Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Deborah Raney has done it again! She has written another great story in the Clayburn Series. This can definately be stand-alone story, although there are a few characters mentioned from the first two books in this series. This story touched on some emtionally tough situations, and they were all handled very well. There was the death of a spouse, the loss of a mother and child, the emotions that follow, the mistakes that can be made and the love that can eventually be found. There is also the hurt one can feel when rejected. Emotions ran high when I read this story, at times there was deep sadness, at other times happiness and at one point even tears. There were alot of good lessons to learn for anyone going through a death of a loved one and then the contemplation of marrying again; and for someone thinking about marrying someone who has lost a loved one.

Douglas DeVore never thought he would be left with 5 kids to raise on his own, with two jobs trying to keep the bills paid. He never thought his life would change one day and his beloved Kaye and their little Rachel would be gone.
Mickey Valdez, a 30 something single daycare teacher, is aware of the tragedy, as some of the children are in her daycare. But she has never known Doug as anyone other than a happily married father of some of her daycare children. So when she tries to reach out and help him, she begins to discover her feelings for him. But are his feelings for her love or some other need in his life right now? Can they figure out their true feelings before someone gets terribly hurt?

Your heart will feel for each of these characters and your emotions will go from sorrow to joy and back again. But when you are done, you will hopefully say you were really glad you read this book.

TO ECHO THE PAST by Marcia Lynn McClure

This was another great short story by Marcia Lynn McClure! If you read "Desert Fire" and liked it (and I am sure if you read it, you liked it!), then you won't be disappointed with this story either. It is great as a stand alone, but does follow the characters in Desert Fire. The McCall family is just a family I would have loved to lived close to. This is a story about Jackson and Malaina McCall's son, Michael. You are first introduced to a young lady whose family has moved out West . The Clarkston family left the city in the East, with its shops, bakeries, automobiles and operas, to live in a dusty, brown, lifeless town, at least that is how Brynn Clarkston described it. But when she meets up with Michael McCall, she suddenly decides the town does have some good points. But she can't believe Michael could be interested in her, he is just "flirting" with her. Michael is a hoot! I loved the way he was around Brynn and I loved the way she was always responding to things he said to her.

This was a short story but packed full of delight! The interaction between these 2 characters kept me smiling, laughing and closing the book with a big sigh! There was alot of romance and a little bit of action and adventure. I love the way this author writes!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

STARDUST by Shari MacDonald

If my husband read this book (which he would NEVER do) he would probably say it would make a great "chic flick". That is okay with me, because I like those kind of movies. Gillian Spencer grew up as the daughter of great astrophysicist, so it is little wonder that she knew alot about astronomy. She just wished her Dad would have been as interested in her as he was in his work. Max Bishop was one of her Dad's students when Gillian was 16 and she never quite got over her "love" for him. Now she finds herself all grown up and unexpectedly partnering with Max on an astronomy project. They of course have an attraction to each other, but Gillian has a hard time giving her heart to anyone.

I liked the way this story was written. You kep getting flashbacks to Gillian's diary from 10 years ago and then to the present time. I enjoyed getting to know Gillian better by these flashbacks and to understand where she was coming from in her thoughts and feelings about love and about God and the Bible. As a person working in the scientific world I understood a little of how hard it is for them to accept the facts of God and his Word and appreciated Max's take on faith and how science and the Bible can work together. It was a well written story with a subject line that was unique and well done.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The PROTECTOR by Sharon Balts

First off, I want to give a thumbs up to the people in charge of the cover of this book. They did a great job!
The first half of this book takes place on a ship headed to the New World. Anne Dutton and her Uncle and Aunt are some of the passengers. When Anne's safety is at stake on the ship, they decide to ask Sir Thomas Blackaby, a man who served the queen as a bodyguard, to "pretend" to court Anne and watch over her. There was alot of that pretending stuff going around on the ship. And what started off as pretending, ended up as far more than that for both Anne and Thomas. But when Anne discovers some of Thomas's past, she can't seem to forgive and forget.

