Saturday, September 5, 2015

90 Minutes in Heaven

About the movie presented by Giving Films:
Releases in theaters everywhere September 11, 2015
Rating: PG-13 (for intense accident and injury images) 
Starring Hayden Christensen (Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones, Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith), Kate Bosworth (Remember The Titans, Blue Crush) Michael W. Smith, Fred Thompson, Dwight Yoakam, and Jason Kennedy, 90 Minutes In Heaven is based on the inspiring New York Times best-selling book that has sold 7 million copies.  

About Giving Films:
Giving Films is passionate about sharing hope-filled movies and donating ALL of their profits to charities and ministries who serve those in need.  Beginning with their first film, 90 Minutes In Heaven, Giving Films is allowing all of us to be a part of making a difference.  Anytime you go to a Giving Films movie in theaters, visit and select which charities you want to receive the profits from your ticket.  Their charitable organizations are Christian Alliance for Orphans, Faith Bridge Foster Care, Hire Heroes USA, Hope International, LifeWater, Street Grace, and World Vision.  

About the book:
Paperback; 245 pages
Pastor Don Piper died January 18, 1989 when a semi-tractor truck crushed his car.  Declared dead by the first rescue workers to arrive on the scene, Don's body lay under a tarp for the next 90 minutes.  Don's soul, meanwhile, was experiencing love, joy, and life like he'd never known before.  Don was in Heaven.  

When another pastor's prayers helped bring Don back to life, he became a living miracle!  Yet this is one miracle Don wished never happened.  Heaven's bliss was replaced by excruciating pain and emotional turmoil.  With the support and prayers of his beloved Eva, their three kids, and friends near and far, Don clings to his faith in God and fights to regain a semblance of his previous life.  The Piper family's incredible true story of perseverance and overcoming the challenges of life - and death - will bring hope and encouragement to all who see it. 

My Review: 

When I saw the trailer for this new movie, I was very excited.  I thought the movie looked amazing and I had recently heard an interview on the radio with Don Piper.  The interview was enticing and made we want to see the movie.  Then, I was sent the book, 90 Minutes in Heaven to read prior to the release of the movie.

I have to say, I was disappointed in the book. While the actual story behind the book and movie is an amazing miracle and example of what God can and will do, I found the book boring and slow and repetitive.   The repetition, I'm sure, is to get point across of what Heaven was like and that Don didn't want to come back to earth, but I found it very tiresome.

Honestly, the movie HAS to be better!  While reading the book, I could visualize what it was like when Don Piper stood outside the gates of Heaven.  I could picture his broken body lying in the car on the bridge and the man who crawled in and prayed for the dead man and so on. I believe this will be a glory-bump inducing, hope presenting and amazing movie.  If someone doesn't believe in the afterlife or Heaven... this movie may very well be the catalyst to encourage their questions and possibly their conversion to believer.

Give it a chance... take a friend.  

Friday, August 28, 2015

Irish Meadows (Courage to Dream, Bk #1) by Susan Anne Mason, a review

About the Book: 
Faced with an uncertain future, sometimes all you have left is the courage to dream.
Brianna and Colleen O’Leary know their Irish immigrant father expects them to marry well. Recently he’s put even more pressure on them, insinuating that the very future of their Long Island horse farm, Irish Meadows, rests in their ability to land prosperous husbands. Both girls, however, have different visions for their futures.
Brianna, a quiet girl with a quick mind, dreams of attending college. Vivacious Colleen, meanwhile, is happy to marry—as long as her father’s choice meets her exacting standards of the ideal groom. When former stable hand Gilbert Whelan returns from business school and distant relative Rylan Montgomery visits Long Island during his seminary training, the two men quickly complicate everyone’s plans.
As the farm slips ever closer to ruin, James O’Leary grows more desperate. It will take every ounce of courage for both sisters to avoid being pawns in their father’s machinations and instead follow their hearts. And even if they do, will they inevitably find their dreams too distant to reach?

