Saturday, January 31, 2015

River's Edge Review


 About the Book

The man Lisa Jackson loved most may have betrayed her. Another used deception to manipulate her. But did one of them kill her? Ben Jackson is sure to defeat Jonathan Cleary in Cape Refuge s mayoral race, until his wife turns up missing the day before a major debate. Suspecting foul play, Police Chief Cade launches an island-wide search. But it takes a psychic s vision to point police to the riverside and Lisa s body. The evidence implicating Ben in his wife s murder is convincing. But as a local scandal escalates into a national media circus, Cade s instincts tell him to dig deeper. And he s not the only one. Blair Owens of the Cape Refuge Journal is using her investigative skills to uncover a rat s nest of dirty secrets and more than one person with a motive for murder. But Blair s methods are jeopardizing her relationship with Cade, and an unsolicited prediction from the psychic only adds to her troubles. Is the man s so-called gift truly from God, as he claims? Did Lisa s murder have anything to do with the mayoral race, her husband s alleged affair, or her decade-long struggle with infertility? Whoever the killer is, he s about to take his evasion of justice to the next, lethal level. And someone else is going to die." (Goodreads)

My Review

I have read all the books in this series thus far and I'm such a fan of Terri Blackstock. I do think that her more recent books are my favorite and a bit more suspenseful but this is still a great series. That being said this book is centered around infertility in every way. It was interesting to read about and get into the emotions of the characters. The murder is to a woman named Lisa who has been trying for years to have a child. Add some politics, shady business owners, and media and you have yourself a puzzle. 
I really like Cade, the man who looks into each murder in each book. He is a great character and it's nice to see how his life progresses throughout the series. I do recommend reading these books in order as the characters and parts of the storyline do flow in each of them. 

I really liked this book and the way the author tries to mess with the reader's mind. There is also a huge message on living a Christian life in a bit of a side story. 

Highly recommend this series!!

"I received this book from BookLook Bloggers for free in exchange for an honest review."

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Dandelion Field Review


About the Book

This handsome firefighter makes a living coming to the rescue, but Gin doesn't need a man to fight her battles.

After Raine s dad walked out, Ginevieve Lightly never lived in one place too long, a rambling lifestyle that defined her daughter s youth. When their car dies in Banister Falls, Wisconsin, Gin promises Raine they can stay until she finishes her senior year of high school. Gin will do anything to make sure her daughter has a bright future . . . a future that s compromised when Raine reveals she s pregnant.

Dan Moretti has only ever called Banister Falls home. After losing his best friend in a tragic accident, Dan devoted himself to responding to fires, rescuing the helpless, and guiding Cody Bennett, his best friend's son, through life. With Cody being the epitome of the good kid, it was an easy job. Until he says four little words: The baby is mine.

Knowing gossip of Raine's pregnancy will erupt sooner or later in the small town, Gin's reflex is to grab the suitcase and escape to a new city, a new life. But with each passing day, Gin's feet stay rooted in Banister Falls, and she falls a little more for this local firefighter who shows her not all men abandon women at the first sign of smoke.

As Gin and Dan do the best they can to guide the two teenagers through their early entry into adulthood, they discover together that romance can bloom in the rockiest of situations. And God can turn the pieces of a broken past into a beautiful new beginning. " (Goodreads)

My Review

I started this book wary that the story line could go so many different ways from reading the back. I started the first chapter and I really don't think I set it down from there. It's a pretty easy read but it packs a punch! The characters are very real and I really loved reading about all of them. There are two story lines flowing together, Gin and Dan and then Raine and Cody have their own story line. This is contemporary fiction but reads like a real life circumstance where two teenagers end up growing up faster than planned. I think the author did a pretty good job with the overall storyline. Cody is a devote Christian and gets judged pretty harshly for getting a girl pregnant. I think this part of the story line was brushed over a tad with how their peers reacted. I'd like to see what happens next, where do they go from here? The book ends rather quickly. I really enjoyed this book, and that is saying a lot since I'm rather picky when it comes to contemporary fiction.

