Tuesday, July 31, 2012

"The Painted Bridge" by Wendy Wallace

Locked away in an asylum? For what? This is the question Anna has to ponder when her husband surreptitiously drops her off at an asylum. "Lake House" was set up to care for women of means who seemed too delicate for the outside world. But Anna? No, she didn't belong there and knew she had to find a way to prove it. The how was the problem, however, as no one was really honest with her nor did they want to believe her. Her husband, Vincent, was determined to leave her there and her doctor agreed.

But, there were periodic rays of hope around Anna. One doctor was convinced that he could capture the truth about a person's mind with a picture. Could her photograph prove that she was sane? She had also met others who, like herself, wanted to be free. But would they be able to cross the bridge to that freedom? Come along and read Anna's story and find out just how thin the line is between sanity and madness. Take a trip in time to London in the winter of 1859.

What a wonderful debut novel! It is hard to put down and very well written. There is suspense, mystery, and the absolute feeling that you want to help Anna and the others. Wendy Wallace has a very bright future, and I can't wait to read more.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

More about "The Stars Shine Bright" by Sibella Giorello

About  The Stars Shine Bright
After the FBI suspends her for bending rules, Special Agent Raleigh Harmon wants to redeem her career and re-start her life.

But when the Bureau offers her an undercover assignment, she's forced to take on a double-life. Sent to a thoroughbred horse track, Raleigh's supposed to find out who's fixing the races. But when horses start dying and her own life is threatened, she realizes something bigger-and more sinister-is ruining Emerald Downs.

And she's never felt more alone.

Her sole contact with the FBI is Special Agent Jack Stephanson, a guy who jumps from jerk to genuine friend on any given day. And Raleigh' family support is out of the question. For one, they're off-limits while she's undercover, and her mother stopped speaking to her after a psychotic breakdown sent her to a mental hospital. To add insult to isolation, Raleigh's fiance keeps demanding they start their life together-now-precisely when she's being ordered not to be herself.

With only days left before the track closes for the season, Raleigh races to stop the killing and find out who's behind it and why, all the while dealing with her fiance and trying to figure out if Jack is friend or foe-or something more.

In the fifth book of the popular mystery series, Raleigh Harmon walks through the darkest night of her soul, and finds herself searching for a place where the stars shine bright. 
About Sibella Giorello
Steve JohnstonSibella Giorello grew up in Alaska and majored in geology at Mount Holyoke College. After riding a motorcycle across the country, she worked as a features writer for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Her stories have won state and national awards, including two nominations for the Pulitzer Prize. She now lives in Washington state with her husband and sons.  

"The Stars Shine Bright" by Sibella Giorello

Raleigh Harmon is a Special Agent for the FBI, at least she is for now. After "bending the rules" to solve a case, Raleigh is in hot water with their internal affairs department (they want her fired) and under scrutiny with everyone else. Some don't believe she can be trusted to keep cases clean. There are, however, some who still believe in her. Will their support and Raleigh's ability to function well under pressure be enough to save her career?

Raleigh has one last chance to save her job with the FBI, and it requires going undercover. She is assigned to go undercover at a racetrack (Emerald Downs) and has only two weeks to discover if there is a crime being committed, and if so, who the guilty parties are. Two weeks doesn't seem to be enough time, and she doesn't want to take this case, but Raleigh knows this is her life on the line. The accusation is that horses are being set up to win, then drugged so that they will lose. Is this true? Why then are some horses dying? Raleigh's undercover assignment also leaves her only one link to the outside world - Special Agent Jack Stephanson. She is drawn to him, but is an engaged woman. What will happen in her relationship with Jack? Can Raleigh save her career, her family, and her sanity? The answers to all of these questions and many more await you in this latest book by Sibella Giorello.

I love this series by Sibella Giorello, and am thrilled to have read this fifth book. Raleigh and Jack are well thought out characters who are fun to follow through the books, and the supporting characters are also well written. Ms. Giorello takes great care to pull the reader into the lives of her characters and into the plot of the story. I found it very hard to put down. Her books are great for mystery and detective fans everywhere, but I also encourage others to pick up the series and enjoy it with us! 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

"Giants in the Land" by Clark Rich Burbidge

"A giant is not measured by the greatness of his strength, but by the greatness of his heart." 

The giants have been dependable, always willing to help when needed. What happens when they disappear without warning? What will the townspeople do?

Thomas is a farmer, just as his father was, with a young family he loves. He is a hard worker and wants to do all he can for his family. But one morning a challenge comes his way that he has not anticipated. It is a morning where he must summon his courage and help the towns people discover the reason the giants left them. The giants had helped with all of the big jobs - canals, levees, walls, etc. Who would do those things until the giants came back? As Thomas set out to find the giants, he learns many wonderful things about himself and the others in the town. Had they become too dependent on others? Did they appreciate the help or had they become complacent? Could they overcome their fear and work together? Come join Thomas, Rachel, Mayor Nimblebone, and the others as they embark on a journey of discovery.

This is an interesting book that is easy to read. I received my free review copy as part of the Litfuse Blog Tour.

More about the book:

There are giants in the land.