About the Author: 

Susan Anne Mason’s debut historical novel, “Irish Meadows,” won the Fiction from the Heartland contest from the Mid-American Romance Authors Chapter of RWA. A member of ACFW, as well, she lives outside of Toronto, Ontario, with her husband and two children.
Find out more about Susan Anne at

My Review:

This was my first read by Susan Anne Mason.  The cover and title are what drew me to this book -- I am of Scotch/Irish descent, so anything that is Scotch/Irish attracts me. :)

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  I love that Brianna is a girl that knows what she wants and wants to further her education.  I empathized with her relationship with her sister Colleen.  What a spoiled brat!!  But that seems to be the way of it.  Brianna's relationship with her father is not a great one, but the times were different and the way parents and children communicated and related to each other was different in that time.  I love to read about these differences .. makes me thankful for living in these times.

While the outcome/end of the book might have been a tad predictable, the book was still very enjoyable and it's always fun getting to the end.  I would definitely recommend this book to my friends.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Among the Fair Magnolias: Four Southern Love Stories by Alexander, Gray, Love and Musser

About the Book: 
Among the Fair Magnolias (Thomas Nelson, July 2015)
In the most turbulent decade of our nation’s history, four Southern women—destinies forged by birth, hearts steeled by war—face near impossible choices on their journeys in life . . . and in love.
To Mend a Dream by Tamera Alexander
Savannah Darby would do almost anything to revisit her family home. So when new owner, Aidan Bedford, a Boston attorney and former Union soldier, seeks to redecorate the house for his fiancée, Savannah jumps at the opportunity. But the clock is ticking. Can she find the box her father supposedly hid there during the war before her assignment is completed? And before she sees yet another battle lost on the home front. This time, one of the heart.
An Outlaw’s Heart by Shelley Gray
When Russell Stark returns to Fort Worth, he’s determined to begin a new life. But when he arrives at his mother’s homestead, he discovers she’s very ill, and the woman he loved is still as beautiful and sweet as he remembered. With time running out, Russell must come to terms with both his future and his past.
A Heart So True by Dorothy Love
Abigail knows all too well what is expected of her: to marry her distant cousin Charles and take her place in society. But her heart belongs to another. A terrible incident forces Abby to choose between love and duty.
Love Beyond Limits by Elizabeth Musser
Emily has a secret: She’s in love with one of the freedmen on her family’s plantation. Meanwhile, another man declares his love for her. Emily realizes some things are not as they seem and secrets must be kept in order to keep those she loves safe.

About the Authors
Tamera Alexander is the best-selling author of numerous books including "A Lasting Impression" and "The Inheritance." Tamera is a two-time Christy Award winner, two-time RITA winner, and a recipient of the prestigious Library Journal Award. 
A native of west Tennessee, Dorothy Love makes her home in the Texas hill country with her husband and their golden retriever. An award-winning author of numerous young adult novels, Dorothy made her adult debut with the Hickory Ridge novels. 

Shelley Gray is the author of The Heart of a Hero series. Her Amish novel (written as Shelley Shepard Gray), "The Protector," recently made the New York Times best seller list. 
Elizabeth Musser, a native of Atlanta, Georgia now living in France, is a novelist who writes what she calls 'entertainment with a soul.' For over 25 years, Elizabeth and her husband, Paul, have been involved in mission work with International Teams.

My Take on the Book: 
I have a love/hate relationship with novellas.  I love that they are short and usually easy to read and entertaining.  I also love that I can get a taste of new-to-me-authors without committing a lot of time to a full novel/series.  I hate that they are short... especially if they are GOOD!! :)  I want to know the rest of the story. Sometimes, I feel that novellas are just rushed to end too soon and it makes them less than. Less than as good as they could be if they were a little longer. Or a lot longer.  
Out of the four novellas in Among the Fair Magnolias,  there were three that I wished would have been longer.  Yes, they were complete... maybe a little rushed, but mostly they were so enjoyable that I wanted them to keep on going with the rest of the story. I won't tell you which of the three I enjoyed the most, because I don't think the writing was bad, I just didn't enjoy the storyline as much.  
I am a southerner (by birth and grace of God, lol) and so the stories all had somewhat familiar settings, but it was fun to learn a little more about each of the settings that were explored.  I would definitely recommend this book!!  If for no other reason than for you to find a new favorite author!

