighbors? May I always remember this! If you enjoy inspirational mysteries that are exciting and fun you will enjoy this one!

The Doctor's Return by: Narelle Atkins

Megan Bradley left her hometown of Snowgum Creek eight years ago, right after Luke Morton proposed, and never looked back. She wanted to travel the world and explore. Now she is back in town. But how long will she stay this time?

Luke Morton is a doctor. He has opened a medical clinic in town. Luke was hurt when Megan left town the first time. Should he give her a second chance? Can he handle it if she leaves town again?

This book is about second chances, learning to trust someone, but especially learning to trust God. Megan has grown away from her faith while traveling around the world, out of touch with her friends and family. Once she comes back home and gets her exercise physiology consulting practice started, she realizes what she has missed. Having her friends and family close by and growing close to God again show her always being on the go and never settling down keep her from establishing strong relationships. But when a once in a lifetime opportunity presents itself, can she be happy staying in Snowgum Creek and not miss her old lifestyle? Can she give up Luke to follow her dream job, knowing if she leaves this time, she will lose him for good?

Luke realizes he never stopped loving Megan, but can he trust her not to run off with his heart again? He values doing God’s work, but does Megan feel the same way? Luke has to learn to put past hurts behind him in order to have a chance at a future with Megan.

I loved this book by Narelle Atkins! The Doctor’s Return is a sweet inspirational romance. Even when you’re not sure which way to go, God is there in the details. He is the God of love and of second chances. Put your trust in Him. Luke and Megan are great characters and I love the hometown of Snowgum Creek.

The Sanctuary A Novel By: Cassandra R Siddons

The Sanctuary is about the Carolina Girls Forever group: Lydia Coble, Julia Anastasia Rutledge, Elizabeth Goldberg, Sonya Boyd. They spent every summer and school vacation together on Sanctuary Island, in South Carolina. Then they grew up, had lives of their own. This book is their journey back to each other and how each one has learned what a great life they have because they have each other.

This is a book about each CGF’s life, ending with an across country drive in an RV. I loved this story. When Lydia Coble’s husband dies, she realizes the man she married isn’t who she thought. The novel is her journey to find the truth. Along the way, each of the other girls have journeys of their own. From the first page, you are pulled in and you want to see where the journey ends for each of them. They all realize friendship is more important as you get older. They can face anything and get through it together.

The end of the book deals with each CGF member going home and wraps up their individual journeys. I loved this part of the book. You weren’t left hanging when the book ended. You know whenever something happens they will be there for each other, no matter what. Everyone needs friends like this!

There are a few curse words. The formatting is great as well as the editing. I loved the cover! I would buy the book just to look at it. There is also a history lesson in the book as you learn about the Gullah, the people who inhabit Sanctuary Island and why keeping their land safe is so important to Lydia. By the end of the book you become very close to each character. I dreaded the ending when I knew I would have to tell them goodbye. Be sure to have tissues ready and to laugh out loud at some of their antics. There are even recipes in the back of the book. I would love to read more books by this author.

As Is By: Wendy Stenzel Oleston

Spoiler alert in this review: This is a very thought provoking book. Real life issues, questions, and troubles are talked about and dealt with from being an alcoholic to losing a job to someone spreading rumors that aren’t true. How would it be if Jesus was right by your side as you endured these? What would he say to you as you go through life? Mara has a life filled with hard choices and consequences from her past. Can she accept her freedom as Graydon Davidson presents it, or will she reject what he has to offer?

Mara has been court-ordered to attend counseling. On the way there she meets Graydon. He becomes an integral part of her and her son’s life. He opens her eyes to a life filled with forgiveness, second chances, and God’s love for her. Can she accept what he is teaching her? Can she believe someone would love her for who she is and that there is nothing she can do to make his love stronger because he already loves her and went through so much just for her? Graydon asks her point blank questions, and makes her think about her actions. Sometimes we need to have a one-on-one conversation with God to find out where we stand with him. Our thoughts and actions could be holding us back from accomplishing so much for him.

The conversations between Mara and Graydon are so realistic. I felt like I was right there, especially when he’s looking in the mirror and tells her to look and see what she sees. She can never see past what is right there to see what God sees in her. God sees on the inside. Sometimes that’s harder to show others, but God knows what is there.

There is cursing in this book, which I think takes away from what the author is trying to do here. The words are used in context to what is going on, but they take me out of the story every time one is used. After finishing the book and realizing what I had thought was right, I want to go back and read it again, but I don’t want to because of the words. The story, characters, and meaning are excellently woven throughout. Once you finish the book, you are left with your thoughts. Is Jesus part of your everyday decision making processes? Is he the first one you think to talk to when you have an issue come up? What would it be like to have him right there with you, to talk to, to hug, to feel his love in all that you do? This book brings this out so poignantly. Jesus loves us this much. He wants to be this close to all of us as we go through life.