And it has always been so as far as anyone can remember. They work side-by-side with the people, and whenever there is a job too difficult or a threat too great they are there to step in. The giants’ presence gives the townspeople a special confidence about life. But they have become much more dependant on the giants than they realize. One morning the people discover the giants have mysteriously disappeared. Fear and panic grip the town. Someone must find them and bring them back! 

Thomas, a young farmer, volunteers and sets out alone on a great journey of danger and discovery. Thomas learns the true nature of giants and what it means for him and his people. Join Thomas in his timeless rite of passage and learn what it means to become something more than you have been, why it is necessary in life, and how to do it.

Learn more about Giants in the Land by visiting: http://www.giantsinthelandbook.com

Meet Clark Burbidge:

Clark Burbidge's path to becoming an award winning author had distant beginnings. He received an MBA degree from the University of Southern California and a BS Degree in finance from the University of Utah. His career spans 31 years in banking, project finance, investment banking and more recently as Chief Financial Officer of three separate companies. He has been actively involved in community and church service, including lay youth and adult ministry, for over 35 years. 

It has been his long-term dream to write and publish several works that have been kicking around in his mind for many years. His first book, "Life on the Narrow Path: A Mountain Biker's Guide to Spiritual Growth in Troubled Times" was released nationally in March 2011. His second book "A Piece of Silver" was published in July 2011 and is currently entering its 2nd edition. Clark enjoys life in the foothills of the Rockies with his wife, children and three grandchildren. He looks forward to this next phase of life's wonderful adventures.

Learn more about Clark by visiting www.clarkrburbidge.com.

Blog Tour Schedule:

Monday, July 16, 2012

"The Company" by Chuck Graham

A meteorite crashes into the Earth and sets off a chain reaction of natural catastrophes that kill the majority of the planet - plant, animal, and man. Brigos Glen has been spared, but as darkness covers the sun, the people struggle to figure out a way to survive. Then they hear a voice ask, "Would you like some help?" And our story begins.

Brigos Glen is a normal community filled with normal people. As help arrives after the destruction of most of the Earth, the people learn to trust the "Yonders" to get them power so that they can get back to a sense of normalcy. Thinking they are alone, besides the Yonders, the Brigons don't consider what is over the mountains. As time passes, greed and disagreement lead to the one Company being split into factions. The "Plan" that had been given them is discarded by many. Sam is one man trying to follow the plan, always  wondering what he can do to help. As the problems persist and people forget, drastic measures are called for. This is the story of what happens when people are held to account and given another chance.

This book is an allegory meant to get Christians to look at how they act and what they do. If you have been to church and are a Christian, you will recognize the symbolism in the story. Mr. Graham wants Christians to see how they have deviated from God's plan, but that there is also a way back. It is an interesting story and I think many people will enjoy it. I received my free review copy for an honest review in the Litfuse Blog Tour.

About Chuck: 

Chuck Graham's legal career as an attorney in private practice spanned more than thirty-one years. He represented many local, national, and international clients, acquiring intricate knowledge about the often-overlapping structures of the corporate world. He also worked against those seeking to create racial division, including the Ku Klux Klan. He has served as a member of the state bar of Georgia since 1979 and an instructor to attorneys and judges through the Institute for Continuing Legal Education (ICLE). He received the Medallion of Appreciation from ICLE.

Chuck is also a speaker and the author of Take the Stand (Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1996) and the compilations, A Year of Encouragement (Xulon Press).

In 1997 he founded Ciloa (Christ Is Lord Of All), a ministry devoted to sharing God’s encouragement with the world and teaching those who follow Him how to encourage others. Today Chuck serves as executive director and principal author of A Note of Encouragement, a weekly e-zine reaching 175 countries.

He and Beverly, his wife of thirty-four years, have lived in Lawrenceville, a suburb of Atlanta, for fourteen years. God has blessed them with three children. In his free time, Chuck enjoys backpacking and hiking (especially on the Appalachian Trail), playing the guitar, dabbling in photography, and reading extensively about the Christian faith. 

Blog Tour Schedule

Friday, July 13, 2012

"God is More Than Enough" by Tony Evans

Psalm 23 is one of the most beautiful and promise filled passages of the Bible. In his new book, "God is More Than Enough," Pastor Tony Evans breaks down the Psalm to provide his readers with examples of peace, hope, support, and love that are so needed in daily life. He first asks us, "Who is Your Shepherd?" then continues on showing how God is enough for things like spiritual, directional, emotional, physical, and eternal needs.

Do you ever feel discouraged, tired, or totally drained by daily events? God is more than enough to help you! Through Scripture and teaching, readers are shown just how sufficient God is. As he goes through the points, Pastor Evans also more emphasis to his points by asking specific questions like, "Do you think of yourself as a sheep?" and "Who Sets Your Table?" This helps the reader focus. Daily struggles can cause us to take our eyes off of our Shepherd, but with the reminders in this book, we can refocus our hearts and minds on Him. 

