Monday, October 14, 2013

"The Captive Maiden" by Melanie Dickerson Book Review

Happily Ever After ...Or Happily Nevermore? Gisela's childhood was filled with laughter and visits from nobles such as the duke and his young son. But since her father's death, each day has been filled with nothing but servitude to her stepmother. So when Gisela learns the duke's son, Valten---the boy she has daydreamed about for years---is throwing a ball in hopes of finding a wife, she vows to find a way to attend, even if it's only for a taste of a life she'll never have. To her surprise, she catches Valten's eye. Though he is rough around the edges, Gisela finds Valten has completely captured her heart. But other forces are bent on keeping the two from falling further in love, putting Gisela in more danger than she ever imagined.

     The newest book from Melanie Dickerson releases soon and boy is it worth the wait! Another reinvented fairytale, this time with Cinderella. We meet Gisela as her father sells a horse from his carefully bred stock to the Duke's eldest son. She isn't happy that one of her favorite horses is leaving but she is entranced with the young man. Not long after her father dies and she is left at the whims of her step mother who treats her horribly. But at least she is still around her father's horses. She dreams of the young man but one day realizes that nothing can ever happen there because she is an orphan with nothing. Years pass...
      Melanie has done it again, woven a tale that is incredibly moving and amazing and taking a story that we all "know" so well and breathing new life into it. In this story we enter the world of jousting and tournaments and discovering God's purpose for your life. Gisela and Valten find that you must rely on God for deliverance because in our own strength it just isn't enough. 
      My favorite part of these books is how she weaves them all together. You don't have to read them in a series but it sure is fun if you do!
      I highly recommend the entire set of books (as my 17 year old daughter does too!) and just keep hoping that Melanie doesn't run out of fairytales anytime soon!

Friday, October 11, 2013

"Dark Justice" by Brandilyn Collins Book Review

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Dark Justice
B&H Books (October 1, 2013)
Brandilyn Collins


Brandilyn Collins is a best-selling novelist known for her trademark Seatbelt Suspense®. These harrowing crime thrillers have earned her the tagline "Don't forget to b r e a t h e . . ."® Brandilyn's first book, A Question of Innocence, was a true crime published by Avon in 1995. Its promotion landed her on local and national TV and radio, including the Phil Donahue and Leeza talk shows. Brandilyn's awards for her novels include the ACFW Carol Award (three times), Inspirational Readers' Choice, and Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice.

Brandilyn is also known for her distinctive book on fiction-writing techniques, Getting Into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn From Actors (John Wiley & Sons). The Writer magazine named Getting into Character one of the best books on writing published in 2002.

When she's not writing, Brandilyn can be found teaching the craft of fiction at writers' conferences.


If I’d had any idea what those words would mean to me, to my mother and daughter, I’d have fled California without looking back.

While driving a rural road, Hannah Shire and her aging mother, who suffers from dementia, stop to help a man at the scene of a car accident. The man whispers mysterious words in Hannah’s ear. Soon people want to kill Hannah and her mother for what they “know.” Even law enforcement may be involved.

The two women must flee for their lives. But how does Hannah hide her confused mother? Carol just wants to listen to her pop music, wear her favorite purple hat, and go home. And if they turn to Hannah’s twentyseven- year-old daughter, Emily, for help, will she fall into danger as well?

Pressed on all sides, Hannah must keep all three generations of women in her family alive. Only then does she learn the threat is not just to her loved ones, but the entire country . . .

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Dark Justice, HERE.

       My favorite book of Brandilyn Collins is Deadly Exposure. Hands down. Until now... kind of. I think this book holds a tight 2nd place spot to Deadly Exposure in my book. It grabbed my attention IMMEDIATELY and I was finished in about 24 hours. It called for me to put my life on hold while I followed Hannah as she tries to determine who the "Bad People" and the "Good People" are all the while she is most importantly trying to keep her elderly mother and her daughter safe as she unravels the mysterious video she is given from a dying man. It becomes harder and harder to do all of those things at the same time that everyone in the country thinks you are a murderer as bodies pile up and the police are looking for you. To top it off, there is a deadline on solving the mystery or the whole country could go black. No power. Chaos. Turmoil. Destruction. Definitely a deadline.

      The great thing about this book is that we keep going back and forth from present time to the action that occurred on the two days that changes Hannah's life. And when it's over, it doesn't end like you think, but it ends right. Very excellent!

