Sunday, September 29, 2013

Introducing Mary Connealy's "Fired Up" (Book 2 in the series)



Check-out "Fired-Up" by Mary Conneally, courtesy of CFBA :)



The
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Fired Up
(Bethany House March 1)
by
Mary Connealy


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mary Connealy writes romantic comedy with cowboys. She is a Christy Award Finalist, a Carol Award Finalist and an IRCC Award finalist.

The Lassoed in Texas Series, Petticoat Ranch, Calico Canyon and Gingham Mountain. Petticoat Ranch was a Carol Award Finalist. Calico Canyon was a Christy Award Finalist and a Carol Award Finalist. These three books are now contained in one large volume called Lassoed in Texas Trilogy.

The Montana Marriages Series, Montana Rose, The Husband Tree and Wildflower Bride. Montana Rose was a Carol Award Finalist.

Cowboy Christmas—the 2010 Carol Award for Best Long Historical Romance, and an Inspirational Readers Choice Contest Finalist.

The Sophie's Daughters series. Doctor in Petticoats, Wrangler in Petticoats, Sharpshooter in Petticoats.

She is also the author of; Black Hills Blessing a 3-in-1 collection of sweet contemporary romances, Nosy in Nebraska, a 3-in-1 collection of cozy romantic mysteries and she's one of the three authors contributing to Alaska Brides with her Carol Award Winning historical romance Golden Days.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Rollicking Wild West Adventure and Romance from Bestselling Author Mary Connealy

Dare Riker is a doctor who saves lives, but someone seems determined to end his. It may have something to do with the traitors he dealt with during the Civil War, or it might be related to the recent incident with Flint Greer and the ranch. Whoever the culprit is, he or she seems really fired up, and Dare can't let his guard down for a moment, which is a challenge, since right now he's trying to win the heart of the recently widowed Glynna.

Glynna Greer came west as a mail-order bride and ended up in a bad situation. Now her husband, Flint, is dead, and she's determined to care for her son and daughter on her own. She wants to believe Dare Riker is as decent as he seems, but she's terrified to lock herself into another marriage. She plans to support her small family by opening a diner--never mind that cooking is not her greatest talent. The men in Broken Wheel, Texas, are so desperate for home cooking that they seem willing to overlook dried-out beef and blackened biscuits.

Glynna can't help but notice that danger follows Dare wherever he goes. There's the avalanche. And then the fire. But things really get out of hand when someone plunges a knife from Glynna's diner into Dare's back. Are Flint's cronies still plotting revenge? Is Glynna's son engaged in a misguided attempt to protect his mother? Is a shadowy outsider still enraged over past injustices? And can Dare survive long enough to convince Glynna to take another chance on love?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Fired Up, go HERE.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Simply riveting: My review of "Claudia" by Diana Wallis Taylor

Cover Art


about the book....


In a time of turmoil, one woman will search for love and peace--and find it where she never expected.

Tugged this way and that by fate's indifferent hand, Claudia's life is adrift--until she meets Lucius Pontius Pilate and becomes his wife. When they move to the troublesome territory of Judea, she does what she has always done: makes the best of it. But unrest is brewing and Claudia will soon find herself and her beloved husband embroiled in controversy and rebellion. Might she find hope in the mysterious Jewish Rabbi everyone seems to be talking about?

Let this epic story whisk you through marbled palaces, dusty marketplaces, and idyllic Italian villas as you follow the unlikely path of a woman who warrants only a passing mention in one of the Gospel accounts, but whose story, as told by Diana Wallis Taylor, is one worthy of legend.




my review....

When I opened the cover of "Claudia", I was expecting to read a well-written book. I wasn't, however, expecting to read a book that held me so securely in its grasp from start to finish! Put quite simply, Diana Wallis Taylor has produced a riveting story imagining the details of the life of the wife of Pontius Pilate. To be honest, I've never given her life and her history a lot of thought. Yet, when I thought about why God chose to include her in the Bible, and the dream that he gave her that she shared with Pilate, I realized that she is a fascinating enigma. Taylor has done a fantastic job at staying true to the Biblical account and the facts of history to create a plausible scenario of just who Claudia might have been. I greatly enjoyed the wonderful characters Taylor has created, along with the horrible characters who populate Rome or Jerusalem as well! The author has succeeded at bringing history to life, with action-packed scenes and intrigue and drama galore! I have talked to many people who think that "Biblical fiction" is a genre they want to steer clear from, that such books are boring and predictable. I challenge such people to pick up "Claudia", and see if they are able to put the book down!

I highly recommend this historical fiction book, and heartily recommend it to readers who enjoy Biblical fiction, and also to those who normal don't. Not only does the story entertain, but it certainly gives a lot of food for thought as well! 5 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.



 about the author....



Diana Wallis Taylor
Diana Wallis Taylor is the author of the novels Journey to the Well, Martha, and Mary Magdalene and lives in California. Find out more at www.dianawallistaylor.com.









Thursday, September 26, 2013

Introducing "Made to Last" from Melissa Tagg (CFBA Blog Tours)


Check out "Made to Last" from Melissa Tagg, courtesy of CFBA Blog Tours:





.......


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Made to Last
Bethany House Publishers (September 15, 2013)
by
Melissa Tagg


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A Word From The Author:

I’m a former reporter turned author who loves all things funny and romancey. My debut novel, a romantic comedy titled Made to Last, releases from Bethany House in September 2013. In addition to my nonprofit day job, I’m also the marketing/events coordinator for My Book Therapy, a craft and coaching community for novelists.

It all started when my dad, at the ripe old age of sixteen, picked up my mom up for their first date. She was thirteen. Thirteen!* Dad drove a cherry red car up the lane to my grandparents big ol’ green house and honked his horn…whereupon Mom jumped out of the apple tree she’d been waiting in and off they went…fishing. True story. (I’d give more details, but I’m saving it for a novella I plan to entitle Two Leaves. Mom, I really hope you read this.)

Four years of college, a few trips abroad and a stint as a reporter later, that dream is soon to be a reality. My debut novel, a romantic comedy titled Made to Last, is now out from Bethany House. Book two, Here to Stay, comes out on May 1, 2014.