This was an adventure story with alot of action, some mystery and romance. It was a story of letting go of the past, realizing it has been forgiven, and pressing on to the future and all its possibilities. It was a story of learning what real love is. I liked the way the author weaved the Bible verses into the story with the younger boys on ship reciting them as part of their eduction and sword training. A book well worth reading.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

CITY GIRL by Lori Wick

This is book 3 and the last in the Yellow Rose Trilogy. It is not necessary, but makes the reading of this story easier to understand, if you read the first two in the series first. This is a series of books that I was so glad I read. I was not disappointed in any of them.

Hard to believe that some folks can grow up without really knowing love and having never learned how to trust folks. But that is the way of Reagan Sullivan, who grew up on her own for most of her life in New York City in the late 1800s. So it isn't any wonder she decides she wants to be adventurous and accepts a job in Texas (which falls through when she gets there and she ends up as a cook). The folks Reagan gets to know is this town help her to learn the true meaning of love and help her see there is a God she can trust in and who loves her. It was encouraging to see how one lives really does have an impact on others, even when we may not even know it.

Cash Rawlings is eventually brought into the story (and you get to know him better from the first two books). He is such a longsuffering, patient and understanding man and he has watched his two younger brothers come to the Lord and is praying for his Dad and Mom. Then he starts to help Reagan with her understanding of God, love and trust. Reagan ends up living out at Cash's ranch and helping his housekeeper until she recovers from an accident. It was a tender time as you see Cash's patience and waiting on the Lord's timing to see if Reagan was the woman God had for him. I felt the author ended this series well and appreciated so much the way she weaved the Scriptures into her story. Not in a forced in your face way, but in a very natural and positive way and I so appreciated it. Another good job Lori Wick.

Friday, January 14, 2011

A TEXAS SKY by Lori Wick

This is book two in the series and although you could read it as a stand alone, it would be much better if you read book one first, so you could get some background on Dakota Rawlings. This is a story of two people who have just recently come to a saving faith in the Lord. They are growing in their walk with the Lord and at the same time, without either really being aware of it, they are growing in their relationship to each other. I appreciated so much the way the author weaved the scriptures into this story, in a very real and natural way. It was a good view of the thoughts and feelings and issues people experience when a loved one doesn't understand the decisions one makes for eternity.

Dakota is a Texas Ranger healing from a shoot-out he was involved in. While he is not on the job he offers to take his boss' niece, Darvi, to visit her close friend in another town. From there we go to Darvi being kidnapped, to Dakota rescueing her, to Darvi going back to St. Louis, to Dakota finally realizing that the feelings he has for Darvi are more than just friendship.

It was a most unusual kidnapping and there seemed to be alot of little stories inside this one story. I am a BIG fan of Lori Wick and she did another great job. Her books just make you feel good after having read them. I am looking forward to book 3 next!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


A review alert! Lori Wick has always been a favorite author of mine and I have a special fondness for her books. That said, this book was another one of her best. It was fun to read and when I finished I closed the book with a contented sigh at the end (and was ready to start book #2 in this series). I am not too sure how often you would find a lady like Liberty Drake in real life when this story took place (late 1800s), but she could do it all; from pulling a gun on people, to playing the piano in church, helping her family with preparing meals to helping out old ladies in town and finally capturing a certain Texas Ranger's heart.

