Friday, April 18, 2014

Canyon of Danger and River of Peril by Susan K. Marlow (Goldtown Adventures #3 & #4)

About the books: 

Canyon of Danger (Goldtown Adventures #3) by Susan K. Marlow:  Canyon of Danger (Goldtown Adventure)

Jem Coulter's pa, the sheriff of Goldtown, is away on a trip to deliver a prisoner to Sacramento, and he has left Jem in charge of the ranch-along with Aunt Rose, that is.

No sooner is the sheriff gone then trouble starts-a dead calf, a mysterious stranger, and then Pa's horse, Copper, and his prize rifle are stolen. And Pa's deputies seem unconcerned. Jem and his cousin Nathan find Copper's tracks end at a dark canyon up in the hills.

Jem remembers an old Indian legend Strike-it-rich Sam is fond 

of retelling about people disappearing and no one ever seeing them again. What is the real story of the canyon of danger? Have thieves found the perfect hideout?

Readers ages 8 to 12 will be entertained by the adventurous spirit and historical lure in this fast-moving series that teaches about life in the post-Gold Rush days of 1860s California. Quick-paced plots and unforgettable characters make these books fun for the whole family.

River of Peril (Goldtown Adventures #4) by Susan K. Marlow  River of Peril

Jem Coulter thinks his family is just on a sightseeing trip to the big city of Sacramento. Then armed bandits hold up the stagecoach for the secret stash they're carrying: gold for the Union Army fighting the distant Civil War! Suddenly war isn't nso far away; it's right there on the road to Sacramento, with Jem's father, the sheriff of Goldtown, fighting against the rebel army's Knights of the Golden Circle.

When the family finally reaches the city, they think they're safe at last. Setting out to see the sights, Jem, his sister Ellie, and their cousin Nathan make a new friend. But is Henry the pal they think he is? With a father who is a die-hard Confederate, could Henry be in cahoots with the thieves?

River of Peril gives readers ages 8 to 12 the fast-moving, exciting adventure they've come to expect in this series, as well as a glimpse into the history of post--Gold Rush and Civil War life in 1860s California, with stagecoaches, steamboats, stowaways--and lots of gold!

My Take:  If you are looking for a series that will get your youngster excited for reading especially boys this may just be the one for you.  these books start at a break neck speed and don't slow down until the very end so the young reader doesn't have time to get bored with the story.  They will be turning the pages as fast as they can read them so that they can find out what happens next.  I wish this series had been around when my son was young.  As it is I will be getting the first two in this se ries and saving them for when my grandkids are older.  Girls will enjoy this series also.

I received review copies of these books in exchange for my honest review from Kregel. 

A Sensible Arrangemtn by Tracie Peterson

ASA Peterson
A Lone Star Brides book.
Marty Dandridge Olson is ready to leave behind the pain of the past.
Answering an advertisement for a “Lone Star bride,” she leaves her Texas ranch and heads to Denver to marry a man she doesn’t know.
Jake Wythe is the man waiting for her.
Burned by love, he marries now simply to satisfy the board of Morgan Bank, which believes a man of his standing in society should be wed. Together Jake and Marty agree they are done with romance and love and will make this nothing more than a marriage of convenience.
When missing money and a collapsing economy threaten his job, Jake’s yearning to return to ranching grows ever stronger, much to Marty’s dismay. But a fondness has grown between them, as well, further complicating matters.
What will happen when their relationship shifts in unexpected ways… and dreams and secrets collide?
Tracie Peterson


Tracie Peterson is the award-winning author of over eighty novels, both historical and contemporary. Her avid research resonates in her stories, as seen in her bestselling Heirs of Montana, and Alaskan Quest series. Tracie and her family make their home in Montana. Visit Tracie’s Web site at
Find out more about Tracie at

My Take:  Tracie Peterson is one of my favorite authors every since my husband gave me The Heirs of Montana series for Christmas one year and I spent the rest of that winter reading that series and other books by her.  I was excited about reading this book which is the first in her new series the Lone Star Brides. This book has the Main character Marty leaving her familiar surroundings and going off to be a mail order bride.  I have always wondered why someone would become a mail order bride.  This book gives a scenario that I hadn't really thought of much.  I found this book interesting from both points of view from the Males and females.  I look forward to continuing with this series and see where is leads. 

