Saturday, September 29, 2012

Twang by Julie Cannon (Review)

 
 
 
  • Paperback: 336 pages

  • Publisher: Abingdon Press (August 2012)

  • ISBN-13: 978-1426714702
  •  
     
    About the book:
     
    Twenty-three-year-old Jennifer Clodfelter believes she is destined to be a country music star.  When her passion, determination and homemade demo tape were rejected by every music label in Nashville, she refused to give up.  In just three years, a combination of guts and raw talent have propelled her on a journey of fame beyond her best dream.   

    Now Jennifer has all she ever wanted, only to discover that there is a dark side to the glitz and number one hits.  She will have to decide whether to sing her pain to a loving audience or find the courage to face the music in the private studio of her heart.
     
    My Review:
    Overall I liked this book. The plot and characters were interesting. It was very repetitious with descriptions. It is told mostly from Jennifer's point of view and I felt horrible for the things she had to go through as a child that no child should ever have to go through. I liked the relationship she developed with her hairdresser. She was willing to get real with her and tell her the truth and she was a strong Christian. Jennifer ends up spending a lot of time with her and her family and they end up helping her alot. It is a story of forgiveness and redemption. Country music plays a big part obviously so its helpful if you like it. Recommended for certain audiences.
     
     
     
    About the author:
     
    Julie L. Cannon's roots go deep in the South's red clay. She is the author of the award-winning Homegrown Series, published by Simon & Schuster and described as "Jan Karon crossed with Fannie Flagg." Her novel, The Romance Readers' Book Club, Penguin, was named a Target Breakout Book. I'll Be Home for Christmas, Summerside Press, made Nielsen's Bestseller list, and was also named a CBA Bestseller. Her novel Twang will be released in Aug.'12 from Abingdon Press. Julie's novels explore the transcendent, the supernatural, and the irrational - where God redeems the seemingly unredeemable. Julie lives in Watkinsville, Georgia. Visit her website at julielcannon.com for more info.
    P.S. Beware - there is another author by the name of Julie Cannon, which causes a great deal of confusion because the two authors have vastly different subject matters and readerships.

    Friday, September 28, 2012

    With Every Letter by Sarah Sundin Review


    I loved this book. The characters and plot came alive and were interesting and well developed. It was well written and held my attention from page one. Mellie's story was really touching. All girls and women can identify with feeling like not being good enough especially in the area of looks. Tom was a good hero. I fell in love with Tom and Mellie and their relationship. This is a Christian Historical fiction book set in WWII and the details were good but not overwhelming. I felt transported into another time. One of the main themes is forgiveness. This is one of my favorite books this year. Her previous series is also good. Highly Recommended! :)

    With Every Letter by Sarah Sundin (Review)



  • Paperback: 425 pages

  • Publisher: Revell (September 1, 2012)

  • ISBN-13: 978-0800720810

  • About the Book:
    Lt. Mellie Blake is a nurse serving in the 802nd Medical Squadron, Air Evacuation, Transport. As part of a morale building program, she reluctantly enters into an anonymous correspondence with Lt. Tom MacGilliver, an officer in the 908th Engineer Aviation Battalion in North Africa. As their letters crisscross the Atlantic, Tom and Mellie develop a unique friendship despite not knowing the other's true identity. When both are transferred to Algeria, the two are poised to meet face to face for the first time. Will they overcome their fears and reveal who they are, or will their future be held hostage to their past? And can they learn to trust God and embrace the gift of love he offers them?

    Combining excellent research and attention to detail with a flair for romance, Sarah Sundin brings to life the perilous challenges of WWII aviation, nursing, and true love.

    Monday, September 24, 2012

    Still Life In Shadows by Alice Wisler

    ***Signed up for the tour but never got the book***

    This week, the
    Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
    is introducing
    Still Life in Shadows
    River North; New Edition edition (August 1, 2012)
    by
    Alice Wisler


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    Alice was born in Osaka, Japan in the sixties. Her parents were Presbyterian career missionaries. As a young child, Alice loved to walk down to the local stationer's store to buy notebooks, pencils and scented erasers. In her room, she created stories. The desire to be a published famous author has never left her. Well, two out of three isn't bad. She's the author of Rain Song, How Sweet It Is, Hatteras Girl and A Wedding Invitation (all published by Bethany House).

