Friday, December 30, 2011

ACCUSED by Janice Cantore

This was a story that left you guessing till the very end on who you could trust and who you couldn't. I like that in a book, where you just aren't sure about how it will all play out in the end. This was a new author for me and as she was in law enforcement before writing you get a real feel for what is happening in this book; it seems very real and true to life as you are reading.

Carly Edwards is a police officer doing her job and enjoying what she does. When the mayor in her city is killed and one of the suspects asks for her and swears his innocence Carly must try to figure out why everything around her seems to be missing pieces. Her ex-husband Nick, who Carly is trying hard to ever trust again when it comes to her heart, is someone she feels she can trust on this bizarre case she finds herself in. Caught between a fellow officer who seems to have gone bad, and other officers who she now works with, who seem to want to "break some rules", Carly must try to make some sense out of her life, her beliefs and her job. Carly is a lady who I came to understand and care for in this story. She is levelheaded, yet confused; she fights hard against her Mom's "religion" and later finds others who seem to share those same beliefs. She will find her life in danger as well as those she loves. I had a hard time putting this book down and enjoyed myself till the very end. It is suspenseful and thought-provoking and well worth the time to read. Looking forward to the next story in this Pacific Coast Justice Series. Good job Janice Cantore!

Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers, who thru NetGalley sent me this copy to read and review.
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (February 1, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1414358474
ISBN-13: 978-1414358475

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


This book may be small in size, but it has had a big impact on me as I read it. If I could I would buy a copy for all my friends and give it to them to read. As the subtitle states, it is all about keeping the gospel the main thing in our lives. This author did a good job of defining legalism in his book, of explaining the difference between justification and sanctification, and of giving practical ways we can all keep the cross the center in our everyday lives. This is one I will be reading again, and hopefully sharing with others. I highly recommend everyone read this book. It doesn't take long to read through the book, but I encourage anyone reading it to slow down and just soak up what is being said.

GOD GAVE US LOVE by Lisa Tawn Bergren art by Laura J. Bryant

This was a pleasing to look at, pleasing to read book that packs alot of learning about love in to its few short pages. I liked 1) the fact that Grandpa was doing the teaching, 2) that Grandpa was fishing, playing, resting and doing all sorts of activities with his grandchild, while teaching him about love, 3) that the pages were bright and beautiful and fun to look at, and 4) that the explanation of love was given in a way that a child could understand. I felt both Lisa Bergren and Laura Bryant did an excellent job! I am looking forward to reading this with my grandchildren. I thank LibraryThing for sending me this book to review.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Although the story line was cute, this was not a book I can recommend. It was along the line of a Harlequin romance (which I don't read any more) and the characters just didn't have the values I believe in (a bedroom scene played out by two unmarried people is not something that is right, nor something I want to read about). I am sticking to my values, which are generally played out in Christian fiction. I was needless to say disappointed as I was enjoying this story and felt irritated, sad and upset that the author had to compromise the characters near the end of the story by sleeping together and not even feeling guilty by it. In this day and age there might be alot of people who are doing this and not feeling there is anything wrong with it, but my standards, which come from God's word, the Bible, say this is not to be and I totally agree! Therefore, this will not be a book I will keep on my shelf or in my Kindle.

Monday, December 26, 2011

SARAH'S SONG by Karen Kingsbury

Karen Kingsbury's "Red Glove Series" were 3 books I am glad I took the time to read. Each one had a precious lesson to learn on love and I really enjoyed how red gloves were worked into each story. In Sarah's Song we learn about Sarah Lindeman who is in a retirement home and doing her annual review of her "12 days of Christmas", which is a look back at the "moments" in her life that left a deep impact (good and bad). This year though Sarah wants to leave her story with someone and make a difference in their life. Beth works at the retirement center and Sarah wants to reach out to Beth and help her through whatever seems to be hurting her (which is a marriage that is falling apart). Through Sarah's song and her ornaments, Beth comes to understand the secret to love. I fell in love with Sarah and her story and she just seemed so real to me. Her love for Sam was so precious and dear and her story just touched my heart. Although there is alot of heartache and sorrow in this story, there is also alot of love and rejoicing in how God works in the heart and lives of people. I am very glad I took the time to read the "Red Glove Series".
You don't have to read them in order because each book stands alone in its story.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

