Sunday, August 3, 2014

When I Fall in Love by Susan May Warren

About the book: 

Hawaii was the last place Grace Christiansen ever imagined she'd vacation, much less fall in love. But when her family surprises her with a cooking retreat in paradise, she is pulled-or maybe yanked-away from her predictable, safe life and thrown headfirst into the adventure of a lifetime.
Max Sharpe may make his living on the ice as a pro hockey player, but he feels most at home in the kitchen. Which is why he lives for the three-week culinary vacation he takes each year in Hawaii. Upon being paired with Grace for a cooking competition, Max finds himself drawn to her passion, confidence, and perseverance. But just when Grace dares to dream of a future beyond her hometown, Max pulls away.
Wrestling with personal demons, Max fights against opening his heart to a love he knows he should never hope for. And as his secrets unfold, Grace is torn between the safe path in front of her and what her heart truly desires. If love means sacrificing her ideal happily ever after, Grace's faith will face its toughest test yet.

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/z5Ijj

About the author: 

Susan May Warren is the bestselling, RITA Award-winning author of more than forty novels whose compelling plots and unforgettable characters have won acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. She served with her husband and four children as a missionary in Russia for eight years before she and her family returned home to the States. She now writes full-time as her husband runs a lodge on Lake Superior in northern Minnesota, where many of her books are set. She and her family enjoy hiking, canoeing, and being involved in their local church. Several of her critically acclaimed novels have been ECPA and CBA bestsellers, were chosen as Top Picks by Romantic Times, and have won the RWA's Inspirational Reader's Choice contest and the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year award. Five of her books have been Christy Award finalists. In addition to her writing, Susan loves to teach and speak at women's events about God's amazing grace in our lives. She also runs a writing community for authors.

Find Susan online: websiteMy Book TherapyTwitterFacebook

My Take:  I really like family sagas that take  believable characters and make them just like you and me.  The Christiansen  Family Series is just like that.  This is the 3rd in the series and you will want to read the first two in the series before you read this one.  This book gets us right back into the action with the Christiansen family and many of the family are back in this story.   This story with grab from the beginning and keep you turning the pages to find out what happens next.  Great installment in the series.  You will be hooked as I am.  

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron

About the book: A mysterious painting breathes hope and beauty into the darkest corners of Auschwitz---and the loneliest hearts of Manhattan.
Manhattan art dealer Sera James watched her world crumble at the altar two years ago, and her heart is still fragile. Her desire for distraction reignites a passion for a mysterious portrait she first saw as a young girl---a painting of a young violinist with piercing blue eyes.
In her search for the painting, Sera crosses paths with William Hanover, the grandson of a wealthy California real estate mogul, who may be the key to uncovering the hidden masterpiece. Together, Sera and William slowly unravel the story behind the painting's subject: Austrian violinist Adele Von Bron.
A darling of the Austrian aristocracy, talented violinist, and daughter to a high-ranking member of the Third Reich, Adele risks everything when she begins smuggling Jews out of Vienna. In a heartbeat, her life of prosperity and privilege dissolves into a world of starvation and barbed wire.
As Sera untangles the secrets behind the painting, she finds beauty in the most unlikely of places: in the grim camps of Auschwitz and in the inner recesses of her own troubled heart.

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/zhXo3

About the author: Kristy Cambron has been fascinated with the WWII era since hearing her grandfather's stories of the war. She holds an art history degree from Indiana University and received the Outstanding Art History Student Award. Kristy writes WWII and Regency era fiction and has placed first in the 2013 NTRWA Great Expectations and 2012 FCRW Beacon contests, and is a 2013 Laurie finalist. Kristy makes her home in Indiana with her husband and three football-loving sons.

Find Kristy online: websiteFacebookTwitter

My Take:This book is a wonderful debut novel by Kristy Cambron.  There are two plot lines, one set in WWII and one in present day.The story starts in present day and grabs you and draws you in and you won't want to put it down.  Both story lines are great and the author puts the whole thing together wonderfully.  The whole Holocaust is a hard time period to read about but Kristy does a great job.  