In between writing and staring out the window brainstorming, I also work as a grant-writer at one of Iowa’s largest private nonprofits and serve as the marketing/events coordinator for My Book Therapy, a craft and coaching community for novelists founded by Susan May Warren.

And I love, love, love talking about finding our purpose and identity in Christ. (And well, okay, food, old movies, boots and scarves, my awesome nephew Ollie, and, fine, Tim Tebow, too.)

ABOUT THE BOOK

Miranda Woodruff has it all. At least, that's how it looks when she's starring in her homebuilding television show, From the Ground Up. So when her network begins to talk about making cuts, she'll do anything to boost ratings and save her show--even if it means pretending to be married to a man who's definitely not the fiance who ran out on her three years ago.

When a handsome reporter starts shadowing Miranda's every move, all his digging into her personal life brings him a little too close to the truth--and to her. Can the girl whose entire identity is wrapped up in her on-screen persona finally find the nerve to set the record straight? And if she does, will the life she's built come crashing down just as she's found a love to last?

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Made to Last, go HERE.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Chock-full of imagination! My review of "Truth Seekers" by Bill Myers


Check out "Truth Seekers" by Bill Myers, courtesy of FIRST Wildcard Blog tours :)


The Machine: A Truth Seekers Novel


It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!



Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:

B&H Kids (September 1, 2013)

***Special thanks to Rick Roberson for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Bill Myers is an accomplished writer and film director whose work has won more than sixty national and international awards including the C. S. Lewis Honor Award. Among his best-selling
releases for kids are The Incredible Worlds of Wally McDoogle and The Forbidden Door. He has sold more than eight million books and videos and lives with two cats, two kids, one dog, and one
wife near Hollywood, California.

Visit the author's website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

For ages 10 to 14, Truth Seekers is a fast-paced, thoughtful, and funny new series using a 21st century approach to sharing ancient Bible truths.

In book one, The Machine, twin siblings Jake and Jennifer have just lost their mother and are not thrilled about moving to Israel to stay with their seldom seen archaeologist dad. They don't yet understand how "all things work together for good to those who love God." But they will when a machine their father invented points them to the Truth.


Product Details:
List Price: $10.99
Age Range: 10 - 14 years
Series: Truth Seekers
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: B&H Kids (September 1, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1433690802
ISBN-13: 978-1433690808


AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:

It was like a dream, but not really. I mean it was a dream but there were parts that seemed so real—besides the parts where Mom had actually died in real life. Does that make sense? I get those every once in a while, dreams that are more real than real, ever since I was a kid.



Anyway, in the dream Mom was driving our SUV up the steep, winding road to our home in Malibu Canyon.



Jake and I were in the back, sitting in our clearly designated seating areas . . .



Jake in his WARNING: Biological Hazard Zone, complete with empty Cheetos bags, crumpled McDonald wrappers (which had last seen action months ago), his wadded up T-shirt and crusty socks (which had last seen a washer longer than that), and don’t even get me started on the last time he shampooed his hair.



I, on the other hand, sat in the WELCOME: This is How Normal People Live Zone, complete with breathable air and a place to sit without catching some deadly disease. (Jake accuses me of being a Neat Freak. Maybe, but it’s better than being a toxic waste site.)



And where was our dear father in all of this? To be honest, he seldom shows up in my dreams—just like he seldom shows up in our real lives. Oh, he says he loves us and all, but what’s the saying? Actions are louder than words. Anyway, I’ll get to him a little later.



It was the same dream I’d had a hundred times before . . .



I was busy doing homework when I glanced up to see a monster truck coming around the corner in our lane.



“Mom!” I shouted. “Look out!”



“What’s that?” She reached over to turn down the radio—one of her silly Country-Western songs about some girl breaking some guy’s heart.



“Up ahead! Look out!”



But she didn’t look out. And, just like all the other times, I saw the truck heading towards us, blasting its horn. I’m guessing his brakes had failed by the way he was scraping along the mountainside to slow himself. A good idea, except the mountainside was on our side!



Mom had nowhere to go. She swerved to the outer lane then tried to turn back, but she’d run out of road. We crashed through the guardrail and sailed out over the can- yon floor, which was a good two hundred feet below. There was no sound. I could see Mom screaming but heard only silence—except for that Country-Western singer going on about his broken heart.



I spun to Jake but he didn’t even glance up. He was too busy playing his stupid computer game. Then, just when the singer reached the line, Why you stompin’ on my achin’ heart with your high heel boots, we hit the water with a huge splash.



And this is where things get interesting . . .

In the real world, on the day Mom died, there was no water at the bottom of the canyon. It was September and the stream had dried up. And while we’re doing a reality check, Jake and I weren’t even in the car that day. Jake had been at the beach being Mr. Cool with a bunch of girls, and I was at home doing my algebra. (I know I’m only seventh grade, but besides being a neat freak, I’m kind of a workaholic.)



But in the dream there was plenty of water and the SUV kept sinking deeper and deeper with all three of us inside. Well, actually four, if you count the Country- Western singer who was now sitting in the front passenger seat, strumming his guitar!



Water poured in and quickly rose. Mom tried opening her door, but it wouldn’t budge. She hit it with her shoulder over and over again, but the pressure of the water outside was too much. It began swirling around our waists and rising to our chests.



“Jenny,” Mom shouted, “roll down your window!” “It’ll flood us worse!” I yelled.



“It’s the only way. Roll down your window and swim out!”



“But—”



“Hurry!”



I threw a look to Jake who had conveniently disappeared. (Even in my dreams, he’s a slacker.)

“Hurry!”



I rolled down the window. More water roared in, pounding against my chest and face. I had to turn my head just to breathe. Then I grabbed the sides of the open window with my hands, turned my head away for another quick breath, and pulled myself out into the water.



I kicked and swam until I grabbed the SUV and pulled myself over to Mom’s door. By now the car was completely filled. Our faces were inches apart, separated only by her window. I yanked at the door handle. It didn’t budge. I tried again. Nothing. My lungs started aching for air, but I kept pulling and tugging as Mom kept pushing and banging.