MAGGIE'S MIRACLE by Karen Kingsbury

This is the second book in the Red Gloves Series and I am really enjoying them. Megan is a lady who has lost her belief in true love. She is climbing the corporate ladder and finding no time for her son Jordan. Then one day Jordan writes a letter to God and asks his Mom to mail it. She reads it and realizes how much Jordan needs a Dad and how lonely he is. So. .. she connects with a Manhattan Children's Organization which connects children who need an adult to connect with and do things together. Casey Cummins is trying to get over the tragic loss of his wife and child. He decides working with this Children's Organization might help fill the void in his life. So you can see where this is leading, but the journey there is very precious and heartwarming. You feel the loss of each of these families and hope that the miracle of love will bring them together. I read this book in one evening because one, it is a short story, but two it was hard to put down once I started it. It was a very tender story with a very happy ending.

Friday, December 23, 2011

GIDEON'S GIFT by Karen Kingsbury

This may be a small book, but it is a story of a little girl who has a large heart when it comes to loving and sharing and concern for others. It was a story that brought to me many different emotions as I was reading it. It is a story of hope and believing in miracles at Christmas and seeing them happen.

I liked the way the story started and then flashed back in time and then flashed back in time again. Earl is a man who gave up on life and finds himself living on the streets; and it took Gideon, a little girl struggling with a life threatening disease, to help bring him back to God. Gideon and her family were a joy to read about and even though they had their struggles, they had each other and that is what really mattered. I read this in one evening and when I finished I came away from reading this book with a desire to reach out to others the way that Gideon did. What a remarkable little girl she was.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A PRAIRIE CHRISTMAS COLLECTION by Peterson, Bateman, Raney, Griffen, Grote, Langer, Mindrup, Spaeth, & Stengl

These 9 short stories all take place in the open prairies of Minnesota, Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois and Kansas in the late 1800's. You will weather winter storms, meet winter challenges on the prairie, and find joy and love during the Christmas Season. Although each story is short, they all seemed very complete and I didn't feel hurried through any of the stories. You will will find yourself enjoying some stories more than others, although I felt they were all worth reading. They were filled with warmth, inspiration and faith. A good book to sit by the fire, wrapped in a blanket, and enjoy during the Christmas season.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

LONGING by Karen Kingsbury

Another two thumbs up on this newest book in the Bailey Flanigan Series. There is such a wide variety of people in these stories and you feel like you know them all so well (if you read the books as they were written). It is a story of family and friends, of love and commitment, of seeking to put Christ first in a person's life and decisions, even when tough times come.

In this story Bailey finds herself enjoying more and more the company of Hollywood's sought after actor, Brandon Paul. She still thinks about the guy, Cody Coleman, who she thought she would spend the rest of her life loving, and wonders why he has walked away from her life. Brandon Paul though helps ease the pain of loss as he falls head over heels for Bailey. Cody, meanwhile is leading his high school football team to State Finals and trying to forget Bailey and stand by a good friend as she goes through tough times in her life. But Cody and Bailey do come face to face with each other and they both have a chance to share what is on their heart. I won't ruin anything here, but just say that even though I may not have liked the direction this story is going in, I understand why things are progressing as they are. Karen Kingsbury is a great writer and the people she writes about come alive on the pages of her book. I can't wait to see how this series ends!!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I CAN SEE THE SHORE by Michael Dawson

This was a great sequel to Michael Dawson's first book, "Growing up Yanomamo". He continues to share his life, his struggles, his heartaches and his adventures with you. Here is a person who has lived with great sorrow and can from experience let you know of the hope and joy that is possible in Christ. As the back of the book says, "I Can See the Shore brings to life a little known world of shaman, rituals, and secret initiations of the stone-aged culture of the Yanomamo tribe. Walk with Mike Dawson as he shares the Gospel and deals with his own personal life and death situations.

I would highly recommend you read book one first, although this story can be read by itself, you will just get alot more of his background by reading the other book first. Be ready to enjoy!

