Monday, February 28, 2011

"The Mountains Bow Down" by Sibella Giorello

An Alaskan cruise vacation puts Raleigh Harmon in the middle of a murder. As an FBI agent, her skills and observations tell her that this is not a suicide, as others think, and she embarks on an investigation to prove it. What is standing in her way? Time - she has five days; Geert - a Dutch policeman who works for the cruise line; Milo Carpenter - actor and husband of the dead woman; consulting on an actual movie; and Jack Stephanson - FBI agent assigned to help her, and someone with whom she has a history; just to name a few. She is also recently engaged, but is having trouble thinking about DeMott. Is she truly in love with him? Will Raleigh trust anyone to help with the investigation? Will the killer be caught or go free?

This book is the first of a series by Sibella Giorello that I have read, and I plan on reading more. Her writing style is inviting with a story and characters that keep you following along. I loved the pictures she painted in my mind of Alaska, the cruise ship, and the characters. This book is a wonderful choice for lovers of murder mysteries that have a splash of romance. Reading groups can also have fun discussing this one. Thank you to the Book Sneeze Program for the opportunity to read and review this book.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

"Sisterchicks" in Wooden Shoes by Robin Jones Gunn

What do you do when you get the call that you have had an abnormal test and need to schedule a biopsy? Why, go visit your life-long pen pal of course. That is exactly what Summer does. Noelle is her "sisterchick," and she needs to finally meet her face to face. Summer's understanding husband Wayne tells her to go, so she finalizes her plans to fly to the Netherlands. Summer doesn't want to talk about the test, just enjoy the moments with Noelle and her husband Jelle. She knows that the biopsy will bring enough tension, and she wants to live free for just a little while. Through the visit, Summer finds a deeper closeness to God, a deeper peace, and a deeper friendship than she could have thought possible. Will Summer tell Noelle about the necessary biopsy? What happens when she arrives home? Will Noelle find a way to make peace with her own family in America?

This wonderful story touches on God's never ending love for us, His care and concern, and the way he offers opportunities for us to see His hand in all things. The story drew me in immediately with the news of the biopsy, then kept me interested with the stories of the Netherlands and God's wonderful provision and blessings. This book is great for women to share with each other. Reading groups will find an abundance of things to discuss. Thank you to the Blogging for Books program for the opportunity to read this book, and for introducing me to this wonderful author.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

"Grayton Beach Affair" by James Harvey

War, deceit, a love affair, and more await the reader of "Grayton Beach Affair" by James Harvey. Christian Wolff is an unsettled man who would love nothing more than to stay under everyone's radar and simply live his life. However, war has come to Germany and the things he loves and enjoys are changing. As a German who grew up in America and knows it well, the German hierarchy not only notices him, but they have a job for him to do. He is forced to "volunteer" to extract a German scientist, Dieter Braun, from an American prison camp in southern Florida. After traveling to America via U-Boat, Christian must keep his German heritage secret, find his way to the scientist, and get back to Germany without anyone discovering the plot. But, circumstances conspire against him, as they so often do, and Christian meets a woman named Maggie Neal. They have a brief love affair but Christian leaves, thinking he can leave his feelings for Maggie behind, and reappears in France. There he joins the French resistance and realizes that his life would be better spent in America with Maggie. Will Christian find Maggie? Does she want to be found and, if so, will she ever trust him again? What happened to Dieter Braun, and how did Christian escape being caught by the Germans?

This is an intriguing book that keeps a reader interested with the story line and characters. I found the story compelling and easy to read, with many thrilling moments of war and love. I recommend this book to lovers of historical or romantic fiction, as well as reading groups. There are some great topics of discussion here.

Monday, February 14, 2011

"Dragons of the Valley" by Donita K. Paul

The Trio of Elements, three statues that keep Chiril in balance, have been taken in order to protect the land and are being hidden in the Valley of the Dragons. When the trio are not aligned, things go out of whack and create huge problems for the people and land of Chiril. An enemy knows this and is invading, trying to take what isn't theirs. The Grawl is their secret weapon, a weapon the people's of Chiril can't see or hear until it is too late. But don't underestimate those striving to protect their land and the statues. Will they be able to stop the invading army? Will the Grawl be able to slip in unnoticed? Will the statues remain hidden? Will the Trio stay together? Come join Tipper, Bealmondore, Hollee, Fenworth, the dragons, and the others as they work together to keep their land protected.

I enjoyed this book very much and look forward to reading more books by Ms. Paul. Her characters are fun and vibrant, her story inviting and captivating. I recommend this book to fantasy lovers everywhere, and to those of you who haven't tried fantasy yet, check out this author. You won't be sorry! I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review and thank them very much.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

"Save the Date" by Jenny B. Jones

Lucy is a woman on a mission - a mission to save her beloved "Saving Grace." As a woman who has known poverty and the scramble to get by, Lucy has made it her life's work to help other young women realize their potential. "Saving Grace" is more than a building, more than a place to learn and grow. It is a home and that home is in jeopardy. Funding is being taken away and the building has been sold out from under them, but Lucy believes in miracles. She has asked God to move in a bold way. Will He? What about the two men vying for Lucy's hand? Matt is the man she was certain she would marry, but he had walked away. Now he is back. Why? Alex is a millionaire, former football player, who is running for office. His proposition could save the young women she works with. What is the proposition and will she take him up on it? God truly works in mysterious, bold ways and it is up to us to follow His lead. Come along on Lucy's journey to happiness, love, and fulfillment by reading Save the Date.

I loved this book! It has a mix of God and dilemmas, love story, and personal conviction that kept me turning the pages. The characters and story line are believable and I didn't want the book to end. Thank you so much, Net Galley, for making it possible for me to read this book. Individual readers will enjoy the captivating story and book discussion groups will enjoy bantering around the various topics presented.