Still, nothing.



My heart pounded in my ears. My lungs felt like they were on fire. The outside edges of my vision started going white. Mom pounded on the glass. I joined in and hit the window with my fists. When that didn’t work, I tucked in my feet, raised my legs and kicked it. Still nothing. My lungs were screaming for air. My vision grew whiter. I had to get a breath. I pointed to the surface and shouted, “I’ll be back!”



She nodded and I pushed off, my lungs ready to explode. Sparkly lights danced through my head. I was losing consciousness, I was going to pass out, I was—



Then I broke through the surface, coughing and gasping. Cool air soothed my lungs as I gulped in two, three, maybe four breaths. I forced my head to clear, then took one more breath and ducked back down into the water.



It was dark and murky but I could follow the bubbles. The SUV had settled to the bottom of the river. When I reached the roof, I pulled myself over to Mom’s side. She wasn’t moving.



“MOM!”



I yanked at the door. I slammed it. I kicked it. I had to get her out. The door gave, ever so slightly. I pulled harder. It moved some more, then it opened with a groaning CREAK.



I grabbed Mom’s arm and pulled, but she was stuck. I spotted her seat belt and reached down to unbuckle it. My lungs were crying out for air again as I pulled her from the car. But we’d barely started before we were jerked to a stop. I turned and saw that something like a shadow had grabbed her other arm. At first I thought it was the Country-Western singer. I pulled but it held her tight. It was like a tug of war game, me on one arm, the shadow man on the other. And the harder I pulled—this was even weirder—but the harder I pulled, the more he started turning into this shadowy creature that kept growing bigger and bigger with huge, bat-like wings.



This is a dream, I kept telling myself, this is only a dream!



But my lungs were on fire. My vision was going all white again. This time I would not leave. I’d stay here and die with her if I had to, but I would not leave.



The pounding in my ears grew louder, filling my head . . . along with the song. That’s right, the singer or shadow or whatever it was, had begun singing again. Maybe it had never stopped:



I’ll never let you go . . . you will always be mine . . . always be mine . . . always be mine.



Well, Mr. Shadow could guess again. Dream or no dream, he could not have her.



Always be mine . . . always be mine . . .



My vision was totally white now. My mind shutting down. I could no longer feel my hands or my legs. I knew I was dying, but I would not let go. I loved her too much, I would never let go. The shadow thing may have won, but—



And then I heard a shout. “Augh!”



It sounded like Jake. But that was impossible. What would Jake be doing down here? I heard him again, even louder.



“AUGH!”



My review....


Bill Myers has long impressed me with the breadth of his imagination, and he pulls out all the stops with "The Machine", which is the first in the Truth Seekers series. The book is aimed at children ages 8-14, and the fact that it features twin children, one of whom is male and one female, means that both genders will appreciate this book and find something to relate to. The characters are quirky and unique, and their interactions will have readers laughing out loud! The story moves along at a great pace, with plenty of action and twists and turns to keep the pages turning. I appreciated the eternal truths that have been made a natural part of the story, especially the truth that "all things work together for the good of those who love God" (Romans 8:38). We sometimes forget that children face heart-breaking challenges of their own, and young readers will be able to see how God can bring good out of difficult situations, such as how Jake and Jen have lost their mom. Readers will also witness the gift of prayer and talking to God about any type of situation. I encourage parents to read this book along with their children, to open up conversations about spiritual warfare or how to handle loss or even just to imagine together what it would be like to go through experiences like Jake and Jen do with the Machine.

Parents who are looking for entertaining books that will captivate their children while teaching powerful truths should look no further than "The Machine". I give this book a solid rating of 4 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher, B&H Kids, along with FIRST Wildcard Tours & Rick Roberson with B&B Media Group.













A wonderfully written novel: My review of "The Courier of Caswell Hall" by Melanie Dobson (GIVEAWAY ALERT!!)


Enter to win a copy of Melanie Dobson's latest book, 
and check out my review below:





about the book...


An unlikely spy discovers freedom and love in the midst of the American Revolution.

As the British and Continental armies wage war in 1781, the daughter of a wealthy Virginia plantation owner feels conflict raging in her own heart. Lydia Caswell comes from a family of staunch Loyalists, but she cares only about peace. Her friend Sarah Hammond, however, longs to join the fight. Both women's families have already been divided by a costly war that sets father against son and neighbor against neighbor; a war that makes it impossible to guess who can be trusted.

One snowy night Lydia discovers a wounded man on the riverbank near Caswell Hall, and her decision to save him will change her life. Nathan introduces her to a secret network of spies, couriers, disguises, and coded messages---a network that may be the Patriots' only hope for winning the war. When British officers take over Caswell Hall and wreak havoc on neighboring plantations, Lydia will have to choose between loyalty and freedom; between her family's protection and her own heart's desires.

As both armies gather near Williamsburg for a pivotal battle, both Lydia and Sarah must decide how high a price they are willing to pay to help the men they love.

Part of the American Tapestries™ series: Each standalone novel in this line sets a heart-stirring love story against the backdrop of an epic moment in American history. This is the fifth book in the series.


my review...


Melanie Dobson has again offered up a wonderfully written novel in her latest release, "The Courier of Caswell Hall". I found the book to be heart-stirring and fast-paced, with interesting historical details woven into the pages. I've never yet read an American Revolution-themed story that intrigued me so much as this one did! The family drama of having immediate family members be on opposite sides of the war added fascinating tension to the story, such that I found myself wondering how I would survive such a situation myself. The characters are realistically portrayed and quickly invoked my sympathy as I watched them encounter unjust situations. The romance is given just the right touch, and both male and female readers will no doubt enjoy this historical romance book. As I turned the last page of the story, I found myself appreciating Dobson's ability to take a subject like the American Revolution, one that has often served as the backdrop to historical fiction, and give it a new spin. I found the book difficult to put down, and am positive that others will agree!

I give this book a solid recommendation and award it 4 out of 5 stars. Readers who typically enjoy books filled with historical drama should plan on adding this one to their collection.

Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher, Summerside Press, and the Litfuse Publicity Group, for the purposes of this unbiased review.


about the author...