Monday, December 12, 2011

THE CHRISTMAS BRIDE by Grace Livingston Hill

Back cover description: "When he first saw her, Margaret McLaren was sitting on a park bench ouside his hotel room window. Suddenly she collapsed and Gregory Sterling, newlyminted milionaire, was driven to save her from starvation and despair. It seemed like a miracle, this perfect stranger giving purpose to his fortune, meaning, to his life. Until Margaret disappeared . . and Gregory Sterling set out to bring her back for good."

This was another story written by Grace Livingston Hill that brings out a stark contrast between good and evil, between those who live for the world and those who live for the Lord and the joy that can be had by living for Him. A tender love story with a fairy tale ending.

Friday, December 9, 2011


This was an enjoyable sweet romance that takes you inside the Amish community where things are slower paced and life seems more simplistic. I have read other books that dealt with the Amish people, but this one seemed to represent a people who had a great love for their family and acceptance of each other, even when things were discovered that weren't necessarily "the Amish way of doing things".

Annie Weaver has been gone from her community for 3 years, where she has lived with her Aunt in Philadelphia, where Annie has become an RN. She finds herself quickly returning home when she finds out her father is in the hospital. She helps nurse him back to health and ends up helping out in her community with her skills. One thing she hadn't planned on though was the growing feelings she has for Samuel, a local farmer who has some medical training and helps out the folks when ill. They don't hit it off at first, but you know they are going to and it is a joy to watch it happen.

I thoroughly enjoyed Annie's family members and felt the author left herself wide open to do more books hopefully in a series about some of the other characters in this book, as there were many that I would love to know what became of them. I did feel I was dropped into this story, like I was in book 2 or 3 of a series. I felt more details were needed for how and why Annie left her home and ended up in Philadelphia. And I would have loved to known Samuel before his tragedy of losing his wife and daughter. This was an enjoyable Christmas read and a book you can curl up on the couch and just enjoy.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

COWBOY CHRISTMAS by Catherine Palmer, Lisa Harris & Linda Goodnight

Three nice short stories with cowboys and Christmas in them all. They all three dealt with how a person can change; with forgiveness, trust, love and the ability to find love in the most unexpected ways. I enjoyed myself reading these three stories around this time of year, Christmas!

A quick summary that is found on the back of the book for each story is as follows:
"A Rancher's Heart - Victoria Jennings is in desperate need. But when she returns to her parents' ranch, she discovers that it's now being run by Jesse Conroy - the man whose heart Victoria broke when she snubbed him years ago. Now Victoria finds herself falling for Jesse, but can Jesse take a chance on trusting her with his heart again?"
"Undercover Cowboy - Pinkerton detective Cole Ramsy has been hired to investigate a rancher suspected of sabotaging his neighbors' property. But Cole's investigation my be compromised when he falls for Abigail Covington, the rancher's daughter."
The Outlaw's Gift - When drifter Seth Blackstone shows up at Raven Patterson's homestead, Raven thinks this may be the solution to all her problems. But Seth's mysterious past is about to catch up with him and could mean disaster for them both."

Monday, December 5, 2011

THE SHOE BOX by Francine Rivers

This small little book had alot of delightful recipes, a story, a Bible reading and thoughts from the author. Though the story was short, it was very meaningful and the recipes were inviting and I enjoyed reading the Christmas story from the Bible passages she printed. Would make a lovely Christmas gift for someone dear to you.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

ONE PERFECT GIFT by Kathleen Morgan

This was a nice Christmas story. It had a good message of forgiveness and the hurt that happens to you when you don't. Jessie and her young daughter Emma find themselves far from Baltimore, in Culdee Creek, Colorado, where she thought she was taking on a job as a nurse. Upon arriving in town penniless and nothing to return home for, she finds herself not even having the job she thought she had. So she ends up working for the MacKays at Culdee Creek, helping Abby recover from a stroke. "In the course of just hours she finds herself going from a devastating change of plans to a sense of acceptance and ease with a family of total strangers. Well, almost all of the family. There was always Sean MacKay." Sean had lost his reputation and his honor in the war. He also lost his best friend, the respect of his friend's family and he had lost the love of his wife (who is now deceased). He has very little hope left in him. So Jessie and Sean start off on the wrong foot, but gradually they both start to see how the need for forgiveness is so needed before they can begin to love again. A story of God's one perfect gift, His Son, and how He can work all things together for good. I enjoyed the story although I felt the story was rushed along, without a chance to get to know all of the characters very well.