Friday, July 31, 2015

The Reckoning by MaryLu Tyndall, a review

About the Book (from Amazon):

When Morgan Shaw crept into the hold of an old pirate ship replica at San Diego’s Annual Tall Ship Festival, her only intention was to avoid the guy who had just dumped her and who was now boarding the ship with two women on his arm. What she didn’t expect was to wake up aboard a real pirate ship three-hundred years in the past. But of course, it wasn’t real. Her wealthy father had obviously staged it all in an effort to get her mind off her upcoming chemo. Or had he?  

Pirate Rowan Dutton seeks enough treasure to repay a debt to his sister and reinstate the Dutton name among British Jamaican Society. He is but one major haul away from accomplishing his goal when a strange woman appears on his ship and causes him to lose his prey. Despite his anger, he is enthralled with the little minx, her strange clothing, odd speech, and her insistence that they are all actors playing a charade paid for by her father. 

Yet when the brazen little lady divulges Rowan’s secret to a longtime nemesis, events are triggered that could cost them both their lives and change the course of history forever.

About the Author (from her website): 

A Christy Award finalist and best-selling author, MaryLu Tyndall dreamt of tall ships and swashbuckling heroes during her childhood years on Florida’s Atlantic Coast. She holds a degree in Math and worked as a software engineer for fifteen years. Trapped in a land-locked cubicle, she was often seen pounding furiously upon the keyboard during her lunch hour, creating what would become her Legacy of the King’s Pirates series, all the while believing God’s promise to her that. “If you write it, I will get it published”. And He did! Fourteen books later, her loving husband and six children still haven’t gotten used to her historic costumes and nautical speech. MaryLu describes herself as an introvert, patriot, mother of six, the neighborhood cat-lady, tall ship enthusiast, friend of pirates and mermaids, obsessive compulsive control freak, history lover, hopeless romantic, and a sword wielding princess-warrior of the King of Kings. Her books are filled with adventure and romance and themes that are guaranteed to touch your heart! She continues to pen her romantic tales on the California coast while managing a home, husband, six adult kids, and several stray cats who have decided that her keyboard is the best place to sleep! She believes that without popcorn and chocolate, life would not be worth living, and her sole motivation in life is to bring others closer to God.

My Take:

The Legacy of the King's Pirates are some of the first Christian fiction books I read and I have been hooked ever since.  The Redemption, The Reliance,  The Restitution and The Ransom are all wonderful reads, but since it's been a while since they were written... I wondered how this new book, The Reckoning, would fit in to the series.  Well, fit it did!  

I really was not sure at all of the time travel from current times to pirate times, I love how MaryLu wove this story.  It really worked... all the way through to the end.  There were times in the book that I both liked and despised Morgan Shaw... times that she really got on my nerves, but other times that I felt sorry for her.  Pirate Rowan Dutton is a man's man.... and a lady's man, but when Morgan comes along she seems to throw him for a loop and he doesn't do things quite as his men expect of him.  He's one of the more honorable pirates and some of his men don't care for that!  Will Dutton be able to get this Lady Minx off his ship and get on to his treasure? Or will his worst enemy beat him to it? How will Morgan get back to San Diego and back to her doctor appointments and chemo?  

This book is so many things... suspense, romance, pirates and battles and in the midst of it all, there is God.  The Reckoning is an amazing tale and adventure.  You don't have to read the other books to pick this one up, but once you do read this one, you'll want to go back and read the others!!  


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Summer's List by Anita Higman, a review

About the Book:

A dying wish alters the course of a young woman’s life.
Life hadn’t been easy for Summer Snow. In acts of selflessness-caring for her ailing parents and running her grandmother’s bookstore-she had forfeited her youth and dreams for the needs of others. And the only tries she had at love… didn’t turn out. She had the bookstore, she had her beloved granny, but she was missing something-or someone.
Opportunity strikes when Granny sends Summer on an unexpected adventure with one Martin Langtree, a kind but gangly young man from Summer’s past. A childhood friendship is rekindled, a romance is sparked, and mysteries are solved in one magical Texas summer. Will Summer strike out on love again, or will things finally go her way?

