Thursday, February 28, 2013

"Flora's Wish" Book Review

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Flora's Wish
Harvest House Publishers (February 1, 2013)
Kathleen Y'Barbo

      This book took me a little while to get into, but once I realized that I really liked Flora and Lucas was a likeable guy then I got drawn in to a really fun story. I love the whole Pinkerton detective aspect of everything and found myself trying to figure out who the real bad guy was along with Flora. Lucas and Flora are well matched but the question is, will they figure out they are a good match or will they both be too stubborn to do something before it is too late? The start was slow, but the end was riveting. A solid addition to my collection of Kathleen Y'Barbo books.


RITA and Carol award nominee Kathleen Y’Barbo is the best-selling, award-winning author of more than forty novels, novellas, and young adult books. In all, more than one million copies of her books are currently in print in the US and abroad, and her books have been translated into Dutch, German, and Spanish, to name a few.

Kathleen is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. She holds a BBA from Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School and a certification in Paralegal Studies, and is a former member of the Texas Bar Association’s Paralegal Division.

A tenth-generation Texan, Kathleen Y’Barbo has four children of her own as well as seven bonus kids she gladly inherited when she married her own hero in combat boots. Kathleen is proud to be a military wife, even if it did mean giving up her Texas drivers license.


May 1887--Flora Brimm is determined the fifth time is the charm. Back home she has a reputation as "Fatal Flora," a woman whose previous four fianc├ęs died in untimely accidents. Flora is desperate to marry, because producing an heir is the only way she can keep her family's estate. She's confident this visit to Eureka Springs with her grandmother will help her land a husband.

Pinkerton detective Lucas McMinn is hot on the trail of Will Tucker, the thief who broke his sister's heart. When he discovers the slippery fellow with Flora, he thinks they are in on the devious plot together. Will Flora be able to convince Lucas of her innocence? Will Lucas catch the elusive Mr. Tucker?

And, more importantly, will Lucas survive if he pursues Flora's heart?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Flora's Wish, go HERE.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

"Picture Perfect" Book Review


by Janice Thompson 

Feisty wedding photographer Hannah McDermott has dealt with her share of difficult brides. But none can compare to the ultimate Bridezilla she's dealing with now. Still, she's trying desperately to impress Bella Neeley, Galveston Island's most sought-after wedding planner, so she can take the top spot in Bella's list of recommended photographers--a spot currently occupied by her arch-rival, Drew Kincaid. What she doesn't count on, however, is falling head over heels for the competition.

With her contagious humor and cast of quirky characters, Janice Thompson gives readers more of the bridal business drama they want in a brand-new series all about those long-suffering people who make beautiful weddings happen. Readers are desperately waiting for more of Bella and this new series brings her back in a big way, while introducing new characters fans will love. Fans will laugh out loud as they experience this breezy and entertaining novel from a great storyteller.

      One of my favorite series is the Weddings by Bella series by Janice Thompson. When I found out that Bella was coming back in this new Weddings by Design series I was soooooo excited! She isn't the main character but she is more than a cameo and I couldn't be happier. We get Bella back AND some new starring characters along with all our old favorites. This series is sheer genius and I can NOT wait for books #2 and #3. I just don't think it can get any better than this!
      Hannah and Drew make great rivals but even better potential romance interests but how long will it take Hannah to figure that out? Bridezilla is chomping at the bit, having her own storefront for her photography business isn't all its cracked up to be and Hannah just doesn't know how it is all going to work out or if she will just have to throw the towel in. It sure is fun to go along for the ride while she figures it all out! 