Friday, December 2, 2011


This was my second Deeanne Gist book I have read and I just continue to enjoy her style of writing. When I pick up her book I know I am going to enjoy myself until I put the book back down (which I have a hard time doing until the book is finished). This story was fun to read but also showed just what someone was willing to give up for true love. It is in the 1860's in Seattle, Washington that Joe Denton is living as a lumberjack who dearly loves his job and his land. But he will lose half of it unless he finds himself a wife. Enter Anna Ivey who thinks she is journeying to Seattle to be a cook for lumberjacks, never realizing a wife was part of the bargain. This was Joe's description of what he was looking for: "Honesty. Practicality. Nothing flighty or fragile. She'd need to be able to handle cooking for his lumber crew." What Joe ended up getting was a feisty young lady who had no intention of marrying. But things don't always turn out the way we plan and both Joe and Anna learn this lesson. Joe was a big burly lumberjack with a heart of gold. He has to learn how to pursue or date a lady and it is fun to watch. This story made you appreciate the life of a lumberjack and the people who cook for them. The weather in Seattle is also something that would take some getting used to. There was humor, hardship and romance and I thoroughly enjoyed myself all the way through this book. Good job Deeanne Gist! And thanks for the note at the end, how you inserted real life people, situations and stories into this book.


I had fun reading this story of the "foxy four" ladies who work together and how the "theory of Six Degrees of Separation" tied them all together in their dating life. These four ladies were a joy to get to know and especially Tabby and her guy, Jagger. As the author states "we all need a little light-hearted escape" and that is what this book was for me. This is a story about discovering that anything can happen! And that when looking for love, no one is perfect, BUT that everyone is perfect for someone! A romantic fun story that had me smiling most of the way through. What does a Professor, a diver, a man in the military and a business man/blues singer have in common? Four foxy ladies! Now you have to read the book and enjoy how it all comes together!

Thursday, December 1, 2011


This was a short romantic story that was fun to read. The story of two people, Adam and Cora, who both found themselves falling for each other, until secrets were revealed and Cora walked away, hurt by what Adam never revealed to her. Now months later, Adam is sent by Cora’s stepfather to guard her from possible danger on a cruise she is about to embark on. Cora needs to learn to forgive, let go of her bitterness towards her stepfather and learn to trust in Adam. Adam puts his heart out there in hopes that Cora would not walk away from him again. I enjoyed this easy read by Wendy Davy; only wish the story would have lasted longer. She is a favorite author of mine.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

THE DOCTOR'S LADY by Jody Hedlund

This was just a good all around story that kept me enjoying the book all the way through. The back of the book describes this story very well, “Priscilla White KNEW God wanted her to be a missionary; NOT A WIFE. Then, the missionary board declared the ONLY WAY she can serve is to be MARRIED. Now, married IN NAME ONLY, her epic journey west will test her spirit. .. and the new LONGINGS of her heart.” What the description doesn’t tell you is the heartwarming way Priscilla and her husband-in-name-only, Dr. Eli Ernest grow to care for each other as they travel across the country to work with the Nez Perce Indians out West. The description of the their travels and the hardships they endure makes you realize how difficult it must have been for the first woman to make that journey (and this story is written based upon a true life story of the first woman to make this journey, as the author mentions at the back of the book).Mabel became a true friend in this story and she reminded Priscilla that God will give us the strength we need. When we are weak, then He is strong.
Priscilla does come to realize that though she thought she was the perfect missionary, she had come to understand that her piety, commitment, youth and education didn’t matter in the harsh wilderness she found herself in. The harshness of the trip let her see the true her; her selfishness, her self-pity and her pride.
I just fell in love with Priscilla and her determination and unrelenting spirit despite her setbacks in life, which were many. She had to give up her dream of having children, her dream of going to India, and her dream of marrying for love were just a few. But she endures and seeks to encourage others. Dr. Eli Ernest is also a man you will learn to appreciate, though at first he comes across as rather abrupt and uncaring, but he starts to see Priscilla for the special woman she really is. The way these two people come to care for each other at times just made me tingle all over, waiting for them to acknowledge their true feelings to themselves and then to each other. This is an author I have read before and enjoyed her work, but this story I think will be up there as one of her very best. It is a story of hardships and hope, of love and desire and a story that will make you glad you picked it up and read it. A big thumbs up for this author and her story.
Paperback: 378 pages
Publisher: Bethany House (September 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0764208330
ISBN-13: 978-0764208331

