Monday, October 22, 2012

Sandwich with a Side of Romance by Krista Phillips (Review)





  • Paperback: 320 pages

  • Publisher: Abingdon Press (September 2012)

  • ISBN-13: 978-1426745928


  • About the book:

    She moved to Sandwich, Illinois, in search of a new life, but ended up in a giant pickle.

    Sandwich represents hope for 20-year-old Maddie Buckner and Kyle, the 11-year-old brother Maddie wants to spring out of foster care. Then she loses her new job after less than a day. It’s all Reuben-the-Jerk’s fault, and she’s determined to make him right the wrong.

    He does so, reluctantly, by giving her a job at his restaurant, The Sandwich Emporium. Then crazy things start happening at the restaurant, and Kyle’s foster parents apply to adopt him. To stop it all, Maddie must learn the art of humbling herself and accepting the help God has arranged, risking her heart to Reuben in the process.

    And she’d rather eat a million corned-beef on rye sandwiches than do that.


    My Review:

    Maddie is a lovable character. She is a new Christian trying to be the best she can. The characters are interesting and seem real. I love how Reuben's parents do all they can to help Maddie, a perfect stranger to them. Maddie arrives in town to start her job cutting hair and Reuben is her first haircut. Unfortunately it does not turn out as planned and she gets fired. He feels bad so he hires her to work at his restaurant. His long time girlfriend who also works at the restaurant is very unhappy about it because she feels threatened. Reuben and Maddie's lives keep intersecting and the sparks fly. This is a Christian chick lit book which I enjoyed reading. Recommended. :)



    About the author:

    Krista Phillips writes inspirational romantic comedy. She believes a sprinkle of laughter (and a wee bit of chocolate) makes everything a little better! She blogs regularly about life as a wife, mother, follower of Jesus, and mother of a child with a rare congenital heart defect at www.kristaphillips.com. Her debut novel, "Sandwich, With a Side of Romance," releases in September, 2012.
     

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

    Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden

    This week, the
    Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
    is introducing
    Against the Tide
    Bethany House Publishers (October 1, 2012)
    by
    Elizabeth Camden


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    A Word from Elizabeth:

    I am a college librarian in central Florida by day, but by night I can be found pounding out inspirational historical novels the moment the sun goes down. I love writing books about fiercely intelligent people who are confronted with profound challenges. As a rather introverted person, I have found that writing is the best way for me to share my faith and a sense of resilience with others.

    I married relatively late in life, which turned out to be an odd kind of blessing. I had gotten very good at leading a solo life, and although I was not particularly content being alone, I had become reconciled to it. Most importantly, it taught me never to take my husband for granted. I give daily thanks for the blessing of being able to share a life with my favorite person on the planet.

    As for who I am? I love old Hitchcock films, the hour before sunset, a long, sweaty run through the Florida countryside, and a glass of good wine. After spending my entire adult life on a college campus (either as a student or a librarian) I have finally been able to pursue my ultimate goal of writing professionally.


    ABOUT THE BOOK

    Love and Lives are Threatened in Camden's Latest Offering

    As a child, Lydia Pallas became all too familiar with uncertainty when it came to the future. Now, she's finally carved out a perfect life for herself--a life of stability and order with no changes, surprises, or chaos of any kind. She adores her apartment overlooking the bustling Boston Harbor, and her skill with languages has landed her a secure position as a translator for the U.S. Navy.

    However, it is her talent for translation that brings her into contact with Alexander Banebridge, or "Bane," a man who equally attracts and aggravates her. When Bane hires Lydia to translate a seemingly innocuous collection of European documents, she hesitantly agrees, only to discover she is in over her head.

    Just as Bane's charm begins to win her over, Lydia learns he is driven by a secret campaign against some of the most dangerous criminals on the East Coast, compelled by his faith and his past. Bane forbids any involvement on Lydia's part, but when the criminals gain the upper hand, it is Lydia on whom he must depend.

    If you would like to read the first chapter of Against the Tide, go HERE.

    Monday, October 15, 2012

    Saving Gideon by Amy Lillard

    This week, the
    Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
    is introducing
    Saving Gideon
    B&H Books (October 1, 2012)
    by
    Amy Lillard


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    A Word from Amy:I’m a wife, mother, and bona fide Southern belle. Published author, expert corn bread maker, and Squirrel Princess.