About the Author:
Best-selling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, has over thirty books published (several coauthored) for adults and children. She’s been a Barnes & Noble “Author of the Month” for Houston and has a BA degree, combining speech communication, psychology, and art. Anita loves good movies, exotic teas, and brunch with her friends.

My Review:
The story of Summer and Martin is such a sweet story with some really horrible (sad/upsetting) parts intertwined!  Summer is a sweet loving young woman who has sacrificed for both her parents and her grandmother and finds herself sacrificing for a relationship, when she realizes it's not what she wants.  But what does she want?  Her parents have passed away, her grandmother is ill and she is at a place in life that she has to make some decisions.  When her grandmother sends her on an unexpected adventure, Summer is able to come to terms with her past... make amends for some wrongs done and find the friend of her childhood. 
During the adventure, and boy what an adventure it is, there are many twists and turns and unexpecteds throughout the story.  This is definitely a read I would recommend! I have enjoyed reading Anita Higman's books and this one did not disappoint.  Whether your headed to camp or the beach, take this one along.  

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Pirates Code: The Adventures of Mickey Matson DVD review

 About the movie:
Releases on DVD June 2, 2015
91 Minutes // Genre: Adventure // Rating:  NR

In this follow up to Mickey Matson and the Copperhead Treasure, Mickey Matson is at it again; this time pitted against the evil Admiral Ironsides and his gang of pirates who are intent on destroying civilization.  They're new invention, the Tesla Coil, is a weapon of mass destruction that will send an electromagnetic pulse throughout the world, destroying every electronic device in existence.  With the help of a secret organization, Mickey and his best friend Sully embark on a mission to stop the pirates from taking over a submarine and stealing the last part needed to complete their devastating weapon.  If Admiral Ironsides succeeds in his plan, civilization will be sent back to the Stone Age.  It's a race against time, and the fate of the world hangs in the balance.  

My Review:

While the movie seems like a great idea and cool storyline, the actual movie was not all that engaging.  We started watching it as a family-- I have five "children" ages 19, 17, 15, 13 and 8 and the only one that stuck by and watched it to the end was the 8 year old. Because of their movement and the the fact that the acting was poor, I lost interest and HAD to watch it a second time alone just to get the drift of the movie.  We usually throughly enjoy family movies and especially action movies, but this one was not an enjoyable movie.  Maybe it's because we haven't seen the first movie? I don't know.  My children all work VBS (except the youngest, who still attends VBS) and the oldest two compared this movie to the "mission movies" that LifeWay uses in their VBS during worship rally.  

On a scale of 1 to 10, I would give this movie about a 3.  Pros are that it's CLEAN (no bad language, sex, bloody violence, etc). There is some violence-- and threats of violence, but nothing like you would see in Hollywood movies.  If you have a group of 7-9 yr olds, this might be a good movie for them.  

Twitter:  @MickeyMatson

Official Website:

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Monday, May 18, 2015

Hearts Made Whole by Jody Hedlund (Beacons of Hope, Book 2)

About the Book:
Can she forgive the hurting man who costs her the role she loves?
After her father’s death, Caroline Taylor has grown confident running the Windmill Point Lighthouse. But in 1865 Michigan, women aren’t supposed to have such roles, so it’s only a matter of time before the lighthouse inspector appoints a new keeper–even though Caroline has nowhere else to go and no other job available to her.
Ryan Chambers is a Civil War veteran still haunted by the horrors of battle. He’s secured the position of lighthouse keeper mostly for the isolation–the chance to hide from his past is appealing. He’s not expecting the current keeper to be a feisty and beautiful woman who’s angry with him for taking her job and for his inability to properly run the light. When his failings endanger others, he and Caroline realize he’s in no shape to run the lighthouse, but he’s unwilling to let anyone close enough to help. Caroline feels drawn to this wounded soul, but with both of them relying on that single position, can they look past their loss to a future             filled with hope…and possibly love?