Monday, November 21, 2011


This was just like watching a funny and romantic "chick flick". It had alot to say about those who sleepwalk, who knew this affected so many people. I had a good time reading this story. Of all the things Suze should be remembered for (her work with animal rescue, her master's degree, or her volunteer mission work for her church) she is most known for her chronic sleep walking by her family and friends. And some of her excursions while sleeping tend to be very funny. During a business trip she meets sleep disorder specialist David Grant - while she in on one of her sleepwalking excursions. He tries to get her to seek help, but she has "tried it all before". Her "terror twin" nephews, her rescued needy animals and her trying to keep it all together make for a great fun, and romantic experience. It is a quick read and makes me smile just thinking about the story after I have finished it.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


This was a very well written story, but not my favorite kind of book, hence the lower rating. It is a story written through the eyes of Reuben Land, an 11 year old boy born with asthmatic problems. He has a younger sister Swede, who loves everything western, a Dad who is known by his son to accomplish miracles at times, and an older brother, Davy who has killed 2 people and who ends up running from the law. It is a story of love, loyalty, strong family ties, faith, miracles and a hope that their family will all get back together again. The writing style was very well done and I did like the story and the way it was told. It was just not my usual genre of book.

Monday, November 14, 2011

RACE AGAINST TIME by Kimberley and Kayly R. Woodhouse

This Mother/Daughter writing duo does another great job of writing an action-packed, fast paced story. I like the way these two write, and especially like how each main character in the book is given there own unique perspective on the story with the date and time always given. It seems to keep the story really moving along and helps you to understand each character better.

This story is based around the teenager Zoya and her Mom Anesia, who is a breeder of champoin racing dogs. Their best friends Jenna, Andie and now Cole (who you would have met if you read their first book "No Safe Haven") are also very much a part of this story. Zoya witnesses a murder while she is out racing her dogs in North Pole, Alaska and finds herself now thrown into danger now that someone is out to silence her. She finds herself doubting a God who could let so many bad things happen to her. Sean Connelly is a new employee at the kennel and quickly discovers he is out to protect Zoya and her Mom because they are very special to him. When Zoya takes off to protect her Mom from danger, Anesia and Sean both race against time to find her. A story of anger and forgiveness with some tough questions and insights on "does God really care".

This book had alot of suspense and a very tender romantic side to it. I loved the Alasken setting and also got a kick out of how they named each litter of dogs they owned. It was a book you will find yourself wanting to read from beginning to end without stopping. It is another big hit and although you could read it as a stand alone, I highly recommend you read their first book before this one, because it will make Race Against Time all that more interesting and easy to understand.
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: B&H Books; Original edition (November 1, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 1433671174
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433671173
  • Thursday, November 10, 2011

    LADY OF MILKWEED MANOR by Julie Klassen

    This was a story that brought a wide span of different emotions from me. The story line for me had a slow start, but the more I read, the more the story grew on me and I found near the end of the book I didn't want to put the book down until I saw how it would end (and I don't want to spoil the ending for anyone, but trust me it is worth reading to the very last page!). I really wasn't sure what was going to happen to Charlotte Lamb, the main character in this story. She went through a great deal yet it didn't change the person she was. I also had to stop and search the end of the book to see if the author would validate some of the things folks did during the time period this was written, because some of it was hard to comprehend.

