June 30, 2013

Finding the Dream by Nora Roberts (The Dream Trilogy #3)

Finding the Dream (The Dream Trilogy #3)
By Nora Roberts
Published: October 2012
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780425260920
5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis: Laura Templeton found out the hard way that nothing in life is guaranteed. The daughter of a wealthy hotelier, she had always known comfort, privilege, and security. But by the age of thirty, her storybook marriage had been destroyed by her husband's infidelity. Laura's divorce left her both emotionally and financially devasted -- but determined to rebuild her life without the Templeton fortune. Laura had always defined herself as a wife, a daughter, or a mother. Now, she must finally discover Laura the woman.

My review: Just like the rest of this series I loved this book and felt like Laura, Kate and Margo were good friends of mine. I enjoyed how this one told us more about Laura and her girls. You could not help but feel sorry for Laura and I felt like she deserved more especially happiness. Then in walks Michael the bad boy. He is needing a place to live and keep his horses while trying to get home rebuilt after it was destroyed in a mudslide. To Laura's surprise she is finding her self attracted to Michael and her girls love him. You must pick up this book to find out what happens with Laura and Michael and if they connect. There is also a nice twist to the Serafina treasure. You won't want to miss reading this book.

June 29, 2013

The Quarryman's Bride by Tracie Peterson (Land of the Shining Waters #2)

I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

The Quarryman's Bride
By Tracie Peterson
Published: June 1. 2013
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780764206207
5 out of 5 starts

Summary: Emmalyne Knox has always loved Tavin MacLachlan. But when tragedy strikes her family, Emmalyne's father declares she can no longer marry. Despite Tavin's pleas to defy the decision, Emmalyne refuses. In her act of obedience, she gives up the future she'd always dreamed of.
When Emmalyne's father returns to the quarry business years later, Tavin and Emmalyn meet again. And though circumstances have changed in both of their lives, they cannot deny the feeling that still exist. Can Emmalyne find a way to heal the decade-long wound that that has fractured the two families... and change the hearts of those who stand in the way of true love?

My review: Tracie has another winner with this book. As with all the books I have read by Tracie this is another that I could not put down. Her books read very quickly for me and I think some of it is because she makes the characters really come to life. This book offers a bit of history, a bit of romance and a bit of the spiritual aspect and when all combined make for a great read. I felt for Emmalyne giving up her dream to marry when her father said to after tragedy struck. But she is given a second chance at love when she meets Tavin again. I did not like her father so much but then I think he may have been trying to do what he thought was right for his family. I look forward to the next book in this series. 

Meet Tracie:
Tracie Peterson is the award-winning author of over eighty novels, both historical and contemporary. Her avid research resonates in her stories, as seen in her bestselling Heirs of Montana, and Alaskan Quest series. Tracie and her family make their home in Montana. 
Visit Tracie's Web site at www.traciepeterson.com

Here is the link to the rest of the tour: Tour for The Quarryman's Bride

June 18, 2013

The Summer of France by Paulita Kincer - Review and Giveaway

I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

The Summer of France
By Paulita Kincer
Published: October 2012
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9781300257334
Rating 4 out of 5 Stars

Summary: When Fia Jennings loses her job at the local newspaper, she thinks she’ll have the chance to bond with her teenage twins. As she realizes she may be too late to pull her family together, her husband Grayson pressures her to find another job so they can pay the increasing bills. Relief comes with a phone call from Fia’s great Uncle Martin who runs a bed and breakfast in Provence. Uncle Martin wants Fia to venture to France to run the B&B so he and his wife Lucie can travel. He doesn’t tell Fia about the secret he hid in the house when he married Lucie after fighting in World War II, and he doesn’t mention the people who are tapping his phone and following him, hoping to find the secret. 
After much cajoling, Fia whisks her family to France and is stunned when Uncle Martin and Aunt Lucie leave the same day for a Greek cruise. She’s thrown into the minutiae of a running the B&B without the benefit of speaking the language. Her dreams of family bonding time fade as her teenagers make French friends. Kasie joins a local swim team, riding off to practice on the back of a scooter each morning, hips tucked next to the 18-year-old French boy who teaches her to smoke brown cigarettes and drink red wine. West accompanies a pouty French teenager around the city, playing his guitar in the town squares to earn spending money. Fia’s husband Grayson begins touring the countryside with a pretty French woman, and Fia resists the distractions of Christophe, a handsome French man. Why the whirlwind of French welcome, Fia wonders after she comes home from a day at the beach in Nice to find someone has ransacked the B&B. 
Fia parses Uncle Martin’s obscure phone calls, trying to figure out this WW II hero’s secret. Can she assuage Uncle Martin’s World War II guilt and build the family she’s always dreamed of?