Available February 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Monday, February 18, 2013

"For Love of Eli" Book Review

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
For Love of Eli
Abingdon Press (February 1, 2013)
Loree Lough

      Loree Lough crafts a beautiful story of sacrifice and love in For Love of Eli. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book and these characters. I was touched by this story of Eli and the two care givers that love him and want the very best for him. Taylor is a wonderful lady, almost too wonderful but not quite, who truly wants Eli to have the best relationship with his Uncle Reece as possible. Uncle Reece on the other hand is pretty bitter at how things worked out and his one soft spot is Eli. He would do anything for Eli. Taylor and Reece's shared love for Eli becomes their bond but is it enough to bring them together. As Taylor crafts a quilt for Eli with pieces of his past, the future is being knit together. It is really a precious story that I really enjoyed reading. 


With more than FOUR MILLION copies of her books in circulation, Loree has 98 books (fiction and non-fiction for kids and adults; four novels optioned for movies; more books slated for release between now and 2014), 68 short stories, over 2,500+ articles in print, and over 19,000 letters from fans!

Loree loves sharing learned-the-hard-way lessons about the craft and the industry, and her comedic approach makes her a favorite (and frequent) guest of writers' organizations, book clubs, private and government institutions, college and high school writing programs both here and abroad.

A writer who believes in "giving back," Loree dedicates a portion of her income to Soldiers' Angels, Special Operations Warrior Foundation, and other worthwhile organizations.

She splits her time between a tiny home in the Baltimore suburbs and an even tinier cabin in the Allegheny Mountains, and shares both with her real-life hero Larry, who rarely complains, even when she adds yet another item to her vast collection of "wolf stuff."


When unspeakable tragedy leaves young Eli an orphan, two families are devastated. But Taylor, Eli’s aunt and legal guardian, vows to help him remember his parents by creating a Memory Quilt. As she begins piecing together the moments of his parents' lives, the story of the young family emerges and Taylor and Eli begin to heal. But Eli’s uncle Reece is slow to let go of the past and still blames Taylor’s brother for his sister’s death. So, although he has long been attracted to Taylor, Reece keeps a safe distance away. Can their shared love for Eli pave the way to forgiveness or will Taylor and Reece be separated by pain?

If you would like to read a first chapter excerpt of For Love of Eli, go HERE.

"Shattered" Book Review

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Bethany House Publishers (February 1, 2013)
Dani Pettrey

       When I read Submerged I was amazed at the originality that Dani Pettrey packed into that book. Amazing characters, a driven storyline and twists that I didn't anticipate. So I was looking forward to seeing if Dani could make lightning strike twice with Shattered. I was so pleased to see that she did.
        She brings back the characters from Yancey, Alaska with emphasis on Piper and Landon, with Reef in big trouble, instead of Bailey and Cole - although they are back in the middle of everything. This book is packed with romance but in a very action packed way. I loved the mystery behind the murder. Did Reef do it? Should we believe his cries of innocence? If Piper is right to believe him then who did commit murder and why? And with the Sheriff being on the fast track to finding Reef guilty they don't have any time to lose. Along the way is it possible that Piper and Landon will finally wake up to their feelings for each other? The ride to getting to the end is a roller coaster that you don't want to miss. I am really looking forward to the third book in this series. 


In real life, Dani Pettrey is a wife, homeschooling mom and author. She feels blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporates so many things she loves–the thrill of adventure, nail-biting suspense, the deepening of one’s faith and plenty of romance. She’s a huge fan of dark chocolate, is always in search of the best iced mocha and her dream is to one day own a little cottage on a remote stretch of beach. She and her husband reside in Maryland with their two teenage daughters.

Just in case you’re curious…The real Dani does love traveling. She’s been to some amazing places (Greece, Hawaii, the Keys) and there are many more she hopes to visit in the future.

And while she’s not quite up to sky-diving, cave diving or heli-skiing (too high, too enclosed, too cold!) she and her family love hiking, canoeing, wave jumping and a ton of other outdoor adventures a little further down on the risk scale.

Dani is the acclaimed author of the romantic suspense series Alaskan Courage, which includes her bestselling debut novel Submerged and latest release Shattered. She feels blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporates so many things she loves–the thrill of adventure, nail biting suspense, the deepening of her characters’ faith, and plenty of romance. She and her husband reside in Maryland with their two teenage daughters.