I enjoyed this book and will read it again, a little more slowly. There are so many wonderful reminders in these pages, but best of all, Pastor Evans uses Scripture. I love being able to go to my Bible for the answers to my questions and problems, and this book provides some of the verses to keep handy. I recommend this book to anyone who questions if God is enough. It will make a great starting place for Bible study in families and groups. I received my free review copy from Multnomah books for an honest review.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

"Implosion" by Joel Rosenberg

America is a great country built on sound principles. Is it possible that it is crumbling from the inside out? Will implosion be the death of America? In his newest book, Joel Rosenberg takes a hard, thoughtful look at the crumbling of America and what can be done to stop it.

The word implosion implies that something collapses from the inside, rather than exploding from an outside force. Implosion can be prevented or delayed with movements made to shore up defects. In this new book, Mr. Rosenberg explores what he sees as the causes of America's implosion (i.e. our economic situation, turning from God) and what can be done to stop or slow the decline (i.e. turning to God, a Third Great Awakening). He shows through current events and Biblical passages how the Rapture is nearing everyday. There are wars and terrorist attacks all over the world, Israel is being attacked and supporters are few, the world's economy is grave, which affects that of America, and the list goes on. It is time for Christians to wake up and pray! "If my people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14

This is a book that will make you think. Mr. Rosenberg took a lot of time for his research and presents his findings in an easy to read book. I recommend it to readers everywhere and pray it will be a wake up call for us. I received my free review copy from the Tyndale Blog Network for an honest review.

Friday, July 6, 2012

"Tidewater Inn" by Colleen Coble

A woman is kidnapped while her friend watches long distance. A mother was presumed dead from a boating accident. As a father dies, he tries to fix the problems caused by a grievous mistake made years previously. There is a mysterious cave and its contents cause chaos. Two people find themselves drawn to each other, but trust is an issue. These are just a few of the exciting scenarios found in this latest book by Coleen Coble.

Libby and her partner, Nicole, restore old buildings. While scouting the area of Hope Beach, Nicole finds information that will change Libby's life. Her father hadn't really died when Libby was five. That had been her mother's lie. But, now he was dead and had left her a sizable inheritance, as well as siblings. Nicole sets up a beach camera to capture Vanessa's picture so Libby can see that she is real, when two men kidnap her before Libby's eyes. Now Libby races to Hope Beach to help find her friend. Who would want to kidnap Nicole? Was Libby involved? How will Libby's new siblings, Vanessa and Brent, take the news that Libby is their sister and has inherited the land on the island? Will they find Nicole in time? Alec is a local Coast Guard member and fisherman who volunteers to help Libby. What will their attraction spark? Come join the residents and guests at the Tidewater Inn to find out how all of these questions are answered.

I love to read anything by Colleen Coble. Her stories always draw me in and become real. This book was no exception. I loved the characters and setting, and really enjoyed trying out my detective skills. I recommend this book to all readers whether you read at home, on the beach, or somewhere else. You will not be disappointed by the story. I received my free review copy from the Book Sneeze program for an honest review. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

"From the Library of C.S. Lewis" by James Stewart Bell with Anthony Dawson

C.S. Lewis was a masterful writer. Who were the people who influenced his life? What books and authors would you find in his library if he were alive today? In his new book, James S. Bell, with Anthony Dawson, answers these questions and more.

C.S. Lewis was a prolific writer of such classics as the "Chronicles of Narnia" and "The Screwtape Letters." His Christian beliefs ran deep and he used writing as a way to express himself. But, givers must also find resources for their own strength, and C.S. Lewis had many resources. He drew strength and renewal from people like Aristotle,  Chaucer, Dorothy Sayers, and J.R.R. Tolkein. Inside the pages of this book are more than 200 wonderful excerpts, giving the reader an insight into not only Lewis, but so many others as well.

This is a really interesting book. James S. Bell and Anthony Dawson, took a great deal of time to study and select the information here. This book is one I will read again, taking more time to savor the individual passages presented. I recommend this book to all readers, especially C.S. Lewis lovers. It is a great tool in discovering the types of influences we all should have in our lives. I received my free review copy from the Blogging for Books program for an honest review.

"Submerged" by Dani Pettrey

Two people, torn apart by their past relationship, must work together to catch a killer. Will their personal turmoil stand in the way, or will they be able to mend their relationship? They have both changed, but will Cole believe that Bailey has changed?

Bailey left Yancey, Alaska ten years ago, but has to return due to the death of her aunt. She doesn't want to go back because of her troubled past (including a past with Cole), but needs to take care of her aunt's things. Was the plane crash an accident or is there something more sinister at work here? Cole was doing alright until Bailey returned to town. Their past stirs up lots of mixed feelings in him, but he has a murder to solve. The diver is dead, and the boat is covered in blood, but who would do this? The investigation brings Bailey and Cole together and they find there is a lot more going on in Yancey than they thought. Throw in a stolen diary of a Russian princess, and the mystery deepens. Will they be able to solve the case together? Will the murderer be stopped?

This is the first book in Ms. Pettrey's "Alaskan Courage" series, and I can't wait to read more! There is murder, sorrow, love, forgiveness, hope, and so much more wrapped inside these pages. Ms. Pettrey knows how to weave a story, and if you enjoy books full of intrigue and mystery, you should enjoy this one. I received my free review from Bethany House for an honest review.