Showing posts from 2015

Mississippi Nights (& Something Extra)

Mississippi Nights  by D.M. Webb (Ambassador International 2012)
Two brothers, one death--the bond of brotherhood faces its greatest challenge against resentment and guilt.
Can the love between two brothers eventually win against pain and guilt? When firefighter David Boyette's fiance perishes in a car fire, he blames his brother, Sgt. Jeremy Boyette, for her death. Three years later, David returns home with a dark and devastating secret. With the help of family, a woman's love, and a small child's devotion, can David overcome insurmountable odds as he and Jeremy face the bitterness that enslaves him? Together the brothers must decide if the bond of brotherhood is stronger than resentment and hate.

What are people saying about this novel? "An absorbing family drama, laced with romantic elements and quirky characters" ~ Anne Hamilton on Goodreads
"Talented writer! Intense from beginning to end which is hard to do!"~ Andrea Marie on Amazon.  
"Wow! This was…

Deadly Additive by Donn Taylor

Deadly Additive by  Donn Taylor (Harbourlight 2012)
It's all about action and momentum. If you like Robert Ludlum or Ronie Kendig, then Donn Taylor has the book for you.
Although there are instances in the book that had the habit of explaining something that didn't really need it, those parts in no way detracted from the story. It would probably help those readers, especially younger readers, who may need just a little more explanation. The portions were handled very well without bogging down the storyline. 
When it comes to the characters, Jeb Sledge is the alpha male-don't-underestimate-how-he-looks type. He isn't your typical buffed up hero. He has the tendency to be the anti-hero at times, but that only enhances his hero personality. When the reader meets Raul Ramirez, you have to chuckle at the firm's name: Poirot, Espada, y Ramirez. Agatha Christie fans and readers of the Maltese Falcon will understand this phrase. Even the turn of cliches that the Ramirez character…

Good-Bye, Lover by Rachel Britz

Good-Bye, Lover by Rachel Britz (Ambassador International 2015)
"...I was beginning to feel as though this call to adventure was more or less a quest to awaken from within." (Good-Bye, Lover, p.140)

Layered within this book are themes of awakening of spirit and love, following God's path, and trusting in Him. From a deep loss, Nora arrives at the cusp of womanhood where she finds some dreams are just that and some dreams are promises.
I enjoyed the way the lyrical prose brought to life the deep richness of the Irish brogue and its emerald beauty. Emotion and logic danced a waltz through each page. As Nora faced each day learning what it meant to be who she was called to be I felt as though I was walking that path along with her. I even cheered for her when her Irish temper allowed her to make a stand for what was right no matter the cost.
The title added another layer of symbolism. Giving up a dream doesn't mean giving up a life.
As Jack said, who I found to be the perfect a…

From Driftwood to Sapphire by Kathy M. Howard

From Driftwood to Sapphire by Kathy M. Howard (Ambassador International 2015)
From Driftwood to Sapphire was not what I expected. Did I expect to read a good book? Yes. It delivered that. 
Did I expect to read a heartwarming story? Yes. 
Did I expect to read an in-depth look into a young woman's soul? No, not really.

This book contained powerful messages. At times it was heartwarming, but it was also heart-rendering. Soft nuances within the book tore at my emotions. Little things made me truly think and examine myself. 

In this story, the young woman, Samantha, was raised in an openly Christian environment where Christ is talked about without hesitation, where prayer is an involuntary reaction much like breathing, and where love and openness is prevalent. Every young person has a crucible that they must go through. It either tears them down, scars them, or makes them stronger. That crucible makes them look into their own souls and truly examine themselves. This book sure did that to me.


The Mountain Midwife by Laurie Alice Eakes

The Mountain Midwife by Laurie Alice Eakes (Zondervan 2015)
I've always find myself enjoying any historical novel by Laurie Alice Eakes. Historical novels have always been synonymous with her name. It was Lady in the Mist that first introduced me to her midwife series. From the start, I read each one and proceeded to other novels written by her. With The Mountain Midwife, Laurie Alice Eakes reintroduces her midwife line and life in the Appalachians, but this time it is a foray into a contemporary setting.
And I have to say, Laurie Alice did a very good job. This book is more than a typical romance; it delves into a bit of mystery and suspense without overshadowing the budding romance between the two characters.
As usual, this author can make the reader pause and view a situation in a new light. What would I have done in this situation? What would I have felt if I found that out? How would I have reacted when faced with indecision or fear?
At first I didn't know what to think about As…

