Monday, August 31, 2015

Mystery Rider (Horses and Friends #3) by Miralee Ferrell

Title: Mystery Rider (Horses and Friends #3
Author: Miralee Ferrell
Pages: 224
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Horse Story
Publisher: David C. Cook
Age Level: 8 – 12 years old
Format: eBook (also available in paperback)
Note: I received a free eBook copy of this novel through NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

About the book:

     In the third installment in the Horses and Friends series, thirteen-year-old Kate Ferris already has one problem. Snooty, well-to-do Melissa is boarding her horse at Kate’s family stable. When Melissa suddenly turns nice, Kate is shocked … and suspicious.

     The last thing she needs is more trouble. So when a hooded rider appears – and then disappears – on a stunning black horse outside her home, Kate isn’t sure if Melissa is playing a trick or something more dangerous is going on. Either way, Kate and her friends will need an extra measure of faith and courage to solve this mystery.

My review:

     Another wonderful story for horse lovers!

     The is part of a “true” series in that it should be read in order to receive the most enjoyment from it.

     It was wonderful visiting with Kate, Tori, and Colt again. I really enjoyed seeing how they are all growing and maturing as this series progresses. They have been friends for awhile now but in this story they are trying to figure out how to work things out as they try to add one more person to the group. Not just any person this time but the one who has caused them the most grief in the past.

     I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Melissa and slowly learning about her life and what has caused her to change in how she treats Kate and her friends. It was wonderful to see Kate trying to reach out to Melissa and share her belief in God at the same time.

     These are all such realistic thirteen year olds. They are struggling with trying to figure out how to make wise and proper choices. They are also working on learning the balance of when they can make their own decision and when they need to seek the counsel and advice of their parents. It is a tough balancing act for any young teenager and this book does a marvelous job of telling it.

     I have been thoroughly enjoying this entire series. I highly recommend this book and I have to give it a rating of 5 stars.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Lopsided Christmas Cake by Wanda E. Brunstetter & Jean Brunstetter

Title: The Lopsided Christmas Cake
Author: Wanda E. Brunstetter & Jean Brunstetter
Pages: 208
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Genre: Amish Fiction
Publisher: Shiloh Run Press
Format: eBook (available in paperback also)
Note: I received a free eBook copy of this novel through NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

About the book:

     Join the Hochstetler twin sisters on stage as they bumble their way through baking a cake for a charity auction in front of a live audience. The take-charge Elma and the klutzy optimist Thelma manage to entertain their audience – and attract the admiration of two bachelors, an outspoken woodworker and a shy harness maker from a neighboring Amish community. As fall leads into the Christmas season, could romance be blossoming for one or more of the Hochstetler twins?

     Find out in this brand new romance from New York Times bestselling author Wanda E. Brunstetter, writing with her daughter-in-law Jean Brunstetter.

My review:

     This is an enjoyable Amish romance.

     I fell in love with all four of the main characters. Their personalities were very different from each other and that made their interactions entertaining to me.

     I’m not used to reading Amish stories where the romantic leads are in their thirties already. It was actually refreshing to have adults that were already settled away from their parents. At the same time they were trying to figure out life on their own and concerned that they may never find the right person to marry.

     The story was very sweet and I really liked that they took time to develop a friendship first. Then as they spent time together they gradually moved into a courting relationship.

     The only think that was a distraction for me was the sporadic use of a single Pennsylvania Dutch word. If they had been used regularly throughout the story I would have enjoyed them. At times it felt a little like the authors were reminding the reader, “This is an Amish story. They don’t speak English.” Then there was a forced feeling in fitting in the English translation for the word used.

     This slight distraction is definitely not enough to stop me from recommending the book though. Because of it I am subtracting half a star. That means I am giving this book (at least here on my blog) a 4 ½ star rating.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Midwife's Tale (At Home in Trinity #1) by Delia Parr

Title: The Midwife’s Tale (At Home in Trinity #1)
Author: Delia Parr
Pages: 336
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Genre: Historical (1830)
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Format: Paperback
Note: I received a free copy of this book through The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.