Liberty first meets the Ranger, Slater Rawlings, when she arrests him for not turning over his gun in the saloon. Slater goes from angry, to shocked to amused by this lady deputy, who helps out her brother, the sheriff in Shotgun, when he needs her. You quickly learn to love Liberty and her family, especially little Laura. There was romance, and some danger, and alot of fun in this story. These folks had a real love for the Lord and it showed in the way they lived their lives and it was refreshing to read. If you just want to read a heartwarming story and feel good at the end, then this book will not disappoint you!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

THE ROGUE KNIGHT by Marcia Lynn McClure

Marcia Lynn McClue really knows how to write some fabulous kissing scenes! And there were several in this story. Fontaine finds a man freezing to death at the servant's entrance and quickly rescues him and sets about to restore his health. Knight is the name the man goes by and seeks to repay Fontaine for her kindness by rescuing her from her wicked Aunt, Lady Wetherton. Knight finds himself fallilng for Fontaine's wit, her smile, her intelligence, her innocence and her kisses. But there are things Fontaine doesn't know about Knight and he feels if she did know it would ruin her feelings for him.

This was a story I read to completion in a day and it was good to the very last page! This is just a good romantic story in the days when there were noble "knights" who had passion and love for their "lady" in distress. Kind of put me in the mood of "Cinderella" and her wicked stepmother relationship, with a mysterious "Prince Charming" in disguise.

Monday, January 10, 2011

SABOTAGE by Anne Patrick

A good romantic story with some mystery and suspense and danger thrown in. It didn't take me long to read and kept me very interested all the way through till the end. Judge Katie McKinley is receiving threatening letters and one of the suspects is Graham Bishop a guy she has always known and at one time dated, but he made a mistake in court one day and got very angry at her ruling. Now he must prove to Katie that she can trust him.

I appreciated the love both these characters had and lost at different times in their lives. It was an emotional story at some points and I had tears in my eyes at one point in the story. A story of trust, and of rekindling a flame that never died out.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


This was a story I won't soon forget. Even while I was reading it and had to put it down and return to it later, my mind would be thinking of the characters and what they were going through. Although there were some difficult issues to deal with in this story, I am just so thankful for the way Deborah Raney dealt with them.

Vienne Kenney finds herself back in Clayburn, Kansas, after having "gotten out of town" to pursue a degree in law. Her Mom's health is bad and Vienne finds herself running the town cafe, which she turns into a cooffe house. Vienne has dealt with an alcoholic father all her life until he died, so she wants nothing to do with anyone who struggles in that area. Jackson Linder also left Clayburn and is back, but for totally different reasons. He left to check himself in to a rehab. place and get his life straightened out. When Vienne starts to have feelings for Jack, they take a nose-dive when she finds out his past.

This story is about forgiveness and letting go of the past and reaching towards the future. As Jack said in the book, "I know this isn't a batle that's easily won.. . . In all the victory stories I know, there's a common denominator. It's always God who makes the difference." It was so refreshing to know that when people read this book who might struggle with addiction of any kind, that there is hope, but it is God who will makes the real difference in their lives! And for Vienne's struggles with forgiving her Dad, she needed to let go of her bitterness and stop "projecting what she felt for her father onto God. Onto Jack. Even her mother. . . She'd found reasons to be bitter toward almost everyone she knew.

I can't say enough praises for the way this author wrote this story. I felt a part of the Clayburn town and felt as if I knew these people well. These people had some tough obstacles to overcome and I felt their pain and rejoiced with their victories! I could have kept on reading many more pages if the story would have continued on! Great job Deborah Raney!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

NOTHINGS As It SEEMS by Kerri Fraser

The title does the story line of this book justice. There are alot of characters in the story who are not who they portray themselves to be. Miri is a single mom raising her son and working at a Rehabilitation Facility. She has a male employee, Del, who has some secrets, a patient and his relatives, who aren't who they claim to be and an ex-husband who also turned out differently. Miri though is "what you see is who I really am". She has a love for her life, her child, her family and espcecially her Lord, who she depends upon to get her through all her situations in life. Even her growing fondness for James, an unbeliever who turns out to be her protector.

There is alot of mystery, danger and suspense in this story. There is is also underlying romance between Miri and James. What I enjoyed the most though was the values Miri had because she was a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, and how she stood by those beliefs and how they made a difference in everyone around her. Living your life for the Lord does make a difference and it was great to see how it made a difference in the men in Miri's life.

