Monday, July 29, 2013

All in Good Time by Maureen Lang

I picked up another book to read by "new to me" author, Maureen Lang.  Below you can read the back cover description and my review.

Back Cover Description:
Dessa Caldwell has a dream: to open Pierson House, a refuge for former prostitutes in Denver’s roughest neighborhood. But after exhausting all charitable donations, Dessa still needs a loan, and nearly every bank in town has turned her down. Her last hope hinges on the owner of Hawkins National Bank.

Henry Hawkins has a secret: though he owns the most successful bank in town, his initial capital came from three successful raids on Wells Fargo coaches. Now he’s the most eligible bachelor in Denver, but to protect his criminal past, he’s built a fortress around his heart. Not even the boldest matchmaking mother can tempt him . . . until the day Dessa Caldwell ventures into his bank requesting a loan.

Though he’s certain her proposal is a bad investment, Henry is drawn to Dessa’s passion. But that same passion drives her to make rash decisions about Pierson House . . . and about whom she can trust. One man might hold the key to the future of her mission—but he also threatens to bring Henry’s darkest secrets to light. As the walls around their hearts begin to crumble, Henry and Dessa must choose between their plans and God’s, between safety and love.

My Review:
 When I began this book, I had no idea what to expect.  The book seemed to really drag at the beginning with all the background information and with building relationships between the characters.  The only thing that really kept me going was the mystery that surrounded Dessa's past and how her relationship with Henry would end up.  Since much of the subject matter concerns prostitutes in Denver's bad area of town, I would not recommend this book for teens.  I would have to say that it is not my favorite book.  I will be trying another one of Maureen Lang's books just to see if it was the subject matter that turned me off, or if the story line just didn't move quite quickly enough for me.

**I checked this book out from my local library to read for the Tyndale Summer Reading Program.  All opinions are my own.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Colleen Coble’s “Rosemary Cottage” Nautical Summer Giveaway and Book Review

Colleen Coble has released her newest book in the Hope Beach Series.
You can read my review and about how to enter her contest below.

Rosemary-Cottage-Blogger-button
Water can be calming and healing, but it can also be dangerous, as Amy Lange and Curtis Ireland both found out. Both lost their siblings to the sea, and they hope to find healing on Hope Island. But will they find it, or will their quest to find answers set them at odds with each other and with those who have secrets that need to stay hidden?

Find out in Colleen Coble’s latest book, Rosemary Cottage, which released July 9. To celebrate, Colleen is hosting a 12-day Nautical Summer Giveaway. From July 16-27, Colleen will be giving away a new nautical prize every day. She’ll announce the winners on July 29 on her website, so mark your calendars for that date to see if you were picked as a lucky winner!

Not on Facebook? Enter here.


My Review:
I was so excited to get this e-book for review.  Rosemary Cottage is the second book in the Hope Beach series.  I reviewed the first book, Tidewater Inn, back in January of this year.  You can read that review, here.

Like the first book, this story also has a great mystery to solve.  When Amy Lang receives an anonymous email stating that there may be much more to her brother's recent death, Amy heads to the Outer Banks of North Carolina and her family's cottage to search for the truth.  As she investigates and uncovers clues, she realizes that she might not have really known her brother as well as she thought she did. 

Mystery, murder, betrayal, love and forgiveness are all great words to describe this story.  Colleen Coble has done a great job telling a story that will take you on quite a ride.  There is this sinking suspicion that all is not as it seems.  Curtis and Amy learn so much about themselves and their siblings they thought they knew so well.  It's easy to wear a mask and this story explores the fact that so many do.  It also show the consequences when we try to hide ourselves from those we love.  This story is exciting and a great continuation of the Hope Beach series.  You'll be thrilled to see several of the characters from Tidewater Inn in Amy's story.  Looking for a great book? Pick up Colleen Coble's newest series.  You'll love it!

This review is part of a blog tour and you can read more reviews of this book by clicking here.


Colleen Coble

{More About Colleen Coble}

Best-selling author Colleen Coble’s novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, ACFW Book of the Year, RWA’s RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers’ Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has nearly 2 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers and is a member of Romance Writers of America. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana.
Find out more about Colleen at http://www.colleencoble.com/.


***I received this e-book free from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Bible Stories Painting Book 2 by Juliet David; Illustrated by Simon Abbott


Kregel sent me this great Bible Stories Painting book, and my daughter was eager to try it out!  As you can see from the pictures below,  when you open the cover there is an inside flap that opens up.  It is here that the paints are stored.  All swatches on the page become paint when water is added.
We had a great time painting together.  It was easy to pick up color on my wet brush and paint the pictures in the book.  Each page is perforated so that you can paint on your picture without getting the rest of the book wet. 
The book is filled with all the familiar stories from the Bible such as: creation, Jacob's ladder, Joseph, 10 Commandments and more.
Once you are done painting, simply let the palettes dry before closing the book.
I liked that everything was included right in the book.  We only had to add water and brushes.  The mess was minimal and that  is always a plus!  I would highly recommend this water paint book.  It's great fun!