About the book:

     Martha Cade comes from a long line of midwives who have served the families of Trinity, Pennsylvania, for generations. A widow with two grown children, she’s hopeful that her daughter will follow in her footsteps, but when Victoria runs off, Martha’s world is shattered.

     Worse, a new doctor has arrived in town, threatening her job, and she can’t remember a time when her faith has been tested more. Still determined to do the work she knows God intended for her, Martha is unprepared for all that waits ahead. Whether it’s trying to stop a town scandal, mending broken relationships, or feeling the first whispers of an unexpected romance, she faces every trial and every opportunity with hope and faith.

My review:

     I absolutely LOVE Martha Cade!

     She is one of the most well developed characters that I have ever met. The depth of her faith in God is incredible. She looks at everything that comes her way as being a gift from God. That includes the hard circumstances and difficulties that she has to face. She finds some of them easier to accept than others though. Her focus, especially with the problems, is to figure out why God sent that gift to her. I thoroughly enjoyed reading her journey as she sought God with each situation.

     Martha’s outlook on life and everything that comes her way was quite a challenge for me to trust God more myself with everything that happens in my life. I found myself searching my own heart to see how I feel I would handle a similar situation.

     The descriptions of how childbirth was handled and the job that the midwife and her helpers did were wonderfully detailed and informative. It only brought to my mind again all the changes that have taken place in medical care over the years.

     I had never read anything else by Delia Parr. I will definitely be looking for her other books after reading this one! I highly recommend this wonderful novel and I’m giving it 5 stars. I really want to give it more though.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Hearts Made Whole (Beacons of Hope #2) by Jody Hedlund

Title: Hearts Made Whole (Beacons of Hope #2)
Author: Jody Hedlund
Pages: 379
Year: 2015
Genre: Historical (1865)
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Format: Paperback
Note: I received a free copy of this book through The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.

About the book:

     1865 Windmill Point, Michigan

     Can she forgive the hurting man who costs her the role she loves?

     After her father’s death, Caroline Taylor has grown confident running the Windmill Point Lighthouse. But in 1865 Michigan, women aren’t supposed to have such roles, so it’s only a matter of time before the lighthouse inspector appoints a new keeper – even though Caroline has nowhere else to go and no other job available to her.

     Ryan Chambers is a Civil War veteran still haunted by the horrors of battle. He’s secured the position of lighthouse keeper mostly for the isolation – the chance to hide from his past is appealing. He’s not expecting the current keeper to be a feisty and beautiful woman who’s angry with him for taking her job and for his inability to properly run the light. When his failings endanger others, he and Caroline realize he’s in no shape to run the lighthouse, but he’s unwilling to let anyone close enough to help. Caroline feels drawn to this wounded soul, but with both of them relying on that single position, can they look past their loss to a future filled with hope . . . and possibly love?

My review:

     This is a fantastic historical novel!

     This book can be read as a stand-alone story even though it is the second book in the series. There are a couple of brief references to characters in the first book but that is all.

     I absolutely loved both Caroline Taylor and Ryan Chambers. They both have enormous difficulties to deal with when they first meet. They each have a different way that they are approaching those problems though.

     Caroline believes in God yet she is so burdened with her responsibilities that she doesn’t really know how to trust Him to take care of her and her siblings. The heartache and uncertainty that she has faced already in her life caused me to just want to reach out and give her a hug and encourage her that she could get through the new problems facing her.

     Ryan has been wounded both physically and emotionally by the atrocities of the Civil War. These wounds have left him doubting God and his own worthiness as a man. His physical wounds were immediately described. As the story progressed we are then gradually told about the emotional burden that he is carrying.

     As trouble mounts and dangerous situations are faced they both need to learn how to turn to God for His help and strength. The steps that are taken by each of them were very clearly written and thought provoking.

     I thoroughly enjoyed this visit to 1865 Michigan and am highly recommending it. It gets a 5 star rating from me.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Never Broken (Everlasting Faith #1) by Kathleen Fuller

Title: Never Broken (Everlasting Faith #1)
Author: Kathleen Fuller
Pages: 224
Release Date: August 25, 2015
Genre: Historical (1840s)
Publisher: Mountain Brook INK
Format: Will be released in eBook
Note: I had the opportunity to be one of the final proofreaders before release.