    Alice went to Eastern Mennonite University after graduating from Canadian Academy, an international high school in Kobe, Japan. She majored in social work and has worked across the U.S. in that field. She taught ESL (English as a Second Language) in Japan and at a refugee camp in the Philippines. She also studied Spanish at a language institute in San Jose, Costa Rica.

    She has four children--Rachel, Daniel, Benjamin and Elizabeth. Daniel died on 2/2/97 from cancer treatments at the age of four. Since then, Alice founded Daniel's House Publications in her son's memory. This organization reaches out to others who have also lost a child to death. In 2000 and 2003, Alice compiled recipes and memories of children across the world to publish two memorial cookbooks, Slices of Sunlight and Down the Cereal Aisle.

    ABOUT THE BOOK

    It's been fifteen years since Gideon Miller ran away from his Amish community in Carlisle, Pennsylvania as a boy of fifteen. Gideon arrives in the Smoky Mountains town of Twin Branches and settles in at the local auto mechanic's garage. He meets a host of interesting characters -the most recent acquaintances are Kiki, an autistic teen, and her sister Mari. Known as the "Getaway Savior" he helps other Amish boys and girls relocate to life in modern America.

    One day the phone rings. On the other end is his brother Moriah calling from Florida. Of course Gideon welcomes his brother to stay with him and offers him a job. But Moriah is caught in a web which ends in his death and forces Gideon to return to the town of his youth, with his brother's body in the back of a hearse and Mari and Kiki at his side. He must face not only the community he ran away from years ago but also his own web of bitterness. Will he be able to give his anger over to God and forgive his father?

    If you would like to read the first chapter excerpt of Still Life in Shadows, go HERE.

    Sunday, September 23, 2012

    A Heartbeat Away by Harry Kraus (Review)

    This week, the
    Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
    is introducing
    A Heartbeat Away
    David C. Cook (September 1, 2012)
    by
    Harry Kraus


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    A Word from Harry:

    I started writing my first novel during my last year of surgery training at UK. I was a chief resident, and started writing Stainless Steal Hearts in a call room at the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Lexington. It was a crazy time to write! I had a very demanding schedule, often spending days and nights in the hospital. I had two sons at that time, and I recognized the wisdom in my wife's urging: "Now doesn't seem the right time for this dream."

    My experience as a writer is far from typical. Having received my formal training in biology and chemistry and medicine, my only preparation for a writing career was a love for reading. The longest thing I'd written before my first novel was a term paper in undergraduate school. My first novel was accepted by Crossway Books and published in 1994, and it wasn't until after I had FOUR published novels that I even opened a book of instruction about the craft of writing fiction. This is not what I recommend to others! Yes, I was successful, but I was bending the "rules" without knowing it. I had a natural talent for plotting, but I realize my initial success may have stunted my growth as a writer. I'd have made faster progress if I'd have gone to the fiction teachers sooner.

    I have three sons: Joel, Evan, and Samuel. Look closely in all of my books and you'll see them there. My lovely wife, Kris, provides the basic composition for all those beautiful, athletic, dedicated women in my novels.


    ABOUT THE BOOK

    When a brilliant surgeon undergoes a heart transplant, her life transforms as she begins experiencing memories of a murder she never witnessed.

    The residents worship her. Nurses step out of her way. Her colleagues respect and sometimes even fear her. But surgeon Tori Taylor never expected to end up on this side of the operating table.

    Now she has a new heart. This life that was formerly controlled and predictable is now chaotic. Dr. Taylor had famously protected herself from love or commitment, but her walls are beginning to crumble.

    And strangest of all, memories surface that will take her on a journey out of the operating room and into a murder investigation.

    Where there once was a heart of stone, there is a heart of flesh. And there is no going back.


    If you'd like to read the first chapter excerpt of A Heartbeat Away, go HERE.

