Monday, August 29, 2016

The Things We Knew by Catherine West

Things We Knew

The Things We Knew (Thomas Nelson, July 2016)
A tragedy from the past resurfaces in this tale of family secrets and reignited love.
After her mother’s death twelve years ago, Lynette Carlisle watched her close-knit family unravel. One by one, her four older siblings left their Nantucket home and never returned. All seem to harbor animosity toward their father, silently blaming him for their mother’s death. Nobody will talk about that dreadful day, and Lynette can’t remember a bit of it.
But when next-door neighbor Nicholas Cooper returns to Nantucket, he brings the past with him. Once her brother’s best friend and Lynette’s first crush, Nick seems to hiding things from her. Lynette wonders what he knows about the day her mother died and hopes he might help her remember the things she can’t.
But Nick has no intention of telling Lynette the truth. Besides the damage it might cause his own family, he doesn’t want to risk harming the fragile friendship between him and the woman he once thought of as a kid sister.
As their father’s failing health and financial concerns bring the Carlisle siblings home, secrets begin to surface—secrets that will either restore their shattered relationships or separate the siblings forever. But pulling up anchor on the past propels them into the perfect storm, powerful enough to make them question all they ever believed in.
Catherine West


Catherine West writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border collie for long walks on the beach or tending to her roses and orchids. She and her husband have two grown children.
Find out more about Catherine at

My Take:  This is a touching book about a family that each member has a secret.  The family home is on Nantucket and it is where Lynnett the youngest of the family and her father are currently living.  The house needs alot of repairs but their mother's will says that they all need to make a unanimous decision and they all must be on Nantucket.  They are not only dealing with the house they must also deal with their father's declining health.  This is a good book and I would suggest it if you like contemporary books with family drama.

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

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Starving Hearts by Janine Mendenhall's Delightful Heart Gift Pack

Will Annette's search for love and acceptance replace the loss and hurt in her heart? Find out in Janine Mendenhall's book one, Starving Hearts, of the Triangular Trade Trilogy. Since her assault, Miss Annette Chetwynd has been plagued by nightmares and worries about an arranged marriage. But she yearns to find her anonymous rescuer. Unfortunately, her health and intellect prevent it. Both repel suitors and cause Annette to doubt God’s existence, at least until He answers her prayers in an unusual way. . . .

Join in the search for love and acceptance with Janine and Starving Hearts by entering to win the Delightful Heart Gift Pack Giveaway.

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One grand prize winner will receive:
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Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on September 12. The winner will be announced September 13 on Janine's blog.

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Service Tails by Ace Collins Take-your-Dog-to-the-park Pack

Fall in love with these remarkable service dogs and their stories of courage, faith, and loyalty in Ace Collins' new book, Service Tails. Their training was intense, their loyalty unquestioned and each step of the way they constantly adapt to better serve those they lead. These unforgettable dogs are more than heroes; they are models from which we can learn how to love and serve unconditionally.

Celebrate the release of Service Tails with Ace by entering to win the Take-Your-Dog-to-the-Park Pack!

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One grand prize winner will receive:
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Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on August 30. The winner will be announced August 31 on the Litfuse blog.

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The Loyal Heart by Shelley Shepard Gray

Loyal Heart

The Loyal Heart (Zondervan, July 2016)
Robert came to Galveston to fulfill his promise to a dying man and look after his widow. He didn’t expect to find love in the unlikeliest of places.
Robert Truax, former Second Lieutenant and Confederate officer in the Civil War, made a promise to his comrade Phillip Markham. If anything happened to Phillip, Robert would look after his beloved wife, Miranda. She was his life, his world, his everything.
After the war, Robert is left to pick up the pieces and fulfill his pact. When he arrives at Miranda’s home in Galveston, Texas, things are worse than he imagined. Phillip’s name has been dragged through the mud, everyone in town believes him to be a traitor, and his widow is treated as an outcast. Even more disturbing is her emotional well-being. Miranda seems hopeless, lost, and so very alone.
Robert had thought his duty would be simple. He would help Miranda as quickly as possible in order to honor a promise. But the moment Robert laid eyes on her, his plans changed. He’s mesmerized by her beauty and yearns to help her in any way he can.
He makes it his duty to protect Miranda, turn her reputation around, and to find some way to help her smile again. But it doesn’t prove to be an easy task—Robert knows something about Phillip that could shake Miranda to the core and alter her view of the man she thought she knew so well.
Shelley Shepard Gray