Melanie Dobson is the author of twelve novels; her writing has received numerous accolades including two Carol Awards. Melanie worked in public relations for fifteen years before she began writing fiction full-time. Born and raised in the Midwest, she now resides with her husband and two daughters in Oregon.








 

Check out what other people are saying as part of the Litfuse tour at: http://litfusegroup.com/author/mdobson

Buy the book from Amazon




And now enter the giveaway:


Enter to win 1 of 5 copies of the book!
courier-of-caswell-rafflecopter


Five winners will receive:
  • The Courier of Caswell Hall by Melanie Dobson
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 5th. All winners will be announced October 7th at the Litfuse blog.


Don’t miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit the Litfuse blog on the 7th to see if you won one of the books! 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Will keep you turning pages long into the night: My review of "On Distant Shores" by Sarah Sundin

Cover Art


about the book....


Caught between the war raging around them and the battles within, two souls long for peace--and a love that remains true.

Lt. Georgiana Taylor has everything she could want. A boyfriend back home, a loving family, and a challenging job as a flight nurse. But in July 1943, Georgie's cozy life gets more complicated when she meets pharmacist Sgt. John Hutchinson. 

Hutch resents the lack of respect he gets as a noncommissioned serviceman and hates how the war keeps him from his fiancée. While Georgie and Hutch share a love of the starry night skies over Sicily, their lives back home are falling apart. Can they weather the hurt and betrayal? Or will the pressures of war destroy the fragile connection they've made?




my review....

Infused with rich historical detail and featuring beautifully developed characters, "On Distant Shores" is a story that will keep you turning the pages long into the night. Sarah Sundin again proves that her pen has the ability to bring the past to life. She has given World War II an interesting twist by the addition of Hutch, a pharmacist who does not get the respect he should for the valuable role his profession plays in the War. I will admit that sometimes Hutch's attitude grated on me a bit, as though I could understand his frustration, I had moments where I wanted to reach through the pages and give him a stern talking to! Nevertheless, there is much to admire in Hutch's character, especially how he builds up and encourages Georgie to be more than she believed possible. Sundin has woven some enjoyable romantic tension into the story, and readers who enjoy a good love story will no doubt delight in this book! As for me, I think the thing I most appreciated about this story is the way that Georgie grew as a character. The insecurities she struggles with are ones we can all identify with at times, and the way that she overcomes her challenges is inspiring indeed! These are the sorts of characters you wish would step off the pages and join us in real life.

Fans of Sundin's first book in the series, "With Ever Letter", are going to love this next installment. I give it a solid recommendation and a rating of 4 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.



 about the author....



Sarah Sundin
Sarah Sundin is the author of A Distant Melody, A Memory Between Us, and Blue Skies Tomorrow. In 2011, A Memory Between Us was a finalist in the Inspirational Reader's Choice Awards and Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. A graduate of UC San Francisco School of Pharmacy, she works on-call as a hospital pharmacist. During WWII, her grandfather served as a pharmacist's mate (medic) in the Navy and her great-uncle flew with the US Eighth Air Force in England. Sarah lives in California with her husband and three children.






Friday, September 20, 2013

My review of "10 Great Dates" by Peter & Heather Larson, and David & Claudia Arp

Cover Art


about the book....


An epic journey of intimacy, rejection, betrayal . . . and hope.

God gives Hosea a difficult command--marry a prostitute in order to show God's people the nature and depth of His love for Israel. When Hosea goes to Israel to proclaim the Lord's message, the woman God directs him to marry turns out to be his childhood friend Gomer. He finds her broken and abused, unwilling to trust Hosea or his God. But when marrying Hosea becomes her only means of escape, Gomer does what she's good at--she survives. Can Hosea's love for God and God's love for Israel restore Gomer's broken spirit?

With her powerful combination of in-depth research and masterful storytelling, Mesu Andrews brings to life one of the most complex and fascinating stories of love and forgiveness in the face of utter betrayal.



my review....

Packed with practical guidance and spiritual truths, "10 Great Dates" is just the book your marriage has been waiting for! We all know how busy our married lives can get, and when you throw in stress from work, pressure from children, and demands from family and friends alike, it is no wonder that married couples are struggling to connect spiritually. That makes this book all the more timely, as the busyness of our life means that we need to carve out time to focus on our married lives, and this book is designed to help do that. "10 Great Dates" is truly a treasure trove of information, and I greatly appreciated the pages at the end of the book that you can rip out and take on your date with you, helping you discover new insights about each other and guiding you in making goals together. The dates aren't all work either, but are designed to be fun and bonding times for you and your spouse. The anecdotes from people's lives that are woven into the book add an interesting element to the chapters. If couples will actually apply the Biblically-based principals that are offered in this book, their marriage is sure to be blessed. Ultimately, married couples will be aided in leaving a "heritage of a truly enriched, spiritually intimate marriage to others, including our children, grandchildren, and their spouses".

I highly recommend this book and award it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.



 about the author....



Peter LarsonPeter Larson and Heather Larson do premarital counseling, speaking events, and marriage education together in a variety of settings. Heather is a Christian life coach. Married for 17 years, the Larsons have three school-aged children and live in Boulder, Colorado.









David Arp
Coauthors David and Claudia Arp, founders of Marriage Alive, have written more than 30 books. Their 10 Great Dates seminar is popular across the U.S. and internationally. Frequently appearing in national media, the Arps have been married nearly 50 years and live in Great Falls, Virginia. Learn more at www.marriagealive.com.




Thursday, September 19, 2013

Sure to please your young children: My review of "Bumper Wipe Clean Activities" @KregelBooks

Bumper Wipe Clean Activities [With Marker]


Combining entertaining activities with Bible Stories, "Bumper Wipe Clean Activities" should be at the top of your list to buy for your children! The book features a myriad of different things for your children to do, such as activities like connect the dots, doing mazes, tracing numbers and letters, or matching different objects. The best part is that Bible stories like David guarding the sheep from wild animals, the story of Jonah, or many events from Jesus' life are woven into the pages of the book.