Piper McKenna couldn't be more thrilled that her prodigal brother, Reef, has returned to Yancey, Alaska, after five years. But her happiness is short-lived when Reef appears at her house covered in blood. A fellow snowboarder has been killed--but despite the evidence, Reef swears he's innocent. And Piper believes him.

Deputy Landon Grainger loves the McKennas like family, but he's also sworn to find the truth. Piper is frustrated with his need for facts over faith, but he knows those closest to you have the power to deceive you the most. With his sheriff pushing for a quick conviction, some unexpected leads complicate the investigation, and pursuing the truth may mean risking Landon's career.

With Piper waging her own search, the two head deep into Canada's rugged backcountry--and unexpected complications. Not only does their long friendship seem to be turning into something more, but this dangerous case is becoming deadlier with each step.

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

Sunday, February 17, 2013

"Rebekah" Book Review


by Jill Eileen Smith 

When her father dies and she is left in the care of her conniving brother Laban, Rebekah knows her life has changed forever. Her hope for the future is restored when she falls in love with her cousin Isaac, and their relationship starts strong. But marital bliss cannot last forever, and the birth of their twin sons marks the beginning of years of misunderstanding, disagreement, and betrayal. The rift between them grows wider and wider until it is surely too deep to be mended. And yet, with God all things are possible.

Join bestselling author Jill Eileen Smith as she fills in the blanks around the biblical women behind the men we know well. Her in-depth research and creative storytelling bring Rebekah's unique story alive with romance, heartache, and the power of forgiveness.

     Jill Eileen Smith is a master of Biblical fiction. She can take a childhood, Sunday School story and bring it to life with characters and motivation, vivid settings and twists that make you look at everything about the story in a fresh way. She is my go-to Biblical fiction writer and I always look forward to her next book. I have always loved the story of Rebekah and couldn't wait to see how she breathed life into it. 
      Rebekah is a strong woman at the mercy of her brother Laban's whims when it comes to finding her a husband. Just when things look really bad, God intervenes when Isaac's servant show up with a marriage proposal for his master. I'm not going to explain the story to you, but I will tell you why you should read it. What I love is that Jill doesn't change the story, she just makes you really dig into the culture of the time and explains a lot of the hows and whys things might have been that way back then. And she does it expertly. I know some people don't like Biblical fiction but I encourage you to try Jill Eileen's books and see if she doesn't turn you over to my side!  

***Available February 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Monday, February 11, 2013

"The Fairest Beauty" Book Review


A daring rescue. A difficult choice. Sophie desperately wants to get away from her stepmother's jealousy, and believes escape is her only chance to be happy. Then a young man named Gabe arrives from Hagenheim Castle, claiming she is betrothed to his older brother, and everything twists upside down. This could be Sophie's one chance at freedom---but can she trust another person to keep her safe? Gabe defied his parents Rose and Wilhelm by going to find Sophie, and now he believes they had a right to worry: the girl's inner and outer beauty has enchanted him. Though romance is impossible---she is his brother's future wife, and Gabe himself is betrothed to someone else---he promises himself he will see the mission through, no matter what. When the pair flee to the Cottage of the Seven, they find help---but also find their feelings for each other have grown. Now both must not only protect each other from the dangers around them---they must also protect their hearts.

     Ah yes, I have a short list of authors that I anxiously await new releases from and Melanie Dickerson has pushed herself to the top part of that list because of the way she has been taking the fairy tales of my childhood and is reinventing them into these amazing stories that move me emotionally. I love the first two, but Snow White has always been a favorite for me and so this story was definitely anticipated! It does not disappoint. I love the way she turns this classic into a story that I enjoyed in a fresh, new way. Gabe and Sophie are strong characters that aren't promised to each other, but they just might be destined for each other... or are they? And the seven - LOVE how that happens! The tie in back to The Healer's Apprentice is fantastic and left me smiling and satisfied. What a great book, be sure to read all of Melanie's books!