Friday, October 4, 2013

"Class Reunion Series" by Debby Mayne - Book Reviews...

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Pretty is as Pretty Does (bk 1)
Bless Her Heart (bk 2)
Tickled Pink (bk 3)
Abingdon Press (June 1, 2013)
Debby Mayne


Debby Mayne is a best-selling author who has published more than 25 books and novellas, 400 short stories and articles, and devotions for women. She has also worked as managing editor of a national health magazine, product information writer for HSN, a creative writing instructor, and a copy editor and proofreader. Her novel, Love Finds You in Treasure Island, Florida received 4-1/2 stars from RT Book Review, and was named a Top Pick for the month of July. She and her husband Wally have two grown daughters, and live in Palm Harbor, Florida.


Priscilla Slater goes to her ten-year high school reunion with equal parts dread and eager anticipation. Even though she’s a successful owner of a chain of hair salons and no longer has the mousy brown hair, crooked teeth, and discount-store wardrobe, she still feels like the ugly duckling. But when she arrives at the reunion, Priscilla soon realizes that her old classmates aren’t exactly as she remembers them. With humor and a just a touch of sassiness, Priscilla finds herself facing her own truth—and she may be surprised at what she discovers.

As Priscilla Slater’s 15-year class reunion approaches, she decides to attend out of curiosity… and to flaunt her latest achievement—taking her business to a national level with the possibility of a TV show. As if getting ready for the event and putting up with the pranks of her former classmates isn’t enough, Priscilla’s hometown visit is further complicated by her parents’ separation. With the once-solid sanctuary of her home broken at the foundation, there’s only one thing Priscilla’s parents can agree on: no matter what sort of accolades their daughter receives as a hair stylist, she’s not living up to her potential. Eager to escape the painful reality of her childhood home, Priscilla bolts as soon as a call from New York brings good news: her offer to purchase one of the best salons in the country is likely to come through. But returning to New York means returning to Tim, Priscilla’s best friend and business pal who has been impatiently suggesting their relationship should be more than a friendship. Despite her recent achievements, will Priscilla learn that success doesn’t always result in popularity—or love?

Priscilla Slater shows up at her 20-year reunion as a national celebrity. Her hair salon dynasty has skyrocketed, and to top it off, she has her own line of hair products. She has become a huge success with the “Ms. Prissy Big Hair” line that lets women with the thinnest of locks get the coveted “big hair” look so popular in the South. Her classmates have finally come to terms with adulthood, but they’re handling it with the grace of a Southern woman wearing white after Labor Day. It’s just downright awkward! Asserting the maturity that her classmates have often lacked, Priscilla holds her head high. But she can’t ignore everything. When she catches her mother in the arms of her former high school principal, Priscilla can’t get out of town fast enough. Eager to get back to her more comfortable life, Priscilla runs head on into an ultimatum: Tim tells her they’re not getting any younger—as if she has to be reminded.

If you would like to read an excerpt from Pretty is as Pretty Does (bk 1), go HERE
JOIN THE PARTY! Now that all three books have released, let’s party! (Yes, really!) Join our online class reunion the week of October 7, 2013 on Debby Mayne’s Facebook Page: Stop by to answer questions about the books, respond to fun polls, join in fun activities to help you reminisce your high school days, and win great prizes. Tell your friends and meet us there!

      What a fun idea!!! Here is a set of 3 books that takes you through a 10 year, 15 year and 20 year class reunion with a batch of people (not necessarily friends...) that all went to school together. The cool thing is that we meet them in the first book and find out their personalities, who they were in high school, who they are now, where the drama in their lives is, and just why they feel the need to either stand up to who they were in high school or why they need to leave that behind. The "main" character is Priscilla who dropped out of college to own a hair salon that has turned into a chain. She is joined by a newer friend Tim, the only one who is a central character that actually did NOT go to school with everyone else. He just happens to be in love with Priscilla and will do anything to spend time with her including going to her high school reunions. Then there are all the secondary characters who lend lots of humor, drama and more drama to everything going on.
      I absolutely loved following everyone over the span of 10 years... it's not often you get to go that far in the lives of characters you become friends with. These are contemporary novels that are lots of fun. I would definitely start at the beginning and follow the whole journey, don't jump in the middle. You will enjoy this series!