Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Free ebook: "Message in a Bottle" by Beth Wiseman

Message In A Bottle: A Surf's Up Novella by [Wiseman, Beth]

Free for download on Amazon.com today. Here's the link:


Sunday, January 29, 2017

A fabulous start to the series: "Conspiracy of Silence" by Ronie Kendig


Cover Art


about the book....



This Is the Way the World Ends. 


Four years after a tragic mission decimated his team, Cole "Tox" Russell has been disavowed by the United States. And that's fine--he just wants to be left alone. But when a dormant, centuries-old disease is unleashed, Tox is lured back into action.

Tox and his former Special Forces team regroup to work with FBI deception expert, Kasey Cortes, and fiery archaeologist, Tzivia Khalon, to search the globe for answers--and a cure. As the mission leads from one continent to another, it becomes clear they're not just fighting a plague but battling an ancient secret society whose true goals remain hidden.

With time running out and the threat for a global pandemic rising, Tox and his team realize their sole chance might be to reach back through centuries of silence to find the only answer that can save them all.



my review....


"Conspiracy of Silence" is one heart-pounding ride, from start to finish! The scenes are action-packed and bring the characters to life with vivid imagery. If you ever found yourself in a perilous predicament, you would definitely want Cole "Tox" Russell on your side, because he's the very epitome of brave, dashing headlong into danger, determined to do whatever it takes to save those he cares about - and even those he doesn't! And, the mysterious and spiritually-wise Nigerian by his side makes for the perfect counterpart. Add in an amazing deception expert in the form of Kasey, and well, what's not to love about this well-written book?

Indeed, I quite enjoyed the overall plot of Kendig's novel, how she takes a scene from the Bible and asks a great big "What If?" question about how past and present may collide to unleash a life-threatening plague. But the story ends up even bigger, pitting good versus ancient evil in a way I haven't encountered before. The plot is well-crafted, and the characters have been carefully fleshed out, with some appropriate romantic tension thrown in to boot. And in the midst of the running around the world, Kendig manages to deal with some deeper spiritual issues as well, and will even have you digging into your Bible to examine the scenes with Moses she touches upon. Any book that causes me to expand my Biblical knowledge is a keeper in my opinion!

Fans of suspense novels with plenty of military action and mysterious characters and organizations are going to want to grab a copy of Kendig's latest novel. Fair warning, however: you may find yourself reading into the night, well-past your normal, appropriate bedtime, because it is very difficult to put this book down. And also remember this is only the first in the series. While Kendig does tie up some lose ends, you will definitely be longing for the next book in the series! I award this novel a strong rating of 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....



Ronie Kendig
Ronie Kendig is an award-winning, bestselling author who grew up an Army brat. She's penned over a dozen novels, including The Quiet Professionals series and the A Breed Apart series. She and her hunky hero hubby have a fun, crazy life with their children and a retired military working dog in Northern Virginia.







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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Charming! The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill (Tales From Ivy Hill Book #1) by Julie Klassen


Cover Art


about the book....


Welcome to the English village of Ivy Hill, where friendships thrive, romance blossoms, and mysteries await. . . .


The lifeblood of the village of Ivy Hill is its coaching inn, The Bell. When the innkeeper dies suddenly, his genteel wife, Jane Bell, becomes the reluctant landlady. Jane has no idea how to manage a business, but with the town's livelihood at stake and a large loan due, she must quickly find a way to save the inn.

Despite their strained relationship, Jane turns to her resentful mother-in-law, Thora, for help. Formerly mistress of The Bell, Thora is struggling to overcome her losses and find purpose for the future. As she works with Jane, two men from her past vie for her attention, but Thora has promised herself never to marry again. Will one of them convince her to embrace a second chance at love?

As pressure mounts from the bank, Jane employs new methods, and puzzles over the intentions of several men who seem to have a vested interest in the place, including a mysterious newcomer with secret plans of his own. With the help of friends old and new, can Jane restore life to the inn, and to her empty heart as well?


my review....

"The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill" is a charming novel that perfectly captures the flavour of the English countryside and time period the story is set in. Klassen has done a good job at setting up the series with this first instalment, introducing a variety of different characters who are each intriguing in their own right. Readers will immediately feel sympathy for Jane, who has lost her husband and is struggling to find her way. Thora may at first come across as too strong of a character but you soon realize that she has people's best interests at heart and that she has her own struggles to overcome. And all of the male characters added into the mix add some spice and flavour as readers follow Jane and Thora's journeys in working out their feelings and whether romance may lie in their futures. Add in some mystery about The Bell Coaching Inn and the debts leveraged against it, and the plot has lots to love! However, for the first time ever, I am giving this novel a lower rating than I would normally give a Julie Klassen novel. The reason? I just didn't find the pacing of the novel to be as engaging as I would have preferred. For the first third of the book, I was feeling rather impatient with the slow pace, and wanted things to speed up. I was also a bit thrown when some new characters were suddenly thrown into the story in a manner that didn't really add to the Jane/Thora story line, at least at first.  Despite all that, by the latter half of the book I was quite enjoying how the story was playing out, as Jane really grows into her role as inn keeper and various secrets begin to come to light.