About the Author:
Jody Hedlund is an award-winning and bestselling historical fiction author. She won the 2011 Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, the 2011 Award of Excellence from the Colorado Romance Writers and was a finalist for Best Debut Novel in the 2011 ACFW Carol Awards. Currently she makes her home in central Michigan, with her husband and five busy children. She loves hearing from readers on Facebook and on her blog.
Find out more about Jody at

My Review: 
In this second book, Hearts Made Whole from Jody Hedlund's series Beacons of Hope, Jody has written another heart wrenching story of hope and love and redemption. The story is well written with  moments of sadness, joy, regret, fear, faith and hope. There is also some mystery and suspense added to the mix that kept me wondering who was behind the some that happened in the book.  
Caroline is a strong and beautiful woman, who is left in charge of her family after both parents have passed away.  Unfortunately, she and her siblings witnessed their father's death and, of course, it affected each of them differently.  Most of all, it affected their livelihood... how was Caroline going to provide for her siblings, especially sick Sarah?  Ryan is a Civil War vet who is suffering with PTSD and guilt from all the things that he and his peers did during war years.  Both are vying for the job of light keeper -- Caroline has her sanity and experience on her side, Ryan has his gender and war experience on his. Both have need for the job, but both are come against by the certain locals who desire to hide their misdeeds.  
I would definitely recommend this book to my friends and anyone else that I have any influence over. Obviously, historical/romance fiction is not everyone's cup of tea, but if you want to give it a try, this is a good place to start!! 

Monday, May 4, 2015

The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest by Melanie Dickerson

About the Book:

A beautiful maiden who poaches to feed the poor.
A handsome forester on a mission to catch her.
Danger and love are about to unite in Thornbeck Forest.
The margrave owns the finest hunting grounds for miles around—and who teaches children to read, but by night this young beauty has become the secret lifeline to the poorest of the poor.
For Jorgen Hartman, the margrave’s forester, tracking down a poacher is a duty he is all too willing to perform. Jorgen inherited his post from the man who raised him . . . a man who was murdered at the hands of a poacher.
When Jorgen and Odette meet at the Midsummer festival and share a connection during a dance, neither has any idea that they are already adversaries.
The one man she wants is bound by duty to capture her; the one woman he loves is his cunning target . . . What becomes of a forester who protects a notorious poacher? What becomes of a poacher when she is finally discovered?

About the Author:
Melanie Dickerson is the author of The Healer’s Apprentice, a Christy Award finalist and winner of the National Reader’s Choice Award for Best First Book. Melanie earned a bachelor’s degree in special education from the University of Alabama and has been a teacher and a missionary. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Huntsville, Alabama.

My Review: 
Who doesn't love a fairytale??  I know I do!  Melanie's book, The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest, a Medieval Fairy Tale is a wonderfully written story weaving together a bit of The Swan Princess, Robinhood and faith.  It's such a good book and I would definitely recommend this book to anyone that loves fairy tales and even those who might not love fairytales.  While it's not a perfectly ending fairytale, it is a happy and just ending.  While you're at it, check out the rest of Melanie Dickerson's books!!  They are just as good.  I love, most of all, that Melanie includes her faith in this timeless tales as well as changing them up a bit so they are different from the story that you know from your childhood.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Christy Nockels, Let It Be Jesus, a CD review

About Christy:

As a worship leader for many years, she has been an integral part of Passion Conferences from its inception in 1997.  She's seen first hand music sweep people into the presence of God in a powerful way. A pastor’s kid, who was born in Fort Worth and raised in Oklahoma, she grew up singing in church. She met her husband, Nathan, in 1993 at the Christian Artists Seminar in Estes Park, Co. They recorded an independent record with fellow worship leader Charlie Hall under the name Sons & Daughters that led to an invitation from Louie Giglio to participate in the first Passion conference in Austin. Christy’s voice gained a national platform when she and Nathan formed the duo Watermark, recording four acclaimed albums before that musical season ended, paving the way for Christy’s solo career. In 2008, the couple moved to Atlanta to become part of Passion City Church where she serves on the worship team with sixstepsrecords labelmates Chris Tomlin and Kristian Stanfill. The following year, Nockels released her acclaimed solo debut, Life Light Up and spent much of the next two years touring with Tomlin and Passion.

