Thursday, March 29, 2012

"Finding Our Way Home" by Charlene Ann Baumbich

Lives can change in a moment, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. Sasha Davis was a prima ballerina until a tragic fall ended her career. Her depression is deep, causing her to push away from the people she loves. But she needs help, and Evelyn Burt is hired to be her personal assistant. At 19, Evelyn has her whole life ahead of her, but is dealing with the pressures of her parents desire for her to attend college, and her desire to marry Jordyn. As the two women spend time together, they become friends helping each other overcome negative thoughts and feelings. Will Sasha be able to move past the loss of her dream and find something new to fill up her time? Will her marriage weather the storms? Will Evelyn listen to her parents or to her heart? Can life ever be wonderful again after severe change?

This is a wonderful story of change, hope, friendship, and love. The characters pull you into their stories and make you feel their sorrows and joys. The story moves along at a good pace and will hold your attention. It will make a wonderful gift for readers of all types, and book discussion groups will enjoy discussing the many topics held in the pages. I received my free review copy from the Blogging for Books program.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

"A Calm Whisper" a publication by "The Youth World"

Short stories, artwork, and poetry combine to make this book come alive. Each piece is meant to convey something to the reader, whether it is a piece of artwork producing memories, or a poem making one think of things family, friendship, or even 9/11. Some of the poetry is hard to read (like "Broken and Bloody" with the theme of suicide), but will make you think. The artwork is created in different mediums, giving each one its own uniqueness. The artists who contributed to this book are young and fresh, willing to share their talents with the reader. This is a book that will leave you thinking.

I found myself thinking about each part of this book. Maybe that is what title is meant to convey, just a whisper to pay attention to something. My favorite artwork is by Arto Heino and is titled "Majestic Water Colors." My favorite poem is "One Dark September Morning" by Brittany Tenpenny. Why not pick up the book and pick your own favorites?

Monday, March 26, 2012

"Spirit Fighter" by Jerel Law

Good and evil collide in this first book of a new series by Jerel Law. Jonah and Eliza Stone are different. They are the part Nephilim, which makes them about a quarter angel. This creates problems for them, but when their mother is kidnapped, they find their skills are useful. Battling fallen angels is dangerous work, but Jonah steps up and fights save his mother while Eliza provides protection. Will his skills be enough help him keep his wits about him and fight successfully? Will Jonah live up to his potential? Who will win in this battle of good versus evil? Come along and begin the journey with the story of Jonah Stone, "Spirit Fighter!"

This exciting story with its likeable characters will get not only YA readers, but readers of all ages involved. This first book of the series is about Jonah, and I hope there will be more about Eliza to come. It is nice to have fantasy books available for parents to read with their children that come from a Biblical perspective. If you enjoy the Percy Jackson series, or even Harry Potter, you should enjoy this too! I received my free review copy from Net Galley and thank them!

"The Hunger Games" by

Society has degenerated into a capitol with twelve satellites to support it. With no rights, many of the people live in poverty, suffering from hunger and depression. Once there was an uprising, but the powerful army from the capitol put it down and now once a year each satellite must send one of its young people to the "Hunger Games." It is a brutal day for the young people as they are forced to dress up and see if their name is called, yet it continues. As Katniss and Peeta are whisked away, the people of their section believe they are lost. But, what if there is a chance of survival? Can either of them win this battle to the death? Who is your pick to win "The Hunger Games"?

Wow is all I can say! The book had me riveted from the beginning. There were characters I loved and those I intensely disliked, yet all were necessary to make it work. I recommend this book to readers of all ages because it crosses all lines. I went out and bought the other two books in the series and can't wait to start them.