The Lost Heiress by Roseanna M White

The Lost Heiress by  Roseanna M. White (Bethany House 2015)
It's not often that a historical novel can pull me in so completely and unyielding. Between layers and layers of storytelling Roseanna M. White has achieved a praiseworthy and wonderfully intricate novel.
From the golden glamour of Monaco to the gilded halls of England, the reader follows the tale of not only Brook and Justin, but Deidre as well. As I delved into The Lost Heiress thoughts of Gosford Park and Downton Abbey came to mind, even parts of the Forsyte Saga with hints of Pride and Prejudice. To top it off, mystery surrounds them and a curse that is attached to the Fire Eyes, rare red diamonds, follows them.
With the time period introduced, I can almost imagine where the next story in the tale of the Ladies of the Manor (and the Fire Eyes) will lead. I look forward to discovering if my suspicions are correct!
A word of warning to the readers: this is not a light-hearted, fluff of a novel. It is well researched, remarkabl…

Space Drifters by Paul Regnier

Space Drifters by  Paul Regnier (Enclave Publishing 2015)
It's more than a science fiction story. It's more than a space rambling. It's both of those combined and thrown into a spiraling universe of misfortunes, a maybe romance, miscalculations, and sheer luck, or maybe fate, that carries the reader along on one heck of a space adventure complete with the occasional comedy.
Glint Starcrost is the captain of an alien first mate, a teenage time traveler, and a royal bloodline bounty hunter. He's forced to deal not only with his own personal issues involving the almost highjacking of his ship by a lovely beauty that muddles his thoughts, but a testy and jealous ship computer, plus a first mate that refuses to fight, an out of his element teen,  and his own desires between treasures and survival.
He hides his true character behind a false bravado of quick wit and outlandish maneuvers. When his "dreams can come true, literally" first mate encounters the Holy Bible, it s…

Pirate by Night by Lisa Asenato

Pirate by Night by  Lisa Asenato (White Rose Publishing 2015)
"He came with dark intentions and instead discovered the light."
This portion on the front sums it up. This is no shallow read or light-hearted romance. This book delves deep into the heart and the story of forgiveness.

Pirate by Night has the echoes of John Newton and his song Amazing Grace.
It is Grace who brings Nicholas into the light and shows him a better life to lead.

Pirate stories are the absolute love of my reading. It's the rooting for the underdog that I enjoy. And although there are many romantic tales of pirates out there, most are not a clean read. But Lisa Asenato brings not only a clean read, but an inspiring read.

Each character is fleshed out perfectly and their growth throughout is done slowly, building upon one another. One may believe that his or her life holds too much to ever be forgiven or blessed, but that is not so. The faith is strong throughout this story, and although I wished for a not so…

Not By Sight by Kate Breslin

Not By Sight by Kate Breslin (Bethany 2015)
It's not often that a book will pull me in and even wrench an emotional response from me. It's even tougher if the book is a historical novel, which isn't at the top of my list in genres.

Kate Breslin does more than a wonderful job at telling the story of Grace and Jack. Set in 1917 during WWI, the main character, who is a suffragette, is determined to do her duty for God, King, and Country. A young nobleman, who seems more of a rake than a gentleman, plays a dangerous game of intrigue to apprehend spies for Germany. In this book, these two well developed, and perfectly flawed characters, are entwined. Their lives collide, first through an act of shaming, then through an act of grace.

I loved how Grace Mabry discovered her pride was her downfall and grew stronger from it. Jack Benningham learned that his lack of faith in God didn't not keep God's blessings from falling upon him, no matter the long and tough road it…

The Post Card by Laura V. Hilton

the Post Card by  Laura V. Hilton (Whitaker House 2015)

It's not often that a book will surprise me.
I usually will not read any book Amish, but I took a risk on this one. And I am so grateful and blessed that I did. It was wonderful (wunderbaar). This isn't a typical Amish romance or even a typical Amish story. Characters dared to do things against Old Amish Order.

Laura V. Hilton broke away from the norm. The Postcard brings to the heart life, love, faith, forgiveness, and about all following God's direction, no matter the cost.

Characters would irritate me, make me want to smack them across the head. Others I would cheer on or my heart would break for them. And still another I would silently plead that forgiveness would come and attitudes would change. Of course there is foreshadowing for a future story (at least I hope). The writing was concise and flowed so well that I actually forgot that I was reading a book.

