Monday, October 28, 2013

Fifteen Minutes

Chandra Olsen accepts the chance to be a judge on Fifteen Minutes, the very show that made her an overnight sensation, with the hope of helping contestants see fame for what it really is to her: a prison. When Zack Dylan auditions, she sees in herself in him, a young person with talent who would be better off living a simpler life than attempting to stay wholesome while in the limelight.
As Zack is launched onto the National stage, one of the other judges on the show is attempting to keep hold of her fame. Could Chandra help Kelly make the right choices?
Karen Kingsbury has created another masterpiece with Fifteen Minutes, showing that fame can be both a blessing and a curse with this cast of realistic characters. It sure makes you think about fame in a different light!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Take Flight

Robin Jones Gunn and longtime friend/Sisterchick Cindy Hannan come together with Take Flight to bring readers a devotional unlike any other! Filled with stories, observations, scripture verses, and quotes (both from the series and from Sisterchicks in the faith) this devotional is a joy to go through and study! I love the way it is laid out and how there is room for your own thoughts and notes. It is a wonderful way to add some pep to your personal devotions or to encourage you to do devotionals with friends. This book is a true delight!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Every Waking Moment

Treha is a special young woman who is able to connect with Alzheimer patients and draw them out, connecting in a way that helps people talk who haven't talked in months and helping clear memories. The only thing is, Treha doesn't remember her own past.
When her life takes a dramatic change, Treha strikes out on a journey to discover more about her past, so she can figure out how to move forward.
I loved this story! It has a lot going on with all the different characters and then there is a bit of a mystery surrounding Treha's gift. I like that the main theme of the story is that everyone has worth, if we just slow down and take the time to connect. I look forward to reading more by Chris Fabry!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Dear Mr. Knightley

This modern version of Daddy Long Legs tells the story of Samantha Moore, a young woman who survived the foster care system and all its disappointments by retreating behind her books, namely the classics.
When the opportunity arises for her to have her masters paid for from a prestigious school of Journalism, with the one catch being that she has to write the mysterious foundation president to keep him up to date on her progress. Even though trust doesn't come easy for her, she opens up to "Mr. Knightley", figuring that she can trust someone who picked such a honorable character as a pseudonym. As Sam goes through the program, she learns a lot about writing, making friends, and love.
While I admit that I originally picked up this book because of the title (I'm like Sam, Mr Knightley is one of my favorite hero's. lol), I wound up falling in love with the characters and story! Sam is very real as she struggles with letting people get to know her. This is now one of my new favorite romances! I look forward to reading more by this new author, since this was a stellar first novel!  

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


In the third book of the Road the Kingdom series, the small Mennonite town is again facing a mystery, that of a serial killer who has popped up again after being silent for twenty years. As the town tries to work through their struggles seeing eye to eye over the push to become less conservative, they must band together to see that one of their own won't become the next victim.
Through it all, Callie Hoffman must decide where her heart is, and what to do about her recent bursts of anger.
I wasn't sure when I first started this one, if I would like it as much as the previous books in the series, since I thought it might bother me that the mystery had to do with a serial killer who targeted woman. I'm glad that I stuck with this one though, since it wasn't graphic, nor all the story. In some ways, while I would classify this as a mystery, I would say it isn't just a mystery, as there is so much more to the story. I like that Callie has to figure out what she believes. This whole series is wonderful!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The third book of the Brides of Last Chance Ranch tells the story of Miranda Hunt, a woman operative for Pinkerton who is bent on proving herself, as a private eye and as a daughter worthy of the name Hunt. When she is sent to Last Chance Ranch, posing as an heiress applicant, to find the elusive Phantom, Miranda figures this is her opportunity to prove her worth. When she discovers the competition, Wells Fargo, has a detective there as well, she must choose between trust, which just might lead to love, or attempting to figure things out on her own.
I thought this story was a fun blend of humor and history, with a neat message about trusting God, even when He doesn't always make sense. There was also a powerful message of hope, in a world that seems to have gone crazy.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Rebellious Heart

As a child, Susanna Smith insulted the cobblers son by insinuating that he wasn't good enough to be her prince. Years have passed since then, and Benjamin Ross is back in the area after earning his law degree, seeking to help those less fortunate. When Susanna is thrown into the middle of a mystery surrounding the deaths of several young women and a local runaway, she turns to Ben to help her seek justice. Can she put aside her own expectations? How far will she, as a Colonist, go to serve the crown?
I thought this story was fun at first, then I got to the end and realized that it was inspired by John and Abigail Adams, which made me like it all the more! I like that Susanna had to grow in her thinking about what actions were right and what was wrong in the 1760's, struggling with how to be loyal to the king when the taxes were a burden to those who weren't as wealthy as her family. I also liked the relationship she had with Ben. There banter was fun! If you are looking for a good, historical romance,than this one is for you!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

First Date

When 5 high school girls decide they want dates to their Christian academy's homecoming, they form the DG, a secret group to help them break into dating. As the five girls navigate going about getting dates for homecoming, they discover truths about themselves and each other, drawing them closer together as a group of friends. 
I like Melody Carlson's novels for a fun read, and this one didn't disappoint! I thought all five main characters were fun to get to know in this novel and I look forward to the next book in the series! If you are looking for a fun read, this is your book.:)