Friday, March 23, 2012

"The Girl Who Chased the Moon" by Sarah Addison Allen

Emily has come to live with her grandfather, a man she had never met. Her mother has died and she misses her. She wants to know more about her mother's early life and hopes her grandfather will fill her in. There is so much she doesn't know. She isn't prepared for his height, his quietness, or the wallpaper in her room. But, at night, Emily sees a light in the woods that intrigues her. Her grandfather calls it the Mullaby lights and asks her to stay away from them. Emily, however, lets her curiosity get the better of her. What will she find, if anything? Emily also discovers that some people hate her mother. Why? What could she possibly have done that would last this long and transfer to her daughter? Julia lives next door and she knows the story, but also has a story of her own. Why does she diligently bake cakes? What is their power? Come on, take a trip to Mullaby and discover the truth behind these and other life stories.

I love books by Sarah Addison Allen and have read most of them. She has a wonderful way of pulling you into the story and making you believe in magic. I would love to have the wallpaper that was in Emily's room, at least most of the time. This is a delightful story of love, hope, forgiveness, and new beginnings. It will grab you from the start and I recommend it to all readers. The Reader's Guide also makes this a great choice for reading groups.

"Angels Are For Real" by Judith MacNutt

Angels. Heavenly messengers meant to bring protect, warn, and guide us. But, are they real or just part of our imagination? In her newest book, Judith MacNutt tackles this topic with Biblical information and real life stories. We pray about many things and don't always notice how the prayer is answered. Angels could be at work. Have you ever had an experience where you know someone stopped you before a horrible accident? or, lost something that miraculously was found? These are just two of the ways angels could be working in your life. One story in the book deals with a lost ring another about being saved from drowning and another about feeling safe, and there are so many more. Opening this book will bless you with information and comfort to know that you are not alone. The research that Ms. MacNutt has done will inspire you.

I loved reading this book. There have been many times we have said that God intervened on the highway or with something lost or with someone who has been ill. God sends his love to us no matter what the answer, and angels are a big part of His work here on earth. If you are a skeptic, why not pick up the book and read Ms. MacNutt's evidence? If you are a believer, you will love the Scripture and stories contained in these pages. I received my free review copy from Bethany House and am happy to write this review.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

"Gossip" by Beth Gutcheon

Secrets. We all have them and long to share them with someone who will keep them locked away and not share them. What happens when one person holds so many of her friend's secrets that it is hard to keep them in? In her new novel, Beth Gutcheon deals with the relationships of a small group of women and the secrets one holds for them all. "Lovie" is the trusted confidant holding the secrets of her friends, Dinah and Avis. But the truth about the relationships is tested when two of their children fall in love - Dinah's son and Avis's daughter. Will Nick and Grace survive the turmoil and heartbreak headed their way? Will Lovie keep the secrets hidden away, or will something spill out? Come enter the world of friendship, trust, and betrayal. You will discover the truth about gossip and how it can affect people's lives.

I enjoyed this book more that I thought I might. The three main characters were friends who had their ups and downs the way normal people do. They could be friends of any of us, and it was easy to see why they gravitated to Lovie when letting out their secrets. The story drew me in and pulled me along. It was easy to empathize with all of those affected by gossip. I recommend this to readers who love to read a good story with some thoughtful points. I received my free review copy from FSB Associates, and thank them for the opportunity.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

"Scarhaven Keep" by J.S. Fletcher

Mystery and intrigue surround Scarhaven, England, when Oliver Bassett is suddenly missing. Mr. Bassett is always punctual, setting an example that everyone notices. The members of his theater company are worried about this unusual event and two men (Copplestone and  Stafford) decide to go in search of him, finding his last known stop was in Scarhaven. The people of Scarhaven seem to have secrets, many revolving around the Squire of the town, Marston Greyle. Why doesn't he have contact with his family members and why does he leave them poor? What does he know about Mr. Bassett's disappearance? Mary Wooler, landlady at the Admiral's Arms may have some important information. So might Audrey Greyle, but will telling it put her in danger? Does Devil's Spout have any part in this story? In this classic mystery, the clues will add up and finally point to the person responsible for either the abduction or murder of Oliver Basset.