I received a review copy of this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Audio book review of The Half-stitched Amish Quilting Club by Wanda Brunstetter

The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club (The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club, #1)
The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club by Wanda Brunstetter  narrator Renee Ertl

From Goodreads.com
Join the club of unlikely quilters who show up for Amish widow Emma Yoder’s quilting classes. A troubled young woman, a struggling couple, a widower, a rough and tough biker, and a preacher’s wife make up the mismatched lot. But as their problems begin to bind them together like the scraps of fabric stitched together in a quilt, they learn to open up and lend a helping hand. Is this what God had in mind to heal hurting hearts and create beauty from fragments?

My Take:  I got this book because I like Amish Fiction and my husband and I are going to see the musical that is based on this book next weekend.  I thought the story was engaging after the first little bit.  This story is really not all about the Amish as most of the story has to do with the members of the quilting class.  I did find myself not liking certain characters and liking others more.  I did figure out the major plot twist before it was revealed in the book but it did take my husband by surprise.  I am curious how they will make this into a musical but the play has been well received.  
The narrator did a good job of reading the book.  

This book is from my personal library. 

Pennywise by Neta and David Jackson

About the book: Penny Wise introduces us to yet another family in "the neighborhood"---the Jaspers, busy with demanding jobs, busy with church, busy volunteering, parents of three active teenagers, juggling sometimes crazy schedules. All good things. Until all those "good things" feed into a series of crises that affects the whole family. Something's gotta change!

The third in the Windy City Neighbors series, Penny Wise is a contemporary peek at an urban family wrestling with the spiritual and practical challenges of real life. The series employs the innovating storytelling technique of "parallel novels," each with its own drama and story arc, but whose characters' lives become intertwined with their neighbors and affect one another. Welcome to Beecham Street---a typical, isolated American neighborhood that is beginning to come out of its shell . . . for better or worse.

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/yLCKz 

About the authors: Dave and Neta Jackson are award-winning authors living in the Chicago area where their parallel novels from the Yada Yada House of Hope and Harry Bentley series are set. As a husband/wife writing team, Dave and Neta Jackson are enthusiastic about books, kids, walking with God, gospel music, and each other! Together they are the authors or coauthors of over 100 books.

Find Neta and Dave online: website




My Take: I have read a few of the Yada Yada Prayer group series and really enjoyed them so I thought I would give this book a try.  This book is the third book in a series but it stands just fine on it's own.  I could really relate to the Jaspers and how busy they were.  My Dad was a minister and he and my mom were always going to different meetings and committees.  My Mom is still doing that.  When my kids were younger we were always going to different things for them.  I always joked that I didn't know why it was called homeschooling because we were never home.  I think alot of families get caught up in the busyness of life and don't spend alot of time enjoying the family.  This book emphasizes the fact that we need to slow down and really think fi we really need to be doing all that we are doing.  I got out of the mindset that if I didn't do it then nobody would do it.  I started to really pray about things and decided what was on the top of my priority list and go from there.  If no one else volunteered then maybe it was time to give that particular program up.  I had to put my family and myself first then work my way out from there.  Same with the Jaspers .  Good book Good reminder.  

I received a review copy of this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest opinion.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Audio Book Review of The Women of Duck Commander by Miss Kay, Korie, Missy, Jessica, Lisa Robertson and Alex Robertson Mancuso

The Women of Duck Commander: Surprising Insights from the Women Behind the Beards About What Makes This Family Work

The Women of Duck Commander

From Good Reads:

An Inside Look at the Robertson Women 

In the pages of this book, you'l find both fun and inspirational stories . . . 

Kay shares the honest story of her relationship with Phil and his wild and philandering years and the challenges of being a teenage mother. Even more amazing, she shares the forgiveness she offered Phil and how they have now celebrated forty-eight years of marriage. 

Korie tells of her first encounter with Phil when she was in just the fifth grade. At that first meeting Phil came right out and told her what good husbands his boys would make and that she should keep an eye on them. She also shares the reaction her parents had when she told them that she and Willie were getting married when she was only eighteen. 

Missy tells the story of their daughter, Mia, who was born with a cleft palate, and their adjustments to this condition and Mia's joyful spirit that inspires them all. 

