Saturday, June 20, 2015

Fatal Trauma by Richard Mabry, M.D. (Review)

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press; 1 edition (May 19, 2015)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1630881160

  • It began with Dr. Mark Baker facing a gunman who had nothing to lose. It could end with him behind bars.

     In the Emergency Room, Dr. Mark Baker and Nurse Kelly Atkinson stand at the mercy of a gunman who declares, "If he dies, everyone here dies." At the end of the evening three men lie dead. One of them is a police officer Mark and a surgeon, Dr. Anna King, couldn't save. The other two are members of the feared Zeta drug cartel, and their threat of revenge puts the lives of Mark, Kelly, and others at risk.

     It isn't long before the shootings begin, and Mark finds himself under suspicion as a killer, yet still a potential victim. Because of Kelly's growing love for Mark, she is hurt when he turns to his high school sweetheart, now an attorney, for help.

     Who is the shooter? And can Mark find out before he becomes the next victim?

    My Review:

    I did not enjoy reading this book as much as previous books by this author. For some odd reason I did not connect with the characters. They felt flat and underdeveloped. The book plot itself was good. The premise was interesting. The faith element was there. The romance was just okay. I did not feel it. The suspense/mystery part was okay. It did not hold my attention all the way through like his books normally do. I did appreciate the twist at the end. The conclusion did tie the book up perfectly. I really do like this author's works. I suggest a new reader start with the Prescription for Trouble series. It is one of my favorites for the genre.

    I'm a retired physician, who got into non-medical writing after the death of my first wife with my book, THE TENDER SCAR: LIFE AFTER THE DEATH OF A SPOUSE. I'm gratified that it continues to help those who have lost a loved one.

    From that point, I moved into writing fiction. Thus far I've had seven novels of medical suspense published: CODE BLUE, MEDICAL ERROR, DIAGNOSIS DEATH, and LETHAL REMEDY were the first four. The second and third books listed were named finalists for the ACFW Carol Award and Romantic Times' Best Inspirational Novel respectively, and LETHAL REMEDY won the Selah Award.

    Review copy provided by Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.

    Friday, June 12, 2015

    The Proposal at Siesta Key by Shelley Shepard Gray (Review)

  • Series: The Pinecraft Brides (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Avon Inspire (May 12, 2015)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062337726

  • A young Amish woman, yearning for freedom, crosses paths with a handsome Mennonite celebrity in a deeply moving tale of friendship and self-discovery—the second installment in the unforgettable New York Times bestselling author’s new Amish Brides of Pinecraft series.

    Penny Troyer rarely disobeys her parents. In the years since her sister’s tragic death, they’ve wanted nothing more than to keep her safe…even if it means never leaving the house.
    But tonight, she’s bending the rules because Michael Knoxx, the most famous member of The Knoxx Family Singers, a traveling Mennonite Evangelical family —is scheduled to speak. Penny has heard of Michael—how he lost part of his leg in a terrible accident and uses the experience to inspire others—and knows she must meet him. So, for the first time ever, Penny stands up to her parents and goes out on her own.

    Though he speaks about living life to the fullest, Michael knows he needs to take his own advice. Life on the road is grueling and Michael wants to slow down, to rest…to perhaps meet someone who sees him as a man, not just a celebrity. So when a twist of fate allows him the chance to stay a little longer in Pinecraft, Michael knows God is showing him a new path, especially when he discovers how much he and Penny Troyer have in common.

    But new friendships can’t stop time. Soon, Michael's time in Pinecraft will be over and he'll be back on the road. Her time with Michael has brought her happiness, but will she be able to follow her heart? Or will she be faced with the one thing she’s sure she'll never have the courage to do?

    My Review:

    I enjoyed reading this Amish fiction book. This is the second book in the Amish Brides of  Pinecraft series but can stand alone. I loved the setting. Pinecraft is a special area in Sarasota, FL, where the Amish go to vacation. The beach nearby is Siesta Key. The main characters in this book are Penny Troyer and Michael Knoxx. She is Amish while he is Mennonite. They meet walking down the street and at his concert. He is part of the Knoxx family and they travel around giving speeches and concerts. He lost part of his leg in an accident and uses his story to inspire others. Penny is grown but stuck at home being treated like a child by her parents. After losing a sibling when she was younger her parents are overprotective and will not let her do anything.  Penny and Michael have a chance to get to know each other better when Michael has to have surgery and is stuck in Pinecraft for weeks. Penny gets hired at the local bed and breakfast and ends up helping take care of him. They develop a close friendship and talk about a lot of different things. I like how he tells her to make the most of each day. The characters and plot were unique and well developed. It held my attention from the beginning and I could not stop reading.  It was a somewhat light but good book. And I really want to go to Pinecraft now. :) Highly Recommend both books in the series. This is one of my favorite authors and I have read most of her books.

    Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town's bike trail.

    Review copy provided by Litfuse in exchange for an honest review.