About the book:

This novel is revised and updated from the original book Never Broken. It includes new material that isn’t in the original version.

Rory O’Leary has little use for his uncle and aunt’s stately Irish manor where he has lived since he and his brother were orphaned. That is, until he encounters Shannon Cahill, a new servant, in his Uncle Edwin’s rose garden.

When the Irish potato blight affects Shannon and her sister Ainslee’s tiny village, they are devastated when their ailing parents insist they immigrate to America. Shannon fears she’ll never again see the handsome man who stole her heart in the Gormley rose garden.

But fate has other intentions, as Rory discovers when he rescues the sisters from the squalid docks of County Cork, leading them all to Scotland…and an adventure they never expected.

My review:

This is a wonderful historical novel.

I was really drawn into the story very quickly. There were a number of characters that I consider to be downtrodden that my heart went out to almost immediately. They were very well written and easy to connect with. I wanted so badly for things to work out for all of these characters.

There were also a number of the well-to-do landowners that were also well developed. They were just mean and self-centered. I desperately wanted them to get what they had coming to them (and not good things either).

I really enjoyed all the details included in this novel about what life would have been like in both Ireland and Scotland in the mid 1840s. During history class I read about the potato famine in Ireland. This story has really helped to make it come to life for me.

I had the privilege of being a final proofreader for this wonderful book and I am writing my honest opinion of the story.

This is book 1 in what is going to be a “true” series. That means that when this novel is finished it will feel as if there is more to the story. That is because the story will continue in the next book of the series. I’m really looking forward to book 2 so I can find out what comes next for these wonderful characters.

I’m giving this book a rating of 5 stars and highly recommending it.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

King (Books of the Infinite #3) by R. J. Larson

Title: King (Books of the Infinite #3)
Author: R. J. Larson
Pages: 343
Year: 2013
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Format: eBook (also available in paperback)

About the book:

     Akabe of Siphra, I have brought your enemies low and lifted you from the dirt.

     Against his wishes and desires, Akabe Garric has been chosen by his people to be king. A warrior at heart, he’d never dreamed of such a swift, unexpected rise to power. Determined to prove his worth to the citizens of Munra and honor his Creator, Akabe undertakes a monumental task: to rebuild the Infinite’s Holy House in Siphra.

     Only this I ask: Restore My temple and let Me dwell again among the people.

     Akabe soon discovers that the land he needs is held by the Thaenfalls, known Atea-worshipers who will give up their claim only if he marries into their line. Though he seeks direction from the Infinite, his pleas are met with silence. Frustrated, Akabe makes an impulsive decision, sweeping his nation into a lethal storm that threatens his plans for the temple. As questions of love and faith become tangled with lies, ancient feuds, and treacherous plots, can Akabe, his mysterious queen, and his trusted friends Ela and Kien Lantec find the Infinite’s path . . . or will they fail as so many others before?

     Will your faith hold strong when I am silent? Child, can you be My king?

My review:

     This is another incredible fantasy novel!

     This is the third book of a “true” series. By that I mean that both of the previous books in the series need to be read before this one for full understanding and appreciation of this wonderful story.

     This is the final installment of Kien Lantec and Ela the Prophet of Parne’s story. In this segment though, King Akabe Garric takes center stage. Kien and Ela are his closest supporters and he tries to understand how his Creator, the Infinite, wants him to lead his country. Akabe’s heart’s desire is to rebuild the Holy House for the Infinite. The massive conflict between the Infinite’s followers and the goddess Atea’s followers is the central theme of the story.

     Once again R. J. Larson has crafted fantastic characters and presented them in such a way that I was able to understand them and their motives. I even understood those that I didn’t agree with their beliefs. In this book as with the previous 2 books of the series I was continually rooting for the good guys safety and success.

     It was a relief to finally see that most of Ela’s doubts about her ability to do the job that the Infinite had called her to do had finally been resolved. Her maturity level has grown wonderfully throughout the series.