    I live in Tulsa, though I was born in Mississippi. I moved to the Sooner State when I was seventeen and met my soul mate and best friend not long after. I’ve retained a little of my Mississippi accent though most people think I’m from Texas. (?) Rob and I have been married for over twenty years and have a son–a mom proclaimed prodigy, of course!

    I love homemade tacos, shoes, and romance novels–not necessarily in that order. I’m a big fan of country music, a staunch proponent of saving the Oxford comma, and I’m shamefully obsessed with all things Harry Potter.

    I believe that God is love. I guess that’s why I adore romances.

    I have always been intrigued with the Amish culture, their gentle ways and slower-paced lifestyle. (And I love, love, love the fact that they stay married for their lifetime.) But until recently I never thought to blend this interest with my penchant for romance. Okay, okay, I’m a bit old-fashioned and even enjoy the gender roles that are present in this culture. I love to cook and take care of my family. Yes, that’s me June Cleaver with a laptop.

    I dislike people trying to convince me to read the Twlight series (I’ll get to it or I won’t, either way I’m good with it), gratuitous violence, and strawberry ice cream. (I know I’m alone on this last one, and again, I’m good with it.)

    Favorite movies–(besides HP) French Kiss, Maid of Honor, A Lot Like Love, Just Married, and Sweet Home Alabama. Oh, and Miss Congeniality, Sabrina (both versions) and a 1940′s movie called Dear Ruth. If you haven’t seen it, you should! A-dorable. Anything with Doris Day and most all of Marilyn’s and Audrey’s.

    ABOUT THE BOOK

    Gideon Fisher wants one thing out of life -- to be left alone. This is not the Amish way, but he’s devastated after the death of his wife and son to the point of losing his faith. He buys a farm on the outskirts of the district and pulls away from his community. But when a freak spring snowstorm brings a beautiful Englisher to his farm, what choice does Gideon have but to let her in?

    Dallas socialite Avery Ann Hamilton is intrigued by the Amish farmer who pulls her out of the snow and into his austere lifestyle. Poor little rich girl, Avery has just gone through (yet another) bad breakup. Every man she meets only wants her for her father’s money. All she has ever wanted is to be loved for herself. Avery soon discovers the Oklahoma Amish country is the perfect place to hide out and heal her broken heart.

    But she finds a peace in those back roads that she’s never felt before. Now her life has purpose and meaning as she connects with God and those around her. And there’s something more as she begins to care for this man who needs both love and forgiveness.

    Gideon never wanted to live again much less fall in love, but Avery finds her way into his heart, showing him the beauty of life and God’s greatness. Yet as the feelings between Avery and Gideon grow, can they overcome their dissimilar lifestyles, or will their sheer differences pull them apart? If you would like to read the first chapter of Saving Gideon, go HERE

    Sunday, October 14, 2012

    When a Heart Stops by Lynette Eason (Review)


  • Paperback: 336 pages

  • Publisher: Revell; Original edition (October 1, 2012)

  • ISBN-13: 978-0800720087


  • From the Back Cover:

    A killer's deadly game needs new players . . . but someone's about to change the rules
    As a medical examiner, Serena Hopkins is used to dealing with death. But that doesn't make it any easier when she's called to the eerie scene of a murder--especially when Serena realizes that she knows the victim. Nearly as unnerving is the presence of FBI agent Dominic Allen, her childhood crush.

    As evidence mounts and points to a serial killer with disturbingly familiar methods, Serena and Dominic must work to find a pattern and stop the killings before the murderer strikes again. And when Serena's own life seems at stake, she must decide if the secret she has been keeping has put her next on the killer's hit list. Can she trust Dominic with the truth before it's too late?
    My Review:
     
    This was a great Christian mystery even though the subject matter was gruesome. This is the second book in the Deadly Reunions series and cannot stand alone. This book references the first book and characters are the same even though the main focus of this book is Serena and Dominic. There is a subplot in both books that will be wrapped up in the third book. I can't wait to see what happens. This book was well written with interesting characters and plot. It held my attention from the first page and was very suspenseful. I love the romance between Serena and Dominic amid the seriousness of the mystery. This author always reminds me of my favorite author Dee Henderson. Recommended. :)
     
     
     
    About the author:
     
    Lynette Eason is the author of several romantic suspense novels, including Too Close to Home, Don't Look Back, A Killer Among Us, and When the Smoke Clears. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. A homeschooling mother of two, she has a master's degree in education from Converse College. She lives in South Carolina.
     
