Category Archives: Christian

Book Review: The Promise @bethwiseman

ThePromiseTitle: The Promise
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Author: Beth Wiseman
Genre: Christian, Women’s Fiction

★ ☆★ ☆★ – 5 Stars!

Summary
Mallory’s search for happiness leads her to faraway place. But there she finds heartache and betrayal. Can the only man she’s ever loved rescue her before it’s too late?

Tate Webber has loved Mallory Hammond for years. He plans to marry her someday, but not until he has his career and life in order. Mallory is in love with Tate, but his unwillingness to commit has created a rift between them. So when Mallory’s new boss introduces her to his cousin, she’s surprised by his charming, exotic ways and delights in his attention. This exciting stranger begins to sway her thinking about her lifelong dreams and her religious beliefs.

As their online relationship develops, he invites her to visit his homeland in the Middle East, promising her a traditional life based on commitment to family-something she’s never had and always wanted. In a bold move-and with lots of resistance from Tate and those closest to her-Mallory decides to leave the only life she’s ever known to meet this man on the other side of the world.

Tate begs her not to go, but Mallory embarks on the dangerous journey anyway, only to discover how swiftly and easily promises can be broken. Her new friend is not who he says he is. Tate must risk his life to rescue the only woman he’s ever loved. Can he reach Mallory . . . before it’s too late?

Review
Floored is an understatement. I am in awe as I sit here to type my review. This book had me wanting to know more, it kept my eyes moving with the action in the words. I wanted to did sit, in one sitting, just to finish the book, and to say I finished it in a day is unbelievable, but I did it.
I couldn’t believe at all the things each character went throughout the book, but for this to be based on a true story… wow!
I loved the fact that we got to understand more about life overseas, and what they have to endure. I couldn’t imagine the lifestyle there, it really brings everything into prescriptive on how much we have it made in America. It also brings to light of the not so good, and how much the internet can lie to us.
The Promise is just brilliantly done, and I can not put into words how much it meant for me to read such an incredible story. My niece even looked at me to say, “Wow, you must really like that book. You are so into it”
I would definitely recommend this book if you like a mystery, true story based events, and are looking for some action. Will definitely be looking for more of Beth’s work.

About the Author
BethAward-winning, bestselling author Beth Wiseman is best known for her Amish novels, but she has also written several successful contemporary novels, set primarily in her beloved Texas, including Need You Now and The House that Love Built. Both have received glowing reviews. Beth’s The Promise is inspired by a true story.

 

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More about The Promise: http://bethwiseman.com/news-media/

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Review: The Dawn of Christmas @cindywoodsmall

TheDawnofChristmasTitle: The Dawn of Christmas: A Romance from the heart of Amish Country
Publisher: WaterBrook Press
Author: Cindy Woodsmall
Genre: Holiday, Christian Fiction
Series: Apple Ridge, Book 3

★ ☆★ ☆ – 4 Stars

Summary
This Christmas, experience learning to trust alongside the Plain folk of Apple Ridge, Pennsylvania in this heart-warming tale of second chances.

Sadie enjoys her freedom away from home and her mission trips to Peru, but after four years, her Old Order Amish family insists it’s time to come home and settle down. Levi, a bachelor who distrusts women after a family heartbreak, also has no desire for romance. To keep their families from meddling in their lives, Sadie and Levi devise a plan—but soon discover that the walls around their hearts are breaking down. Can they let go of their prejudices, learn to trust each other, and embrace a future together?

Review
Sadie sees with her eyes that her fiancé may not be as perfect as she thought, and isn’t the man she wants to marry. People close to her think she has lied, or have been “seeing” things that wasn’t there between her future husband, and the other girl. Sadie was crushed, and thought marriage would never be something to think about again.
Sadie meets Levi when she found his horse, and later found him. Levi was hurt badly, and Sadie saved his life. Sadie and Levi become friends, they decided they would “date” to keep their families quiet about the dating/ courtship life.
Sadie wants to go into Mission work, but her family wants her to marry into the Amish faith, get married and raise a family of her own.
I recommend you grab this easy, fun read. Find out for yourself what happens, and how the story plays out. You won’t be disappointed, and neither was I.

About the Author
CindyWCindy Woodsmall is a New York Times best-selling author who has written six novels, three novellas, and Plain Wisdom, a work of nonfiction coauthored with her dearest Old Order Amish friend, Miriam Flaud. She’s been featured on ABC Nightline and the front page of the Wall Street Journal, and has worked with National Geographic on a documentary concerning Amish life.

