Saturday, January 24, 2015

"The Case of the Jewel Covered Cat Statues" by Cindy Vincent

This is the third book in the "Buckley and Bogey Cat Detective Caper" series by Ms. Vincent. This case involves a mysterious box and finding the owner. Why are so many people looking for it?

Buckley and Bogey believe that their home (and family) is their territory to protect. Each night they patrol the house, looking and listening for suspicious activity. When a package is left at their mom's antique store AFTER a break-in, the two work to keep the package hidden until they can determine its owner. At the same time, a beautiful exhibit of cat statues goes on display with two missing! Where are they? Who are all the people coming into town now trying to get the package? Can Buckley and Bogey figure it out in time? Mystery solvers aged 8 -12 will enjoy solving this case!

This is a fun mystery written for children in the 8 - 12 year old age range. It is my first in the series, but won't be my last. It has themes of teamwork and friendship, and works on recognizing the strengths of each member of a team (Bogey likes to follow clues and work like a detective and Buckley goes more on his instincts.) I think this would make a fun family read as well as an individual one. I received my review copy from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.
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About the book:

Buckley and Bogey, Cat Detectives, find their next big case with the Buckley and Bogey Cat Detective Agency to be their most complicated ever! It all starts when someone hides a mysterious package in their Mom's antique store --- in the middle of the night! Of course, the boys find it, and put it in a nice, safe place, until they can open it . . . and, find the rightful owner. But that's when a whole bunch of suspicious people show up in St. Gertrude, and every single one of them seems to be after that package! Holy Catnip! Plus, everything happens just when a priceless, jeweled statue collection goes on display at the St. Gertrude Museum. Missing from that collection are two jewel covered cat statues that disappeared almost a hundred and fifty years ago.

But soon Buckley and Bogey wonder how long those statues will stay missing. Because this is one case that really keeps them on their paws! From a trip to the Museum, and to an old church for the Blessing of the Animals; and from dinosaurs to diamonds, they end up dodging shady suspects the whole time. It sure helps to have their friends with them, especially when the bad guys make a beeline for boys. That's because it becomes very clear, very quick --- the priceless cat statues aren't the only cats those crooks are after! Holy Mackerel!

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About the author: Cindy Vincent
 was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and has lived all around the US and Canada. She holds an M.A.Ed, and is the creator of the Mysteries by Vincent murder mystery party games and the Daisy Diamond Detective Series games for girls. She is also the award-winning author of the Buckley and Bogey Cat Detective Caper books, the Daisy Diamond Detective book series, and the Cats are Part of His Kingdom, Too: 33 Daily Devotions to Understanding God's Love. She lives with her husband and the real, live Buckley and Bogey, who run surveillance on her house each and every night.

Find Cindy, Buckley, and Bogey online: website
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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

"First Frost" by Sarah Addison Allen

It's time to step back into the world of the Waverly women, Claire, Sydney, and Bay to find out what has been happening since we left them in "Garden Spells." This new story takes place ten years after the first, and it is just about time for First Frost....
Claire is a wonderful caterer, however, we find her making candies instead this time. Her catering took the back seat to the "medicinal" candies she has been making. Is she happy doing that? She has married Trey and they have a daughter, Mariah, and they are very happy. Sydney runs her own beauty salon, continuing to know just how to fix hair. She has married Harry, and he has adopted her daughter, Bay. Sydney would love to have another child with Harry, but that hasn't happened. Bay has the magical ability to know where things belong, which can be a good and a bad thing sometimes. The magical parts of each woman fill the story with warmth, problems, and interesting situations. The biggest interruption in their lives comes by way of a mysterious man (Russell Zahler) who seems to pop up all over the place and disappear quickly leaving behind no clues. They are hoping that First Frost will come without any problems or situations. Will it?  What is this man doing here and what is his connection to Claire? What will happen if/when Bay goes to the prom? Who is Mariah's mysterious friend?  All these questions and many more will be answered when you open the book.
I love Sarah Addison Allen's books and was thrilled to get to go back to Waverly and read about my friends again. The book is well written and it drew me in right away. If you enjoy a good "magical" story, this book, as well as all of Sarah Addison Allen's books, is for you. Many thanks to the publisher who let me read it through NetGalley.

Friday, January 2, 2015

"The Patmos Deception" by Davis Bunn

The Isle of Patmos is rich in history and tradition. In this new book, three people come together to discover who is stealing Greek antiquities and what is happening to them. Come join Nick, Carey, and Dimitri as they strive to find the answers.