My children absolutely LOVE our copy of this activity book! The pictures are colourful and pleasing to the eye, and the activities have literally kept them engaged for hours on end. The book is a sturdy hardcover binding and comes with a pen that easily wipes clean from the pages of the book. As a result, all of my children have had the opportunity to take a turn doing the activities of this book. The words are easy enough for children in grade 1 or 2 to read on their own, or you can help your preschooler work through the stories and activities as well. What I most appreciate about this book is that it gives my children the opportunity to engage with the Bible stories in a way they never have before.

I highly recommend this wonderful children's book and award it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

A copy of the book has been provided courtesy of the publisher for the purposes of this unbiased review.



Meet the Author & Illustrator

Juliet David has written many children’s stories and Bible activity books. Her other interests include painting, music, and travel to Israel and other Bible lands. This experienced author lives in London with her family.

Marie Allen grew up drawing characters and illustrating fun books for friends and family, and her dream was to someday publish a children's book. She has studied graphic design and illustration and gained experience working on stationery, puzzles, greeting cards, maps, and posters, as well as numerous children's books. She lives in Manchester, England.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

GIVEAWAY and review of "Bash and the Pirate Pig" by Burton Cole


Have I got a treat for you! If you've been looking for a new read for your children (ages 8-14), then read on (and remember to enter the giveaway at the end!)...

Bash and the Pirate Pig


About the book.... 

Bash and the Pirate Pig, by Burton Cole, is the story of a cranky city kid named Raymond "Beamer" Boxby who must spend summer vacation at his younger cousin, Bash's, farm. 

Beamer prefers air conditioning and video games. He can't see what good can come of this so-called country fun that includes riding cows, river rafting with a pig, or playing with skunks. 

But hang tight, Beamer, because Bash's zany adventures with his "Fishin' and Farmin' book" (The Bible) just might lead to the coolest discovery of all. 


My review.... 


Filled with laugh-out-loud moments and original characters, "Bash and the Pirate Pig" offers up a unique read for your pre-teen children. While primarily aimed at the male audience, I have no doubt that both girls and boys will appreciate the non-stop action contained in the pages of this book. The characters are absolutely full of life, and young readers are sure to have their attention captured from start to finish. I should warn you that your children may come up with all sorts of crazy ideas to try out after spending time with Raymond Boxby and Bash Hinglehobb. In fact, you may want to hand a copy of the book to your children with the disclaimer that they need to ask you before acting out any of Bash's wild ideas! However, you can also be confident that your children will walk away with a clear gospel message that is cleverly woven into the story, including an example of a prayer that children (or their parents) can pray in giving their life to Jesus. Other valuable lessons include appreciating the gift of friendship, or learning about the importance of prayer.

"Bash and the Pirate Pig" is not only an entertaining book that will have your children smiling or out-right laughing, but it is also full of eternal truths that make this story worth reading more than once. I strongly recommend this book and award it 4 out of 5 stars.

Disclaimer - I received a free copy of this product from FlyBy Promotions and B&H Kids in exchange for my honest opinion shared in this review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family. I'm including this disclaimer in accordance with FTC Guidelines and Regulations.







About the Author

Burton Cole is a Pulitzer Prize nominated journalist with thirty years of experience and more than fifty humor writing awards to his credit. He grew up on a farm in northeast Ohio and attended a small-town church with a slew of cousins and buddies. That same boyhood inspires his colorful stories today. 







About the Illustrator 



Image of Tom BancroftTom Bancroft has more than twenty years of experience in the animation and illustration industry and worked with Disney on films including Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, and Aladdin. Other clients have included DC Comics and Big Idea Productions. 








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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Gripping Suspense! My review of "Fatal Tide" By Lis Wiehl & Pete Nelson

Fatal Tide


about the book....


In East Salem, the elite St. Adrian’s Academy is at the nexus of a swelling satanic apocalypse—and the fatal tide is already rising from the darkness.

When Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights is reunited with the pagans who commissioned it, a dark prophecy begins to unfold in East Salem, beginning with a savage double-murder by hellish creatures straight out of the painting itself. The lone survivor of the attack, a seventeen-year-old Brit, finds sanctuary at Tommy Gunderson’s home—and the place is soon surrounded by demons who seem to be biding their time…but for how long?

Tommy’s pond has been contaminated with Provivilan—an insidious drug that could transform New York City’s children into an army of violence-addicted murderers. But for an occult cabal in the upper echelons of Linz Pharmaceuticals, contaminating the water supply is just part of an ancient conspiracy against all of humankind.

As the clouds gather, Tommy and Dani realize they must infiltrate Linz and St. Adrian’s to stop the dissemination of Provivilan. Even then, it could take a tangible eruption of the battle between angels and demons to save humanity from the supernatural evils that have been summoned to East Salem.


my review....


Gripping suspense, supernatural battles between angels and demons, and intriguing characters make "Fatal Tide" a strong addition to the "East Salem" series. Tommy and Dani return to continue their fight against the evil that has infiltrated the town of East Salem. Their relationship continues to grow in leaps and bounds, and the thread of romance in this novel is sure to please many readers. As with the prior novels in the series, I greatly enjoyed the witty dialogue that sparks between Tommy and Dani in particular, making me laugh out loud in several places, although many other characters also spouted snappy lines. The story is fast paced, with plenty of action and lively scenes that crackle with tension, such that the novel played out like a movie across my mind. I will say that the final battle between angels and demons in the book seemed a little anti-climatic to me, as it was quickly over with no real explanation of why the ones who triumphed did so in such an easy manner. However, even though things wrapped up maybe a little too neatly at the end, the overall ride was just plain fun, and I am left hoping for more from the skilled writing due of Lis Wiehl and Pete Nelson!

Fans of the first two novels in the series will definitely want to plan on getting their hands on a copy of Fatal Tide. And if you haven't yet taken a chance on these books, well, what are you waiting for?

I award this book a solid recommendation and a rating of 4 out of 5 stars.

A review copy was received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to some publishing delays, this title will now be published on October 1, 2013. However, be sure to pre-order the book following the links below! :)

 about the author....