If there was a version without the curse words, I would say this book would be a great addition to read to get a full understanding of how it would be having Jesus right there with you, going through life with you. This book puts that into perspective in such a way, that even after reading the book, you still feel him there. You can have conversations with God; you just have to be willing to listen for the answer and accept what he has to say.

I can’t say too much more without giving the whole book away. If you don’t mind the curse words and can skip over them, I say pick up this book today. You won’t regret it! If they bother you, it will take away from the book and you won’t get out of it what you should. I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Stuck Together by Mary Connealy

I love these western romances by Mary Connealy. She blends western fiction and romantic comedy into inspirational romance. Stuck Together is the third book in the Trouble in Texas series. You do not need to read them in order to know what is going on and who is who. If you’ve read the others, you already know the characters and what they’ve been through, and you are not pulled out of the story as they are introduced or their past talked about.

Tina Cahill is Jonas’ sister. She is on a rampage to obliterate devil’s rum from her town. She establishes a picket line and is not afraid to tell everyone they should not enter the saloon. Her past plays a big part in her future. Her parents died and she went to live with her aunt. She never felt like she fit in and was unwanted. As soon as she could she tracked down her brother Jonas and lives with him. She feels like her place with him is precarious and she will be asked to leave. She thinks she will always be alone and no one will love her for who she is. She must learn that God loves her no matter what. Tina works hard, has a servant’s heart for serving and helping others in their time of need. That draws her to Vince, but can he let go of his own past to have a future with her?

Vince Yates grew up without his parents’ love. His father was very controlling and stern. His mother would come to visit him as he was growing up; he was not allowed to touch her or show emotion. When he came back home after the war, she didn’t remember she had a son and was afraid of Vince. He has to learn to trust God to take care of him. He’s used to being on guard, watching over everyone else. He let fear control him; fear of becoming like his parents, scaring his wife and kids or not remembering who they are, keeps him from thinking about marrying anyone. Vince has to learn to forge own path to his own future.

Mother Yates has issues with her memory, doesn’t remember she has a son, calls him by his father’s name, but she is such a sweet lady. I liked how this sickness was dealt with in this story. There was no cure, but the whole town pitched in and helped when they needed it.

For a great inspirational western romance, pick up this great book by Mary Connealy!

I received this book free from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Captured by Love By: Jody Hedlund

Michigan Territory, 1814, Michilimackinac Island. I enjoyed Captured by Love because it portrays this island’s history. What do you do when you are in between the British, the Americans and there is a war going on? Angelique MacKenzie and Pierre Durant must forge a way to survive, but can they keep from falling in love? Angelique is promised in marriage by her guardian Ebenezer Whiley to Pierre’s brother Jean. But since Jean is away will she accept Pierre’s offer of marriage to ensure she doesn’t starve the following winter?

Angelique grew up with Pierre and Jean. She has learned how to evade her guardian’s clutches. She fishes for food, saves her food, and takes it to Pierre’s and Jean’s mother. She is blind and can’t fend for herself. Jean had to leave the island because of his support of the Americans since the British control the island. Pierre left to become a fur trader. Now that Pierre is back, he wants to marry Angelique. Can she marry him and forget she is promised to Jean? Will she be able to leave her beloved island to be with Pierre?

Pierre must learn that just as his mother’s love is unconditional, so is God’s love. He just has to learn to trust Him. Whenever he’s ready, God will be waiting with open arms, as He does for anyone ready to turn to Him. Pierre must also come to terms with his past. He was mad at his father and said things in anger. Can Pierre learn to lean on God and trust Him to help him out of his predicament?

Pick up this book today for a great read! Jody Hedlund creates great characters, with settings and historical facts woven intricately into fiction to draw the reader into the story while showing how the characters draw closer to God and encouraging the reader to do the same.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Your Family Tree What’s In Your Roots? By: David L. Cole

I loved this book by David L Cole. It isn’t too long, but long enough to touch on history pertaining to the early populations, what sources should you research, to what to do when you are finished. The author uses a lot of exclamation points, but it’s to impart his enthusiasm for genealogy.

I have spent the past several years trying to research my ancestors and loved reading this book. David L Cole wrote this book from his experience 25 years’ experience researching his ancestors. What he’s learned along the way he imparts in this book. His explanation of surnames and coats of arms is direct and he gives many free sites to get started on your genealogical search, as well as tips to get your tree started. Once you get further along in your research, he also talks about paid sites that may be more helpful once you know more information. Do you want to know why some ancestors left their home country or why they had to relocate? Cole explains some of the scenarios surrounding these early ancestors depending on where they originated from.