Shelley Shepard Gray is a “New York Times” and “USA Today” bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.
Find out more about Shelley at

My Take:  This book opens when a group of Southern soldiers are being held in a Northern prisoner of war camp during the Civil War.  The men have grown quite close and have promised to keep in touch and look out for each other after the war. One man asks the other men to watch out for his wife if anything happens to him.  They agree.  He then dies in the camp.  Robert is asked to check on the wife her name is Miranda.  Miranda's in-laws are trying to take the house that she inherited from her husband away from her.  In order to make ends meet she has turned the mansion into a boarding house.  The town has labeled her husband as a traitor.  With the help of her loyal servants, the local sheriff and a couple of other former soldiers, They are able to take care of all these problems and Robert is able to fall in love with Miranda.  There are other things that happen with other characters that make this book suspenseful and a love story also.  Miss Gray never seems to disappoint.  
I received a review copy from Litfuse in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Death Draws Near by Carrie Stuart Parks

When Death Draws Near

When Death Draws Near (Thomas Nelson, August 2016)
Death has always been part of Gwen Marcey’s job. But when faced with her own mortality, everything takes on a different hue.
Forensic artist Gwen Marcey is between jobs and homes when she accepts temporary work in Pikeville, Kentucky. The Eastern Kentucky town, located deep in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, has been plagued by a serial rapist and a series of unexplained deaths. Before Gwen can develop a composite drawing, the latest witness vanishes, just like all the previous victims.
Turning her attention to sketching the face of an unidentified body, she discovers a link between his death and a Pentecostal serpent-handling church. Serpent-handling is illegal in Kentucky, and the churches have gone underground to avoid the authorities and continue to worship as they believe. Gwen is offered a handsome reward to infiltrate the renegade members, a reward she desperately needs as it seems her breast cancer has returned.
Joined by her digitally-obsessed, Generation Z daughter, Gwen goes undercover to a nineteenth century revival, planning to draw the faces of the snake handlers so they can be identified and arrested. Instead she uncovers a murderous plot and a festering evil.
Carrie Stuart Parks


Carrie Stuart Parks is a Christy finalist as well as a Carol award-winning author. She has won numerous awards for her fine art as well. An internationally known forensic artist, she travels with her husband, Rick, across the US and Canada teaching courses in forensic art to law enforcement professionals. The author/illustrator of numerous books on drawing and painting, Carrie continues to create dramatic watercolors from her studio in the mountains of Idaho.
Find out more about Carrie Stuart at

My Take: This book is part of a series but you can read it as a stand alone.  The main character Gwen is a forensic artist.  She is good at listening to victims and drawing pictures of criminals from her interviews.  She takes a job in Kentucky to draw a picture of a serial rapists but the last victim soon disappears as the other victims did.  The sheriff then asks Gwen to go undercover and find out if any illegal activites  are going on in a church that handle snakes as part of their practices. Gwen finds out two pieces of information that will have an effect of her life.  
  This book is a good book as it has a creepy feel to it and the mystery is one that had me stumped until the end. page turner and fast paced but savor it if you can. 