YA mystery lovers will enjoy this book. There is mystery, intrigue, and even a little love story involved here. As the characters tell their stories, you will be drawn in and develop your own conclusions. Will you be able to solve the mystery? Come on and try!

Monday, March 12, 2012

"They Still Call Me Sister" by Deborah Pulmmer Bussey

Kathy Carpenter is a young African-American girl who feels called to be a nun. Life seems to be laid out before her and moving smoothly, until one day, after being a nun for several years, Kathy asks to be released from her vows. She then becomes a top notch psychologist in the Cleveland area, hoping to help more people than she could ever reach before. But then, the unexpected happens, and one of her patients dies. This totally upends her world and she wants to know why. Why couldn't she help? Unable to find peace about Chanelle's death, Kathy decides to do some searching of her own and travels to Atlanta. There she visits the nightclubs hoping for answers. Will Kathy discover more than she can handle? Was Chanelle's death a simple suicide or was it murder? 

This book is a wonderful mystery/thriller with lots to think about. At first it may seem to be a story about being the first African-American girl in her parish to become a nun, but continue to read and you find so much more to Kathy's character. Wanting to help people leads her to the mystery of Chanelle's death, something that will keep readers paying attention. If you enjoy mystery/thrillers with some real life personality, you will enjoy this book.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

"Not This Time" by Vicki Hinze

The day started as a celebration to a loving couple, but was interrupted by a terrorist attack resulting in at least one death. Why would NINA want to attack anyone in the small town of Seagrove Village? Someone(s) is not what they seem. Police make a troublesome find in a building in the woods - a mattress soaked in blood. Is it human? If so, whose blood is it?  Thus begins the third book in the Crossroads Crisis Center series by Vicki Hinze.

Sue and Beth have made a lot of money together and are best friends, but when Sue married a man Beth couldn't trust, their relationship is put to the test. When Sue's husband is kidnapped, some suspect on Beth. Could Beth have orchestrated the kidnapping and ransom demand? Meanwhile, the Shadow Watchers are trying to take down the terrorists (NINA) and keep the people of Seagrove safe. Beth's relationship with one of them, Joe, can bring her happiness or pain. Will she trust her heart or put up a roadblock? Who is Raven? Who has duped everyone and infiltrated the town? Will the terrorists be taken down, or will the attacks continue? Come along and meet the people of Seagrove and the Crossroads Crisis Center. There is a lot more here than meets the eye.

I have read the other two books in this series, "Forget Me Not," and "Deadly Ties," so it was easy to relate to the characters and continued story line. The story is realistic and reads like something out of today's news, the characters real and likeable (for the most part). I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves action/suspense/thriller novels. It will keep you on the edge of your seat and turning the pages! I received my free review copy from the Blogging for Books program and thank them for the opportunity to read it and offer my honest review.

Friday, March 9, 2012

"The Maid of Fairbourne Hall" by Julie Klassen

What do you do when you are being forced into a distasteful marriage? Run away, of course. At least, that is what Margaret Macy did and it changed her life. Margaret lived a lifestyle that others dreamed of - pampered and wealthy. Was it really worth giving all of that up just to find love. Margaret said yes, and found a real job for the first time in her life. As the housemaid, Margaret works diligently, but at first she can't understand the pride others show in menial labor. Then, there are two brothers she works for, each bringing a unique set of problems to her life. And, she was always looking over her shoulder for someone coming after her. How can she continue hiding from those of Fairbourne Hall who would bring her back into the fold? Can Margaret trust anyone enough to find love? Will Margaret find the pride in her work that the others find in theirs?

What a wonderful story of hope and love. I really enjoyed reading the book because the story line was interesting and the characters realistic. It highlights the point that people should have pride in their work, whatever it is, and that honesty and integrity should be valued most highly. This book will definitely be a delight to readers of all types and book groups will have loads of fun discussing the plot and themes. It has been a pleasure to be part of the Litfuse Blog Tour for this book!