    Available now wherever Baker/Revell books are sold.
     
    Thank you Donna at Revell for my review copy.
     
     
     

    Thursday, October 11, 2012

    Life with Lily Review

  • My Review:
  • I really enjoyed reading this middle grade Amish book. It will not appeal to all though. The most likely audience to me is homeschooled girls. Younger kids are going to need help reading it because of the length. Lily is a great heroine. She is not perfect. There are several life lessons that can be learned from this book including forgivness and how to get along with others. Lily faces many of the same things that regular kids face on a daily basis including a mean teacher, a fellow student who gets her in trouble, sick family, and moving. The writing is good and character development. I am glad to hear this is a series. I look forward to more of Lily's adventures. Recommended.


     
     
     
    About the authors:
    Mary Ann Kinsinger was raised Old Order Amish in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. She met and married her husband, whom she knew from school days and started a family. After they chose to leave the Amish church, Mary Ann began a blog, A Joyful Chaos, as a way to capture her warm memories of her childhood for her own children. From the start, this blog found a ready audience and even captured the attention of key media players, such as the influential blog AmishAmerica and the New York Times. She lives in Pennsylvania.

    Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of The Choice, The Waiting, The Search, The Keeper, and The Haven, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace. Her interest in the Anabaptist cultures can be directly traced to her grandfather, W. D. Benedict, who was raised in the Old Order German Baptist Brethren Church in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne is a Christy Award nominee and is the host of an internet radio show called Amish Wisdom. She lives in California.
    Available now wherever Revell/Baker books are sold.
    Thank you Donna at Revell for my review copy.

    Life with Lily by Mary Ann Kinsinger and Suzanne Woods Fisher (Review)


  • Reading level: Ages 8 and up
  • Paperback: 288 pages

  • Publisher: Revell (October 1, 2012)

  • ISBN-13: 978-0800721329



  • About the book:

    For a child, every day is a thing of wonder. And for six-year-old Lily Lapp, every day is a new opportunity for blessings, laughter, family, and a touch of mischief. As she explores her world, goes to school, spends time with her family, and gets into a bit of trouble with her friends, Lily learns what it means to be Amish and what it means to grow up. From getting a new teacher to welcoming a new sibling, Lily's life is always full of adventure.

    The first of four charming novels that chronicle the gentle way of the Amish through the eyes of a young girl, Life with Lily gives children ages 8-12 a fascinating glimpse into the life of the Amish--and lots of fun and laughter along the way. It combines the real-life stories of growing up Amish from Mary Ann Kinsinger and the bestselling writing of Amish fiction and nonfiction author Suzanne Woods Fisher. With charming illustrations throughout, this series is sure to capture the hearts of readers young and old.
    My Review:
    I really enjoyed reading this middle grade Amish book. It will not appeal to all though. The most likely audience to me is homeschooled girls. Younger kids are going to need help reading it because of the length. Lily is a great heroine. She is not perfect. There are several life lessons that can be learned from this book including forgivness and how to get along with others. Lily faces many of the same things that regular kids face on a daily basis including a mean teacher, a fellow student who gets her in trouble, sick family, and moving. The writing is good and character development. I am glad to hear this is a series. I look forward to more of Lily's adventures. Recommended.


     
     
     
    About the authors:
    Mary Ann Kinsinger was raised Old Order Amish in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. She met and married her husband, whom she knew from school days and started a family. After they chose to leave the Amish church, Mary Ann began a blog, A Joyful Chaos, as a way to capture her warm memories of her childhood for her own children. From the start, this blog found a ready audience and even captured the attention of key media players, such as the influential blog AmishAmerica and the New York Times. She lives in Pennsylvania.

    Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of The Choice, The Waiting, The Search, The Keeper, and The Haven, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace. Her interest in the Anabaptist cultures can be directly traced to her grandfather, W. D. Benedict, who was raised in the Old Order German Baptist Brethren Church in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne is a Christy Award nominee and is the host of an internet radio show called Amish Wisdom. She lives in California.
    Available now wherever Revell/Baker books are sold.
    Thank you Donna at Revell for my review copy.