    My Review:
    I loved this book. It was well written with good characters and plot. It held my attention from page one. Dr. Tori Taylor is a oncology surgeon known for her cold heart except with her patients. When she needs a heart transplant she is forced to have therapy  for that and her manner with her fellow employees especially the nurses. Tori is a perfectionist and requires others around her to be like that also. It tends to cause her only problems and she only has one real friend. This friend will not give up on her and has known her since her rough childhood. There is a subplot involving a teen boy and girl that ends up tying into the mystery aspect of the book. This is a Christian contemporary medical  mystery suspense romance book all tied in one. Highly Recommended! :)

    Saturday, September 22, 2012

    Fall Into Reading 2012 My List


    I love Fall and Katrina at Callapidder Days has been hosting a Fall Reading Challenge for many years now and I love particpating. I look forward to her Spring and Fall challenges every year. They help mark the changing of the season to me. :) For more information about the reading challenge please visit her blog: http://callapidderdays.com/


    My List:

    1. Likeness by Tara French

    2. With Every Letter by Sarah Sundin

    3. When a Heart Stops by Lynette Eason

    4. Twang by Julie Cannon

    5. Life with Lily by Mary Ann Kinsinger and Suzanne Woods Fisher

    6. The Trouble with Cowboys by Denise Hunter

    7. Sandwhich with a Side of Romance by Krista Phillips

    8. Saving Gideon by Amy Lillard

    9. Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo

    10. Nick of Time by Tim Downs

    11. Full Disclosure by Dee Henderson (My all time favorite author!)

    12. Sherlock Holmes Volume One by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

    Monday, September 17, 2012

    The Reunion by Dan Walsh (Review)



  • Paperback: 304 pages

  • Publisher: Revell (September 1, 2012)

  • ISBN-13: 978-0800721213
  • There are people in this world we pass right by without giving a second thought. They are almost invisible. Yet some of them have amazing stories to tell, if we'd only take the time to listen . . .

    Aaron Miller was an old, worn-out Vietnam vet, a handyman in a trailer park. Forty years prior, he saved the lives of three young men in the field only to come home from the war and lose everything. But God is a master at finding and redeeming the lost things of life. Aaron is about to be found. And the one who finds him just might find the love of his life as well.

    Expert storyteller Dan Walsh pens a new tale filled with the things his fans have come to love--forgiveness, redemption, love, and that certain bittersweet quality that few authors ever truly master. Fans old and new will find themselves drawn into this latest story about how God cares for everyone.
    My Review:
    I loved this book. It definitely touched my heart. The Reunion is about Aaron mostly but also about the investigative reporter that the men he saved hired to find him. Those men ended up doing well in life and want to find him to say Thank you. They have a reunion and want Aaron at this years. Aaron has not seen his children since they were little and his ex wife told him to leave them alone they had a new dad. His children did not know that so they grew up thinking he abandoned them and did not love them. Aaron hit really hard times after he came back from Vietnam including drugs and alcohol for years but then got his act straight. Even at his menial job at the trailer park he is liked and does a wonderful job proving he changed his life. The writing was good and the characters memorable. Highly Recommended.
    About the author:
    Dan Walsh is the award-winning author of several books, including The Unfinished Gift, The Deepest Waters, and The Discovery. 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.
    Available now wherever Revell/Baker books are sold.
    Thank you Donna at Revell for my review copy.

    Found by Shelley Shepard Gray (Review)

    This week, the
    Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
    is introducing
    Found
    Avon Inspire; Original edition (September 4, 2012)
    by
    Shelley Shepard Gray


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    Since 2000, Shelley Sabga has sold over thirty novels to numerous publishers, including HarperCollins, Harlequin, Abingdon Press, and Avon Inspire. She has been interviewed by NPR, and her books have been highlighted in numerous publications, including USA Today and The Wall Street Journal.

    Under the name Shelley Shepard Gray, Shelley writes Amish romances for HarperCollins’ inspirational line, Avon Inspire. Her recent novel, The Protector, the final book in her “Families of Honor” series, hit the New York Times List, and her previous novel in the same series, The Survivor, appeared on the USA Today bestseller list. Shelley has won the prestigious Holt Medallion for her books, Forgiven and Grace, and her novels have been chosen as Alternate Selections for the Doubleday/Literary Guild Book Club. Her first novel with Avon Inspire, Hidden, was an Inspirational Reader’s Choice finalist.