All in all, I am quite interested to see what lies in store for these characters from Ivy Hilly, characters that Klassen does a good job at fleshing out.  I give this novel a rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.



 about the author....



Julie Klassen
JULIE KLASSEN loves all things Jane--Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full-time. Three of her books, The Silent Governess, The Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. The Secret of Pembrooke Park was honored with the Minnesota Book Award for genre fiction. Julie has also won the Midwest Book Award and Christian Retailing's BEST Award, and has been a finalist in the Romance Writers of America's RITA Awards and ACFW's Carol Awards. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. For more information, visit www.julieklassen.com.



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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Another great read! The Shattered Vigil (The Darkwater Saga Book #2) by Patrick W. Carr


Cover Art


about the book....


A Single Terrible Choice Faces the Vigil. Hide in Safety and Let Darkness Take Over the Land or Face the Growing Danger and Risk All of Their Lives.

Their victory over the dark forces during the feast of Bas-solas should have guaranteed safety for the continent. Instead, Willet and the rest of the Vigil discover they've been outsmarted by those seeking to unleash the evil that inhabits the Darkwater. One of the Vigil has gone missing, and new attacks have struck at the six kingdoms' ability to defend themselves.

Worse, a deadly new threat has emerged--assassins hunting the Vigil, men and women who cannot be seen until it's too late. To thwart the perilous new risk, the church makes the drastic decision to safeguard the Vigil by taking the surviving members into protective custody. But there are secrets only the Vigil can unearth, and so Pellin makes the heart-wrenching choice to oppose the church in a race to turn back the evil that threatens an entire continent. 



my review....


Patrick W. Carr has crafted a highly creative world in his "Dark Water Saga" series, and after devouring the first book in the series (The Shock of Night), I was anxiously awaiting the chance to return to the land of Collum in this next instalment. Fortunately, I was not disappointed, as "The Shattered Vigil" again provides an absorbing read populated with fascinating characters where you aren't quite sure who is good, and who may be evil. The scenes are filled with plenty of action, and I enjoyed the way Carr peeled back the layers of mystery in this book and provided us with some more answers about what exactly is going on, while leaving plenty of unanswered questions to make the wait for the third book in the series entirely too long! There was a big reveal at the end that I just didn't see coming, and I now can't wait to find out exactly who is who and what that means as we race towards the climax of the series. I dare not say more because I hate to risk giving plot points away, but you will see what I mean as you go along! I think what I am most enjoying about the series is that the people who end up being the heroes of the story are of the unlikely sort, from Willet who we first grew to care about in the first book in the series, to the orphans rescued from the streets to become apprentices to members of the vigil. Willet's abilities to delve into people's minds and see their histories continues to intrigue me in these books, and I couldn't help but contemplate what life would be like if such gifts were actually real, where with one touch you could wade through the storehouses of someone's memories!

All in all, I greatly enjoyed this second addition to the Dark Water Saga books, and I have no doubt that fans of the series are going to enjoy the way this book moves the series forward. I can't wait for more answers to be revealed in the next novel, as the vigil fights to protect their world against the onslaught of darkness. May all Christians be similarly inspired, like the vigil, to spread God's light whereever we go!

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

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 



 about the author....




Patrick W. CarrPatrick W. Carr is the author of the acclaimed fantasy series The Staff and the Sword. A Cast of Stones won the 2014 Carol Award for Speculative Fiction and the 2014 Clive Staples Award. A Cast of Stones and The Hero's Lot were both finalists for 2014 Christy Awards. He teaches high school math and makes his home in Nashville, Tennessee, with his incredible wife, Mary, and their four sons. Learn more at www.patrickwcarr.com.


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Keith Korman’s ‘Eden’ Kindle Fire Giveaway and Blog Tour

Return to the story of Jesus and read it from a new perspective in Keith Korman's Eden: The Animals' Parable. In this beautifully inspired retelling of the Gospels, we see Jesus and his disciples in the Holy Land through the eyes of the animals—especially his intrepid and loyal dog, Eden. Simple, clear, and spiritually profound, Eden is for readers of all ages, this artful retelling is captivating, moving, and alive with the joy you felt the first time you opened the Bible.

Settle in for some winter reading and enter to win a copy of Keith's book and a Kindle Fire!

 

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of Eden
  • A Kindle Fire
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on January 24. The winner will be announced January 25 on Keith's blog.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

One of her best yet! "For the Record (Ozark Mountain Romance Book #3)" by Regina Jennings


Cover Art


about the book....


Rather Than Wait for a Hero, She Decided to Create One 


Betsy Huckabee has big-city dreams, but nobody outside of tiny Pine Gap, Missouri, seems interested in the articles she writes for her uncle's newspaper. Her hopes for independence may be crushed, until the best idea she's ever had comes riding into town. 