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

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amy Kaufman

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)

From This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

My Take:  I think that this book is probably my favorite read of the year so far.  I don't know why it took me so long to read it as I bought it right after it came out last year.  I really liked the way this book was writing by using email, diary entries, IMs, and other computer related things. this book is full of action and there are some sad places,  There is a plague and a rogue AI.  And teenagers to quickly having to be heroes.  I can't wait to read the next in this series Gemina.  It comes out October 18,  

This book is taken from my personal library. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A Beauty Refined by Tracie Peterson

A Beauty Refined

A Beauty Refined (Bethany House, July 2016)
What does it take to reveal the true beauty of a hidden gem?
Phoebe Von Bergen, the daughter of a German count, is excited to visit America for the first time while her father purchases sapphires in Helena, Montana. Little does she know, however, that her father’s intentions—both for her and the gemstones—are not what she thinks.
Ian Harper, a lapidary working in Helena, finds the dignified young woman staying at the Broadwater Hotel more than a little intriguing. Yet the more he gets to know her, the more he realizes that her family story is based on a lie–a lie she has no knowledge of. And Ian believes he knows the only path that will lead her to freedom.
Meeting Ian has changed everything for Phoebe, and she begins to consider staying in America, regardless of her father’s plans. But she may not be prepared for the unexpected danger that results when her family’s deception begins to unravel.

My Take;  You can count on any book written by Tracie Peterson to be a good one and this book was no exception.  I was really caught up in this story and grew to dislike some of the characters almost from the very beginning and I wondered to myself why some characters would let things go on that were just abusive.  I learned a little bit about sapphires and how they were cut and styled into jewelry.  I liked how the romance developed in the story.  My favorite character was the little boy Kenny.  If you enjoy Historical fiction or Tracie Peterson then you will like this book. 
I received a review copy of this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review. 

When Death Draws Near by Carrie Stuart Parks blog tour and giveaway

Plunge into forensic artist Gwen Marcey's world, full of cold-case murders, shady politics, and a den of venomous suspects. Add Carrie Stuart Parks' new Gwen Marcey novel, When Death Draws Near, to the top of your must-read list. Gwen accepts temporary work in Pikeville, Kentucky—a small town facing big-city crime. But before she can finish her first drawing of the serial rapist who is on the loose, the latest witness vanishes. Just like all the others. Can Gwen uncover the truth—and convince anyone to believe her—before she becomes a victim herself?

Join Carrie in celebrating the release of When Death Draws Near by entering to win an Undercover Artist Starter Set.

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One grand prize winner will receive:
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Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on August 22. The winner will be announced August 23 on the Litfuse blog.

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Thursday, August 4, 2016

Ignite the Shadows by Ingrid Seymour

 Ignite the Shadows (Ignite the Shadows, #1)

Sixteen-year-old Marci Guerrero is one of the best teen hackers in Seattle. However, she’d give up all her talents to know she isn’t crazy.

Marci feels possessed by what she perceives as shadowy spectres that take control of her body and make her do crazy things. While spying on the clandestine group known as IgNiTe, she’s confronted by the leader, James McCray. His presence stirs the spectres inside her brain into a maddening frenzy. Her symptoms and ability to control them don’t go unnoticed by James, who soon recruits her and shows her the awful truth.

Half of the world’s population is infected by sentient parasites. They bind themselves to the human brain and replace the pathways for all thoughts and actions. The creatures then morph their hosts into grotesque monsters with extraordinary strengths. Winged, clawed, fanged half-humans become living nightmares. Now Marci wishes she was crazy, because the truth is worse.

She’s infected.

My Take:  I found this book to be high on action and not giving the reader  much time to catch their breath before more action comes up.  If you like ya dystopian with a hint of horror you will love this book.  The main character Marcie is a hacker along with being interested in a lot of things that normally are related to males but she definately is a girl.  
The parasites are aliens that take over their host's bodies and makes them do things that they wouldn't normally do.
I will be looking forward to the sequel Eclipse The Flame (Ignite the Shadows, #2) when it comes out on August 11th.  There is a third book coming out also which isn't titled yet.  This triology seems like it is going to be an epic story and world.

Thanks to Chapter by for giving me a review copy of this book in exchange for a honest review