Lis Wiehl is a New York Times best-selling author, Harvard Law School graduate, and former federal prosecutor. A popular legal analyst and commentator for the Fox News Channel, Wiehl appears weekly on The O’Reilly Factor, Lou Dobbs Tonight, Imus in the Morning, Kelly's Court, and more.







Image of Pete NelsonPete Nelson is the co-author of Waking Hours as well as the author of Left to Die which won the 2003 Christopher Award. He was listed in the Esquire Register of Best American Writers and nominated for an Edgar Award.










Find out more about the book on the publisher website:   http://www.thomasnelson.com/fatal-tide.html


Friday, September 13, 2013

Another life-saving book: My review of "Parenting Your Powerful Child" by Dr. Kevin Leman

Cover Art


about the book....


Don't let those cherublike faces fool you. Your smart kids have an agenda--and they're workin' ya.

Powerful kids don't just happen. They're created, and their power comes in different packages. Whether loud and temperamental, quiet and sensitive, or stubborn and manipulative, powerful children can make living with them a challenge. But it doesn't have to be that way.

In Parenting Your Powerful Child, New York Times bestselling author Dr. Kevin Leman offers a practical action plan to redirect your child's power surges into positive traits that will prepare your child for a successful, happy, and productive adult life. With these simple but effective techniques, you can transform your home from a daily battle zone to a safe and peaceful place. All it takes is a little determination--and some small changes on your part--to make a huge difference in your family life.

Ready for the power struggle to end?


my review....


Dr. Kevin Leman provides another life-saving book in "Parenting Your Powerful Child", a book that any parent can benefit from reading. Written in his signature easy-to-read style, and chock-full of practical advice, Leman's latest book will help parents act with authority, "not as an authoritarian or permissive parent". I think what I most appreciated about this book is that the author includes story after story of real life parenting situations, anecdotes that readers will no doubt read and think "Hooray! I'm not alone!" While all of us would like to pretend that we are perfect parents, the truth, of course, is that we are not (I hope I didn't shock anyone). Dr. Leman draws on years of experience to help give parents confidence on how to handle the most extreme of behaviours. The book is very well laid out, and can be read in one sitting or over a period of time if it is easier for you to glean the truth from its pages in small doses. Leman writes in a non-judgmental way, and yet he doesn't hesitate to give you advice on exactly what to do to remedy a challenge you are having with your child. I really appreciated the "What you can do" sections that provide clear and easy to follow guidance.

If you are tearing out your hair trying to deal with your child, or perhaps you just want to learn some new parenting strategies to keep things going well, then plan on picking up a copy of "Parenting Your Powerful Child". You'll be glad you did! 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.



 about the author....



Dr. Kevin Leman
Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known psychologist, radio and television personality, and speaker who has taught and entertained audiences worldwide with his wit and commonsense psychology. He has made house calls for hundreds of radio and television programs, such as Fox & Friends, The View, Fox's The Morning Show, Today, Dr. Bill Bennett's America in the Morning, 700 Club, CBS's The Early Show, James Robison's Life Today, Janet Parshall, CNN's American Morning, and Focus on the Family, and has served as a contributing family psychologist to Good Morning America.










Shades of Mercy by Anita Lustrea and Caryn Rivendara

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Shades of Mercy
River North; New Edition edition (September 1, 2013)
by
Anita Lustrea
and
Caryn Rivendara


ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

Authentic. That’s the word heard over and over when women describe Anita Lustrea. She is a popular speaker at women’s conferences and retreats, and an amazing communicator as co-host of the award winning Midday Connection radio broadcast. Her deep desire is to communicate freedom to women and help them nurture and care for their soul. Anita is the co-author of “Come to Our Table: A Midday Connection Cookbook” and “Daily Seeds from Women Who Walk in Faith”, a Devotional for women. Her first solo venture as an author releases in November, 2010, “What Women Tell Me: finding freedom from the secrets we keep.” Anita and her husband, Mike Murphy, a pastor, along with her teenage son John live in the Chicago suburbs. When she’s not traveling or speaking, you can find her reading and drinking a venti hot tea at her local Starbucks.

*******

Caryn is a sought-after writer and speaker. She’s the author of four books—Shades of Mercy: A Maine Chronicle (River North, September 2013), Known & Loved: 52 Devotions from the Psalms (Revell, April 2013), Grumble Hallelujah (Tyndale House, September 2011), and Mama’s Got a Fake I.D. (WaterBrook Press, March 2009)–and a regular contributor to Christianity Today’s Her.Meneutics as well as columnist for Re:Frame Media’s ThinkChristian blog. She has written dozens of magazine article. Her work has appeared in such publications as Christianity Today, Relevant, FamilyLife, and Engineering and Mining Journal (you read that right). Caryn leads workshops and speaks at conferences and church groups across the country. She’s also a regular guest on Moody Radio’s Midday Connection with Anita Lustrea and Melinda Schmidt and has been featured on such radio shows as The John and Kathy Show, Changing Worldviews/WOMANTalk with Sharon Hughes, I Thought She Said with Faith Daly, The Paul Edwards Program with Paul Edwards, and Talk from the Heart with Rich Buhler, among many others. Caryn also appeared on The Harvest Show. Caryn earned a B.A. in English from Calvin College and attended the University of Chicago’s publishing program. She lives in the western suburbs of Chicago with her husband, Rafael, her three kids, a rescued pit bull terrier, two hermit crabs, and several tank fulls of who-knows-what-kind-of fish. Caryn and her family are members of Elmhurst Christian Reformed Church in Elmhurst, Illinois, where Caryn recently joined the worship staff.
ABOUT THE BOOK

It's 1954 and the world-even the far Northwoods of Maine-is about to change. But that change can't happen soon enough for fourteen-year-old Mercy Millar. Long tired of being the "son" her father never had, Mercy's ready for the world to embrace her as the young woman she is-as well as embrace the forbidden love she feels.  When childhood playmates grow up and fall in love, the whole community celebrates. But in the case of Mercy and Mick, there would be no celebration. Instead their relationship must stay hidden. Good girls do not date young men from the Maliseet tribe. At least, not in Watsonville, Maine. When racial tensions escalate and Mick is thrown in jail under suspicion of murder, Mercy nearly loses all hope-in love, in her father, and in God himself.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Shades of Mercy, go HERE.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

My review of "The Road Home" by Patrick E. Craig




It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!



Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:

Harvest House Publishers (September 1, 2013)

***Special thanks to Ginger Chen for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

 Patrick E. Craig is a lifelong writer and musician who left a successful songwriting and performance career in the music industry to follow Christ in 1984. He spent the next 26 years as a worship leader, seminar speaker, and pastor in churches, and at retreats, seminars and conferences all across the western United States. After ministering for a number of years in music and worship to a circuit of small churches, he is now concentrating on writing and publishing both fiction and non-fiction books. Patrick and his wife Judy make their home in northern California and are the parents of two adult children and have five grandchildren.

Visit the author's website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Author Patrick Craig continues the story of Jenny Springer, the child rescued in A Quilt for Jenna. Now an adult, Jenny begins a search for her long-last parents. As she opens doors to her past, she finds the truly surprising answer to her deepest questions.



Product Details:
List Price: $13.99
Series: Apple Creek Dreams Series
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (September 1, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736951075
ISBN-13: 978-0736951074


AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:

 “Du Schlecht’r!”

“Jenny Springer! You should not say such bad words! You should be ashamed.”

Jenny’s face burned as she reached behind the quilting frame with her left hand and pushed the errant needle through the quilt to complete her stitch. The finger of her other hand, showing a tiny red drop where she had pricked herself, went into her mouth. She stared angrily at the quilt she was working on. The design was awkward, and the edges of the pattern pieces were puckered where she had attempted to sew them together.

“Oh, Mama, I will never, ever be a quilter like you. I just can’t do it.”

Her mother’s shocked expression softened somewhat, and she put her arm around the girl’s shoulder. “Quilting is a gift from God, and it’s true that you don’t yet seem to have the eye for it. But you’re gifted in so many other ways. Don’t be disheartened. Sometimes you’re a little eigensinnig und ungeduldig, and these qualities do not fit well with quilting. You must learn to still your heart and calm the stream of thoughts rushing through your head.”

Jenny reached behind her head and rubbed her neck. She took a deep breath and stuck the needle back into the pincushion with finality.

“I need to stop for a bit, Mama. This quilt is making me vereitelt!”

Even in her present state, Jenny was a lovely girl of nearly twenty. Her reddish gold hair framed a strong brow and deep violet eyes that could flash with annoyance in an instant or radiate the most loving kindness a moment later.

Jerusha Springer reached down and enfolded Jenny in her arms. “Sie sind meine geliebte dochter,” Jerusha whispered softly into the curls that refused to be controlled by the heavy hairpins and happily tumbled out from under the slightly askew black kappe on Jenny’s head. Jenny turned on her stool, and her arms crept around her mother’s waist. She held on as though she would never let go.

“Are you ever sorry that you got me instead of Jenna, Mama?” Jenny whispered.

Jerusha paused before replying. “I was given Jenna, and then I was given you, my dearest. Jenna was a wonderful little girl, and your papa and I were blessed beyond measure by having her. When she died, we didn’t know how we would ever go on with our lives. But God in His mercy sent us a wonderful child to fill the emptiness in our hearts. That child was you. Sorry? No, my darling, I will never be sorry that you came to us. There will always be a place in my heart for Jenna, but now I have you to love and hold. I couldn’t hope for a better dochter.”

Jenny clung even tighter to her mother. Her mother’s arms had always been a safe haven for her since the day Jerusha rescued her from the great snowstorm so many years ago. Jerusha had kept Jenny alive by holding the child next to her heart all through the long nights until Papa and Uncle Bobby had rescued them. That was the earliest memory Jenny had of her mother. The calm, steady beat of her mother’s heart comforted her, and it was always in this place of refuge and life that she felt the most secure. But today, even in her mother’s arms, she couldn’t still the turmoil in her heart. She pulled away from Jerusha and began to talk in a rush.

“Mama, don’t you ever wonder where I came from and who my birth mother was? Maybe I’m the daughter of criminals or murderers. Maybe there’s a bad seed in me that will come out someday. It makes me afraid sometimes.”

Jerusha stroked her daughter’s hair. “There are some things we can never know, and you must not worry or fret about them. ‘Be careful for nothing—’ ”

“I know, I know, Mama, but sometimes I do worry. I would never want to do anything that would bring shame on you or Papa. But sometimes I think that I’ll never find real peace until I know…and yet that’s impossible.”

Jenny released her grip on her mother and grabbed up a scrap of material. She wiped another drop of blood from her finger, crumpled the cloth, and threw it down.

Jerusha took a breath and then answered. “You are so standhaft in all your ways. Many times your papa and I have had to pick you up and dust you off when you went too far. But that same quality has helped you to overcome difficulties. The accomplishments in your life are proof of that.”

Jerusha reached over and softly stroked Jenny’s cheek. “You’re a gut student. No one in our community has such a grasp of the history of our people as you do. Someday you will be a teacher who can pass down to your children the things that keep the Amish separate and distinct from the world.”

Jenny looked away and shrugged her shoulders. “I don’t think I will ever have children, Mama.”

Jerusha stiffened, and a fleeting frown passed over her face. “Why not, my darling?” she asked quietly.

“I don’t think any man could put up with me, for one thing, and for another, I think I’m just too independent. I’m not sure I could ever submit to a husband ruling over me.”

Jerusha’s mouth tightened slightly. “If I were true to our ordnung, I would tell you what my grandmother told me when I was a girl, and insist that you follow it,” Jerusha said. “She used to say that marriage is not built first on love but on the needs of our community and our faith.”

“But, Mama…” Jenny said.

“Let me finish, dochter,” Jerusha said quietly. “I loved your father very much before we were married, and someday that may happen for you. You’ll meet a man whom you will love so deeply that you will gladly surrender everything of yourself into his care and protection. I used to be so bound up in my quilting that I thought there was no room in my life for love or marriage. But the first time I looked into your father’s eyes, I was lost forever.” Jerusha’s face softened, and she smiled at a secret memory.

