Sunday, April 28, 2013

Poison by Jordyn Redwood- Exciting, Riveting and Mysterious!

In the mask of inescapable darkness fear feeds the unknown.

Keelyn, volunteer for a domestic violence shelter, is warned not to search for her missing sister Raven or Raven's young daughter.
Nathan Long, FBI Agent, works diligently to solve the puzzle that has long been unsolved. Lives hang while the clock constantly ticks leaving in its wake the relentless work of one evil entity. While Keelyn meets once again with the object of much frustration and horror, clear frustration arises. Will the detectives crack the case or will the crime remain a mystery?

A novel of high suspense, intrigue and mystery. Could not put this book down and although it is part of a series it can certainly be read as a stand alone novel, as I have not read the first one to date, Proof. Unending twists, turns and readblocks tantalize and delight mystery and suspense fans alike. Well formed characters were easy to get to know, balanced and smooth flowing progressive polt, and true to life scenery bring readers an extremely well written novel and one that ultimately promises no dull or broken parts. Well done! I was entertained by this book and will recommend it to others. I received a complimentary copy from Kregel Publications for my review.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

In Broken Places by Michele Phoenix

Sometimes worthwhile blessings come in tiny measurements.

Shelby enroute to Germany begins a new life with relatives to pursue a teaching career. She longs to escape the life in her past, the hurt and the haunting pain of impossibilities. Trey, Shelby's brother who creates art with food is a lighted reality in the shattered darkness. Shelby has been named guardian for 4 yr old Shayla, a child who hold secrets, as together they both discover challenges as well as joys can lie ahead.

Heartbreak, uncertainty, humor, love and reality pepper this unforgettable and hard to put down book. Included in the storyline are flashbacks and glimses into the abusive life that surrounded Shelby and Trey bringing their characters full circle. I found this book brought emotions to life for me as the characters took on meaningful and easy to relate to status. Very descriptive scenery and smooth flowing plot with absolutely no dull or broken parts. Enjoyed every minute spent in this faith challenging and realistic read. Very well written and I will recommend this book to others and especially to those who cope with challenging memories. I received a complimentary copy from Tyndale House Publishers for my review.
Mich�le Phoenix

Born in France to an American mother and a Canadian father, Michele Phoenix is an international writer with multi-cultural sensitivities. A graduate of Wheaton College, she taught writing, music, and theater at the boarding school for missionaries' children she attended as a teenager. She currently works for Global Outreach Mission as an advocate for Third Culture Kids, helping them transition back into North American culture and educating stateside churches and missions about the special needs of this people group.
Michele lives in Wheaton, Illinois.
Visit for more information.

The Gate by Dann A Stouten- Unforgettable Read!

Cover Art

In this point of time can one really know what the future holds?

On a trip excursion with his wife Carol, and their two daughters, Sky sets off alone to explore. He happens upon a open house with a welcoming front door and a charming gate. He hesitates but decides to attend. Someone opens the door to welcome him whom he thinks is a real estate agent, but in reality the person was someone else indeed. A once in a lifetime encounter, or is it?

A journey of not expecting the unexpected. Sky's experiences could be lessons for us as well. A hard to put down novel from the beginning will cause the reader to ponder and think. Contains reminiscing, a bit of family history and great faith from some unforgettable personalities. Excellent character representations and formation they seem very real, storyline was easy to follow and contains well written shifts from the present to the past, plot contained no dull or dragging parts, and scenery was very descriptive and could be thought of as an actual place would make a fantastic movie! I was moved and entertained by this faith challenging and inspiring real. A novel that could be enjoyed by male and female and one that I will recommend to others. Well done first novel! I received a complimentary copy from Revell Publishing for this blog tour for my review.

Dann A. Stouten

Dann A. Stouten

Dann A. Stouten is senior pastor of Community Reformed Church in Zeeland, Michigan, one of the fastest-growing churches on the West Michigan lakeshore. After a highly successful career in the auto industry, Dann returned to school and earned his DMin in narrative preaching. This is his first novel.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Love At Any Cost by Julie Lessman- Simply Delightful!

Cover Art

Sometimes in desperation the heart works to change the mind.

Spunky Cassidy McClure has a chance encounter of the "bumping into" kind by handsome attorney Jamie MacKenna on the way to see his sister off on the train.
Heiress to the wealth that oil brings Cassie finds herself on the other side of the stable. When Jamie decides that he might want to get to know Cassie better she is not receptive to his plans. Will the heart be softened or will the past great the present?
Cassie's aunt Caitlyn and Logan have a history together but can familiar hearts and lives be rekindled?