Review: I signed up to read this book as I love all things French so I thought it would be a good book to read. I was not wrong in my assumption. To me the author did a good job of making the characters seem like everyday people you can imagine them as someone you already know. She also did a good job of bringing Provence alive for me. I have not been to France but through the descriptions I can imagine each scene. The story is really two stories melded into one and I enjoyed each of them. The mysteries and suspense kept me turning the pages and the romance made me smile. Fia's family drove me nuts at times as they seemed to not care much about her as they were doing their own thing and forgetting about her, but this makes the characters seem all that more real. All in all a good book for you to enjoy. 

About the author: Paulita Kincer has an M.A. in journalism from American University. She has traveled to France 10 times, and still finds more to lure her back. She currently teaches college English and lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her three teenagers, two cats and one husband. Paulita's website Paulita's Blog

a Rafflecopter giveaway

June 17, 2013

Return to Shirley Plantation by Carrie Fancett Pagels and Bachelor Buttons by Kathleen Maher

This book was given to me in exchange for a fair and  honest review.

Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance
Cry of Freedom Volume 1
By Carrie Fancett Pagels
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Summary: Abducted against his will, Matthew Scott is conscripted into the Confederate army because of his Copperhead father's political leanings. Injured at Malvern Hill, Matthew is taking by the Union Army to Shirley Plantation in Virginia where he is tended by seamstress Angelina Rose, a freed slave. Given an opportunity to leave the South and start a new life for herself, Angelina remained for the sake of her sister's orphaned twins who are still enslaved. Will Matthew's return to Shirley Plantation settle a mystery concerning his father's past? And help Matthew find the family he longs for.

Review: I have to say if you are a Civil War history buff as I am and you enjoy reading historical fiction then I suggest picking to short novella and giving it a try. Carrie did a very good job of creating characters that come to life on these pages. The added factors of suspense and drama with the historical aspect of this book made me not want to put it down, then there is a hint of romance in the book that I took as another little bonus. This book has it all.  What Angelina did was not only dangerous but brave, I am not sure I could have done that. I think Angelina was a very strong person and I liked how Matthew had an attraction to her.  I give this book a high recommendation to all, and be sure to have the next installment in this series ready to read.

About the author: Carrie writes "romantic" historical fiction and is represented by Joyce Hart. She lives in Virginia with her husband of twenty-five years and their son. An adult daughter lives nearby.Carrie writes “romantic” historical fiction and is represented by Joyce Hart. She lives in Virginia with her husband of twenty-five years and their son. An adult daughter lives nearby. To learn more about Carrie visit her website: HERE

This book was given to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

Bachelor Buttons: A Civil War Romance
Cry of Freedom Volume 3
By: Kathleen L. Maher
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Summary: The daughter of immigrants who fled the Irish Potato Famine, Rose Meehan longs for a better life that the tenements of New York City. Courted by two men -- a young doctor who represents material security, and a poor violin instruction who has captured her heart -- she must choose between a life of advantage-grabbing or a life of faith. When Manhattan explodes in mob rule following Lincoln's unpopular draft, the heroic action of one suitor brings provision for those she loves, and reveals God's plan.

Review: This is another great installment in the Cry of Freedom series. I do not have volume 2 at this time but I am going to have to go back and get it. There is a lot packed into this little novella - you have romance, history, suspense and action - what more can a reader as for. I enjoyed and liked how the author used her own family history to model this novella around. I could only wish my family history has such rich stories in it. I found this installment read just as quickly as the first on I read and again I want more. Kathleen did such a good job of writing this short story it could easily be turned in a full length book. Poor Rose must choose between two men who are both wanting her attention, which bachelor does she choose, well you must read the story to find out, you will not be disappointed. Highly recommended book. 

About the author: Kathleen L. Maher is a 21st Century gal with an old soul. Her debut historical novella Bachelor Buttons came out through Helping Hands Press in 2013 and incorporates both her Irish heritage and love of Civil War history. She won the Genesis Contest for unpublished writers, historidal category, in 2012. An active member of American Christian Fictions Writers since 2008, Kathleen created Civil War HIStory yahoo group for CBA writers. She also co-founded CROWN Fiction Marketing Network.
Kathleen contributes to several writing and history blogs and enjoys reviewing new releases. Kathleen and her husband live in an old country farmhouse with their three children, two rescued Newfoundland dogs, and a tuxedo cat.

June 16, 2013

One Big Beautiful Thing by Marie Flanigan - Review and Giveaway

This book was given to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

One Big Beautiful Thing
By Marie Flanigan
Published May 2, 2013
Genre: fiction
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 978148972600
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Summary: Artist Kate Abernethy is trying to put her life back together after the death of her boyfriend. At first, moving back in with her mother seems like a good way to sort out her finances and re-evaluate her life - instead it proves to be a minefield of doubt and recrimination. Floundering, she pushes herself to take new opportunities so she can rebuild her life and have a second chance at happiness.