***I received this book free from Kregel Publications in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Rosemary Cottage by Colleen Coble

I was so excited to see this book come up for review on the Booksneeze website.  Rosemary Cottage is the second book in the Hope Beach series.  I reviewed the first book, Tidewater Inn, back in January of this year.  You can read that review, here.

Like the first book, this story also has a great mystery to solve.  When Amy Lang receives an anonymous email stating that there may be much more to her brother's recent death, Amy heads to the Outer Banks of North Carolina and her family's cottage to search for the truth.  As she investigates and uncovers clues, she realizes that she might not have really known her brother as well as she thought she did. 

Mystery, murder, betrayal, love and forgiveness are all great words to describe this story.  Colleen Coble has done a great job telling a story that will take you on quite a ride.  There is this sinking suspicion that all is not as it seems.  Curtis and Amy learn so much about themselves and their siblings they thought they knew so well.  It's easy to wear a mask and this story explores the fact that so many do.  It also show the consequences when we try to hide ourselves from those we love.  This story is exciting and a great continuation of the Hope Beach series.  You'll be thrilled to see several of the characters from Tidewater Inn in Amy's story.  Looking for a great book? Pick up Colleen Coble's newest series.  You'll love it!

***I received this book free from Booksneeze in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Cowboy Colt by Dandi Daley Mackall

I just finished reading Dandi Daley Mackall's second book, Cowboy Colt, in her Backyard Horses series. You can read my review of her first book in the series, Horse Dreams, here.  This series is for kids ages 6-10.
Now that Ellie James has her dream horse, life should be absolutely wonderful, but for some reason her best bud, Colt Stevens, is being horribly mean to her.  Ellie is tempted to give up on their friendship, but maybe she should find out why things have changed. 
I really enjoyed reading through this book last night.  There was enough intrigue to keep me going through the whole book.  The truth taught in the story is a great one for kids this age.  What do you do when a supposed friend is being mean?  Do you retaliate or show kindness?  This is something that we deal with throughout the rest of life and is a good lesson to learn.  I'm looking forward to picking up the rest of the series and I think it'll be a fun series to read with my little girl.

Tracie Peterson’s “The Quarryman’s Bride” True Love $200 Anthropologie Giveaway and 7/9 Facebook Party!

Welcome to the Blog Tour for Tracie Peterson's newest book: The Quarryman's Bride.  It was such a treat to participate in this tour!  Below you will find my review of the book along with the details for the Facebook Party and how you can enter to win a $200 Anthropologie Gift Card.  Make sure to enter the giveaway today since it is the LAST day to enter!!  The Facebook Party takes place tomorrow night at 8pm.  Hope to see you there!

About The Quarryman's Bride:The latest book in the Land of Shining Waters series.
Peterson Hits the Bestseller Lists Again and Again!

Emmalyne Knox and Tavin MacLachlan were destined to be together . . . until the tragic deaths of Emmalyne's youngest sisters. Family tradition mandates that the youngest daughter should remain single to care for her parents in their old age, and now that daughter is Emmalyne. Her father unyielding, Emmalyne surrenders to her duty, heartbroken. Tavin leaves town, equally devastated.

Years later, Emmalyne's family moves, and she and Tavin meet again. Their feelings for each other are as strong as ever, but their painful past and Emmalyne's father still stand between them. Soon both families are in the midst of the growing conflict rising between the workers at the granite quarry that Tavin's father owns and operates. When a series of near-fatal accidents occur, Tavin must figure out who is behind the attacks before someone gets killed.

Bound by obligation, yet yearning for a future together, can Emmalyne and Tavin dare to dream that God could heal a decade-long wound and change the hearts of those who would stand in the way of true love?

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/m1ovH 



My Review:
The Quarryman's Bride is the second book in Tracie Peterson's Land of Shining Water series.  You can read my review of her first book, The Icecutter's Daughter here.  Like in the first book, this story is set in the state of Minnesota.  Emmalyne Knox was looking forward to her wedding to Tavin MacLachlan that was to take place in less than two months, but tragedy had struck her family.    And because this tragedy left Emmalyne as the only girl left in the household, her father broke off her engagement and moved the family from St. Cloud to Minneapolis.   Emmalyne was heartbroken, but wanted to show respect for her father, so she went with the family to Minneapolis knowing that she was loosing the love of her life.
Eleven years later, Emmalyne's father uprooted the family and moved back to St. Cloud.   Emmalyne was filled with dread at the possiblity of seeing Tavin and his family again.  She had no idea how she could bear to be near Tavin since she knew her father would never let her marry.  How will she survive and will she ever be truly filled with joy again?