5 stars.

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

Purchase a copy:

About the author:
Kathryn Springer is a USA Today bestselling author. She grew up in northern Wisconsin, where her parents published a weekly newspaper. As a child she spent many hours sitting at her mother's typewriter, plunking out stories, and credits her parents for instilling in her a love of books --- which eventually turned into a desire to tell stories of her own. Kathryn has written nineteen books with close to two million copies sold. She lives with her husband and three children in Marinette, Wisconsin.

Find Kathryn online: website, Facebook

Get ready for Valentine's Day with a new story of romance and falling in love in Kathryn Springer's The Dandelion FieldThe handsome firefighter makes a living “coming to the rescue,” but Gin is used to fighting her own battles. Can a woman who doesn't believe in happy endings take a chance on a new beginning? 

Celebrate a second chance at love and family with Kathryn by entering her Kindle Fire giveaway!


One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • The Dandelion Field
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on February 15th. Winner will be announced February 16th on the Litfuse blog.


Friday, January 23, 2015

Home is Where My People Are Review


 About the Book

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

My Review

I suppose I wasn't sure what to expect with this book. It's a memoir but I guess I had hoped for a bit more. This is the first book by Sophie I have read and she definitely has her own quirky writing style, which is always fun! There is a bit of humor, some will find it more humorous than others. I enjoyed it but at times I was a bit irritated with the constant sarcasm. Sophie really paints a picture of life in the south during the 70s-90s. Everything from her hair to her clothes to her experience with college and a home cooked meal is discussed. I enjoyed some of her stories on her life more than others. The last few chapters I think were my favorite because she really hit the nail on the head about home and what it means. It's always interesting to hear someone's life story but it was difficult for me to get into her life a few times.
This is a fun spontaneous read where you can pick it up and get a few laughs and God moments. 

Four stars. 

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

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Novel Interiors Review

 About the Book

For those who have ever lost themselves in the stylish worlds of novels like Sense and Sensibility, The Age of Innocence, Wuthering Heights, The Picture of Dorian Gray and countless others, this design book embraces the fantasy of time and place, showing you how to bring some of those elements into your own home.

Lisa Giramonti inspires a new approach to decorating: by teaching us through the lens of worlds we may already know and love. With gorgeous photographs by World of Interiors photographer Ivan Terestchenko, aspirational quotes, and tailored reading lists, Novel Interiors reveals the essence and details of interiors mentioned in great literary works. This is a stunning, photo-driven book that shares enchanting and timeless ways to live more elegantly. (Goodreads)

My Review

This is a beautifully large hardback book full of color. I enjoy reading magazines or books that have to do with homes and decorating. I love books and the author wanted to portray certain looks corresponding to a certain novel. I really enjoyed the first section of the book Shall I Put the Kettle On? The rooms are light and homey to me and more my style. These rooms reflect Charles Dickens, Jane Austin, Louisa May Alcott and a few others. 
The other sections are Remembrance of Things Past, Living in au Naturel, Oh,the Glamour of It All, Anything Goes, and Sometimes a Fantasy. 
The pictures are good and there are many side notes on what you could do with a certain idea. I wish there were more examples on how to do certain things but it is still a nice book to have on hand when you need an idea. Honestly, I think I get more out of my design magazines but then I think it's because I know I like certain things. 

Four stars. 

"I received this book from Blogging for Books for free in exchange for an honest review."

Still Life Book Review


About the Book

A tragic plane crash. One woman who lost her husband. Another who gave up her seat for him.

Ada spent her first twenty-five years with her family as part of a fringe religious sect. Her only contact with the outside world was through customers at their farm store. Then she met Julian, a photojournalist who'd come to document their lifestyle. They eloped mere days later and Ada was thrust into a completely new life as a wife, city-dweller, and an individual allowed to make her own decisions. But she has no idea who she is.