“Why, Mama! You’re blushing,” Jenny laughed. “I can understand why you lost your heart to Papa. He’s a handsome man.”

“Did I hear someone talking about me?” Reuben Springer came into the room. His face was stern, but there was a smile behind his eyes.

“Papa!” Jenny broke free from her mother and ran to her daed.

Reuben took the girl into his arms. “This is always the best part of my day, when I come home to my girls,” he said as he kissed his daughter on the forehead. “I used to have to bend down so far to reach you. Now you’re all grown up.”

Jerusha smiled at him, a tinge of pink in her cheeks.

“I can still make you blush, eh, Mrs. Springer?” he asked.

Jerusha turned away with a reluctant smile.

A frown passed over Jenny’s face like a small dark cloud, and her father noticed it.

“What is it, dochter?”

“Jenny was asking me about her birth parents,” Jerusha said. “Not knowing about her past troubles her.”

“Jenny, you mustn’t concern yourself with things that can’t be known,” Reuben said. “When your mother found you, there was no identification or any means to discover who you were. The police found a man’s body in Jepson’s pond the next spring, but he had been in the water far too long to make a clear identification. The car was stolen in New York, so there was no way to trace the man. You must be content with the wisdom of God. He sent you to us because He knew you needed us and we needed you. That’s all we need to know.”

“But, Papa, sometimes I feel like a stranger, as if I don’t really belong here.” Jenny saw the pain in her father’s eyes and stopped. “I’m sorry, Papa. I didn’t mean it exactly that way. I don’t know why it’s so important to me to find out these things, but it is. Sometimes I think I’ll never be who I’m supposed to be until I find out who I really am. It doesn’t help that I’m so stubborn.”

“Your Mama was just as stubborn when I first met her,” Reuben said. “Even twenty-four years later, I feel the sting on my face where she slapped me the first time I kissed her.”

“Husband!” Jerusha exclaimed as her cheeks once again turned rosy pink.

Reuben smiled at his wife and then looked at Jenny. His voice took a sterner tone. “Your mama has changed over the years, and you will change too. For the good of our family, you must put these things out of your mind.”

Jenny felt a small flash of anger at her father’s words. She wanted to speak but wisely stayed silent. Then she decided to take a different approach.

“Papa, maybe if I did know, I could be more peaceful inside and not be so much trouble for you and Mama. Maybe if you helped me to find my birth parents I could be a better dochter to you and—”

Jenny’s papa stiffened at her words. “Jenny, I love you very much, but I am still the head of our home, and until you’re married and under the care of your husband, I will decide what’s best for you. There’s much in the world that you’re too young to understand. God has entrusted me with your care and safety for a good reason. The man you were with may have been your father, or he may not, but judging by what the police found in the car, he was not a good man. There were drugs and alcohol—”

“But what if he wasn’t my father and he just kidnapped me or—”

“Dochter! That’s enough! I know what’s best for you. Asking questions that can’t be answered will only cause you heartache and sorrow. I want you to put these wild ideas behind you. We will not discuss this further!”

Jenny stared at her father, and he stared back at her. She started to speak, but her mother placed her hand on Jenny’s arm and squeezed a warning. “Your father is right, Jenny. You must listen to him and obey. Now, is anyone hungry, or should we go on working on this quilt?”

Jenny took a deep breath, looked at her masterpiece, and smiled ruefully. The star design she had labored over for so many hours was crooked and wrinkled, and the colors she had chosen clashed.

“I think we’d better have dinner, Mama. I don’t think there’s anything I can do to fix this mess.”

“Well, let’s go then,” Reuben said. “I need kindling for the stove, and Jenny can go out and close in the chickens.”

“All right, Papa,” Jenny said, still stinging from Reuben’s rebuke. “Do I need to bring in any milch, Mama?”

“Yes, dear,” Jerusha said, “there’s some fresh in the cooling house.”

When Jenny had banged out the back door, Jerusha turned to Reuben. “She’s so impetuous. I worry there’ll come a time when she crashes into a predicament we can’t get her out of. But you must not be so hard on her. She’s still young.”

“I know. But young or not, her curiosity worries me,” Reuben said. “She’s headed for disappointment if she keeps searching for answers that don’t exist. I want to keep her from that as long as I can.”

Jerusha nodded. “I want her to be happy, but in my heart I’m afraid that if she does somehow find her birth parents, she’ll want to be with them more than with us. And their way would be so different from ours. The world out there is filled with danger, and I don’t know if she would be able to understand it. I’m afraid for her, Reuben.”

“I’m afraid for her too, Jerusha,” he said quietly, taking his wife in his arms. “And that’s why I want her to forget about her past. I’m trying hard not to crush her spirit, but the girl doesn’t think things through. She thinks she’s all grown up, but she still has many kindisch ways about her. There may soon come a day when she goes her own way, and the thought of what she might choose…”

Jerusha felt a momentary chill grip her heart, and she pulled herself deeper into the circle of Reuben’s arms.


My review... 


Brimming with romance, and mysteries from the past, "The Road Home" sees the return of Jenny, first introduced to readers in the first book of the "Apple Creek Dreams" series. If you, like me, were curious about how Jenny came to be in the car that Jerusha Springer discovered and which led to Jenny's adoption by the Springers, then you will be glad to pick up "The Road Home". Patrick E. Craig has woven together a carefully crafted plot that adds a new layer of suspense in the midst of Jenny's discovery about who she is. I enjoyed all the different subplots that connect in this story, from the drug dealers to the kidnapping to the mysterious lineage, and there were some unexpected moments along the way as well. I must say that the writing style in this book was a bit too detailed for my liking, and that this slowed down the pace of the story for me. However, readers who enjoy a story they can really sink their teeth into will no doubt enjoy the path to discovering who Jenny is and where she has come from. The romance that develops between Jenny and John Hershberger is also well-done, and the conclusion is a heart-warming one indeed. Fans of historical Amish fiction should check out "The Road Home".

I give this book a mild recommendation and a rating of 3 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesty of the publisher, Harvest House, in conjuction with FIRST blog tours, for the purposes of this unbiased review.