Nick Hennessey is a journalist trying to make a name for himself, when he is assigned a story in Europe dealing with stolen art and treasures. Carey Mathers is a new forensic anthropologist at the Athens Institute of Antiquities, something she has always thought to be her perfect job. Having met up with her old, dear friend, Elena, Carey finds spiritual help and guidance. Dimitri Rubinos runs his family's business of charter boats, but he is struggling. The financial crisis in Greece is wrecking havoc for not only Dimitri, but for all the Greek people. So, who is stealing the art? Does he really sell out his countrymen by transporting stolen goods? How far does the economic cisis push Nick, Carey, or Dimitri? Come follow these three as they travel to places like Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, Patmos, and the Cave of Revelation.

I enjoyed this book and got into the mystery quickly. The places mentioned are some of the ones I want to travel to. The characters were well strucured and the settings well done and breathtaking at times. The love triangle really didn't matter to the story much and could have been left our. All in all, a book I recommend if you enjoy historical Christian fiction. I received my review copy from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

"NKJV Notetaker's Bible" published by Zondervan

The NKJV Notetaker's Bible is a basic Bible with wide margins for notetaking, along with the words of Jesus in red. The wide margins enable every reader to take notes that are not only legible, but don't need to be written with a great slant.

The Bible is a book not only meant to be read, but also to be studied and appreciated. There are plenty of study Bibles that are great for getting more information and new ideas. But, if a reader just wants to read the Bible and get his own thoughts, or read it with a devotional, this Bible is wonderful for that. The wide margins make marking special passages and logging in special notes easy and comfortable. This Bible has a hard cover and is thin enough to take wherever readers go. It is a great addition to the Bibles being published today.

I really like this Bible. The print is a little smaller than I expected, but when looking at the size, it fits perfectly. The wide margins make me very happy because I love to take notes and write in my Bible. The fact that it is simply a Bible enables me to use other resources of my choosing. I highly recommend it! My only wish is that it came with a soft leather cover. I received my review copy from the BookLook program in exchange for an honest review.

"Watch for the Light" by various authors

"Watch for the Light" is a collection of readings for Advent and Christmas. Contributors include: Aquinas, Bonhoeffer, Lewis, and Luther. The book has daily readings from November 24 through January 7, and is meant to give readers a deeper connection to the Christmas season.

This is a devotional book that includes writings from the past to the present. The meaningful lessons are meant to stick, not just be fluff. As the days get closer to Christmas, there is a feeling in the reading of impending wonder and joy; so much reason to the season. The readings after Christmas are meant to keep the lessons alive in the reader's life. It is a book well worth reading each year.

I found this to be a different and wonderful devotional. The eclectic nature of the writings, the truths of the words, and the season discussed all drew me in. This is a wonderful book to have in your home and will make a great gift. I received my review copy from Handlebar Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, December 22, 2014

"The 13th Gift" by Joanne Huist Smith

"The 13th Gift" is a true story of unexpected acts of kindness. The death of her husband not only floored Joanne, but her family as well. Christmas was coming and no one was in the mood to celebrate anything. Open this book and find out what happened when gifts started appearing at their door, twelve days before Christmas.

Joanne's husband had died unexpectedly and that had her reeling. What was she going to do for Christmas? How could she and the children get through the season with all the pain and anguish, and the inability to talk to each other? Then a miracle began to happen. Small gifts with verses/poems started showing up on their doorstep, and while Joanne wanted to throw them out, her children wouldn't let her. Together, they tried to solve the mystery of who was leaving the packages, and while they didn't solve it, they began to heal. Each gift moved them a day closer to Christmas and healing. 

I really enjoyed this book. It is a perfect Christmas read and will be one I give as a gift. It will make a perfect gift for someone who needs encouragement, for small group discussions, and for readers of all types. It might even encourage you to perform some random acts of kindness! I received my review copy from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

"25,000 Mornings: Ancient Wisdom for a Modern Life" by Fay Rowe

In this devotional, Fay Rowe gives readers simple, wise devotions for each day. While 25,000 mornings seems like a lot, it really is about 68.49 years. Why waste them? Start each morning with some joy and wisdom by getting into this book and your Bible.

During the holiday season, things can get frazzled and hectic. What do you do to prepare for your day? What about when it is just a "normal" day, one filled with the normal activities of life? Do you take the time to gather up strength to face what is coming? This devotional provides daily readings that will help encourage and strengthen you as you start each precious new morning. Fay Rowe has intriguing titles to draw you in, some of which are: "Beginning Again," "Words," "Parched," and "It Ain't Over." Short but powerful devotions - what better way to start the day!

I love devotionals because there is always something new and powerful to learn from God's Word. This one is not only good to start the day with, but also to have near-by for that extra shot of encouragement I sometimes need during the day. It is a book I plan to buy and give as gifts. If you enjoy devotionals, or are looking for a new one, try this one. It may just meet your need. I received my review copy from the Book Sneeze program in exchange for an honest review.