I also enjoyed James and how he tried to deal with his interest in Miri, while at the same time trying to keep his mind focused on his job. He knew Miri would not pursue a relationship with him unless he was a believer, but I admired him for not making his decision just to please Miri. The author kept this story real; real struggles, real questions, and real answers. I was refreshed from having read this story. It made me see the the importance of reaching out to people and getting to know them. I wish Miri could have been bolder in talking to James about the Lord, but there again, it was real life; how many of us are afraid that if we say too much we will lose that friendship we so greatly desire. Good job Kerri Fraser! This is my first book to read of hers, but I hope in the future to see more of her work. This was a hard story to put down, so make sure you have time to read it when you get started, because you are gong to want to keep turning the pages until the end!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

WHAT SARAH SAW by Margaret Daley

This story is a good mystery. Not everything is resolved in this book, which makes the series a good one, as you will want to keep reading to see how the whole mystery ends. A single mom has vanished (shortly after her husband died mysteriously), leaving her 3 year old daughter, Sarah, with her brother. Child psychologist Jocelyn Gold knows the family and wants to work with Sarah to see if she can tell her what she saw and what she knows. FBI agent Sam Pierce is also called in to help with the case. Sam and Jocelyn have worked together before and although both of them have been hurt in the past, they feel drawn to one another.

This was a well written mystery, with lots of characters and possibilities of "who did it". I can't say why, but I never could get into this story. I didn't feel the suspense or intrigue that I have in other mysteries. It was there, I just wasn't. There was a good theme throughout the book how we must give our heartaches and struggles over to God, because we can't fix everything and not all situations turn out the way we would want them. There is evil in the world and bad things do happen to good people and to children. We can't understand this, but we can give our struggles over to God, who can help us through those difficult situations. He does care!

Monday, January 3, 2011

THE PIRATE RUSE by Marcia Lynn McClure

I have read some pirate stories in the past that I really enjoyed, and this one goes right up there with the best! The title of the book is very fitting for this story. Navarrone the Blue Blade sails the seas on his ship The Merry Wench. He comes upon another pirate ship attacking the Brits and decides to attack them both and take the plunder for himself. He wasn't planning though on rescuing a damsel in distress, Cristabel Albay. Cristabel has a great disdain for pirates, so she gives Navarrone a real "run for his money" after he rescues her. As Navarrone said in the book, Cristabel was, "strong-willed, witty, brave and beautiful. She was feminine, yet not fragile - a woman of rare worth." But Navarrone is not your ordinary pirate and he is out to keep Cristabel his prisoner until he figures out why she was abducted from her home in New Orleans by the British.

There was alot of action packed pirate fights and adventures in this story. There were also some very noble and decent pirates in the story, along with some disgusting pirates, that you would normally think of when you picture them in your mind (at least in my mind). I liked Navarrone the Blue Blade Pirate as he had desires like any red-blooded pirate, but he also had high moral standards when it came to the ladies and it was refreshing to read, although I am not sure if in real life any like him would have existed. There were many passionate scenes in the book, but I appreciated the fact that this author didn't let their passion go further that some very good kissing scenes. For me it made the book that much more enjoyable as anything beyond that would have bumped it from my "favorites" category.

There is also a very tender story about a young lady that Navarrone has a picture of in his cabin. Cristabel becomes jealous of this lady, until she discovers the story behind the picture. A great picture of the love we should all show towards people, because we never know what that person has gone through and is going through. Outward appearances can be very deceptive, we need to learn to look beyond the circumstances and see the person and love them. It was a beautiful sub-plot to the story.

I was captivated by the story all the way through and the more I read, the more I enjoyed all the characters in the book. This was just an all around good story and if you are looking for action, adventure, mystery and intrigue, with alot of emotion and passion, then this is a book to read.