April 28, 2016

Pocket Prayers 
Pocket Prayers 
Max Lucado

Bestselling author Max Lucado has teamed up with six authors to write the Pocket Prayers series for those in need of peace, renewal, rest, faith, hope, joy, direction, serenity, and courage.
Short, simple prayers are very effective, which is why each book in the series contains forty guided prayers and complementary scriptures for any situation, including for:
—Moms (written with daughter Andrea Lucado)
—Grads (written with daughter Andrea Lucado)
—Dads (written with Mark Mynheir)
—Military Life (written with Mark Mynheir)
—Teachers (written with blogger Jennifer Hale)
—Friends (written with Betsy St. Amant)

Filled with encouragement and food for thought.  These are great to read at home, on the road, at work or anywhere!  

Each little book focuses on a different roles a person has, as each person is different and each role that God gives us is different.  The words that Max Lucado and his co-writers share are simple yet inspiring.  

These books would make perfect little gifts.  However, I wish that he would have used just the King James Bible.  

Reviewing these books were a delight and joy! I plan on sharing them with my family, as Mother's Day and Father's day is coming up.  My brother is graduation from college.  My older sister is a teacher and my younger sister will get the friend one!

Read more about the books here.


pocket prayers

The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder 
"The Bachelor Girl's Guide To Murder"
Rachel McMillan

In 1910 Toronto, while other bachelor girls perfect their domestic skills and find husbands, two friends perfect their sleuthing skills and find a murderer.
Inspired by their fascination with all things Sherlock Holmes, best friends and flatmates Merinda and Jem launch a consulting detective business. The deaths of young Irish women lead Merinda and Jem deeper into the mire of the city’s underbelly, where the high hopes of those dreaming to make a new life in Canada are met with prejudice and squalor.
While searching for answers, donning disguises, and sneaking around where no proper ladies would ever go, they pair with Jasper Forth, a police constable, and Ray DeLuca, a reporter in whom Jem takes a more than professional interest. Merinda could well be Toronto’s premiere consulting detective, and Jem may just find a way to put her bachelor girlhood behind her forever–if they can stay alive long enough to do so.

Adventurous, creative and mysterious.  This book is filled with surprises!  Fans of Nancy Drew and Sherlock Holmes will definitely want to read this book.

The characters are a bit quirky and zany, but likeable.  Well, most of them.  Merinda tended to get on my nerves.  I know that she's supposed to be independent and all about women's rights, but she was also selfish and self-centered.  

However, I really enjoyed Jem's character.  She was sweet, gentle and patient with Merinda. Jem truly wanted to help people while it seemed that Merinda just wanted to expand her business.  Jem also knew what she wanted and didn't want in a man.  I found that refreshing.  A lot of Christian fiction books have their women characters as confused and easily persuaded when it comes to the men in their life.  Or they don't know a good thing when they see it, but Jem did! 

 I am curious as to how Merinda and Jem became friends though.

Reading this time era was different for me, but I really enjoyed it.  The situations that Jem and Merinda got themselves into were humorous, yet terrifying.  It had me thinking, "What would I do in their situation?"

The "by the way" footnotes were helpful and cute, but at the same time distracting.  Such a unique and lovely way of filling you in without boring you with sordid details.  

Those who love mysteries, romance and historical fiction should read this book!

Read more about the book here.



April 25, 2016

Sit, Stay, Love 
"Sit, Stay, Love"
Dana Mentink

Take one abrasive professional athlete, a quirky out-of-work schoolteacher, and an overweight geriatric dog, and you’re ready for a lesson in love . . . Tippy style.
Pro baseball pitcher Cal Crawford is not a dog guy. When he inherits his deceased mother’s elderly dog, Tippy, he’s quick to call on a pet-sitting service.
Gina isn’t thrilled to be a dog sitter when her aspirations lie in the classroom. Furthermore, she can’t abide the unfriendly Cal, a man with all the charm of a wet towel. But with no other prospects and a deep love for all things canine, she takes the job caring for Tippy.
As Gina travels through Cal’s world with Tippy in tow, she begins to see Cal in a different light. Gina longs to show Cal the God-given blessings in his life that have nothing to do with baseball or fame. When her longing blooms into attraction, Gina does her best to suppress it. But Cal is falling in love with her too…
Discover the charming story of Tippy, the dog who brought a family together.

"Sit, Stay, Love" is a light-hearted romance that just makes you smile.  The story is as cute as the dog on the cover.  Dana Mentink made the characters real and easy to relate to, even if one of them is a professional MLB pitcher.  

Tippy seems to be a somewhat lazy, old dog, but she's more intuitive than you would think.  She has a knack of bringing people together at just the right time, even if she is a handful.  

I love the fact that it takes place in San Fransisco.  I'm believing that Cal was really on the SF Giants, since I'm a huge Giants fan! 

This is an easy and delightful read that is any book love and dog lover alike will enjoy reading.

Read more about the book here.


April 14, 2016

Cover Art 
"Dressed For Death"
 Julianna Deering

A Regency-Era Costume Party Should Have Been an Amusing Diversion, but it Seems Wherever Drew Farthering Goes, Mystery--and Murder--Are on the Guest List

Drew and Madeline Farthering arrive at a Regency-era house party at Winteroak House, excited to be reunited with old friends, including Drew's former Oxford classmate Talbot Cummins. Tal is there with his fiancée, Alice Henley, and though many present seem worried about the couple, nobody is prepared when Alice dies from an apparent overdose. Tal refuses to believe she'd taken the drugs intentionally, and a dark question arises of whether the death is an accident or murder.