The Postcard surpasses anything written by Beth Wiseman and ot…

Clay A. Kahler's The Fallen

I am normally hesitant about self published books, especially those produced through CreateSpace. Usually because very few writers who use CreateSpace spend the time to edit or polish their manuscripts. Not so with Clay A. Kahler.

The story holds the suspense and edge of the seat reading as watching the movie Silent Hill. The narrative of the story is reminiscent of the down to earth, nostalgic style that one would find while watching Secondhand Lions and The Sandlot. Author Clay A. Kahler has a style that ranks along side with Stephen King and Thomas Harris.

The Fallen is a short read, but it packs a powerful punch. Even with a few minor errors within the book, the overall plot and passionate storyline quickly takes over the reader. From heartache to hope, from anger to praise, Clay Kahler wrote a really wonderful story.

My favorite line, taken from Scripture, and one that brought me to tears when I read it and realized the full effect of what I had read: "Greater love has no one t…

Heir of Hope by Morgan Busse

Heir of Hope by  Morgan Busse (Enclave Publishing 2015)
Daughter of Light, Son of Truth, and Heir of Hope are books that lead the reader down a winding journey to glory.
There are hardships.
There are loss and pain.
There is forgiveness.
There is rebirth.
More importantly: there's hope. No corners were cut in the novels. It's truth and adventure bound together in a whirlwind saga.
The journeys of Rowen, Caleb, Nierne, and Lore were complete with the ebb and flow of faith that we all find ourselves experiencing.
Even though I wished for more of Caleb's story and to see more of his gifts and I felt the ending seemed too rushed, the deep plots, symbolism, and spiritual truth embedded within the story enhances the reader's enjoyment.
This is a saga that competes with George R.R. Martin and Tad Williams. Morgan Busse wrote an outstanding fantasy story.

Fearless by Mike Dellosso

Fearless by  Mike Dellosso (Realms 2013)
If you can believe that the universe was created from nothing and a sudden bang, then why not believe in God? He is the God of the supernatural and surreal; the God of miracles; and the God of love.
In a very intense, dramatic unfolding of Virginia Mills' occupants, the story centers around one miracle child, nine-year-old Louisa. Gifted with healing, and in an allegorical retelling of Jesus' healing of the populace, Louisa's gift is a blessing and curse because others will seek to abuse that which is freely given.
But it isn't only Louisa's story, but a deeper tale of Jim, Amy, and Alicia's spiritual healing.
Within layers and layers of storytelling, Mike Dellosso weaves a heart-thumping thriller that peels back the preconceived notions of who people really are.
He's a killer, evil--but there's more to him and he has a choice.
She's a batter woman--but there's more to her and she has a choice.
They're a torn c…

Hope by Josephine Walker

Hope by  Josephine Walker (Ambassador International 2015)
I watched this novel grow form first line to its final. It's not your typical mystery. It's not your typical romance. It's not your typical novel.
Jessica needed a new life. What she received was a new hope, a new love, a new chapter, basically a renewing of spirit.
Jo Walker has a way that sucks you into a story. This was no cozy mystery. I was surprised to discover the "ghost"; but looking back the clues were there. This was no simple romance. Jessica finds love in the most surprising places, most of all from God. The budding relationship between Jessica, Clint, and Timmy was heartwarming.
A line from the book: "like a gentle rain bringing peace in the middle of turmoil", Hope gives the reader just that, hope. Hope for a future. Hope fro a new beginning. And hope for healing.
Jo did an excellent job and I've already read the book twice and plan to read it again, and again!

Whitewashed by Amy C. Blake

Whitewashed by Amy C. Blake (Mantle Rock Publishing 2015)
Not many books can bridge the gap between young adult and contemporary genres; but, Amy C. Blake has written such a novel.
Whitewashed is a story set in a small, Deep South town of Mississippi called Hades, and there are dark secrets lurking beneath the college.
There are mysterious things happening. There are spiritual soul searchings. There is one family's lineage tied to one college, Verity.
This novel is everything but typical. All plots are delivered neatly and with satisfying results. The characters are well developed. The pace and setting written with exquisite detail.
I found that Amy C. Blake wrote a great example of Deep South culture. To me, she rivals Terri Blackstock at her best and has quickly made a fan of me.