Secrets, surprises, romance and heartbreak make up this simply delightful and fun to read novel. Complete with a sassy bird named Miss B. the author will have you laughing, contemplating, hanging onto every word and connecting with down to earth and lovable characters who come to life in an impossible to put down read that is guaranteed to satisfy! The plot moved right along with no dull or dragging parts and the scenery seemed realistic. I look forward to reading the next in the series. I was highly entertained and will recommend this inspiring and faith challenging book! I received a complimentary copy from Revell Publishing for this blog tour for my review.

Julie Lessman

Julie Lessman

Julie Lessman is an award-winning author whose tagline of "Passion with a Purpose" underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. Winner of the 2009 ACFW Debut Author of the Year and Holt Medallion Awards of Merit for Best First Book and Long Inspirational, Julie is also the recipient of 14 Romance Writers of America awards and was voted by readers as "Borders Best of 2009 So Far: Your Favorite Fiction." Chosen as the #1 Romance Fiction Author of the Year in the Family Fiction magazine 2011 Readers' Choice Awards, Julie was also awarded #1 Series of the Year in that same poll and #3 Author of the Year, #5 Novel of the Year, and #4 Historical Fiction Author of the year. She resides in Missouri with her family and is the author of The Daughters of Boston series and the Winds of Change series whose first book, A Hope Undaunted, ranked #5 on Booklist's Top 10 Inspirational Fiction for 2010. You can contact Julie through her website at

Thursday, April 11, 2013

One Glorious Ambition by Jane Kirkpatrick- Interesting!

One Glorious Ambition: The Compassionate Crusade of Dorothea Dix, a Novel

Dorothea boards with relatives while in search of her Grandmother. She is eager to keep her family together (she and her brothers) while filling her earlier days writing and acquiring students to teach, welcoming the window to her true purpose in life. With reoccurant illness to battle she became a voice for the mentally challenged, those suffering behind the cold metal of confining bars. Her contributions to their welfare would be essential in bringing about later change to the conditions they endured.

Relive earlier days of torment and suffering through the well researched and written story of a gifted author. Character development was strong and dialogue reminiscent of the time period.
I was not familiar with Dorothea's pilgrimage when I embarked in the reading of her story, but I now have a clear understanding of the challenges and obstacles she faced. I gained a desire to research more of her life from this book. Although the book drug a little bit in the beginning, picked up towards the middle and remained so until finish creating a memorable and fabulous ending. I did enjoy this book although The Scent of Lilacs, an earlier work of Ms. Kirkpatrick I enjoyed more. I can recommend this book to others especially to those who enjoy historical reads. I received an complimentary ARC copy from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for my review.

Author's Website
Author Podcast
More Info
Read Chapter One
Author Bio

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Master Gardener Program- How To Become Involved

This rewarding and fun volunteer venture usually takes place at the beginning of the year although that can vary. Each county extension office offers a program for becoming a Master Gardener. The initial fee varies in each state and will be used for the materials to conduct classes, a test that is given at the end of the program and the general knowledge which will be obtained. The hours involved that you must clock to earn the Master Gardener title after successful completion of the classes and passing the written test is set by each state or county. Approved sites for working varies by each location. Renewal hours are new each year and most programs offer their members newsletters and/or email communication along with monthly meetings. I have enjoyed this program immensely and am able to help gardeners with their challenges by answering questions and applying general knowledge in areas ie: landscaping, weed control, when to plant and harvest and so many others. I also participate in the upkeep and planting of public gardens and displays, and learn on a continual basis through advanced training. I have met some fantastic people who share in the love of gardening as I do and there is always something "fun" to talk about. Check out your local program and become involved!

Unrivaled by Siri Mitchell- One Sweet Read!

Cover Art

A bit of competition stirs the heart.

Lucy's family has long been in the candy making business. Changes are sought to be made due to the declining health of her father.
Charlie, whose father also owns a family candy making business, markets a product that people cannot seem to get enough of.
When Lucy and Charlie meet the results are less than favorable. In constant odds with each other each try to make a success of their creations in the business world. Will they create a common bond or will they remain less than friends?