The format of this book is very good. It is very easy to read, with just a couple of grammatical errors. I loved the cover of this book with the trees and the undergrowth. I couldn’t wait to read this book and see what knowledge the author had and how it related to my search. I wasn’t disappointed and actually got a few more leads to try in searching for my own ancestors.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Rival Hearts by Tara Randel

Rival Hearts
By: Tara Randel

A great book about community, friendship, rivalry, and love. We need all these components to figure out who we are, to feel connected to the people we come in contact with, and to know what we stand for. When Molly Henderson and Ben Weaver are pitted against each other to win the office promotion, sparks start to fly. Molly has to take on Ben’s outdoor’s activity for his adventure magazine and Ben has to take on quilting for Molly’s quilting magazine. Can they survive the challenge without losing their hearts to each other? Or will the rivalry pull them further apart?

In order for Molly to win her part of the competition, she has to depend on her brother to coach her. She is not the outdoorsy type, but she is determined to win that coveted office on the top floor with the awesome view. From her growing up years, there has been a strain between Molly and her brother. Everything came easy to him and he had their parents’ approval. Molly had to fight for everything but was still not recognized for her accomplishments. She found a quilting circle of women who took her in and taught her quilting and about God’s love.

Before Ben’s parents died while he was in college, they traveled. After their death, he continued traveling, not having close friends or family. If he didn’t stay in one place too long, he didn’t have time to think about his loss. Taking on the quilting challenge puts him in close proximity to others on a personal basis. Will he survive the challenge of spending time with a circle of women bound to learn all they can about him? Can he keep his distance or will he learn having friends and a close community strengthens and connects him?

Molly’s mom kept her at arm’s length. She in turn kept others behind a formidable wall. Ben had been hurt by a past love and built walls around his heart that no one could get through. Molly and Ben needed to be reminded of God’s unconditional love. Both come to depend on others to help them complete their challenges in order to be in the running for the promotion, but during the competition they both learn what is important to them.

Will they act on what they learn, or is it all about the coveted office? Pick up this great book today to find out. I read it in one afternoon. I couldn’t put the book down. Tara Randel pulls you into Molly’s and Ben’s life and I couldn’t stop until knew how it ended.

I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review

Quilts of Love | RIVAL HEARTS – Summer Coleman Camping Kit Giveaway!

Don’t miss this month’s Quilts of Love book, Rival Hearts, by Tara Randel. Who doesn't like a friendly competition, every now and then? You'll be sure to love this fun tale of unexpected competition between two people forced out of their comfort zone.


Celebrate June's release by entering to win a summer camping kit (grill, tent, and camp chairs) from Quilts of Love.


One winner will receive:

  • A Coleman grill, tent, and camp chairs
  • A Promise in Pieces by Emily Wierenga
  • A Stitch and a Prayer by Eva Gibson
  • Rival Hearts by Tara Randel
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on July 13. Winner will be announced on the Quilts of Love blog.

Spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.

Four Weddings and a Kiss A Western Bride Collection by Margaret Brownley, Debra Clopton, Mary Connealy, and Robin Lee Hatcher

From the prologue I was hooked on this book! Reverend Gregory Miller has a small church. He is traveling with other preachers heading home after a weeklong revival. He broke up with Elizabeth Princeton because she wasn’t modest, reserved, and obedient. If he married her, he wouldn’t be dignified and sedate. The other preachers around him start in with their stories of God using highly unlikely people to fulfill his purpose, like Moses with his speech problem, and David killing Goliath with a stone. The following are the stories in this collection “living proof that God has a sense of humor.”

Spitfire Sweetheart by Mary Connealy: The more stories I read of Mary’s the more I love her books. This story is no different. Maizy MacGregor has been raised by her pa since her ma died. She is a tomboy through and through. She wears a gun, works like a ranch hand, and wears men’s clothes. Then, Rylan Carstens moves in. He takes one look at her and shows his disgust of her clothes and appearance. After Ryan berates her for being on his land to her Pa she goes to her getaway place, which happens to be on Carstens’ land. Which puts her right in the middle of trouble between an ornery bull and a mad grizzly. Once Carstens figures out she’s there, he gets her to safety but not before he’s hurt. Maizy’s Pa makes her stay and take care of him, dressed and acting like a lady. Carstens’ ranch hand ends up leaving and Maizy fills in there too.