For More contact with Christy:




My Review: 

I played this album on my way to and from work... just me, the cd and traffic.  I had never heard of Christy Nockels before, so I was REALLY listening, ya know? I want to tell you first off what I didn't like about the Album:

1) It's a live recording.  I HATE live recordings.  Why do I want to hear other people clapping? It is very distracting.  Are the people clapping for Jesus or for the artist?  If I'm trying to worship while listening to this music-- applause distracts my focus from God to artist.  

Okay.... glad I could get that off my chest right away.  Now, onto the GOOD stuff about this album.  It's filled with well-written lyrics glorifying God and reminding the worshiper that freedom is found in Christ and the worshiper can always lean on Jesus because no one can compare. If the listener is a believer, then these songs just firm up the faith that he/she has already... it's a reminder that we can lean on and trust in God.  If the listener is not a believer.. it tells the listener that there is HOPE in Jesus Christ, He can be trusted and He will be there for you.  

I'm not sure what genre (besides Christian Contemporary) this cd is considered to be... I felt a little rock, a little contemporary, and a little country. A good mix and a very enjoyable Album.  It's a simple, beautifully done album that will lift your spirits and glorify God.

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe, a Heavenly Novel by Max Lucado, a review

About the book:

Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe (Thomas Nelson, February 2015)

What if you could ask God anything? What would you ask? And how would he answer?

Chelsea Chambers is on her own. After a public split from her NFL superstar husband, Chelsea takes a bold step out of the limelight and behind the counter of the Higher Grounds Café, an old-fashioned coffee shop in dire need of reinvention. But when her courage, expert planning, and out-of-this-world cupcakes fail to pay the bills, this newly single mom finds herself desperate for help. Better yet, a miracle.

Then a curious stranger lands at Chelsea's door, and with him, an even more curious string of events. Soon, customers are flocking to the Higher Grounds Café, and not just for the cupcakes and cappuccino. They've come for the internet connection to the divine. Now the café has become the go-to place for people in search of answers to life's biggest questions.

When a catastrophe strikes and her ex comes calling, Chelsea begins to wonder if the whole universe is conspiring against her quest to make it on her own. After a shocking discovery opens her eyes to the unseen world around her, Chelsea finds the courage to ask, and heaven answers in a most unexpected way.
Purchase a copy:

About the author:

More than 120 million readers have found comfort in the writings of Max Lucado. He ministers at the Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he lives with his wife, Denalyn, and a sweet but misbehaving mutt, Andy.

Find Max online: websiteFacebookTwitter

My Take: 

I have yet to read a Max Lucado book that didn't draw me in and keep me interested until the very end.  Miracle at the Higher Grounds is a light look at the spiritual warfare that we go through in everyday life.  

Chelsea Chambers is separated from her NFL superstar husband and trying to make it on her own.  She reopens The Higher Grounds Cafe, and with a little help from her guardian angel, Manny, she seems to be doing well... until the spiritual warfare kicks into high gear.  While the God Blog brings in tons of new customers who want to ask God a question and get it answered, it also draws the attention of the demons that would see her fail.  As Manny, with the help of a bunches of other angels, fight the battle to save Chelsea's marriage.... she learns a few lessons from her ailing father, her own past and her longtime neighbor and friend, Bo.  

When Chelsea finally chooses to ask God the questions that have been nagging her, can she get the answers she wants? Or maybe the answers she needs?

Definitely recommended-- enjoyable, eye-opening read!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Twisted Innocence by Terri Blackstock, a review

About the book:

Twisted Innocence (Zondervan, February 2015)

Holly Cramer's past choices have finally caught up to her, but she never expected them to endanger her baby.