She’s won Fiction Book of the Year, Reviewer’s Choice Awards, Inspirational Reader’s Choice Contest, as well as one of Crossings’ Best Books of the Year. She’s been a finalist for the prestigious Christy, Rita, and Carol Awards, Christian Book of the Year, and Christian Retailers Choice Awards.

Her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families enrich her novels with authenticity. Though she didn’t realize it at the time, seeds were sown years ago that began preparing Cindy to write these books. At the age of ten, while living in the dairy country of Maryland, she became best friends with Luann, a Plain Mennonite girl. Luann, like all the females in her family, wore the prayer Kapp and cape dresses. Her parents didn’t allow television or radios, and many other modern conveniences were frowned upon. During the numerous times Luann came to Cindy’s house to spend the night, her rules came with her and the two were careful to obey them—afraid that if they didn’t, the adults would end their friendship. Although the rules were much easier to keep when they spent the night at Luann’s because her family didn’t own any of the forbidden items, both sets of parents were uncomfortable with the relationship and a small infraction of any kind would have been enough reason for the parents to end the relationship. While navigating around the adults’ disapproval and the obstacles in each other’s lifestyle, the two girls bonded in true friendship that lasted into their teen years, until Cindy’s family moved to another region of the US.

As an adult, Cindy became friends with a wonderful Old Order Amish family who opened their home to her. Although the two women, Miriam and Cindy, live seven hundred miles apart geographically, and a century apart by customs, when they come together they never lack for commonality, laughter, and dreams of what only God can accomplish through His children. Over the years Cindy has continued to make wonderful friendships with those inside the Amish and Mennonite communities—from the most conservative ones to the most liberal.

Cindy lives in Georgia with her husband, three sons, two daughters-in-law, a new granddaughter, and a dog named Jersey who wants to dominate the world, starting with the Woodsmall household.

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Disclosure: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group/Blogging For Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

 

Review: Fifteen Minutes

fifteenminutesPublisher: Howard Books
Author: Karen Kingsbury
Genre: Christian Fiction
Review Source: Library

★ ☆★ – 3 Stars

Summary
Zack Dylan made a promise to God and his college sweetheart as he left his family’s horse farm in Kentucky to compete on the popular reality television show Fifteen Minutes: If he makes it, the fame won’t change him.
Overnight, Zack is the nation’s most popular contestant, a country singer with the looks and voice of a young Elvis. As his star rises, Zack is asked to compromise and quiet his beliefs, and also something more. Just as America is falling in love with Zack, just as he’s on the verge of winning it all, his choices lead him to the brink of personal disaster.
At the same time, Reese Weatherly, a therapeutic horse instructor, is no longer sure about her relationship with Zack, or the wedding they had dreamed about. While Zack advances from one round of the competition to the next, an offer comes to Reese–one that will take her to a home halfway around the world.
Then Chandra Olson–reigning diva pop star and one of the Fifteen Minutes judges–intervenes. Chandra has suffered so much public pain and private agony since her days as a Fifteen Minutes contestant. Now she wants just one thing: meaning.
Can Chandra’s private losses help Zack find his way, or will his fifteen minutes of fame cause him to lose the life he once loved? Fifteen Minutes is a story of character, compromise, and the cost of having it all. A story that raises the question: Who are the real winners?

Review
I think WordPress (or me) went crazy tonight. I am trying to figure it out. I thought I had this review made out, but mehhh, Things happen! Here is it now though 🙂
I seen this book a lot through the web the last couple of weeks. I knew I wanted to get my hands on it when I saw it sitting on the New Release stand at the library, I am so glad I did! This book was good. I am so glad I got to read it. Fifteen Minutes was different from my normal reads, but most of the books I read come from my inner-self of give that book a shot.
Zack Dylan knows he wants to sing, and save his farm. He heads off to Atlanta to audition of Fifteen Minutes. Constantly Zack is reminding himself, and others that he won’t let the spotlight get to him and that he will shine for God. However, Zack is blinded I guess.
Zack gets warned about a lot of things, but it is like he doesn’t want to hear it, or doesn’t want to see the truth, but yet he prayed for God to show him.
There was a lot to this book that made me want to stop reading it. A lot of things was predictable. The book is like reading about American Idol, or The Voice transcript. Of course, most common sense people would know that TV shows are staged, and they make things happen. I did enjoy the read, but it wasn’t one of the best reads. Would I read it again? Probably not. Would I recommend it to someone? I dunno, I guess it all depended on the person I was talking to. Would I try the author again? Absolutely.

