Monday, September 15, 2014

A Grand Design by Amber Stockton

About Quilts of Love: Quilts tell stories of love and loss, hope and faith, tradition and new beginnings. The Quilts of Love seriesfocuses on the women who quilted all of these things into their family histories. A new book releases each month and features contemporary and historical romances as well as women's fiction and the occasional light mystery. You will be drawn into the endearing characters of this series and be touched by their stories.

About the book: 

A getaway on a charming island may be just what Alyssa needs---if only she can let go of her past.

When Alyssa Denham, a single career woman, wins a fun getaway for two on Mackinac Island where her grandmother lives, she gives her carefree best friend a call. Together, they tour the old shops and hidden treasures of the quaint island while helping Alyssa's grandmother piece together an heirloom quilt. Their quest gains them entrance into the homes of many longtime residents of the island, parts of the city that are otherwise off limits to tourists.

As the quilt's story takes shape, Alyssa gains amazing insight into her grandmother's life . . . and attracts the attention of the handsome Scott Whitman, an island resident in charge of hotel transportation. Will memories of her past keep Alyssa from letting go? Or will the quest to piece together the heirloom quilt restore Alyssa's fractured heart---and bring healing to her entire family?

Learn more about this book and the series at the Quilts of Lovewebsite.

About the Author: 

Amber Stockton is an award-winning author, a national speaker, and a direct-sales brand partner with Nerium International. She lives with her husband and fellow author, Stuart Vaughn Stockton, in Colorado. They have a daughter and a son, and an Aussie/retriever mix named Roxie. Three of her novels have won annual reader's choice awards.

Connect with Amber: websiteFacebookTwitter

My Take:  This is another great addition to the quilts of love series.  There really wasn't a big mystery to solve but the romance was a sweet one.  This was a sweet book and kept my interest in the story about the gathering of the pieces of for the quilt.  Although I do not quilt my mother does and I know how much time and skill it takes to make a quilt.  I do like the stories that have a little more action than this one had it had enough that kept my attention.

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

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Home to Chicory Lane by Deborah Raney

About the book: Landyn longs for home, but her mother may have other plans.
Audrey Whitman's dreams are coming true. Now that their five kids are grown, she and her husband, Grant, are turning their beloved family home into a cozy bed and breakfast just a mile outside of Langhorne, Missouri.
Opening weekend makes Audrey anxious, with family and friends coming from all over to help celebrate the occasion. But when Audrey's daughter, Landyn, arrives, the U-Haul she's pulling makes it clear she's not just here for a few days. Audrey immediately has questions. What happened in New York that sent Landyn running home? Where was Landyn's husband, Chase? And what else was her daughter not telling her? One thing was for sure, the Chicory Inn was off to a rocky start. Can Audrey still realize her dream and at the same time provide the comfort of home her daughter so desperately needs?

Purchase a copy: 

About the author: Deborah Raney's books have won numerous awards, including the RITA, National Readers Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, and the Carol Award, and have twice been Christy Award finalists. She and her husband, Ken, recently traded small-town life in Kansas---the setting of many of Deborah's novels---for life in the (relatively) big city of Wichita, where they enjoy gardening, antiquing, movies, and traveling to visit four children and a growing brood of grandchildren who all live much too far away.

Find Deborah online: websiteTwitterFacebook

My Take: As with all the other books I have read by Deborah Raney this book draws you in and engages you from the very start.  I am in basically the same time of life as Audrey and Grant as my oldest daughter is getting married this weekend and we have all adult children.  I would also have alot of questions if one of my children just showed up at my house with a Uhaul.  This book is basically about the story of Landryn and her husband Chase.  Chase is literally chasing his dream but it seems as if he is leaving Landryn out of the dream. I enjoyed this start to this series and look forward to reading the next installments.  

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

Sunday, August 24, 2014

In Perfect Time by Sarah Sundin

About the book: Bold, sophisticated, and flirtatious, Army Air Force flight nurse Lt. Kay Jobson collects hearts wherever she flies, leaving men pining in airfields all across Europe. So how can ruggedly handsome C-47 pilot Lt. Roger Cooper be all but immune to her considerable charms? In fact, he seems to do everything he can to avoid her.
Still, as they cross the skies between Italy and southern France, evacuating the wounded and delivering paratroopers and supplies, every beat of their hearts draws them closer to where they don't want to go.
Can they confront the fears and misunderstandings in their pasts?

Purchase a copy: 

About the author: Sarah Sundin is the author of With Every Letter and the Wings of Glory series. In 2011, A Memory Between Us was a finalist in the Inspirational Reader's Choice Awards, and Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. A graduate of UC San Francisco School of Pharmacy, she works on call as a hospital pharmacist. During WWII, her grandfather served as a pharmacist's mate (medic) in the Navy and her great-uncle flew with the US Eighth Air Force in England. Sarah lives in California with her husband and three children.

Find Sarah online: websiteFacebookTwitter

My Take:  This is great addition to this series and even though this is a part of a series you don't need to have read the other books in order to enjoy this book.  I really liked reading about Kay's life and Roger's life.  I am a preacher's kid so I am always curious about how others have had the experience of being in a fishbowl.  Luckily I didn't have the type of father that Kay did.  My heart went out to her and it was a great plot point that Roger went out of his comfort zone to do what he feels the Lord wanted him too.  I have enjoyed each of these books.  

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

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:

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:

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

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: 

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.