Let me just start by saying that I read this book in 3 days and that is amazing for a mom with two kids!   The storyline in this book took off from the beginning and raced to the end.  It was really hard to put it down!  I really enjoyed reading this book.  I loved how the character had to deal with their issues and how their issues forced them to seek help from the only One who can help...God.  I would say a majority of the characters had to deal with anger.  It's easy to hold onto anger and allow it to infest our lives with bitterness not only toward another human being but also toward God.  Tracie did a great job weaving the story of love throughout this book.  Emmalyne showed her family, especially her father, God's love and returned good for evil.  She not only showed this love in her actions, but she prayed for her father too.  She was a good example of how to show Christ's love to others.  If you're looking for a great series to pick up, I would highly recommend the Land of Shining Water series!


To read more reviews from the Blog Tour Click Here.

Meet Tracie:Tracie Peterson is the award-winning author of over eighty novels, both historical and contemporary. Her avid research resonates in her stories, as seen in her bestselling Heirs of Montana, and Alaskan Quest series. Tracie and her family make their home in Montana. 

Visit Tracie's Web site at www.traciepeterson.com





Facebook Party and Giveaway:

QuarrymanBrideWelcome to the campaign page for Tracie Peterson's newest book in the Land of the Shining Water series, The Quarryman's Bride. Tracie is celebrating with a "True Love" $200 Anthropologie giveaway and a Facebook Author Chat Party. One winner will receive:
  • A $200 Anthropologie gift card
  • The Quarryman's Bride and The Icecutter's Daughter by Tracie Peterson
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on July 8th. Winner will be announced at the "The Quarryman's Bride" Facebook Author Chat Party on July 9th. Connect with Tracie for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Tracie will also share an exclusive look at the next book in the Land of Shining Water series and give away books and other fun prizes throughout the evening.
So grab your copy of The Quarryman's Bride and join Tracie on the evening of July 9th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today. Hope to see you on the 9th!


**I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Tangled Ashes by Michele Phoenix

This was my first book by author, Michele Phoenix.  The premise of the book looked pretty interesting.  There were two stories happening throughout the book.  The first story took place in 1944 when the Nazi's were occupying France.  They had taken over the small town of Lamorlaye and were using a grand castle, and manor for the endeavors to further the Furher's kingdom.
The second story takes place over 50 years later.  Marshall Becker, better known as Beck or Becker, has reluctantly taken on a historical restoration project overseas in France.  The historical restoration just happens to be the grand chateu in Lamorlaye.  Beck has no idea of all that has taken place in that castle or the secrets it holds.  One of the secrets includes a squatter, named jojo, living on the property that keeps to himself.  No one really knows who he is or what he's doing there.  But when a horrible fire almost takes a life, the truth begins to emerge.  Becker is also fighting many of his own "demons" which end up hurting everyone around him.  When he meets the beautiful Jade, the shell he has built up suddenly begins to crack and he's faced with dealing with all the hurt he's been through or running away. 

What can I say about this book...  Parts of it were so interesting, but it was overshadowed by aspects that I really didn't like.  Beck is a drunk.  And while I waited for Beck to finally become a true believer in Christ and for God to be exalted, it never really happened.  His nasty language is implied  never actually used in the book, and I really think we hear enough of that in the world that I rather not read it in a Christian novel.  Beck is angry all the time.  He never seems to get over what has happened in his past and it becomes just a heavy weight.   I think the story was rather depressing and pretty sad in parts.  I had a hard time enjoying it.  The only interesting part was the mystery of who was doing the vandalism, who Jojo is, and the story from 1944.
Unfortunately, I really can't recommend this book as it was really not enjoyable for me to read.

If you're interested in seeing pictures of the castle in France that Michele Phoenix referenced, you can view her photo album and watch a YouTube video about the place on her website here.

From the Back Cover

After invading Lamorlaye, France, Nazi officials don’t hesitate to take over the beautiful Meunier manor as their headquarters, hiring two young Frenchwomen, Marie and Elise, who clean and launder to help supplement their families’ meager incomes. But the girls begin to grow suspicious when medical equipment arrives, followed by an influx of pregnant women. As the Nazis’ plans for the manor become clear, the girls must decide where their loyalties truly lie.

More than fifty years later . . .
Architect Marshall Becker arrives in Lamorlaye to begin the massive renovation of a Renaissance-era castle. The project that was meant to provide an escape for Becker instead becomes a gripping glimpse into the human drama that unfolded during the Nazi occupation and seems to live on in midnight disturbances and bizarre acts of vandalism.

Becker explores the castle’s shadowy history as he seeks to cope with the demons from his own past. Only Jade, the feisty nanny of the owner’s children, is willing to stand up to him. But Becker soon discovers that every one of the ch√Ęteau’s inhabitants seems to have something to hide and something to protect—and something worth fighting for.

***I checked this book out from my local library to read for the Summer Reading Program by Tyndale House.  
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