This book is so good that I bought 6 copies to give to friends! 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

"A New Home For Lily" Book Review


       I love the way this series of books reminds of the style of the Grandma's Attic books from when I was a kid. The storyline through the book is the continuous but each chapter kind of stands on its own too - I love that! This book is fun but touching at the same time. There is a chapter where Lily gets a new doll that she is so excited about but... well, let's just say that I was very moved during that chapter and almost wanted to quit reading the book because of how emotionally attached I was getting with Lily and her desires. But the way this book really gives us a glimpse inside the way the Amish community works is amazing. I can't wait for my girls to read this book. It is really good.  

Lily Lapp is moving with her family to Pennsylvania to join a new Amish community. In this small town where changes--and newcomers--are greeted with suspicion, Lily must adjust to a new school, new friends, and Aaron Yoder, an annoying boy who teases her relentlessly. Still, there are exciting new developments, including an attic full of adventure and a new baby brother. But why, Lily wonders, can't God bring her just one sister?

The second novel in the charming Adventures of Lily Lapp series, A New Home for Lily gives children ages 8-12 a fascinating glimpse into the life of the Amish--and lots of fun and laughter along the way. It combines the real-life stories of growing up Amish from Mary Ann Kinsinger and the bestselling writing of Amish fiction and nonfiction author Suzanne Woods Fisher. With line illustrations throughout, this series is sure to capture the hearts of readers young and old.

*** Available February 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.***

Thursday, February 7, 2013

"Unbreakable" Book Review

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Bethany House Publishers (February 1, 2013)
Nancy Mehl

      This is the second book in this series and I am loving it! The first book was wonderful and the second book brings back all the characters from Kingdom as they are being preyed upon and put in danger. We got an insight into Hope Kauffman and her father and yet we still got to catch up with Lizzie from book one. One of the best things about Unbreakable is that I wasn't sure until the end of the book who Hope would fall for. Ebbie or Jonathan... it was back and forth the whole time - not predictable like a lot of books I've been reading. And Nancy does a great job with the mystery aspect of the book, I had my suspicions about who was doing the terrorizing and killing, but I wasn't sure and I was only partly right. I am really looking forward to another visit to Kingdom with book three.


Nancy Mehl lives in Wichita, Kansas with her husband Norman and their dog, Watson. She’s authored thirteen books and is currently at work on her newest series for Bethany House Publishing.

All of Nancy’s novels have an added touch – something for your spirit as well as your soul. “I welcome the opportunity to share my faith through my writing,” Nancy says. “It’s a part of me and of everything I think or do. God is number one in my life. I wouldn’t be writing at all if I didn’t believe that this is what He’s called me to do. I hope everyone who reads my books will walk away with the most important message I can give them: God is good, and He loves you more than you can imagine. He has a good plan especially for your life, and there is nothing you can’t overcome with His help.”

She and her husband attend Believer’s Tabernacle in Wichita.


Mennonite Romantic Suspense Sure to Thrill Readers

Gentle and unassuming Hope Kauffman has never been one to question or try to make changes. She quietly helps her father run Kingdom Quilts and has agreed to the betrothal her father arranged for her with the devout but shy Ebbie Miller.

Despite Hope's and other Kingdom residents' attempts to maintain the status quo, changes have already begun to stir in the small Mennonite town. The handsome and charismatic Jonathon Wiese is the leader of the move to reform, and when one of Kingdom's own is threatened by a mysterious outsider, Jonathon is one of the first to push for the town to arm itself. Hope's fiance, Ebbie, is at the forefront of those demanding the town stay true to its traditions of nonviolence.

When strange incidents around town result in outright attacks on several townspeople, Hope can't help but question what she's always been taught. As the town that's always stood so strong together is torn apart at the seams, Hope is caught between opposing sides, both represented by those she has come to care for. With tensions high and lives endangered by an unknown threat, Hope fears Kingdom can never survive in one piece.

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