Review: I felt like I was listening to a friend as I was reading this book. Marie did a good job making you feel like you are right there with Kate through her troubles. Another thing I liked was the romance of this book as well as the little mysteries that keep you turning the pages. With the way this book is written you would not know that this is the first book that Marie has written as she writes with like an experienced writer. This book is also full of emotions which makes you connect with the character even more. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a new author to enjoy. Be sure to enter the giveaway for the chance to win your own copy.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

June 15, 2013

Hidden in the Everglades by Margaret Daley (Guardians Inc. #3)

Hidden in the Everglades
By: Margaret Daley
Published: 2011
Genre: Suspense
Mass Market Paperback 
ISBN: 9780373444571
Rating 5 out of 5 Stars

Summary: Bodyguarding is Kyra Morgan's business -- but this was supposed to be a vacation! Still, she can't refuse the request from childhood friend and neighbor Michael Hunt. Michael's sister Amy ran away after witnessing a murder. Michael needs Kyra's help to find her and keep her safe. Yet as Kyra and Michael follow the trail along the Florida Coast, their search grows more dangerous y the day. Terrorists are at work, and the stakes are perilously high. It will take everything they have -- including trust they're both reluctant to give -- to escape the Everglades alive...

Review: I picked this book up to read because I wanted something quick and good to read that would hold my attention. Hidden in the Everglades did not disappoint me in the least. From the first page this book grabbed my attention and kept me on the edge of my seat. For a short book it packed a great punch. Throughout the book I was kept trying to figure out what Amy was up and how she was involved in the murder and why they could not find her. I also like how Michael and Kyra were helping each other as well as getting to know each other again. Even though the sheriff is not considered one of the two main characters I liked him and when he and Kyra's aunt started talking I thought that was cute. Michael and Kyra find themselves on quite the adventures trying to help Amy, you will find yourself trying to figure out where to look next for her. This is the first book I read in the Guardians Inc. series and I would gladly go back now and read the rest of the series. 

About the author: Margaret Daley is an award winning, multi-published author in the romance genre. One of her romantic suspense books, Hearts on the Line, won the American Christian Fiction Writers' Book of the Year Contest. Recently she has won the Golden Quill Contest, FHL's Inspirational Readers' Choice Contest, Winter Rose Contest, Holt Medallion and the Barclay Gold Contest. She wrote for various secular publishers before the Lord led her to the Christian romance market. She currently writes inspirational romance and romantic suspense books for the Steeple Hill Love Inspired lines, romantic suspense for Abingdon Press and historical romance for Summerside Press. She has sold seventy-five books to date. Margaret is currently the President for American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), an organization of over 2200 members. She was one of the founding members of the first ACFW local chapter, WIN in Oklahoma. She has taught numerous classes for online groups, ACFW and RWA chapters. She enjoys mentoring other authors. To learn more about Margaret check out her website: Here

June 10, 2013

Nalah and the Pink Tiger by Anne Sawyer-Aitch

Title: Nalah and the Pink Tiger
By: Anne Sawyer-Aitch
Genre: Children's
About the bookNalah and the Pink Tiger is a picture book by Anne Sawyer-Aitch. She drew inspiration for this story from her lively little niece, who lives so intensely in her imagination that grown-ups around her view her as a troublemaker. Things come to a head when – in addition to all the exotic animals that Nalah has “placed” in the house – a pink tiger “follows” her home from the zoo and creates havoc. The story also celebrates the joyful explosiveness of a child’s imagination. To illustrate the book, Anne developed a style which she calls illuminated iIllustration, featuring multiple layers and backlighting that create vibrant, textured pages
My Review: I liked this book because it was very bright and colorful. I feel it will draw a child in because of this. The book had a nice little story to it. I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

June 5, 2013

Going Going Ganache by Jenn McKinlay (Cupcake Bakery Mystery #5)

Title: Going, Going, Ganache
Author: Jenn McKinlay
ISBN: 9780425252079
Type: Mass Market Paperback
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Synopsis: After a cupcake-flinging fiasco at a photo shoot for a local magazine. Melanie Cooper and Angie DeLaura agree to make amends by hosting a week long corporate boot camp at Fairy Tale Cupcakes. The idea s the brainchild of Ian Hannigan, new owner of Southwest Style, a lifestyle magazine that chronicles the lives of Scottsdale's rich and famous. He's assigned his staff to a team-building week of making cupcakes for the charity. 
It's clear that the staff would rather be doing just about anything other than frosting baked goods. But when the magazine's features director is found murdered outside the bakery, Mel and Angie have a new team-building exercise - find the killer before their business goes AWOL.
My Review: Let me start out by saying that I love the cupcake series and Jenn's way of writing. Now that I got that out I have to say this one made me upset. I did not like that Mel and Joe are taking a break and that she is flirting with Martinez. Then at the end we are left hanging and don't know which guy she is talking to. I thought the end with Marty was cute. The magazine crew were something else, they were a hodgepodge of characters. I had a hard time figuring out who did the murder although I thought I knew who did it but it turns out that I was wrong by a long shot. How Mel and Angie always find themselves in this situation is kind of funny. I am not sure what to think about what Tate is going through either, I don't want to give any hints as I don't want to give away any spoilers. I give this book 5 stars. 