     As with both of the previous books in this series I’m highly recommending this one and giving it a 5 star rating. It is my belief that unless you absolutely hate fantasy novels you can’t go wrong in taking the time to read all 3 books in this wonderful series. I’m looking forward to the next books set in this marvelous fantasy land.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Love Unexpected (Beacons of Hope #1) by Jody Hedlund

Title: Love Unexpected (Beacons of Hope #1)
Author: Jody Hedlund
Pages: 348
Year: 2014
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Format: eBook (also available in paperback)

About the book:

     1859 Presque Isle, Michigan

     What is the secret that could shipwreck both of their lives?

     All Emma Chambers ever wanted was a home, but when her steamboat sinks just outside Presque Isle, she’s left destitute and with no place to stay.

     An unlikely solution arises when the lighthouse keeper arrives in town. He’s just lost his wife and is having a difficult time caring for his child. So a traveling preacher gets the idea that the keeper and Emma might be the answer to each other’s dilemma. After a hasty marriage, she finds herself heading to the lighthouse with this handsome but quiet stranger. Nothing in her aimless life, though, has prepared her for parenting a rambunctious toddler, as well as managing a household.

     Emma soon suspects Patrick may be hiding something from her, and then she hears a disturbing rumor about the circumstances surrounding his late wife’s death. It seems as if her wish for a home and family of her own could end up leading her once more into turbulent waters.

My review:

     This is an incredible historical romance!

     I loved both of the main characters, Emma Chambers and Patrick Garraty. They have both had a very hard childhood which has left them wanting a secure home and family. In reaction to his childhood Patrick made some very poor choices as an adult. Then when he hit a very low point he found God. Emma has drifted along life with her brother moving from place to place with no idea how to achieve her dream.

     At the beginning of the book they are thrust together out of necessity. The rest of the story is about their efforts to work together and build that family and home life that they are searching for. Before that can happen though Patrick has to face his past and learn the full meaning of God’s salvation and forgiveness. His journey to discover what that means is a wonderful reminder to all of us exactly what God’s grace and mercy is all about.

     I have loved lighthouses for years. The fact that the lighthouse is an integral part of this story captured my interest from the beginning. I am giving this book a rating of 5 stars and highly recommending it.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Judge (Books of the Infinite #2) by R.J. Larson

Title: Judge (Books of the Infinite #2)
Author: R. J. Larson
Pages: 352
Year: 2012
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Format: eBook (also available in paperback)

About the book:

     Kien Lantec, you will bear witness to my followers in ToronSea.

     The last thing Kien Lantec expects on his first day of military leave is to receive marching orders from his Creator, the Infinite. Orders that don’t involve destroyer-racing or courting the love of his life, Ela. Adding to Kien’s frustration, his Infinite-ordained duties have little to do with his skills as a military judge-in-training. His mission? To warn the people of ToronSea against turning their backs on the Infinite to worship a new goddess.

     Tell them I see they are beguiled. Tell them I seek their hearts. The wise will hear me.

     But why Kien? Isn’t this the role of a true prophet, such as Ela of Parne? Seeking answers, Kien visits Ela and finds her stricken by a devastating vision of her own. Her birthplace, Parne, has forsaken their Creator and will soon suffer judgment. Pulled in separate ways, each must seek to follow the Infinite’s leading . . . and hope He will reunite them again soon.

My review:

     This is an incredible fantasy novel!

     This is part of a “true” series in that the books need to be read in order for full understanding and enjoyment.

     It was wonderful getting to read more of Kien Lantac and Ela of Parne’s story. I loved finding out how much they have grown in their trust of the Infinite and their ability to follow His instructions to them since the end of book one. Though I must admit that, just like me, they have a lot more growing and maturing to do.

     In this book Ela’s parents and others from her hometown are much more developed and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know more about them. I especially liked seeing the depth of Matron Prill and coming to understand more about her from the first glimpse that we had of her character in book one.

     As Kien and Ela are sent on two different paths to share the Infinite’s word in different areas there are many troubles and heartaches that each of them have to face. Even as they proceed along their own paths we learn more about their Creator and His love and mercy.