On her twenty-sixth birthday, Julian plans to fly home from an assignment to give her her first-ever birthday present. He's thrilled when Katherine Cramer gives up her seat so he can make the flight. But the plane crashes and everyone on board is killed, including Julian.

Ada is completely at a loss, with no friends and no marketable skills. When Julian's last photographs are published, her life erupts into chaos. She begins travelling--with Julian's camera for a companion--searching for answers to who she is and what she really wants.

Meanwhile, Katherine must live with the knowledge of "why "she gave up her seat--to extend her affair one more night. She recognizes her survival as a second chance to save her marriage. But is it too late?

When Ada's and Katherine's paths cross, they discover that there's still life ahead for both of them. (Goodreads)

My Review

I have mixed feelings while writing this review. There is a distinct writing style that Christa uses that I actually enjoy. I liked the overall idea about a tragedy happening and families figuring out where to go from there. I guess it was difficult to get into the characters for me. I really didn't understand Ada's side of the story I think I liked her friends the best out of the book. Katherine's story is a lot to handle. She is having an affair and then tragedy strikes. When the truth comes out, as it always does, I felt like she really had no regret about sleeping with another man. I didn't get any closure from that part of the story. I love that the book proves that Christ can be in any situation and that it might take the faith of a teen boy. But I feel like not a whole lot changed throughout the book.
I guess I was just disappointed with this book as it didn't grab me into the story line.
The cover is beautiful and I'm sure others will enjoy the book more than I did.

"I received this book from BookLook Bloggers for free in exchange for an honest review."

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Loved Back to Life Review


About the Book

Join Sheila Walsh on her journey from despair to joy

Beautiful and talented, Sheila Walsh was at the pinnacle of her career, appearing daily on television as cohost of "The 700 Club." One day she found herself walking away from it all and checking in to a psychiatric hospital, where she stayed for a month.

From the outside everything seemed fine, but on the inside Sheila was in trouble. In her journal she wrote, "Lord, please hold me. I'm falling into a dark well. I feel as if I am disappearing a little more every day. I am so angry inside that I am afraid of myself. I feel so alone." How did this happen? What brought her to her knees? "Loved Back to Life" takes readers on Sheila's journey of the soul from hopelessness to joy as she finds that although the road was scary, at every turn God beckoned her to follow and trust Him. And He did not let her down. (Goodreads)

 My Review

I wanted to read this book because I had seen Sheila at a Women of Faith conference years ago. I really enjoyed what she had to say and have read some of her other books. I really liked this book because it was honest and to the point. Sometimes books about a person's life can drag on but this one was great! Sheila has had quite the life and going from being on TV to major depression is extreme. I think this book was written well and I enjoyed how she described her situation and the events surrounding her many decisions. This book really opens up the fact that everyone struggles. 

This is a good book and I got a lot of encouragement out of it. 

"I received this book from BookLook bloggers for free in exchange for an honest review."

Friday, January 9, 2015

Clean Slate Cookbook-A New Favorite!


About the Book 
It’s time to hit the reset button. This book emphasizes eating clean, whole, unprocessed foods as part of a primarily plant-based diet, with delicious and healthy recipes that make it easy to do just that. Refreshing juices and smoothies, savory snacks, protein-packed main dishes, and even delectable desserts will keep you satisfied all day long; among them are plenty of vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and allergen-free options, each identified by helpful icons. Comprehensive, informative, and utterly satisfying, Clean Slate is the complete go-to guide for boosting your energy and feeling your best.

More than just a cookbook, Clean Slate, from the editors of Martha Stewart Living, provides you with the nutritionally sound information you need to shop for and prepare food that nourishes body and mind. You’ll find guidelines for restocking your pantry with whole grains, beans and legumes, lean proteins, and healthy fats; glossaries of the best sources of detoxifiers, antioxidants, and other health-boosting nutrients; and menus for a simple 3-day cleanse and a 21-day whole-body detox, with easy-to-follow tips and strategies for staying on track.