    Wednesday, October 10, 2012

    All Things New by Lynn Austin

    This week, the
    Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
    is introducing
    All Things New
    Bethany House Publishers (October 1, 2012)
    by
    Lynn Austin


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    For many years, Lynn Austin nurtured a desire to write but frequent travels and the demands of her growing family postponed her career. When her husband's work took Lynn to Bogota, Colombia, for two years, she used the B.A. she'd earned at Southern Connecticut State University to become a teacher. After returning to the U.S., the Austins moved to Anderson, Indiana, Thunder Bay, Ontario, and later to Winnipeg, Manitoba.

    Lynn resigned from teaching to write full-time in 1992. Since then she has published twelve novels. Five of her historical novels, Hidden Places, Candle in the Darkness, Fire by Night, A Proper Pursuit, and Until We Reach Home have won Christy Awards in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008, and 2009 for excellence in Christian Fiction. Fire by Night was also one of only five inspirational fiction books chosen by Library Journal for their top picks of 2003, and All She Ever Wanted was chosen as one of the five inspirational top picks of 2005. Lynn's novel Hidden Places has been made into a movie for the Hallmark Channel, starring actress Shirley Jones. Ms Jones received a 2006 Emmy Award nomination for her portrayal of Aunt Batty in the film.

    ABOUT THE BOOK

    In the aftermath of the Civil War, Josephine Weatherly and her mother, Eugenia, struggle to pick up the pieces of their lives when they return to their Virginia plantation. But the bitter realities of life after the war cannot be denied: their home and land are but shells of their previous grandeur; death has claimed her father and brother; and her remaining brother, Daniel, has returned home bitter and broken. The privileged childhood Josephine enjoyed now seems like a long-ago dream. And the God who failed to answer any of her prayers during the war is lost to her as well.

    Josephine soon realizes that life is now a matter of daily survival--and recognizes that Lizzie, as one of the few remaining servants, is the one she must rely on to teach her all she needs to know. Josephine's mother, too, vows to rebuild White Oak...but a bitter hatred fuels her.

    With skill and emotion, Lynn Austin brings to life the difficult years of the Reconstruction era by interweaving the stories of three women--daughter, mother, and freed slave--in a riveting tale.

    If you would like to read the first chapter of All Things New, go HERE.

    Monday, October 8, 2012

    Full Disclosure by Dee Henderson (Review)

    This week, the
    Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
    is introducing
    Full Disclosure
    Bethany House Publishers (October 2, 2012)
    by
    Dee Henderson


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    Dee Henderson is the bestselling, award-winning author of 15 previous novels, including the acclaimed O'MALLEY series and UNCOMMON HEROES series. She is a lifelong resident of Illinois.

    ABOUT THE BOOK

    Ann Silver is a cop's cop. As the Midwest Homicide Investigator, she is called in to help local law enforcement on the worst of cases, looking for answers to murder. Hers is one of the region's most trusted investigative positions.

    Paul Falcon is the FBI's top murder cop in the Midwest. If the victim carried a federal badge or had a security clearance, odds are good Paul and his team see the case file or work the murder.

    Their lives intersect when Ann arrives to pass a case off her desk and onto his. A car wreck and a suspicious death offer a lead on a hired shooter he is tracking. Paul isn't expecting to meet someone, the kind that goes on the personal side of the ledger, but Ann Silver has his attention.

    The better he gets to know her, the more Paul realizes her job barely scratches the surface of who she is. She knows spies and soldiers and U.S. Marshals, and has written books about them. She is friends with the former Vice President. People with good reason to be cautious about who they let into their lives deeply trust her. Paul wonders just what secrets Ann is keeping, until she shows him the John Doe Killer case file, and he starts to realize just who this lady he is falling in love with really is…

    Watch the book trailer:

    If you would like to read the first chapter of Full Disclosure, go HERE.

    My Review:
    Be glad you could not hear the squeals coming out of mouth when I learned my all time favorite author was putting out a new book for the first time in five years. Her O'Malley series is one of my favorite ever. On to the current book lol. It took me awhile to really get into the story. Paul and Ann have interesting backgrounds that come out through the book. I really liked when the book went deeper into the story. I only had an issue with two things. I think the murder mystery could have been more developed with more details. It was more a subplot to me with the main plot being Paul and Ann's love story. The other thing is minor and totally a me thing but I did not like how Ann wrote the O'Malley series and others in this book. I would have preferred that be left out. Again personal preference. Overall the book is good and I definitely recommend it. I can't wait for Dee to put out another book. :)