Jessica recounts her first conversation with Jep and how unimpressed she was when Jep bragged that his dad was the Duck Commander Phil Robertson. She told him she'd heard of Daffy Duck, Donald Duck, and Duck, Duck, Goose but not the Duck Commander. 

Lisa reveals the serious marriage problems she and Al had problems that almost ended their marriage for good and how they worked through those issues to have a more stable and loving marriage than she ever imagined possible.

My Take:  I really enjoyed getting to know the women behind the beards in this book.  These women each have their own trials that they had to go through and there lives have not been all the glitz and glamour that they have today.  It is nice to hear how the family comes together for others in the family and rallies behind them when they are in need.  
Each women reads the sections that have to do with them and their families except Miss Kay who only reads the scripture before her sections and her granddaughter reads her sections.  Each women does not sugar coat there lives they share the bad along with the good but this is not a tell all book it is a book about life and all the mess and beauty that comes along with being humans.  

I received a review copy of this audio book from Simon and Schuster Audio in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Audio Review of Classic Radio's Greatest Comedy Shows Volume 1




This collection contains twelve of the greatest comedy shows ever broadcast during the golden age of radio. You’ll hear Ozzie and Harriet Nelson in The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll as Amos ’n’ Andy, Robert Young in Father Knows Best, Jim and Marian Jordan as Fibber McGee and Molly, William Bendix as Chester A. Riley in The Life of Riley, Lucille Ball in My Favorite Husband, Eve Arden as English teacher Connie Brooks in Our Miss Brooks, plus many others, including The Fred Allen ShowThe Aldrich FamilyThe Great GildersleeveLife with Luigi, and Lum & Abner.
Relive twelve of the best classic radio comedy shows from yesterday and hear the legendary stars who made them great in this incredible collection.
Contents include:
The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, “Housekeeping,” starring Ozzie Nelson and Harriet Hilliard
The Aldrich Family, “Henry Forgets to Mail a Letter,” starring Ezra Stone
The Amos ’n’ Andy Show, “Andy Gets a Job as Charles Boyer’s Valet,” starring Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll, with special guest Charles Boyer
Father Knows Best, “The Elusive Card Game,” starring Robert Young
Fibber McGee & Molly, “Jewelry Store Robbery,” starring Jim and Marian Jordan
The Fred Allen Show, “The Chicken Surplus,” starring Fred Allen, with special guest Orson Welles
The Great Gildersleeve, “Gildersleeve vs. Golf,” starring Willard Waterman
The Life of Riley, “Staying Out Late,” starring William Bendix
Life with Luigi, “The Traffic Light,” starring J. Carrol Naish
The Lum & Abner Show, “Baby Cedric the Mind Reader,” starring Chester Lauck and Norris Goff
My Favorite Husband, “Trying to Cash the Prize Check,” starring Lucille Ball and Richard Denning
Our Miss Brooks, “Trying to Sell a Trailer,” starring Eve Arden

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Hacker by Ted Dekker Ebook Review

Hacker (The Outlaw Chronicles #3)

Hacker by Ted Dekker

From Amazon:

My name is Nyah and I'm a hacker. I know things most people would never believe. Things that shouldn't exist, but do. 

Seventeen year old Nyah Parks is a genius hacker who makes a living by cracking the firewalls of the world's largest corporations. But when the biggest job of her life goes wrong she's plunged into a desperate situation with only one way out: one last hack that will either save her or kill her. 

So begins Hacker, a modern day parable that examines the staggering world around us, the seen and unseen, and reminds us that there's far more to who we are than meets the eye.

My Take:  This is another great book by Ted Dekker.  The book starts with a bang with Nyah trying to Hack into a company and things go bad and Nyah finds out some things that are secret.  She is trying to make some money to help with the care of her mother.  She goes to meet her friend who has cancer and he tells her about an experiment he has been conducting and how it could change both of their lives.  The rest of the book is the wild ride that follows.  Great suspense and thrill ride.  Dekker at his best. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Book Spotlight of A Question of Honor by Charles Todd

A Question of Honor (Bess Crawford, #5)

A Question of Honor by Charles Todd

From Good Reads.com

In the latest mystery from New York Times bestselling author Charles Todd, World War I nurse and amateur sleuth Bess Crawford investigates an old murder that occurred during her childhood in India, a search for the truth that will transform her and leave her pondering a troubling question: How can facts lie?