“Well…” His grandpa was quiet. “The situation with AJ isn’t an emergency.” He hesitated. “Whatever God tells you… just do that, son.”
Tension tightened its grip on Zack’s soul. “I’m trying. He keeps moving me on to the next round.”
“Sometimes God’s voice is hard to hear over the world”
“Yes.” The city was louder now. Zack had to yell to be heard. The noise drove home his grandpa’s point. “Thank you. For reminding me.” ~pg. 233

About the Author
USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury is America’s #1 inspirational novelist. There are more than 15 million copies of her award-winning books in print, including several million copies sold in the past year. Karen has written more than 40 novels, ten of which have hit #1 on national lists.
Karen has a true love for her readers, and she has nearly 100,000 friends on Facebook along with more than 7,500 followers on Twitter. The popular social networking sites have allowed Karen daily interaction with her reader friends.
Karen is best known for her Life-Changing Fiction (TM) and for creating unforgettable characters. When speaking before women’s groups – some with more than 10,000 in attendance – Karen makes audiences laugh and cry with her compelling story-telling. She likes to tell attendees they have, “One chance to write the story of their lives,” and her talk focuses on reminding women to live every day loving well, laughing often, and finding true life in Jesus Christ. Karen routinely speaks before more than 100,000 women each year.

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Disclosure: I received this book from the library. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Review: Undeniably Yours

Undeniably YoursPublisher: Bethany House
Author: Becky Wade
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Christian Fiction
Series: A Porter Family Novel #1
Review Source: NetGalley/Bethany House

★ ☆★ ☆ – 4 Stars

Summary
When Meg Cole’s father dies unexpectedly, she becomes the majority shareholder of his oil company and the single inheritor of his fortune. Though Meg is soft-spoken and tenderhearted–more interested in art than in oil–she’s forced to return home to Texas and to Whispering Creek Ranch to take up the reins of her father’s empire.
The last thing she has the patience or the sanity to deal with? Her father’s thoroughbred racehorse farm. She gives its manager, Bo Porter, six months to close the place down.
Bo’s determined to resent the woman who’s decided to rob him of his dream. But instead of anger, Meg evokes within him a profound desire to protect. The more time he spends with her, the more he longs to overcome every obstacle that separates them–her wealth, his unworthiness, her family’s outrage–and earn the right to love her.
But just when Meg begins to realize that Bo might be the one thing on the ranch worth keeping, their fragile bond is viciously broken by a force from Meg’s past. Can their love–and their belief that God can work through every circumstance–survive?

Review
I am so grateful that I got to finish this book. I got this book back in the spring, and I wanted to read it. Yeah, I know I shouldn’t wait so long especially with NetGalley, but medical issues arose. I am so GLAD I did!
Anyway, the characters in this read are truly genuine. They become more than just a storyline. Bo has a sense of venerability; he thinks about Meg, and it is more than just “thinking” about her, but about her needs. Such a sweet love story, and so romantic. There is just enough drama in the book to hold your attention, but a lot more love than just what develops in a typical “romance”, especially when Meg’s sociopathic ex-husband was added. The story is great for anyone! I would highly recommend especially if you are into contemporary romances like me. Now the wait for the continuing series.

About the Author
During her childhood in California, Becky frequently produced homemade plays starring her sisters, friends, and cousins. These plays almost always featured a heroine, a prince, and a love story with a happy ending. She’s been a fan of all things romantic ever since.
Becky and her husband lived overseas in the Caribbean and Australia before settling in Dallas, Texas. It was during her years abroad that Becky’s passion for reading turned into a passion for writing. She published three historical romances with Avon Books, then put her career on hold for several years to care for her three kids, then recently returned to writing sheerly for the love of it. She felt led to move to the genre of contemporary Christian romance and couldn’t be more thrilled with it.
These days Becky can be found failing but trying to keep up with her housework, sweating at the gym, carting her kids around town, playing tennis, hunched over her computer, eating chocolate, or collapsed on the sofa watching TV with her husband.

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Review: A Matter of Trust

Matter of TrustPublisher: Thomas Nelson
Author: Lis Wiehl
Contributor: April Henry
Genre: Christian Fiction, Mystery & Suspense
Series: A Mia Quinn Mystery #1
Review Source: BookSneeze

★ ☆★ ☆★ – 5 Stars!

Summary: (Goodreads)
When life is murder, who can you trust?