Get inspired by more than 160 beautifully photographed recipes organized into action-focused chapters, including:

Replenish: Get off to a good start
Whole-Wheat Waffles with Strawberries and Yogurt;
Poached Eggs with Roasted Tomatoes

Reboot: Drink to your health
Grapefruit, Carrot, and Ginger Juice;
Green Machine Smoothie

Recharge: Load up on vegetables
Roasted Mushroom Tartines with Avocado;
Steamed Vegetable Salad with Macadamia Dressing

Reenergize: Choose your snacks wisely
Warm Spinach-White Bean Dip;
Trail Mix with Toasted Coconut

Restore: Make meals with substance
Wild Salmon, Asparagus, and Shiitakes in Parchment;
Grilled Chicken with Cucumber, Radish, and Cherry Tomato Relish

Relax: Have a little something sweet
Dark Chocolate Bark with Hazelnuts;
Berry-Almond Crisp

My Review

This is a new favorite cookbook of mine for many reasons. I got it in the mail surprised at how big of a book it was! There is a lot packed into this cookbook! The first part of the book is about eating healthy and clean. There is a 72 hour detox schedule you can follow and then there is a 21 day action plan where you follow the organized meal list. I like the meals because there aren't many where you have to buy weird random food items.  There are some great smoothie recipes that aren't all kale ( I've tried that and I'm not a fan). 
Another great part about this book is it lists if things are dairy free, gluten free, nut free, or vegan. For me the dairy free items are really helpful and I have a lot more options on different meals from this book. 
The pictures are great, there is one for each recipe so you know what you are making. The index is amazing and handy and I find this an all around usable cookbook!

I love Martha Stewart's recipes and magazine and this cookbook is just as great!

"I received this book from Blogging for Books for free in exchange for an honest review."  


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Like a Flower in Bloom Review


About the Book

Victorian-Era England Comes Alive in This Witty Romance

For years Charlotte Withersby has worked as an assistant to her father, an eminent English botanist. As she approaches the old age of twenty-four, her father pushes her out into society, swayed by an uncle who believes God's only two roles for women are marriage and motherhood. When one of the Withersbys' colonial correspondents, Edward Trimble, returns to England, he's drafted as the new assistant so Charlotte is free to marry. This suits Edward's plans quite well, since the last thing he wants to do is reunite with the family he is ashamed to call his own.

Though Edward proves himself vexingly capable on the job, Charlotte won't surrender the job without a fight, and schemes with her best friend to regain her position. Perhaps if a proposal seems imminent, Charlotte's father will see his error and ask her to return. Charlotte tries to make headway in her town's social life, but reveals herself to be unaware of all the intricacies of polite society. Though Edward pitches in, tutoring her in society's expectations, she just seems to make things worse. And the more she comes to know of her father's assistant, the more trouble she has imagining life without him. Caught in a trap of her own making and seeing the hopelessness of her prospects, will Charlotte get to keep her work or will she have to cede her heart? (Goodreads)

My Review

What a wonderful story! I have read a few of Siri's books and this one is by far my favorite. She really did a great job with character development and mixing history with a fun story. I enjoy reading about botany and this book was full of all kinds of information on plants. So for the historical aspect this was a great book. I LOVE the characters, Edward and Charlotte are hilarious and realistic. I really wanted to jump into this story and tag along with Charlotte. There is a lot of humor that I haven't noticed in Siri's previous books so that part was refreshing.
While the story line is a bit predictable there are some twists and I really loved reading this book.

I highly recommend for a great historical read!

Five stars!