    Charlotte Lamb was raised as a proper vicar's daughter, but when she makes a mistake one night with a man, she finds herself shunned by her family and forced to go into hiding in London's "Milkweed Manor", a place for unwed mothers. There she finds a doctor she once knew when she was young and he too has secrets he is hiding. Both of them are determined to protect the ones they love even if it means a huge sacrifice on their part. You will come to appreciate Charlotte and her strong yet gentle character. I found myself really not sure how the author was going to end this story and at one brief point felt my eyes tearing up, thinking how the ending was going to turn out. This was a good "drama" filled with details of what some women in Regency England endured at that time. A real eye-opener and it does have a very good romantic twist to it. I enjoyed reading this story and give high praise to the good job Julie Klassen did.

    Monday, November 7, 2011

    RENEGADE HEARTS by Anne Patrick

    This was just a feel good romantic read with plenty of characters in it you get to know and appreciate, even though some are a little difficult at times. Jenny has lost her husband in a tragic accident 2 years ago and her son Zach has become her "very reason for existence. When she had wanted to shut out the world and wallow in her own self-pity, Zach was the reason she had forced herself out of bed each morning." She is now running their 1200 acre cattle ranch, the Hazy Holloway. It is their home, their future and she will do whatever it takes to make it work. She has Buddy her right hand man on the ranch and Tommy but she needs more help. So Buddy encourages her to hire his son, Gil, who is back from the war and needs to come home and make himself useful. So let the romance begin. Jenny can be pretty "hard-nosed" when it comes to being in charge and she has no interest in falling in love. Gil is a handy man to have around and hits it off big time with Zach, but he must tread very slowly with Jenny. Then there Jenny's Dad who comes to live with them and also the break-in at the ranch, and it just makes the dynamics of the story all that much more interesting. This was a book that was just a pleasure to read and for me, very relaxing. Ann Patrick is an author that you know you are going to enjoy every time you pick up one of her books.
    I was not a big fan of the cover of this story. It is a little picky I guess but Jenny would fight to the end before she would be caught in a dress, and I just didn't think the characters on the front fit my view of these two people. Oh well, you can't please everyone all the time now can you?
    Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc (September 13, 2011)
    ISBN: 978-161252-081-0

    Friday, November 4, 2011

    A RELUCTANT QUEEN by Joan Wolf

    This is an endearing love story of a young girl who unwillingly becomes a queen. It is written as a work of fiction, even though the story line is from the true story of Queen Esther in the book of Esther in the Bible. The author states at the end of the book, "Where the Bible story and the novel come together is in the underlying premise. God has a plan for the world, and He works His plan through the actions of humans. The big question is, will we allow God to work through us?"

    This was a very well written story, but I had a hard time distancing myself from the true story in the Bible. I kept thinking to myself that this or that didn't happen that way, or that the author left this out of the story, or I don't think it happened like that. It was not the author's problem, it was mine. She didn't try to stick to all the facts, she just wrote a love story and used the book of Esther as her seed from which the story grew. As long as you can read it as a purely fictional love story then you will enjoy this book a great deal.

    Tuesday, November 1, 2011

    BEYOND BASEBALL by Carie Lawson

    I knew when I started reading this book it would be good, because I have read the first three in this series by Carie Lawson and they were all a "home run". This one did not disappoint me. Jude McCord is a baseball player with an injury he is recovering from and finds himself taking on the job as a police officer while his shoulder heals. He first meets up with Isabelle Winters when he pulls her over for speeding. He later finds out she is his long time friend and partner's grand-daughter, who he doesn't think very highly of. Which is okay because she doesn't think very highly of him at first. But they end up working together on Jude's dream of building a baseball camp to help teach kids the basics, and learning that both of them were wrong in their initial opinion of each other.

    I wish there could be more men out there like Jude McCord. He was a man with a personality that drew people to him, a person with respect and love for his elders, who didn't think more highly of himself that he ought to think, who had personal convictions and stood by them even when it would have been easy to give in to the moment. I just thought he was a "knight in shining armor" in this story. The way Isabelle grew to understand and know him was fun and endearing and I just enjoyed myself all the way through the book. This is just a great series and I say "well done!" to Carie Lawson. You can read this book by itself, but I must encourage you to read the whole series because you will fall in love with the rest of the McCord family.