June 4, 2013

Stealing the Preacher by Karen Wietmeyer (Archer Brothers #2)

Title: Stealing the Preacher
Author: Karen Witemeyer
ISBN: 9780764209666
Genre: Christian Fiction
Type: Trade Paperback
Synopsis: On his way to interview for a position at a church in the Piney Woods of Texas, Crockett Archer can scarcely believe it when he's forced off the train by a retired outlaw and presented to the man's daughter as the minister she requested for her birthday. Worried this unfortunate detour will ruin his chances of finally serving a congregation of his own, Crockett is determined to escape. But when he finally gets away, he's haunted by the memory of the young woman he left behind--a woman whose dreams now hinge on him.
For months, Joanna Robbins prayed for a preacher. A man to breathe life back into the abandoned church at the heart of her community. A man to assist her in fulfilling a promise to her dying mother. A man to help her discover answers to the questions that have been on her heart for so long. But just when it seems God has answered her prayers, it turns out the person is there against his will and has dreams of his own calling him elsewhere. Is there any way she can convince Crockett to stay in her little backwoods community? And does the attraction between them have any chance of blossoming when Joanna's outlaw father is dead set against his daughter courting a preacher?
My Review: Imagine praying for a preacher so you can fulfill a dying wish to your mom and your dad gets you one then you find out he actually stole the preacher off the train for you. Well this is what happened to Joanna. Crockett does not know what to do or think being stolen by an outlaw for his daughter, all he can do is think of how to get away, but then he starts having second thoughts about leaving Joanna. I recommend this book to anyone who likes historical fiction or is just looking for a good story. I found the character development to be very good and believable, the description of the scenes was also done very good as the author really pulled you into the story. Pick up this book and see what happens between Joanna and Crockett and if love will conquer all. This was the second book telling the story of the Archer Brothers, I am looking forward to the next installment. 5 stars

I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review from Litfuse. 

June 1, 2013

Gone South by Meg Mosley

Title: Gone South
Author: Meg Mosley
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 9780307730817
Type: Trade Paperback
Synopsis: The charm of the South drew her back to her family’s roots. But when the town’s old resentments turn the sweet tea bitter, can Tish find a welcome anywhere? 
Leaving frosty Michigan for the Deep South was never a blip in the simple plans Tish McComb imagined for her life, dreams of marriage and family that were dashed five years earlier in a tragic accident. Now an opportunity to buy her great-great-great-grandparents’ Civil War era home beckons Tish to Noble, Alabama, a Southern town in every sense of the word. She wonders if God has given her a new dream— the old house filled with friends, her vintage percolator bubbling on the sideboard. 
When Tish discovers that McCombs aren’t welcome in town, she feels like a Yankee behind enemy lines. Only local antiques dealer George Zorbas seems willing to give her a chance. What’s a lonely outcast to do but take in Noble’s resident prodigal, Melanie Hamilton, and hope that the two can find some much needed acceptance in each other. 
Problem is, old habits die hard, and Mel is quite set in her destructive ways. With Melanie blocked from going home, Tish must try to manage her incorrigible houseguest as she attempts to prove her own worth in a town that seems to have forgotten that every sinner needs God-given mercy, love and forgiveness.
My Review: Let me tell you the first thing that drew me to the book was the title. This is the first book that I have read by this author so I was not sure what to expect. I have to say that Meg did not disappoint me. I felt like I was right there with Tish as she left the cold of Michigan to go South. Another thing I enjoyed was how the author blended history in the modern story. Me being a history fan loved this part. The character development was very good and you felt as if you were reading about real life people in a real life situations. I will be on the look out for more books by this author. 5 stars

I was given this book free from Multnomah Waterbrook Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

Be sure to check out Meg's website here

Meg Moseley is still a Californian at heart although she's lived more than half her life in other states. Holding jobs that ranged from candle-maker to administrative assistant, Meg eventually contributed human-interest pieces for a suburban edition of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Contemporary fiction remains her real love, and she's the author of When Sparrows Fall and Gone South. She lives in Atlanta near the foothills of the Southern Appalachians with her husband.