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

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Financially Confident Woman Book Review


 About the Book 

Too many women feel like they lack the know-how to take control of their financial lives. But it's not the level of their knowledge that's the problem, says personal financial expert Mary Hunt; it's their lack of confidence. Being in debt isn't a money problem--it's an attitude problem. And Hunt is here to help women develop a confident, capable attitude toward money so that they can take control of their finances.
Using the lessons she's learned from her own hard-fought battle with debt, Hunt empowers women to develop nine essential money habits, including giving, saving, investing, rejecting unsecured debt, preparing for emergencies, getting what you pay for, and more. She also includes a six-week action plan to help women get started right away. (Goodreads)

My Review

 I enjoy reading about financial issues and new ideas. The first part of the book is all about how you got into debt. Also, she talks about how at some point in a woman's life she will most likely have to manage her own finances. I think that's a wise thought. Many women leave it to the men, which I think is fine but if married the wife should at least know what is going on. It was interesting to read about Mary's own life and personal choices that brought her into debt and what she did to change. 
The last parts of the book are ways to save or cute back, for example use less electricity and so on. She talks investments which was my favorite part because she included graphs to I could see the numbers visually. 
Most of what she had to say I had already read but I did find the stats about women something new. The action plan is doable and I think many women will find this book helpful. I think this also would make a great beginner book on financial/debt issues. 

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

Colorado Hope Book Review



About the Author
Charlene Whitman spent many years living on Colorado's Front Range. She grew up riding and raising horses, and loves to read, write, and hike the mountains. She attended Colorado State University in Fort Collins as an English major. She has two daughters and is married to George "Dix" Whitman, her love of thirty years. Colorado Hope is the second sweet Historical Western Romance novel in her Front Range series.
Her latest book is the sweet western historical romance, Colorado Hope.
Connect with Charlene on Facebook and Twitter.

About the Book:

1875 ~ Beset by a sudden spring storm on the Front Range, newlywed Grace Cunningham watches in horror as her husband, Monty, is swept downriver. Pregnant and despairing, she stumbles into Fort Collins and tries to make a life for herself, praying that one day the man she loves will walk into town and back into her life.

A year after Grace’s tragic loss, Monty enters the dress shop where she works—with a beautiful woman on his arm. Shocked that he has no recollection of her, Grace is determined to win back his heart. Somehow she must help him regain his memories and his buried love for her—and not just for her sake but for the sake of their infant son, Ben.

Monty, miserable in his marriage to a woman he hardly knows, is inexplicably drawn to Grace. Every time he’s near her, memories surface, but they are hazy and troubling. He’s torn between his vows and the desires of his heart, for he cannot stay away from Grace.

Grace’s hope is sparked when Monty starts recalling glimpses of his past. But when murderous outlaws come to town, she is thrust into grave danger. Monty risks his life to rescue her, only to face even greater perils in the treacherous mountains. Can she truly hang on to hope when she is about to lose all she loves?

For More Information

My Review

What a fresh surprise! Any book that has to do with Colorado I am all about reading. This book was really pretty good, though a bit long and drawn out at times. The overall idea is about Monty who is taking his wife West to start out new. He gets washed down river and Grace moves on into town and starts her life, assuming her husband dead. Monty is actually alive but has no memory and that leads to others taking advantage of him and re-creating his past. 
This creates a whirlwind life for both him and Grace living apart and confused on what to do next. 

I liked going back into the history of Fort Collins and the suspense of the bad guys who have been robbing towns. 
It's rather predictable but this story was well written and the characters well developed. 
There are a lot of references to God and being thankful for His provision. I liked this added part of the story. 
For a new-to-me author I was really impressed by this book, I just thought some of the parts could have been a little shorter. 

4 stars. 

"I received this book from PUMP UP YOUR BOOK for free in exchange for an honest review."

Book Excerpt:
May 16, 1875

A fierce wind whipped Grace Ann Cunningham’s hair, yanking at the long strands and pulling them free from their pins. She squinted through the haze of the blustery day and stroked her bulging belly, trying to comfort her baby, who seemed just as agitated by the sudden storm.

Her back ached from sitting on the hard buckboard bench all these miles—much less comfortable than the plush sleeper car they’d enjoyed last week on the train from Illinois to Cheyenne.

She frowned at the dark roiling clouds that had moved in and quickly blotted out the sun.

What had been a pleasant uneventful morning was now turning into an ominous and unsettling afternoon on the open prairie.