About the book:
To escape a scheme to marry her off to a dishonorable man, Margaret Macy flees London disguised as a housemaid. If she can remain unwed until her next birthday, she will receive an inheritance, and with it, sweet independence. But she never planned on actually working as a servant. And certainly not in the home of Nathaniel and Lewis Upchurch--both former suitors.

As she fumbles through the first real work of her life, Margaret struggles to keep her identity secret when suspicions arise and prying eyes visit Fairbourne Hall. Can she avoid a trap meant to force her from hiding?
About Julie:
Julie Klassen loves all things Jane--Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. She has won the Christy Award: Historical Romance for The Silent Governess (2010) and The Girl in the Gatehouse (2011) which also won the 2010 Midwest Book Award for Genre Fiction. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.

For more information, visit

Link to buy the book:


About the contest:  If you have a scheduled date that is near the end of the tour, please consider posting twice, once earlier in the month about the contest, and then again later in the month with your review.
Don't miss the perfect blend of Regency-era romance and mystery in The Maid of Fairbourne Hall! Grab a copy and then be sure to enter Julie's Kindle Fire Giveaway and RSVP for her Author Chat party on Facebook! Swoon.

One fortunate winner will receive:

A brand new Kindle Fire
A Julie Klassen Library (The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, The Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Silent Governess)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends 3/14. Winner will be announced at Julie's "Fairbourne Hall" Facebook Party on 3/15 . Julie will be hosting an evening of chat, trivia and a sneak peek at her next book - bring your friends! She'll also be giving away some GREAT prizes: gift certificates, books, and a Downton Abbey Prize Pack!

So grab your copy of The Maid of Fairbourne Hall and join Julie and friends on the evening of March 15th for an evening of fun.
Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP TODAY and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 15th!

Monday, March 5, 2012

"The Founder's Key: The Divine & Natural Connection between the Declaration and the Constitution and What We Risk by Losing It " by Dr. Larry Arnn

The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are two of the most vital documents in our society. Today, many in the progressive movement would love to strip them from our conscience and change the way society works. When FDR separated the documents, he began the belief that both of them are powerful and necessary. In this new book, Dr. Larry Arnn shows just how important it is for us to fight to keep them together and useful today. Our Founders knew that the new government was fragile, but they also knew that a solid foundation was vitally important. Who is really supposed to control society and its people? What is the true purpose of government? What did the Founders know that has been lost to many citizens today? Why not pick up this book and re-learn the importance and reason for these two precious documents? It's time to discover, "The Founder's Key."

As a history buff, I was thrilled to receive a free copy of this book from the Book Sneeze program for review. As I listen to the news today, I find it vitally important that our children learn the real importance of our founding documents, and that the rest of us get a big reminder. This is a wonderful book to share and will make a great gift for anyone who wants to know more about what our country was founded on and what we stand to lose.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

"Everything You Need to Know About Everything You Need to Know About the Universe" by Chris Cooper

Our universe is a vast area filled with interesting objects. There are planets, stars, galaxies, meteors, moons, and so much more, and we can't possibly understand it all. But, maybe we can get a glimpse into this wonderful territory, maybe get a hint of what lies beyond our own "space" by delving into books such as this. Through the pages of this book, you can learn basic facts and figures about planets, etc., but you can also imagine what it would be like to visit the far off stretches of the universe. Through the graphs, diagrams, and pictures, you can "see" what is beyond the scope of our sight, and begin to understand the vastness of this thing we call space. It is anything but empty, so come along and take a journey into the knowledge about the universe.

This is a fun book filled with interesting facts and figures. Whatever your belief on the creation of the universe, there is information in this book to stimulate your imagination. This book will make a wonderful addition to home libraries and is great for gift giving. I received my free review copy from Net Galley and the publisher, and thank them very much.