Though Holly's stumbled through most of her adult life as a party girl, she longs to live a more stable life for her daughter. Then police show up to question her about the whereabouts of Creed Kershaw, Lily's father. She has kept his identity a secret from friends and family---she never even told him about the pregnancy. Now he's a person of interest in a drug-related murder case.

Determined to keep him out of their lives and turn him over to police, Holly uses her private investigating skills to search for him. But her bravado backfires when he turns the tables and takes her and the baby hostage. As desperate hours tick by, Holly realizes his connection to Leonard Miller-the man who has gunned down several members of her family. Creed claims he's innocent and that Miller is after him too. His gentleness with Lily moves her, but she can't trust a man who has held her at gunpoint . . . even if he reminds her so much of herself.

Dangers old and new threaten Holly and her baby, and lives are demanded as sacrifices for love. Through a complex web of mistakes and regret, redemption is the one hope Holly has left to hold on to.
Purchase a copy:   

About the author:

Terri Blackstock
 has sold over six million books worldwide and is a New York Times bestselling author. She is the award-winning author of "Intervention," "Vicious Cycle," and "Downfall," as well as such series as Cape Refuge, Newpointe 911, the SunCoast Chronicles, Restoration, and Moonlighters.

Find Terri online: websiteFacebookTwitter

My Take:

I have read MANY of Terri Blackstock's books and she does NOT disappoint in, Twisted Innocence, the third book in Terri Blackstock's Moolighter's Series. It is the continuing story of Holly Cramer and her sisters and follows them as they work and struggle to get through day to day living while continuing their Private Investigator work and taking care of their families.  

Blackstock has an amazing ability to string along the reader in a twisted story of suspense and thrills.  Mixed in with the thrills and suspense, she mixes in some romance, some humor and a lot of the Truth-- God's truth.  I loved how through her sisters, Holly realizes that she has value and that God loves her even past her mistakes and is then able to show that same grace to Creed (don't you love that name!!) and help him believe it as well.  I also love that Blackstock doesn't feel the need to water down or leave out God and His part in our lives no matter where we are or what we're doing. 

I would definitely recommend this to anyone that loves to read CLEAN, thrilling suspense. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Remember the Lilies by Liz Tolsma

Can Irene and Rand stave off starvation until the American troops bring freedom?
Interred by the Japanese, missionary Irene Reynolds comes across a mysterious note while working at the censor’s office. She memorizes the parts she must black out and delivers it to wealthy nightclub owner Rand Sterling. Before she knows what’s happening, she’s drawn into a web of secrets and danger.
Rand Sterling wants nothing more than to reopen his nightclubs once the war ends. But slimy Frank Covey wants his hand in the till—and has news that could threaten Rand’s reputation if it became public. More importantly, beautiful and intriguing Irene Reynolds cannot discover this information if he expects to persuade her to become his wife.
When Irene is attacked by a sinister Japanese guard and their secrets are exposed, they must learn the true meaning of forgiveness—if they can stave off starvation until the    American troops bring freedom.

“New York Times” best-selling author Liz Tolsma is the author of “Daisies are Forever,” “Snow on the Tulips,” and the contributing author of “A Log Cabin Christmas.” When not busy putting words to paper, Liz enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and children, all adopted internationally.

My take: 

This is the second book I have read by Liz Tolsma and all I can say is WOW.  I LOVE how Tolsma makes even war a very personal thing.  Unfortunately, I HATED history class.  I didn't learn much because it was all about dates and facts and it was just plain boring to me.  I wish Liza had been my teacher-- she makes the time and the people come to life.  

Remember the Lilies takes the reader to an internment camp during WWII and shows us how life was being detained there at Santo Tomas Prison Camp in the Philippines.  There we find Rand, an American who lives in the Philippines as a successful business owner, and Irene, an orphaned, young, missionary who lives and works with her aging and blind aunt -- two people from two totally different worlds.  What will happen when their worlds collide?  Will skeletons from their closets keep them apart?  

Tolsma has written, not only a wonderfully descriptive historical fiction that is very factually based, but she has written a beautiful story of love and hope and what is truly important.  

I would definitely recommend this book!!