Grace sucked in a breath as the baby again kicked her ribs in protest. Her sweet husband’s sun-browned face tightened in concern as he caught her gesture. He pulled on the reins of the two draft horses—sturdy ones they’d bought yesterday in Cheyenne. Surefooted, the seller had told them. And Monty knew his horses, so she trusted his purchase and assurance that they’d
haul them without incident to Fort Collins. But looking at her husband’s face now, seeing the subtle telltale signs indicating that he hadn’t expected this squall nor felt at ease about it, gave her pause. And her normally talkative husband had been too quiet this last hour, eyeing the sky and listening to the roar of the nearby river, as if hearing their complaints and trying to suss out
nature’s intentions.

“The baby all right, darlin’?” He scooted over on the buckboard seat to look her over, then took her hands in his.

Warmth from his gentle grip comforted her, but not as much as the love streaming from his adoring gaze.

“I think so,” she told him, then smiled as he laid his hand firmly on her belly.

Grace thanked the Lord in a silent prayer for this wonderful man who’d married her in a simple ceremony last September. All those years she’d lived with her doting aunt Eloisa in the boardinghouse back in Bloomington, she never imagined she’d be blessed with such happiness.

When Montgomery Cunningham had first stepped into the parlor to take a room before starting college at Wesleyan University, she’d been a shy, giggling girl of ten. Neither of them foresawthe love that would spark six years later when he showed up again unexpectedly, about to head west to explore and survey lands unknown.

Monty closed his eyes, his hand still on the baby in her womb. She imagined him communing with their baby, speaking to it the way he spoke to rivers, to trees, to the land he traversed by boat and on horseback and on foot. Something had happened to him when he returned from the Hayden Yellowstone Expedition. He had changed from boy to man, yes—but it was more than that. He had fallen in love with the West, and with rivers in particular. Although he’d studied geology in college with John Powell, water captured his heart, and he sought out trips that had him navigating whitewater. Nothing made his eyes sparkle more than talking about the way water moved and sang as it cascaded and carved the face of mountains and spilled into waiting valleys. Well, except the way he looked at her.

Monty may have loved rivers, but Grace knew he loved her more. So much more, for he gladly gave up his exploring to settle down and marry and start a family. Although, Grace thought moving to the new town of Fort Collins, Colorado, was adventure enough. She hoped he’d come to see it that way as well and not be into the wild.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Dead Gorgeous Book Review

 About the Book

Fashion model Kirsty Manners is young, beautiful, and recently dead

Kirsty Manners is trying to make it as a model. As the in-house model for the Ivano King fashion house and girlfriend of Ian King, the man behind the label, she believes she is well on her way. But Kirsty is found dead in her flat one Sunday afternoon and D. I. Angela Costello is called to the scene.

First enquiries center on the local gym where Kirsty, her dangerous ex-boyfriend, Darren Carpenter, and her jealous flatmate, Sandra Hodges, worked out. But things are more complicated. Ian King is considered to have lost his edge. Why then is he so buoyant about his latest collection for London Fashion Week? What about his new girlfriend, Eleanor Chandler, who openly admits to having a reason to wish Kirsty dead?

Behind the gleaming smiles and flawless makeup of the glamorous fashion world, Angela's enquiries uncover theft, drug-addiction, prostitution, and imprisonment--and suddenly her own life could be in danger. (Goodreads)

My Review
I really enjoyed this book!! I wasn't sure what to expect this is a first from this author for me but it had good suspense that kept me turning the page. Set in the drama of the modeling world, a murder might seem like it started from a love triangle but did it? I really wasn't sure where the book was leading and the story seemed to get more and more detailed. I loved the details and Angela Costello is a great character. The story didn't seem over the top just more realistic. There are a lot of layers to this book so sometimes I had to re-read a few sentences. I enjoyed the dialogue and there is a bit of humor as well. I think this book is a well rounded read and for some suspense I highly recommend!!
"I received this book from Kregel for free in exchange for an honest review."