The police have their own information though, and Drew is shocked when they arrest someone he's trusted and admired since his childhood--someone who's been smuggling drugs into the country for years. Stunned by what has happened, Tal begs Drew to get to the bottom of everything, but Drew has never felt more unsettled. Questioning his own ability to see people as they really are, Drew doesn't know whom to trust, and he's not ready for the secrets he's about to uncover--or the danger he'll bring down on everyone he holds dear.

These books have intrigued me ever since I heard about them, and I haven't been able to read one until now.  I really wish I could say that I loved it, but I did not.  From page one I was thoroughly confused, but that could be because I didn't read the other books.   I really tried to get into it, but just couldn't it. 

Drew and his wife seem like likeable characters, but I have no idea who anybody else is.  

Also, there was way too much dialogue for me.  Everybody was talking at once it seemed and I didn't know who they were or what they were talking about.  She also used terms, that I'm sure were from there era, but I didn't know what they meant.  Nor did I know what they were saying in French.  Like I said, it could just be because I didn't read the previous books.

Back in the Saddle 
"Back In The Saddle"
Ruth Logan Herne

The prodigal is coming home.
It’s been a long time since Colt Stafford shrugged off his cowboy legacy for shiny Manhattan loafers and a promising career on Wall Street. But when stock market manipulations leave him financially strapped, the oldest son of legendary rancher Sam Stafford decides to return to the sprawling Double S ranch in Gray’s Glen, Washington. He’s broke, but not broken, and it’s time to check in with his ailing father, and get his legs back under him by climbing into the saddle again.
He doesn’t expect to come home to a stranger pointing a loaded gun at his chest— a tough yet beautiful woman that Sam hired as the house manager. Colt senses there’s more to Angelina Morales than meets the eye and he’s determined to find out what she’s hiding…and why.
Colt’s return brings new challenges. Younger brother Nick has been Sam’s right-hand man at the ranch for years and isn’t thrilled at having Colt insert himself into Double S affairs. And the ranch’s contentious relationship with the citizens of Gray’s Glen asks all the Stafford men to examine their hearts about what it truly means to be a neighbor. And as Wall Street recovers, will Colt succumb to the call of the financial district’s wealth and power—or finally the courage to stay in the saddle for good?

I kinda' have a thing for westerns and for cowboys, so I was excited to get to review this book.  This was my first time reading Ruth Logan Herne's work and it won't be my last.  From the beginning I was drawn to the characters and their stories.  She made me feel like I was part of the family.  

A well-written story of faith, family, redemption and forgiveness. Oh!  And you can't forget romance!  This book has me impatiently waiting for the next one!

Read more about the book here.



April 5, 2016

Cover Art 
"With This Ring?"
 Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, Melissa Jagears

Sometimes Love is Found in the Most Unexpected Places!

Love isn't always a fairy tale, and it doesn't always go as planned. Sometimes the best stories, though, are the ones that are the most unexpected. Join Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, and Melissa Jagears for novellas that celebrate the power of love to triumph . . . even when circumstances go awry!

The Husband Maneuver
When ranch foreman Daniel Barrett seems ready to leave her life forever, Marietta Hawkins decides to grab the reins on their relationship. But to have any hope of maneuvering him into a proposal, she has to act fast or risk losing him completely.

Her Dearly UnintendedJosiah Huckabee just wanted to make sure Katie Ellen Watson was safe, but when the only bridge to her farm is washed out, the two find themselves alone. Alone, that is, until a menacing stranger appears. Maybe by pretending to be newlyweds, they'll save their reputations--but can pretending to be in love turn into the real thing?

Runaway BrideHired to help Carrie Halsey escape from a dangerous man intent on making her his wife, Big John Conroy never expected the job to interrupt his solitary Texas Ranger life. But now that he's promised to keep Carrie safe, he discovers he may just want to make a few more promises.

Engaging the CompetitionHarrison Gray and tomboy Charlotte Andrews have been rivals for years. With Charlotte intended for someone else, it seems they'll never settle their differences until an accident changes things completely. When Charlotte breaks Harrison's glasses--without which he's nearly blind--she must help with his teaching position, and working together forces these former adversaries to reconsider everything.

"With This Ring?" is such a great collection of novella's!   Each has it's own unique twists and turns to it as well as a beautiful and somewhat expected ending.  Expected because of the title, but the events leading up to the inevitable result, was anything but expected!  

While three out of the four of these start out very similar, they are anything but that!  The authors may have had similar ideas, but each one's talents reveal their individual creativity. 

Mary Connealy's was a pleasure to read because she brought in former characters from previous books.  Unfortunately, I haven't been able to read all of her previous books, so it was a little confusing at times just who everyone was.  (from the Kincaid Bride series)

I enjoyed each of these novella's and will for sure read them again!  I do believe that Melissa Jagears story was simply beautiful.  Charlotte loved Harrison even if he was practically blind.  That is true love.  Loving others strengths and imperfections. 

A couple of these authors I have never read before, but I'm glad that I was able to!  Each of these authors are very talented in their writing!  I hope that they do another novella collection together!  

This is a romantic western fiction book, but I recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading contemporary Christian romance.