Hardship, Competition, Romance and Secrets come together to create a read that offers a unique topic, candy. Smooth flowing plot, easy to follow dialogue, impeccable scenery and wholesome and lovable characters creates a read that offers no dull or dragging parts. Although I rolled my eyes from time to time at Lucy's insecurities, I loved Charlie's character who seemed more down to earth, genuine and realistic. I was entertained and will recommend this book to others. I received a complimentary copy from Bethany House Publishers for my review

Angelguard by Ian Acheson- Great Series Introduction!

Jacket Image

In the war of good vs evil what is the true worth of one soul?

Danger and chaos taken the lives of many, and others are left to piece together the reasoning behind the bizarre attacks. Working behind the scenes lie the efforts of those from the spirit world. The unseen battle between the fallen and unfallen has begun and the fate of the world is uncertain.
Jack widower who lost his wife and two eldest children during a terrorist attack is carried into a dangerous and important vision to stop another attack. As time runs rapidly to a close lives grow increasingly short. Will Jack be able to abort impending doom in time or will more death be a reality?

Demonic and angelic spirit world, high suspense, espionage, danger and action come together to form a highly imaginative and creative read that started out on a high note and remained so throughout the novel. Although in the beginning it was hard to get to know the characters in depth due to storyline shifting abruptly and the introduction of many characters as the story progressed the book became impossible to put down and all seems to come together in unison. Scenery was very descriptive and I could picture myself within the storyline witnessing the action. A great first novel and I look forward to reading the next in the series! I received a complimentary copy from Lion Hudson and Kregel Publications for this blog tour and my review.

Book Trailer:

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Dance by Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley- Excellent!

  1. The Dance

Sometimes change is not always evident.

Marilyn and Jim married for 27 years are about to discover that wants and needs collide.
Marilyn Anderson alone with her thoughts and dreams decides to take a different direction in life. Her husband Jim is a workaholic businessman and owner of Anderson Development obsessed with the accumulation of wealth does not know how to deal with Marilyn's new way of life. He tries to relate but finds himself further from the truth.
Can there be a happy ending to the issues that this couple face when so many obstacles shorten the horizon?

Reality, bitterness, love, heartbreak and forgiveness take center stage in this incredible and unforgettable read. I finished this book very quickly and could recognize the lives of others I know within the pages. This impossible to put down novel offers realistic and challenging progressive driven plot, familiar down to earth and easy to relate to characters who seem as friends, along with picturesque scenery offers absolutely no dull or dragging parts. Could be a book that women as well as men would enjoy. I was entertained by this novel and will be one I will recommend to others. I received a complimentary copy from Revell Publishers for this blog tour for my review.

  1. Dan Walsh

    Dan Walsh

    Dan Walsh is the award-winning author of several books, including The Discovery and The Reunion. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Dan served as a pastor for 25 years. He lives with his wife in the Daytona Beach area, where he's busy researching and writing his next novel.

    1. Gary Smalley

      Gary Smalley

      Gary Smalley is one of the country's best known authors and speakers on family relationships. He is the bestselling and award-winning author or coauthor of 16 books, along with several popular films and videos. He has spent over 30 years learning, teaching, and counseling, speaking to over 2 million people in live conferences. Smalley has appeared on national television programs such as Oprah, Larry King Live, Extra, The Today Show, and The Sally Jessy Raphael Show, as well as numerous national radio programs. Gary and his wife, Norma, have been married for 40 years and live in Branson, Missouri. They have three children and six grandchildren

Sinners and the Sea by Rebecca Kanner- Challenging to Get Through

Sinners and the Sea

The girl who has no name is scorned with the mark from birth and believed to be a curse derived from evil. Her father Eben was a wall of protection and trust. When Noah came to take her as his wife and bring her to his camp what lied in wait for her was challenging at the least. The people who greeted her were vile and very wicked and their taunts and hatred were hard to bear. When the flood came Noah and his wife and their sons embarked on a great journey that will take them away from all that they know.

Violence, Hatred and Heartbreak were woven throughout the novel. I do have mixed thoughts regarding this book the novel, although creative fiction which does have actual passages from Genesis with descriptive scenery, is far off from the real bible story and parts of it I would label as science fiction.
Although this book is published by a Christian publisher and has Biblical characters, to me, Sinners and the Sea is not Christian fiction. A novel that is only suited for an adult is hard to get through at times, laced with graphic sexual content along with much blood and great darkness and a few words of profanity made me quite uncomfortable when reading it. I can say that the last few chapters made up for much hence my 2 star rating for effort. I can recommend it for those who enjoy secular fiction but not for those who enjoy Christian Biblical fiction. Thanks to Howard Publishers and Netgalley for the ARC for my review.