Deputy Joel Puckett didn't want to leave Texas, but unfair circumstances have made moving to Pine Gap his only shot at keeping a badge. Worse, this small town has big problems, and masked marauders have become too comfortable taking justice into their own hands. He needs to make clear that he's the law in this town--and that job is made more difficult with a nosy reporter who seems to follow him everywhere he goes. 

The hero Betsy creates to be the star in a serial for the ladies' pages is based on the dashing deputy, but he's definitely fictional. And since the pieces run only in newspapers far away, no one will ever know. But the more time she spends with Deputy Puckett, the more she appreciates the real hero--and the more she realizes what her ambition could cost him.



my review....

I absolutely guarantee that if you have enjoyed the first two books of the "Ozark Mountain Romance" series, you are going to love "For The Record". I was quite captivated by the spirited Betsy, a young woman confident in who God has made her to be, even if that means she ignores social conventions and is willing to wander the countryside trying to satisfy her journalistic cravings. Her antics had me grinning from scene to scene, and throw in some romantic tension and unresolved secrets from Joel's past, and you have a winning novel indeed! Jennings has crafted some witty dialogue between Betsy and Joel, and as their relationship progresses you can't help but find yourself rooting for their relationship. And let me tell you that their romance is like no other you've ever read (and if you are anything like me, several scenes will have you laughing out loud, such as those involving the hole in Joel's pants). In addition to their relationship, I really enjoyed the mystery that under girds the plot. Though I had a good sense from the get-go regarding who is behind the night-time incidences, I thoroughly enjoyed the journey towards the unveiling of the culprit. And the ending chapters are ultimately satisfying, especially those that right the wrongs and bring a sense of justice and closure to some difficult circumstances. All in all, this is probably my favourite book in the Ozark Mountain series, and I am sure you will agree with me that Regina Jennings just gets better with each book!

"For The Record" is just what you've been looking for if you enjoy a well-written historical novel filled with great characters, humorous scenes, and an ending that will leave a smile on your face. I strongly recommend this book and rate it 4.5 out of 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....



Regina Jennings
Regina Jennings is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in English and a history minor. She is the author of A Most Inconvenient MarriageSixty Acres and a Bride, and Caught in the Middle, and contributed a novella to A Match Made in Texas. Regina has worked at the Mustang News and First Baptist Church of Mustang, along with time at the Oklahoma National Stockyards and various livestock shows. She now lives outside Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with her husband and four children and can be found online at www.reginajennings.com.





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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

An entertaining mystery: "Another Day, Another Dali" by Sandra Orchard


Cover Art


about the book....


The world of art theft can be a deadly game--one that Serena Jones understands all too well.
When FBI Special Agent Serena Jones takes on the case of a forged Dali painting as a favor to her grandmother, she assumes it will be a typical investigation. Hopefully collaring the thief will also mean finally measuring up in her grandmother's eyes. But the deeper she delves into the forgery and the suspects surrounding it, the less typical it becomes.

The Dali isn't the only painting that's fallen prey to the forgery-replacing thief, raising the possibility of a sophisticated theft ring--one with links to dirty cops, an aspiring young artist, and the unsolved murder of Serena's grandfather. To make matters worse, someone connected to the forgeries seems to be determined to stop Serena's investigation--no matter the cost.

Another Day, Another Dali gives the plucky Serena Jones--and readers--a new high-stakes case to crack. You won't want to miss a single brushstroke!


my review....


The colourful cast of characters we were introduced to in "A Fool and His Monet" star in another fun mystery in Sandra Orchard's latest novel, "Another Day, Another Dali". Filled with lots of action and some well-time and misleading plot maneuvers, I quite enjoyed watching Serena in action in this book as she worked to solve the mystery of the painting forgeries, and while the story doesn't always have the feel of authenticity in how things resolve, it is sure a fun ride! As with the first installment, in the midst of the investigation Serena also is dealing with matters of the heart, feeling torn between her neighbour Nate and her fellow FBI agent Tanner. I honestly can't say who I'm rooting for more, but I do like the light-hearted moments that result from Serena's encounters with these guys. It will certainly be interesting to see who Serena chooses in the final book of the series, especially as Orchard has allowed readers to provide her with feedback and play a role in setting the direction on where Serena's heart lands. But once again, my favourite character of the whole book (and so far in the series) is easily Aunt Martha as she just provides such entertainment with her antics! The scene involving the garbage bin made for quite the hilarity indeed. And while perhaps she doesn't always make the wisest choices in her eagerness to help solve the mystery, I just have to admire her courage and her refusal to let her age slow her down. I think there is a lesson somewhere in there for all of us.

Serena Jones (and her zany Aunt Martha) are sure to provide you with an entertaining ride with "Another Day, Another Dali". Those readers who love a fun mystery should be sure to grab a copy! I award this book a solid rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 



 about the author....


Sandra Orchard


Sandra Orchard is the award-winning author of several books, including the Port Aster Secrets series. The winner of five Canadian Christian Writing Awards and a Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award, Sandra has also received a HOLT Medallion Award of Merit, a National Readers' Choice Award, and a Daphne du Maurier Award. She lives in Ontario, Canada. Learn more at www.sandraorchard.com.






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