     I was really caught up in the conflict and action as the followers of the goddess Atea clashed with those who still believed in the Infinite. The correction that the Infinite brought at times throughout the book on different people was amazing.

     As someone who has read the bible for years it was wonderful to try and spot some of the different ideas and stories that are presented. R. J. Larson has done a marvelous job of taking well known (and some less well known) bible stories and changing them to fit within her fantasy land.

     I absolutely loved this book and am highly recommending it. It gets a 5 star rating from me.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Greenfield Legacy by Meredith Resce, Paula Vince, Amanda Deed, and Rose Dee

Title: The Greenfield Legacy
Author: Meredith Resce, Paula Vince, Amanda Deed, and Rose Dee
Pages: 247
Year: 2012
Genre: Inspirational Fiction/Historical (back to 1965) and Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Even Before Publishing
Format: Paperback
Note: I received a free copy of this book through The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.

About the book:

     How can one decision cause so much pain? Can it also bring hope?

     Mattie was in love with Billy, but she was too young to wed. When Billy was conscripted to fight in Vietnam, they made a decision that impacted their lives and their future. But so much pain resulted that Mattie never really healed. Every turn Mattie made affected her daughter and her granddaughter in ways she didn’t even realize. But forty-six years later, is it time for things to be set right?

     Navy is a young woman who has never known her family. But what could be a wonderful opportunity is met with jealousy and apprehension from her cousin, Brooke, and her aunt Connie, especially with handsome Aidan around. Each must look past their struggles and find forgiveness and trust, and perhaps even love.

My review:

     This is a thoughtful look at family relationships.

     There is quite a list of characters to keep track of in this book. The main ones were very well developed. To some extent certain personality traits seemed to keep showing up after the initial couple was introduced.

     Mattie made a huge mistake as a young adult. The whole story is about that one mistake and how her relationship with her father was affected by it. The rest is simply a cascading effect that comes back around as the complete consequences of that mistake are explored.

     I thoroughly enjoyed how God was able to use hard times and heartache to bring healing to many people.

     I do want to point out for anyone who lives in the US that this story takes place in Australia and there are many terms and phrases that are different from what we are used to. The story is excellent and well worth taking the extra time to put the effort into understanding them. I am highly recommending this book and giving it a rating of 5 stars.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Through Waters Deep (Waves of Freedom #1) by Sarah Sundin

Title: Through Waters Deep (Waves of Freedom #1)
Author: Sarah Sundin
Pages: 384
Release Date: August 4, 2015
Genre: Historical Romance (WWII)
Publisher: Revell
Format: Paperback
Note: I won a copy of this book through a giveaway that the author held on her blog.

About the book:

     War is Coming. Can love carry them through the rough waters that lie ahead?

     It is 1941 and America teeters on the brink of war. Handsome and outgoing naval officer Ensign Jim Avery escorts British convoys across the North Atlantic in a brand-new destroyer, the USS Atwood. On shore, Jim encounters Mary Stirling, a childhood friend who is now an astute and beautiful Boston Navy Yard secretary.

     When evidence of sabotage on the Atwood is discovered, Jim and Mary must work together to uncover the culprit. A bewildering maze of suspects emerges, and Mary is dismayed to find that even someone close to her is under suspicion. With the increasing pressure, Jim and Mary find that many new challenges – and dangers – await them.

My review:

     This is an inspiring historical romance!

     The characters are so incredibly well developed that I truly felt that I knew them. I felt that if one of them walked by I would recognize them not by sight but by their personality. Both Mary Stirling and Jim Avery have deeply rooted memories from their childhood that have impacted them very profoundly shaping who they are and how they interact with others. I was drawn to each of these main characters and amazed at the simplicity of how they were gradually presented. It was as if I first became an acquaintance with them and then over time built a solid friendship with them.

     The tension between the different factions over the conflict as to whether the United States should become involved in WWII was very much a driving force of the novel. It was easy to understand the reasoning of each side of the conflict and the anger and animosity that individuals felt.