Bess Crawford enjoyed a wondrous childhood in India, where her father, a colonel in the British Army, was stationed on the Northwest Frontier. But an unforgettable incident darkened that happy time. In 1908, Colonel Crawford's regiment discovered that it had a murderer in its ranks, an officer who killed five people in India and England yet was never brought to trial. In the eyes of many of these soldiers, men defined by honor and duty, the crime was a stain on the regiment's reputation and on the good name of Bess's father, the Colonel Sahib, who had trained the killer.

A decade later, tending to the wounded on the battlefields of France during World War I, Bess learns from a dying Indian sergeant that the supposed murderer, Lieutenant Wade, is alive—and serving at the Front. Bess cannot believe the shocking news. According to reliable reports, Wade's body had been seen deep in the Khyber Pass, where he had died trying to reach Afghanistan. Soon, though, her mind is racing. How had he escaped from India? What had driven a good man to murder in cold blood?

Wanting answers, she uses her leave to investigate. In the village where the first three killings took place, she discovers that the locals are certain that the British soldier was innocent. Yet the present owner of the house where the crime was committed believes otherwise, and is convinced that Bess's father helped Wade flee. To settle the matter once and for all, Bess sets out to find Wade and let the courts decide.

But when she stumbles on the horrific truth, something that even the famous writer Rudyard Kipling had kept secret all his life, she is shaken to her very core. The facts will damn Wade even as they reveal a brutal reality, a reality that could have been her own fate.

It's Monday What are You Reading?

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It's Monday What are You reading? is a great weekly Meme hosted by Sheila over at Book Journey.  It's a great way to see what others are reading and loving or not loving.  Warning your TBR list will surely grow.

According to my blog posts I have not participated in this meme for almost a year.  Wow I knew it had a been awhile but I didn't think it had been that long.

Any way since I have been completely slaking off I totally missed mentioning on my blog that June was Audio Book Month.  So I did a few audio book discussion question from past audio book weeks on the blog.  I also posted a new audio book review.  I have quite a few books that I need to write reviews up for so maybe I will get caught up soon.

Any way on the Blog Last Week.
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Adventures in Odyssey Adventure Club

Child of Mine

Mini Review and Book spotlight of Child of Mine by David and Beverly Lewis



Book Review of The Revealing by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Good Call: Reflections on Faith, Family, and Fowl

Audio Book Review of Good Call: Reflections on Faith, Family, and Fowl by Jase Robertson and Mark Schlaback

Current Reads are in the Sidebar

Coming up on the Blog this Week

A Question of Honor (Bess Crawford, #5)

Book spotlight of A Question of Honor by Charles Todd

Penny Wise

Book Review of Penny Wise by Neta Jackson and Dave Jackson

Coming Up

What Strange Creatures

What Strange Creatures by Emily Arsenault

The Butterfly and the Violin (Hidden Masterpiece, #1)

The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron

In Perfect Time (Wings of the Nightingale #3)

In Perfect Time by Sarah Sundin

Audio Book Discussion 5

Where do you learn about great audiobook titles? Buy your audiobooks? Share your secrets with the rest of us! We’d particularly love to know what narrators or publishers are active in social media or do a great job communicating with listeners.

I usually learn about great audiobook titles from other bloggers, publisher's emails, new arrival lists at Audible. 

I buy my audiobooks from Audible.com.  I have the 2 credit a month plan.  I also get books occasionally from the library but it is a very small selection.  I do reviews for Audiobook Jukebox, Simon and Schuster, Christianaudio.com.  I use to belong to Christianaudio.com but decided I would rather up my credits on Audible.  I have used Librivox in the past and just recently have gotten my husband to listen to Shakespeare on it. 

I receive an email from Simon and Schuster every month with a list of books available.  I also get an email from Christianaudio.com twice a month with two books to choose from (I need to review one book every 3 months to stay in the program).  I haven't really had much contact with narrators but am open to explore this area.