Unfortunately for Carstens, he realizes he loves Maizy when she’s dressed as a woman and he’s willing to marry her so she won’t have to wear men’s clothes and work like a ranch hand. This makes Maizy mad. Why can’t he love the real her instead of the her all dressed up? She works hard, she loves working on the ranch, and even though she caused Carstens to be laid up for awhile, she is working hard to help him save his ranch until he can get back on his feet. Can he accept her as she is?

This is a great love story. I loved the characters of Maizy and Carstens. You shouldn’t have to give up who you are in order for someone to love you. Maybe it just takes the other person getting to know you.

A Love Letter to the Editor by Robin Lee Hatcher: I loved this story. Molly Everton has worked for her dad’s paper since they opened it 10 years ago. She writes a weekly column, but not the household hints her mother thinks she should write. Molly is smart and speaks her mind. She hasn’t found a man to be her husband in the town they live in. Women are expected to marry, run the house, and have kids. Then her father decides to hire a managing editor instead of letting her have the position. Molly decides from the beginning to not like Jack Ludgrove. How can she like him if he’s come to take her job away?

Jack has always wanted to travel west. When he saw the advertisement for an editor, he jumped at the chance. After a year or two, he could move on. But then he meets Molly. What’s wrong with the eligible men in town that they haven’t married Molly before now? Once he reads her column and spends some time with her, he realizes she is for women voting, knowledgeable on current events, and has passion for the stories she writes. Can he handle that in a woman, or is he like the other men in town? What about his plans to see the west? Will this little town be enough adventure for him? You’ll have to read the story to find out!

I loved Molly’s and Jack’s characters. Their bantering and getting to know each other kept me turning the pages to see how their story would turn out.

A Cowboy for Katie by Debra Clopton: I was hooked on this story! Katie Pearl is such a fun character. The town thinks she’s crazy after she was trapped in her house after a tornado came through that killed her pa. She talks to herself, shoots at any man that asks her to marry them, and won’t go inside a building.

Then she hires Treb Rayburn to help her rebuild her house. She feels safe with him because after he’s done he’s moving on. He just needs money to buy a horse. But strange things start to happen. Treb stays out all night in a thunderstorm holding her and protecting her because she’s too afraid to go in the barn for shelter. He builds her a temporary shelter from poles and tarp so she won’t feel confined. And while he’s rebuilding her house, he places the windows so it feels open and spacious, not confined like a house.

But can Katie trust Treb? What happens if she falls in love with him and he leaves? Treb took the job knowing if he contemplated marrying her, she’d shoot him like she had the others. But if he fell in love with her, how would he get to see the places further out west he wanted to see? What about his dreams? Katie is strong but will she discover she needs Treb? You’ll have to read the story to find out!

Courting Trouble by Margaret Brownley: Grace Davenport, the Black Widow, is in jail for killing her third husband. Her son Jesse hires Brock Daniels for fifty-six cents. Brock is a lawyer from Philadelphia, not used to how justice is served in Colorado. He promises to consult with Grace. Once he does, he decides to take her case.

Grace has been married three times, and each time her husband died of mysterious causes. Did she murder them or has she been set up this time? Brock and Jesse work together to defend her.

Grace will not trust a man ever again. Can she learn to trust Brock with her future and her heart? He seems to have hit it off with her son. But does he have good intentions? When Brock decides to run for judge, will Grace’s past be more of a hindrance?

Check out this story. I loved it. Big town lawyer with a past meets small town justice and a lady with an uncertain future. Can they learn to trust each other? Great story on trust, forgiveness, and second chances.

Epilogue: Remember Reverend Gregory Miller from the Prologue? Does he take the advice from these four stories and embrace his love? Can the most unlikeliest couples find true happiness? You’ll have to read this book to find out!

I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.

FOUR WEDDINGS AND A KISS – Win an iPad Mini & rip-roarin’ Facebook Party!

Four best-­selling romance novelists bring tales of feisty heroines, stubborn heroes, and unlikely love in the Wild West in Four Weddings and a Kiss. Don't miss the latest from the Western Brides Collection from Margaret Brownley, Robin Lee Hatcher, Mary Connealy, and Debra Clopton.

The authors are celebrating with a "Sweet on Love" iPad Mini Giveaway and rip-roarin' Facebook party.


One winner will receive:

  • An iPad Mini
  • A Bride for All Seasons and Four Weddings and a Kiss 
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on July 8th. Winner will be announced at the Four Weddings and a Kiss Facebook Author Chat Party. Connect with Western Brides Collection authors Margaret Brownley, Robin Lee Hatcher, Mary Connealy, and Debra Clopton for an evening of fun book chat, western-themed trivia, and prizes. The authors will also be answering audience questions and giving an exclusive look at the next book in the collection!

So grab your copy of Four Weddings and a Kiss and join the authors on the evening of July 8th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 8th!