     Then we have the spiritual side of the story. Both Mary and Jim are Christians with a strong belief in God. I loved how as the story progressed they just naturally talked with God about their own confusion about what was going on and their feelings. I thoroughly enjoyed watching them grow and process the lessons that they were learning about themselves and trusting Him.

     I loved this book and am highly recommending it. It gets 5 stars from me.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Xs and Os for Gabby Ann by Petrell Marie Ozbay

Title: Xs and Os for Gabby Ann
Author: Petrell Marie Ozbay
Pages: 32
Year: 2015
Genre: Children’s Illustrated
Publisher: Mascot Books
Format: Digital copy (available in hardcover)
Note: I received a free copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

About the book:

     Gabby Ann loves kisses and hugs. They are the BEST part about bedtime. There is nothing like an extra kiss and a hug – an X and an O – from her mommy before the lights go out. But, what about Gabby’s daddy? He works on the other side of the world, at least a million miles away. So, how are his kisses and hugs going to reach her? When will they get there? What if they get lost along the way?

     Join the Xs and Os on a lively, global adventure as they find their way to Gabby Ann, helping children to realize the boundless and powerful spirit of a parent’s love.

     10% of the net profit from every book sold will benefit the Operation Purple Camp Programs of the National Military Family Association.

My review:

     I requested this book from NetGalley because the cover is darling. I loved little Gabby Ann the moment I saw her. She is tightly hugging her teddy bear so I knew she was going to be a girl after my own heart. I still have stuffed teddy bears and I still hug them often. Then when I read the “about the book” information my initial feelings about her were confirmed. What can be better than an extra kiss and hug? (In fact I still ask my husband for an extra kiss when we are going to bed.)
     This is an absolutely adorable children’s book.

     In fact this is one of the cutest children’s books that I’ve seen come out in a really long time. The writing style is very sweet and simple. The story just flows. The key lines, “We’re Xs and Os, sent for the night. We’re kisses and hugs, to help Gabby sleep tight” rhyme beautifully and roll off the tongue.

     The illustrations are wonderful. They are crisp and clear. Gabby looks darling and the expressions on her face are great.

     I loved this book so much that after reading the digital copy I had to go and buy a print copy so that I can read it over and over again. I hope my grandchildren don’t get too tired of it. I am HIGHLY recommending it and giving it a rating of 10 stars. Who cares what the standard is. This is my blog and I can rate things however I want to.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Trial Run (Fault Lines #1) by Thomas Locke

Title: Trial Run (Fault Lines #1)
Author: Thomas Locke (pseudonym for Davis Bunn)
Pages: 384
Release Date: July 28, 2015 (eBook), August 4, 2015 (paperback)
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Publisher: Revell
Format: eBook
Note: I received a free eBook copy of this novel through NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

About the book:

     Reese Clawson’s work is mind-bending—literally. Her company specializes in global data analysis for an elite group of industry executives, and now a lucrative government contract is moving her into the realm of cutting-edge intelligence gathering. She is determined to crack the limits of consciousness—and in doing so, the boundaries of secrets and lies. But her experiment crashes as test subjects slide into a coma-like state. Reese is left scrambling to maintain control, drawing three disparate people into the search for answers – an adrenaline-amped thrill junkie with altered brain chemistry, an Italian scientist working on remote-viewing technology, and a math prodigy whose algorithms subvert computer encryption.

     Will this piecemeal team prevail when a government operative is sent to investigate? As the threads of perception and reality become tangled and even time itself twists in unexpected directions, one warning remains clear: what you don’t know can kill you.

     With a concept so daring and writing so gripping, readers will swiftly fall under the spell of Thomas Locke’s endlessly creative mind. This thrilling psychological journey into the very nature of causation and consciousness will leave them turning the pages and grasping for solid ground.

My review:

     This is a mind boggling intense thriller!

     I want to start by saying that there is a large cast of characters to keep straight. It amazed me how many different personality types there are. It helped to keep in mind that there were two different teams of people, along with some solitary people.

     At the beginning of the book the two groups seemed to be involved in two separate stories. As the book progressed they started to intertwine with each other and the adrenaline rush thriller really kicked in.