    Tuesday, June 9, 2015

    Who's the New Kid by Heidi Bond and Jenna Glatzer (Review)

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (May 19, 2015)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1496402141

  • At nine years old, Breanna Bond weighed a whopping 186 pounds. Just walking up the stairs to her room was a challenge. Her legs chafed to the point of bleeding from rubbing against each other, and her school days were filled with taunts of “Hey, Fatty!” Breanna’s mom, Heidi, was devastated and wondered, How can I get my daughter healthy again?

    Who’s the New Kid? shows readers how Heidi helped her daughter lose weight without the aid of fad diets, medication, or surgery and how other parents can do the same with their kids.

    In just over a year, Heidi’s plan worked! Breanna dropped 40 percent of her body weight and was transformed from a morbidly obese child who spent her days in front of the TV eating chips and chocolate to a vibrant, healthy, energetic little girl.

    Filled with helpful diagnostic tools, easy-to-make recipes, eye-opening nutritional information, fun exercise ideas, and practical tips and advice, Who’s the New Kid? will not only show parents how to help their kids lose weight naturally but also introduce them to simple, yet effective lifestyle changes that will benefit the entire family.

    My Review:

    This was an interesting non fiction book about how one mother helped her young daughter beat obesity. The book was well written and flowed well. The subject matter made me hurt for Breanna. It is not easy being the so called fat kid. I have never dealt with it personally as a child but I gained a lot of weight in college. I changed my life by exercise and eating better. I was inspired that her Mom helped her and did not give up. I felt her frustration. I was a little upset it took so long for her to figure out where the problems were and what to do to fix it. I do not agree with the menu plan in the back though. I eat the Primal Life style. The story part I found okay but I would not use the meal plans even for children.

    Review copy provided by Litfuse in exchange for an honest review.

    Sunday, May 31, 2015

    As Love Blooms by Lorna Seilstad (Review)

    • Series: The Gregory Sisters (Book 3)
    • Paperback: 320 pages
    • Publisher: Revell (May 19, 2015)
    • ISBN-13: 978-0800721831

    Tessa Gregory is nothing if not tenacious. Denied a position as a horticulturalist at prestigious Como Park in Saint Paul, she is not above a little benevolent deception in order to get the park superintendent to change his mind and hire her. She plans to infiltrate the world of wealthy and influential people in hopes of drumming up financial support for a world-class conservatory. But before she can put those plans into action, she meets Reese King, a handsome gardener at Como Park--and a major distraction. Still, Reese might be the key to achieving her dream. But is his goal to help her . . . or to capture her heart?

    Against a lush backdrop of early twentieth century Saint Paul, Minnesota, Lorna Seilstad weaves a sweet and sassy story that is sure to please. Tessa's young romance opens like a rose, stealing readers' hearts and filling their senses with the intoxicating fragrance of dreams come true.

    My Review:

    This is the third book in the Gregory Sisters series. They are light  Christian historical romance books set in the early 1900s. If you have not read the first two books in the series you might not like all the details featuring the lives of the other two sisters in this book. Also, it helps understand the character of Tessa better to have the background knowledge. Tessa is the flighty one who is always trying something new. The one constant thing in her is her love of gardening. Although her younger years were not wealthy, she now lives with Samantha, her sister's husband's aunt. She is extremely wealthy, generous, loving, and a huge suffragist. There is a subplot involving her and an old friend who is a Senator.  Tessa meets Reese King at Como Park where he is a gardener. She desperately wants to work there too. He lets her help him with the work in exchange for her design. That part is not believable but if you suspend belief the book is enjoyable. The characters and plot were well developed and interesting. I really wanted to shake Tessa at times. Reese is a sweet young man but not perfect. They are friends most of the book with the romance developing more at the end. Overall a good read but not the best book in the series. Recommended to fans of the genre. 

    A history buff, antique collector, and former high school English teacher, fan favorite Lorna Seilstad is the author of When Love CallsWhile Love Stirs,and the Lake Manawa Summers series. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Lorna lives in Iowa with her husband. Learn more at

    Review copy provided by Revell in exchange for an honest review.

    In Firefly Valley by Amanda Cabot (Review)

    • Series: Texas Crossroads (Book 2)
    • Paperback: 368 pages
    • Publisher: Revell (May 19, 2015)
    • ISBN-13: 978-0800734350

    Marisa St. George is devastated when she is a victim of downsizing and has no choice but to return to the small Texas town where she grew up. Though it's a giant step backward, she accepts a position as business manager at the struggling Rainbow's End resort. The only silver lining is Blake Kendall, a new guest who is making her believe in love at first sight. But will her dreams of happily-ever-after be turned upside down when she discovers who he really is?

    Romance readers will love this warm and witty story of mistaken identity and second chances from bestselling author Amanda Cabot.