    Before writing romances, Shelley lived in Texas and Colorado, where she taught school and earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education. She now lives in southern Ohio and writes full time. Shelley is married, the mother of two children in college, and is an active member of her church. She serves on committees, volunteers in the church office, and currently leads a Bible study group, and she looks forward to the opportunity to continue to write novels that showcase her Christian ideals.

    When she’s not writing, Shelley often attends conferences and reader retreats in order to give workshops and publicize her work. She’s attended RWA’s national conference six times, the ACFW conference and Romantic Times Magazine’s annual conference as well as traveled to New Jersey, Birmingham, and Tennessee to attend local conferences.

    Check out Shelley's Facebook Fan page


    ABOUT THE BOOK
    A murder is solved and a quiet Amish community must deal with the repercussions. Amid the surprising revelations, can a newfound love survive?

    As the search for Perry Borntrager's killer continues, Jacob Schrock feels like his world is about to crumble. Right before Perry went missing, he and Jacob got into a fistfight. Jacob never told anyone what happened that terrible night. He's good at keeping secrets—including his love for Deborah, Perry's sister. But when Deborah takes a job at his family's store and their friendship blossoms, Jacob senses everything is about to be revealed.

    Deborah has been searching for a slice of happiness ever since her brother's body was discovered. When the police start questioning Jacob, Deborah can't believe that the one person she's finally allowed in could be the one responsible for her brother's death. Will she believe what everyone seems to think is the truth . . . or listen to her heart, and hope there is still one more person who is keeping secrets in Crittenden County?

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

    My Review:
    I loved this book. It is the third in The Secrets of Crittenden County series. I recommend reading them in order as this book wraps up the whole mystery aspect and all the characters are the same. I had no idea till the end of the book who the killer was of Perry. The characters and plot are well developed and interesting. It held my attention from the beginning and I could not wait to see how it ended. I highly recommend the whole series. :)

    Tuesday, September 4, 2012

    Hiding in Plain Sight by Amy Wallace (Review)




  • Paperback: 304 pages

  • Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (April 1, 2012)

  • ISBN-13: 978-0736947312


  • About the book:

    In a quiet town with a thriving Mennonite community, police officer Ashley Walters finds her threadbare faith and way of life challenged by the Plain people whose simple dress and welcoming manner open her eyes to a God she left behind. Peace eludes Ashley until she realizes the answers she seeks aren't found in starting over but in returning to the simple truth that it's God who overcomes the world, not her.

    Written for women who desire action-packed suspense, romance, and an escape into the peaceful world of the Mennonites, Hiding in Plain Sight delves into the painful struggle to fit in and the search for peace that so often eludes our fast-paced lives.


    My Review:

    This is the first book in the Place of Refuge series set in  Montezuma, Georgia. I really enjoyed reading this book. Ashley was an easy character to root for and it was nice to learn more about the Mennonite community. It is a contemporary Christian book with suspense, romance, and a little mystery too which is my favorite kind. The author did a good job creating characters and plot line that were interesting and unique. The mystery revolves mostly around the Yoder farm and accidents that keep occurring out there and the developers wanting to add to the town. Also involved is Patrick, a psychologist, and Jonathan ,a Mennonite man, which turns into a love triangle with Ashley. Along the way important spiritual lessons like forgiveness, and trust in God are dealt with without being preachy. It held my attention from start to finish. I can't wait for the next book in the series. Highly Recommended! :)




    About the author:

    Amy Wallace is the author of Ransomed Dreams, Healing Promises, and Enduring Justice. She is a homeschool mom, speaker, and self-confessed chocoholic. Amy is also a graduate of the Gwinnett County Citizens Police Academy and a contributing author of several books, including A Novel Idea: Best Advice on Writing Inspirational Fiction and God Answers Moms' Prayers. She lives with her husband and three children in Georgia.

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