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

Maybell in Stitches by Joyce Magnin (Quilts of Love)

Maybelle in Stitches
Maybelle In Stitches | A Quilts of Love book.
Maybelle Kazinzki can’t sew. She was after all, the only girl in the seventh grade Home Economics class to sew the zipper in the neck hole of the A-Line dress they were supposed to make. But when she finds an unfinished quilt in the attic of her mother’s house she gets the crazy idea to finish it—somehow, come heck or high water. She thinks it will help fill the lonely nights while her husband, Holden, is serving overseas during World War II.
Her recently departed mother’s quilt is made from scraps of material Maybelle traces back to her mother’s childhood, her grandmother’s childhood and her own childhood. She tries to add one of Holden’s stripes to it but the sewing is not going well and neither is her life. After receiving some harsh news, Maybelle’s faith falters and she puts the quilt away and stops trusting God. But God is faithful- no matter what. And it’ll take a group of neighborhood women armed with quilting needles to help Maybelle believe that.
Joyce Magnin


Joyce Magnin is the author of the Bright’s Pond novels, including the award-winning The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow. A member of the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Fellowship, Joyce is a frequent workshop leader and the organizer of the StoryCrafters fiction group. She lives near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

My Take:  Each one of the quilts of Love books is a treat.  Even though this is a series you never know what you will find when you open one of these books except it will be excellent story telling.  This book is set during WWII and Maybelle is doing her part for the war effort by being a welder.  Her mother is a quilter but Maybelle is not.  During several hard events Maybelle finds comfort in a quilt that her mother made and also in learning how to quilt by working on a quilt her mother started.  This book helps you to realize that you can get through anything if you just rely on God.  Another good installment to the series.  

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

Book spotlight of Up At Butternut Lake by Mary McNear

Up at Butternut Lake (The Butternut Lake Trilogy, #1)

In the spirit of Kristin Hannah and Susan Wiggs, comes this debut novel-the first in an unforgettable new series by Mary McNear

It's been ten years since Allie Beckett crossed the threshold of her family cabin at Butternut Lake, Minnesota. Now, newly widowed after the death of her husband in Afghanistan, she's returned with her five-year-old son.

There, she reconnects with the friends she had in childhood-best girlfriend Jax, now married with three kids and one on the way, and Caroline, owner of the local coffee shop. What Allie doesn't count on is a newcomer to Butternut Lake, Walker Ford. 

Up at Butternut Lake follows these four unforgettable characters across a single summer as they struggle with love, loss, and what it means to take risks, confront fears, and embrace life, in all of its excitement and unpredictability.

Allie Beckett could never have imagined, when she ran away from her old life, that she was running into a whole new life, up at the lake….

Friday, April 4, 2014

The Queen's Handmaid by Tracy L. Higley

Book Info
About the book: From the servant halls of Cleopatra's Egyptian palace to the courts of Herod the Great, Lydia will serve two queens to see prophecy fulfilled.
Alexandria, Egypt 39 BC
Orphaned at birth, Lydia was raised as a servant in Cleopatra's palace, working hard to please while keeping everyone at arm's length. She's been rejected and left with a broken heart too many times in her short life.
But then her dying mentor entrusts her with secret writings of the prophet Daniel and charges her to deliver this vital information to those watching for the promised King of Israel. Lydia must leave the nearest thing she's had to a family and flee to Jerusalem. Once in the Holy City, she attaches herself to the newly appointed king, Herod the Great, as handmaid to Queen Mariamme.
Trapped among the scheming women of Herod's political family---his sister, his wife, and their mothers---and forced to serve in the palace to protect her treasure, Lydia must deliver the scrolls before dark forces warring against the truth destroy all hope of the coming Messiah.

Purchase a copy:

About the Author: Tracy L. Higley started her first novel at age eight and has been hooked on writing ever since. She has authored many novels, including Garden of Madnessand So Shines the Night. Tracy is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Ancient History and has traveled through Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Italy, researching her novels and falling into adventures. 

See Tracy's travel journals and more at:

My Take:  I have always been fascinated with the time period of Cleopatra but oddly enough I haven't really read to much about this time period.  I liked this story of Lydia and how she must find her way through all the danger and political intrigue to fulfill the mission that she has been entrusted with.  This book is not only historical fiction but it has a bit of a spy novel feel to it.  I loved learning about not only the history but I likes learning about the politics.  Interesting reading. 

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

Hands of Darkness by Heather James

Hands of Darkness (Lure of the Serpent)

Hands of Darkness by Heather James


Evelyn Barrett has a new job, a new baby, and a new life—of sorts. Nearly crushed by the horrific abduction and murder of her daughter (book 1, Unholy Hunger), Evelyn is moving on as best she can. No longer allowed to practice law, she is recruited by one of the detectives from her daughter’s case to become a police consultant. Her inaugural case becomes a baptism by fire as she joins the hunt for a chillingly methodical and sadistic serial rapist and murderer. Her revulsion and anger fuels a passion for justice . . . and then it becomes personal. Her friend and law school roommate, Jen, becomes a victim. The rapist has made a catastrophic mistake with Jen: he has left her alive and able to talk. Filled with the chilling tension of Unholy Hunger, Hands of Darkness explores the emotional and spiritual consequences for all involved when justice and compassion collide head-on with the darkest examples of human depravity.

My Take:  Even thought this is the second book in a series you can easily read this book as a standalone.  I love books that have me in suspense from beginning till the end and this book certainly did that.  This story is a bit hard at times to read as the subject matter of rape and murder are difficult issues.  I enjoyed getting to know the characters and learning about what made them tick.  This book will hook you and won't let go until you reach the final page.  I would recommend this book if you like suspenseful thrillers.  

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