    My Review:

    Although book two in the Texas Crossroads series this book can stand alone. The setting and characters are the same. This book focuses the main part of the story on Marisa and Blake. So we see what happened to the last set of main characters, Greg and Kate, from the first book too. Marisa is Carmen the cook's daughter. She loses her job and returns home to manager the resort. She also has unresolved issues with her father that affect her daily life. Blake is a friend of resort owners and hopes to relieve his writer's block while there. He has a big secret though, only a few people know he's the author of a popular book series. Blake and Marisa feel sparks from their first meeting. There was a secondary plot involving Marisa's best friend Lauren and her mother Carmen. They both find romance. The characters and plot were interesting. The guys in the book were a little too perfect. The book is slower paced but it did not bother me. Overall this was an okay Contemporary Christian romance book. 

    With both parents avid readers, it's no surprise that Amanda Cabot learned to read at an early age. From there it was only a small step to deciding to become a writer. Of course, deciding and becoming are two different things, as she soon discovered. Fortunately for the world, her first attempts at fiction, which included a play for her fifth grade class entitled "All About Thermometers," were not published, but she did meet her goal of selling a novel by her thirtieth birthday. Since then she's sold more than thirty novels under a variety of pseudonyms. When she's not writing, Amanda enjoys sewing, cooking and - of course - reading.

    Review copy provided by Revell in exchange for an honest review.

    Saturday, May 30, 2015

    The Remaining by Travis Thrasher (Review)

    • Paperback: 368 pages
    • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.; MTI edition (September 1, 2014)
    • ISBN-13: 978-1414397528

    In one day, everything changes forever.

    As a group of college pals gathers for the wedding of two friends, celebration turns to terror when many of the guests die suddenly with no apparent cause. With the big day turned into a nightmare, the friends are left to figure out what’s happening. With mysterious and devastating catastrophes striking the city―and reports of similar events coming in from around the world―they must address the ultimate question.

    Is this the end? Or just the beginning of something more horrifying than they ever could have imagined?

    Faith, family, and the future are all hanging in the balance.

    The Remaining is a novelization of the apocalyptic movie from Sony Affirm. Just after a young couple says their vows, the earth shakes, and some people die suddenly and are taken away. The rest of their wedding party and friends are left to wrestle with what happened and with their faith. Characters struggle with secret love, dreams, hopes, and beliefs as they continue to evaluate their faith. This book 
    and movie are both action-packed thrillers that will encourage audiences to think about their beliefs.

    My Review:

    This book held my attention from beginning to end. I was captivated. This is the book version of a movie by the same name. The author did a good job at description and developing the characters and plot. There are several ideas about how the rapture/end times will happen. One of them is used in this book. This is a character focused book more than plot. The plot revolves around the different characters and the thoughts going through their mind. There are multiple narrators but it was not confusing at all. The faith element of course is present and well developed. It gets real so there is a lot of death and disturbing scenes. It really made me think. We get so caught up in our day to day lives that we forget what could happen at any moment. If you have read the Left Behind series this book is different in the viewpoint taken but still a good story. Recommended. 

    Critically acclaimed author Travis Thrasher has made a career out of defying expectations. He's written over twenty-five books that have crossed the spectrum between love stories and supernatural thrillers. His variety of inspirational stories have included collaborations with filmmakers, musicians, and pastors. He's also helped write memoirs and self-help books. He lives with his wife and three daughters in a suburb of Chicago.

    For more information on Travis, visit

    Review copy provided by Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for an honest review.

    Tuesday, May 26, 2015

    No Place to Hide by Lynette Eason (Review)

    • Series: Hidden Identity (Book 3)
    • Paperback: 336 pages
    • Publisher: Revell (May 5, 2015)
    • ISBN-13: 978-0800722104

    She'll defend her friend until the bitter end--but is she in over her head?
    It's not every day you see your childhood friend and onetime crush on national news. Jackie Sellers just wishes it were under different circumstances. She can't believe that Ian Lockwood is wanted in connection with a terrorist plot, and she's determined to find him and help him clear his name. Unfortunately, she's not the only one looking for him. The FBI wants him captured. The bad guys want him dead. Ian just wants to stay alive long enough to prove his innocence and prevent a catastrophe. 

    Lynette Eason delivers nonstop action as Jackie and Ian travel a dangerous road--one that may lead straight to destruction.

    My Review:

    I enjoyed reading the latest book in the Hidden Identity series by Lynette Eason. Although it is book three in the series it can stand alone. This is a Christian suspense/mystery book with a little romance thrown in. Although a little violent in parts it is not too graphic. The mystery kept me guessing and the suspense kept me reading. I liked how the relationship developed between Jackie and Ian. The faith element was not developed enough especially with Jackie's character. I would have liked to see more depth with it. The characters and overall plot were well developed and interesting. I was intrigued and my attention was held from the beginning. This is one of my favorite authors and her books are like my all time favorite author Dee Henderson. Recommended to fans of the genre. 

    Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of the Women of Justice series and the Deadly Reunions series, as well as No One to Trust and Nowhere to Turn. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. She has a master's degree in education from Converse College, and she lives in South Carolina. Learn more at

    Review copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.