Christmas in Apple Ridge

Curl up this Winter with Christmas in Apple Ridge, A collection of three novella's about the Amish in Apple Ridge, Pennsylvania.
In The Sound of Sleigh Bells you will meet Beth, a young woman who is still suffering from the loss of her beau the year before. Weighed down with guilt, she struggles to learn how to carry on life with Henry gone. When her well meaning aunt tries to bring joy back into Beth's life, chaos ensues.
The Christmas Singing tells the story of Mattie, a young woman who thought that life couldn't get any better as she plans to marry her sweetheart. When he abruptly breaks the engagement, and her heart, Mattie must rebuild her life. Years latter, when she returns home, she finds that all might not of been how it met the eye. Will she have the courage to choose between her old beau and her new one?
The Dawn of Christmas brings Sadie home from her years on the mission field in Peru. She found joy in her independence and working for the Lord, but could it be that a new chapter has opened in her life? When she attempts to discourage the meddlers in her life, she just might open herself up to romance.
I enjoyed this collection of novella's immensely! Most of the time, I prefer a full fledged novel, since some novella's seem too short to really get to know the characters. That is not the case with this one! The stories and characters are richly portrayed. This book is perfect for the holidays!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Little Book of Great Dates

Just because you said your wedding vows, doesn't mean you should stop dating your spouse. In this nifty little handbook, Dr. Greg and Erin Smalley go through 52 different ideas for date nights with your spouse. Filled with ideas for activities and questions to stimulate conversation on your dates, this book is a nice resource to have on hand whether you have been married for a short time or for decades. Having date nights as a couple is a great way to breath fresh life into your marriage and help you re-connect with your spouse.
I thought that this book would make a nice gift for couples, since it would work well to help couples get out of the rut of every day. The nice thing is, the dates don't have to cost much. A lot of the emphasis is more on connecting through communication and focusing on your marriage. Excellent!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Sweet Mercy

Grabbing at the chance to escape the Depression, Eve Marryat's family moves back to Ohio to help out with her uncle's lodge. At first, all is as Eve remembered it from childhood, innocent and fun. When she discovers that many in the area are breaking the law of Prohibition though, she finds herself caught between doing what is right and going against those she loves.
I rather enjoyed this book, since the story flowed nicely and there were several surprises along the way! I thought that it was a neat historical novel, showing how life was like in the 1930's. This one is a must!

The Secret Keeper

Jennifer Burns has always been considered an old soul. Mocked by her siblings as being born 100 years too late, she jumps at the chance to become Amish when her pen-pal invites her to convert. But, she soon finds that the Amish community is anything but simple as she navigates a new language and culture.
This novel reminded me why Beverly Lewis is such a popular author!


When librarian, Laura Griffith comes home to her sister missing, she quickly decides to hire Phoenix to find Darcy. Which, winds up being a good thing, since Darcy started out wanting to get away from those who love her to make a way for herself, but then she takes up with the wrong crowd and finds herself over her head. Will her sister and the team at Phoenix find her before it is too late for redemption?
Filled with tons of suspense, Trapped will keep you on the edge of your seat until the last page! I loved this sequel to Vanished.

Five Days in Skye

In return for upsetting a client, Hospitality consultant Andrea Sullivan is given one last chance to redeem herself and snag the coveted position of VP. Sent to the Isle of Skye in order to get the contract for helping chef James MacDonald realize his dream of opening a hotel, Andrea just wants to get her work done and get home, so she can enjoy some of her vacation time.
As she gets to know James though, she finds that things might not be so easy as she thought. What starts out as a nuisance to Andrea might just bring the healing that her heart needs.
I thought this one was a cute, chick flick style book that wound up having more to it (in a good way!) then you originally think when you first crack it open. The characters were well written and I like that there wound up being more to the story then I thought there would be. Both Andrea and James develop nicely into characters that one can fall in love with.
Two thumbs up!

The Offering

Mandy Lisandra thinks she stumbled on the perfect answer to her family's tight finances, being a surrogate mother. Thinking it will enable them to save for a house and for her to be able to go back to school, it seems like the perfect solution. But, no one expected her to lose her husband right before the birth of the little boy. Or, for her to accidentally give away her own son. Caught between longing for the son she and her husband talked of having and shattering the dreams of a couple unable to have their own children, Mandy must face her own past in able to make the right choice for her little boy.
While this story was interesting and well researched, felt like it dragged on a bit. It was interesting to learn more about surrogacy though!

Healer of Carthage

Over 20 years ago, Dr. Lisbeth Hastings mother disappeared while her husband was working at a dig. No one ever found out what happened to her. Years later, Lisbeth is attempting to follow in her mom's footsteps by becoming a Dr. when she gets a letter from her dad that he may have found his wife. Unsure of her father's mental stability, Lisbeth rushes to the very last place she ever wanted to return.
While exploring the mysterious cave in search of answers, Lisbeth finds herself thrown back in time to 3rd century Carthage, a place filled with political intrigue and under cover Christianity. With a mysterious illness threatening the city, Lisbeth attempts to put her doctoring skills to work without the use of modern day conveniences to help her out.
While I liked this book and the idea behind it, I have to say that I was surprised with some of the language and corruption. Do I think that is how things were back then? Most likely, though I think that some of the gritty details were unnecessary. That said, I do think the book was well written and interesting. The ending was a bit muddled, especially when you discover that it is set up for a sequel.
I give it a four out of five.