One minute Mia Quinn is in her basement, chatting on the phone with a colleague at the prosecutor’s office. The next minute there’s a gunshot over the line, and Mia listens in horror as her colleague and friend Colleen bleeds to death.
Mia’s a natural for heading up the murder investigation, but these days she has all she can do to hold her life together. As a new widow with a pile of debts, a troubled teenaged son, and a four-year-old who wakes up screaming at night, she needs more time with her family, not less–and working Colleen’s case will be especially demanding. But Colleen was her friend, and she needs to keep her job. So she reluctantly teams up with detective Charlie Carlson to investigate Colleen’s death. But the deeper they dig, the more complications unfold–even the unsettling possibility that someone may be coming after her.
Lis Wiehl’s signature plot twists and relatable characters shine in this absorbing series debut . . . with an intriguing cameo from her best-selling Triple Threat series.

My Review:
This is a book you will want to read all in one day. It was so hard for me to put down. The first few pages have you wanting more so fun of intensity, then you are so far into the book that you just have to keep going and going.. well, you get the point.
The mystery was very well written. I loved how in depth she took us, and how everything tied together even threw every twist she brought to the book. I can’t imagine what the other books in this series will be like. If they are anything like this book they will be absolutely worth the money spent!
Lis has a beautiful writing technique, the words run smoothly, and there is so much open for your imagination as the story plays out in front of your eyes. The characters are relatable; their stories and emotions are real. Although the murder of Colleen is the central plot, this book tackles bullying and secrets, making A Matter of Trust a little more challenging than just a great mystery.

About the Author & Contributor:
Lis Wiehl is the author “Face of Betrayal,” a New York Times Best Seller.
She has also written “Winning Every Time: How to Use the Skills of a Lawyer in the Trials of Your Life” and “The 51% Minority: How Women Still Are Not Equal and What You Can Do About It.”
In addition to her written work, Wiehl is currently a legal analyst for Fox News. She has been with the network since 2001.
A graduate of Harvard Law School, Wiehl is an adjunct professor at New York Law School.

April Henry writes mysteries and thrillers. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her family. If you’ve read one of her books, she would love to hear from you. Hearing from her readers makes her eager to keep writing.
When she was 12, she sent a short story about a six-foot tall frog who loved peanut butter to Roald Dahl, the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He liked it so much he arranged to have it published in an international children’s magazine.
Her dream of writing went dormant until she was in her 30s, working at a corporate job, and started writing books on the side. Those first few years are now thankfully a blur. Now she is very lucky to make a living doing what she loves. She has written 13 novels for adults and teens, with more on the way. Her books have gotten starred reviews, been picked for Booksense, translated into six languages, been named to state reading lists, and short-listed for the Oregon Book Award.
She also reviews YA literature and mysteries and thrillers for the Oregonian, and has written articles for both The Writer and Writers Digest.

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I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Firefly Island

Firefly IslandPublisher: Baker Publishing Group
Author: Lisa Wingate
Genre: Fiction/Christian, Contemporary/Romance
Series: Moses Lake #3
Review Source: NetGalley

★ ☆★ ☆★ – 5 Stars!

Summary: (Goodreads)
Lisa Wingate Is a Top Name in Inspirational Contemporary Romance
At thirty-four, congressional staffer Mallory Hale is about to embark on an adventure completely off the map. After a whirlwind romance, she is hopelessly in love with two men–fortunately, they’re related. Daniel Everson and his little boy, Nick, are a package deal, and Mallory suddenly can’t imagine her future without them.
Mallory couldn’t be more shocked when Daniel asks her to marry him, move to Texas, and form a family with him and motherless Nick. The idea is both thrilling and terrifying.
Mallory takes a leap of faith and begins a sweet, mishap-filled journey into ranch living, Moses Lake society, and a marriage that at times reminds her of the mail-order-bride stories. But despite the wild adventure of her new life, she discovers secrets and questions beneath her rosy new life. Can she find answers on Firefly Island, a little chunk of property just off the lakeshore, where mysterious lights glisten at night?

My Review:
Wow, never thought I would be sucked into the book from page one! I absolutely loved this book, and wished I did not miss the other two books in the series. Lisa catches your attention with her writing her details are awesome!
Mallory and Nick are the main focal point in this book. Mallory not only becomes a new wife, but a mother, as she adapts to her surroundings, you can understand the humor side of everything. She is so heartfelt, and her character is so down to earth. She takes on everything full force, even with her husband Nick by her side.
Nick is so sweet, and surreal. Nick’s boss makes the book a mystery that you never thought you would end up on, and for me that was the page-turner in itself. I would definitely recommend this book!

About the Author:
Lisa Wingate is a popular inspirational speaker, magazine columnist, and national bestselling author of several books, including Tending Roses, Talk of the Town, Blue Moon Bay, and Larkspur Cove, which won the 2011 Carol Award for Women’s Fiction. Lisa and her family live in central Texas.

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Disclosure: I received this book for free from NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.