Morgan Busse's Daughter of Light & Son of Truth

Daughter of Light (Book 1) Son of Truth (Book 2) by  Morgan Busse (Enclave Publishing, formerly Marcher Lord Press)

With any fantasy novel, especially since fantasy and science fiction are my first loves, I find it increasingly difficult to locate an exceptional Christian-faith based story. Morgan Busse presents in her two books, Daughter of Light and Son of Truth all I need: action, deeply developed characters, interwoven plots, and morality.

She is in the beloved category along with R.J. Larson, Karen Hancock, and Patrick Carr; but the highest praise I can give her is to liken her to the wonderful author Henry van Dyke and his book The Blue Flower.
Just as van Dyke used allegory to tell the love of Jesus, so does Busse with her story of the Word. (John 1:1)
At first I was hard pressed to keep reading because the story was told more than experienced, but the more I read and the more deeply I became enthralled with the characters and plot, I discovered I did not want to relinquish the book to…

From Dishes to Snow by Kathy M. Howard

From Dishes to Snow by Kathy M. Howard (Ambassador International 2014)
Bayne Harris has lost everything she holds dear in her life. Her husband and children are dead. She was the one who caused the accident--the one behind the wheel. She cannot escape that night as it continuously haunts her thoughts.
A year after they're gone, nothing has changed. The memories are still unbearable. She can't breathe. She can't function. She needs to get away.
View Top Mountain provides the perfect escape. No one will bother her there. No one will want to check on her or talk about what happened. She can live her life alone, away from do-gooders and any chance of happiness. This is her plan, but she soon finds out God has something else in store.

"Bay, your strength is amazing..."
There are many things that people never realize about widows, especially those who follow the Lord.
As Bayne said: "The feeling wasn't something I could describe to anyone if I tried, but it was th…

The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron

The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron (Thomas Nelson 2014)
Manhattan art dealer Sera James watched her world crumble at the altar two years ago, and her heart is still fragile. Her desire for distraction reignites a passion for a mysterious portrait she first saw as a young girl--a painting of a young violinist with piercing blue eyes.
In her search for the painting, Sera crosses paths with William Hanover--the grandson of a wealthy California real estate mogul--who may be the key to uncovering the hidden masterpiece. Together Sera and William slowly unravel the story behind the painting's subject: Austrian violinist Adele Von Bron.
A darling of the Austrian aristocracy of 1942, talented violinist, and daughter to a high-ranking member of the Third Reich, Adele risks everything when she begins smuggling Jews out of Vienna. In a heartbeat, her life of prosperity and privilege dissolves into a world of starvation and barbed wire.
As Sera untangles the secrets behind the painting…

Darkness Follows by Mike Dellosso

Darkness Follows by Mike Dellosso (Realms 2011)
Out of a job and feeling worthless, Sam Travis is awakened one night to the sounds of a Civil War battle raging outside his Gettysburg home. But it's the middle of the night, and the summer's reenactments are long over. A search for the source brings him to an old journal by a Union soldier...written in his own handwriting.
When more of the mysterious writings appear and begin to mimic Sam's own life, his search for the truth puts him on a downward spiral that eventually drives him from his wife, his daughter, and his home--and into an evil plot that could cost many lives, including his own.

As you read: Pay attention. See the clues. Understand the signs. 
Only light can hold back the darkness. And evil spirits follow generations.
In Mike Dellosso's Darkness Follows, readers find themselves in a gripping tale of darkness and the battle for a man's soul.
How far would you go to protect…

Distortion by Terri Blackstock

Distortion by Terri Blackstock (Zondervan 2014)
When Juliet Cole's husband of fifteen years is murdered before her eyes, she thinks it was a random shooting. Devastated and traumatized, she answers hours of questioning, then returns home to break the tragic news to her sons. But a threatening voicemail escalates this from a random shooting to a planned, deliberate attack.
Juliet realizes that she and her children are in danger too--unless she meets the killers' demands. But as she and her sisters untangle the clues, her husband's dark secrets come to light. The more she learns, the more her life is dismantled. Was her husband an innocent victim or a hardened criminal?

A continuing story of Truth Stained Lies, Distortion delves deep into the faith and life of Juliet and her family.
"These are the good days." These words were spoken to Juliet by her husband, Bob. Before long she discovers that what she thought was the truth had been a distorted illusion.
Terri Blackst…