     There were some aspects that seemed to be more of a far-fetched science fiction story than anything else. It was an incredible ride trying to follow everything, figure out who the good guys were, and survive the final climatic confrontation.

     I absolutely loved this novel. I am giving it a 5 star rating and highly recommending it.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Double Edge (Fault Lines #0.5) by Thomas Locke

Title: Double Edge (Fault Lines #0.5)
Author: Thomas Locke
Pages: 48
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Genre: Thriller (either Techno or Science Fiction)
Publisher: Revell
Format: eBook

About the book:

     Discover how it all began in this explosive prequel to Trial Run

     There isn’t much that can throw Charlie Hazard off balance. But the mystery woman with the striking eyes and the intense request to follow her-now-just might accomplish it. Knowing little more than her beautiful name. Charlie leaves his post as a guard at the Satellite Beach community center for what he thinks is just another risk-containment job.

     But Gabriella, an experimental psychologist, has far more in store for him than protection duty – if the two of them survive the test.

     Leave behind your perceptions of what is possible and race into the unknown corridors of human consciousness in this breakneck prequel to Thomas Locke’s Trial Run.

My review:

     Grabs your attention from the very beginning!

     Charlie Hazard goes along with Gabriella way to easily for a man who works in a risk-containment job. But he is also VERY aware of what is going on around him.

     The ideas put forth in this short story about human consciousness are very far-fetched and therefore they make for a very unusual story. I was captivated by the completely imaginative sequence of events. I would love to know how the author came up with the idea for this story/series.

     I have decided to give it a 5 star rating and highly recommend it. To have any understanding of the unexpectedness of it you would have to read it for yourself.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Midnight on the Mississippi (Secrets of the South Mystery #1) by Mary Ellis

Title: Midnight on the Mississippi (Secrets of the South Mystery #1)
Author: Mary Ellis
Pages: 352
Release Date: August 1, 2015
Genre: Mystery
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
Format: eBook (also available in paperback)
Note: I received a free eBook copy of this novel through NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

About the book:

     Midnight on the Mississippi begins the new Secrets of the South Mysteries from bestselling author Mary Ellis. These complex crime dramas follow an investigator’s quest to make the world a better place . . . solving one case at a time.

     New Orleans – Hunter Galen, a stock and securities broker, suspects his business partner, James Nowak, may be involved in embezzling their clients’ money, but he’s reluctant to jeopardize their friendship based on suspicion alone. After James turns up dead, Hunter realizes his unwillingness to confront a problem may have cost James his life.

     Nicki Price, a newly minted PI, intends to solve the stockbroker’s murder, recover the missing millions from the client accounts, and establish herself in the career she adores. As she ferrets out fraud and deception at Galen Investments, Hunter’s fiancĂ©e, Ashley Menard, rubs Nicki the wrong way. Nicki doesn’t trust the ostentatious woman with an agenda longer than the Mississippi River. Ashley seems to be hiding something, but is Nicki’s growing attraction to Hunter – a suspected murderer – her true reason for disliking Ashley?

     As they encounter sophisticated shell games, blackmail, and murder, Nicki and Hunter’s only option is to turn to God as they search for answers, elude lethal danger, and perhaps discover love along the way.

My review:

     This is an absolutely incredible mystery!

     I love both Nicki Price and Hunter Galen. They are fabulous characters and a perfect example of the saying, “opposites attract.” I can’t imagine two people that are more different than these two.

     Nicki is carrying some pretty heavy baggage from her childhood that she has to face. She also has a long-ago mystery that she is trying to solve in the midst of the current case. If she can solve it she may go a long way in dealing with this personal baggage.

     There is a large group of secondary characters, some of which are very colorful. The variety of personalities was great. Whenever a new person was introduced I never knew what to expect.

     The story was wonderful. There were so many twists and turns that I was kept guessing up to the final showdown.

     I was very pleased with Nicki’s belief in God and her openly declared moral values. It was a breath of fresh air for me. At the same time it was never preachy.

     This is the first book that I have ever read by Mary Ellis. I enjoyed it so much that I will be looking for more of her books. I am highly recommending it and giving it a 5 star rating.