Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Painter's Daughter by Julie Klassen

The Painter's DaughterThe Painter's Daughter by Julie Klassen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don't know if I can say enough good about this book to let you know how much I thoroughly enjoyed it!! Julie Klassen has written such a solid book in The Painter's Daughter!! This book held my attention throughout and is my new most recent favorite book!! I love how Julie pushes the edginess just a little in her characters but never to a point that a book is inappropriate for younger ages. She writes real, raw, honesty into her characters and the ones in this book are no exception!

Sophie finds herself at a moment of weakness and not really sure how to handle her situation when Wesley just up and leaves. She is a very private person, even more so with her painting. How could Wesley just up and leave for Italy without even saying goodbye? Then, Wesley's brother Stephen comes to town, looking for his brother only to find him out gallivanting around the world again. He meets Sophie and learns that Wesley has just up and left her. Stephen makes Sophie no promises other than to take care of her if she will be HIS wife. Sophie accepts and moves to Stephen's family home. When Stephen is called back into duty and his brother Wesley shows up to find "his girl" has married his brother, whatever will happen?

There are so many themes in this book that brought home some very important points. I think my favorite theme is that of forgiveness. That seems to be my life theme this year and I'm gravitating towards books that focus on this theme. Sophie needs the forgiveness of many of her friends and family members, while others are also in need of her forgiveness. The relationship that Sophie has with Stephen is so intriguing to me as well. I would say that theme would be one of endurance. So many times, people give up so easily but Sophie and Stephen weather life's storms with endurance.

Thank you, Julie, for another fabulous book! I look forward to reading many, many more!

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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

No Other Will Do by Karen Witemeyer

No Other Will DoNo Other Will Do by Karen Witemeyer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It's been awhile since I've snuggled down with a Karen Witemeyer book and I have no idea why because she never disappoints!!

I loved this book and devoured it rather quickly!! Set in 1882, Emma Chandler is in charge of a women's colony in Harper's Station. She provides a safe haven for women who are in need of a fresh start. However, there is a sinister man who is doing everything he can to ruin Harper's Station and to demolish the safe haven that Emma has created. Feeling like she has no other option, Emma contacts her life-long friend, Malachi Shaw, to come and help get her colony back under control. How will the women react to having a man in their midst? How will Emma react to seeing Mal after all these years apart?

As I mentioned before, Karen Witemeyer does not disappoint!! I love her writing style and how she creates a mystery intertwined with romance!! Her characters are well developed and I feel as though I lived in Harper's Station while reading this book!

I appreciate Bethany House Publishers providing a complimentary copy of No Other Will Do in exchange for my honest review. This is one of my most favorite publishing companies and I'm honored to be able to review for them and read high quality books from authors I love!

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The Bridge by Karen Kingsbury

The BridgeThe Bridge by Karen Kingsbury
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm not one to usually one to watch a movie before I read a book, but in this case, I did. After seeing the movie on Hallmark and absolutely loving the movie, I wanted to read the book. I also have not read many Karen Kingsbury books. I was pleasantly surprised as to how close the movie was to the book!!

I just love this story!! I've already watched the movie twice too! Two bookstore owners take their personal pain and turn it into something so beautiful!! Being able to put their pain aside to help others in their times of needs is so very unselfish. Charlie and Donna stole my heart from the very beginning!! The fact that they named the bookstore "The Bridge" is also such an inspiration! Leaving your troubles at the door to overcome a world of impossibles seems to be their underlying theme. I was heartbroken by Molly's story, as I felt she had the most to lose in the whole process. Her ending was the most beautiful though, in my opinion.

I would encourage those who love a good romance to read on a rainy day to check this book out!

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Monday, July 11, 2016

Lethal Harvest by William R Cutrer

Lethal HarvestLethal Harvest by William R. Cutrer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is a re-release with updated technology information! I never read the original version of this book but I'm fairly sure it did not include the sophisticated medical advancements, along with technology such as cell phones.

This book is steeped in mystery, drama, and a little bit of romance. It keeps you on the edge of your seat as you are reading and trying to figure out exactly what happened to the twins and how they got in the situation they were in. A lot of smaller mysteries surrounding the embryo clinic and it's studies. Suspense amongst friends and colleagues. This book will appeal to those with a scientific mind, especially concerning IVF, stem cells, and biotechnology. There is a Christian theme woven throughout and the end result came as somewhat of a surprise to me.

The characters are well developed but I have an issue with a particular couple in the book. Without going into much detail and giving away any spoilers, I felt that a certain male character made some pretty fast moves onto another character considering the situation. That bothered me a bit, especially give the man's position. However, that situation also shows that man is not perfect and that sometimes it's hard to control emotions and feelings.

While I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the thrill and mystery behind it, I did give this three stars because I don't feel that the themes were all interwoven as much as I would have liked. The situation with the couple really concerns me, especially since this is promoted as a Christian novel. I'm also concerned about the ethics involving the clinic and it's practices in regards to Christianity. However, to come to the defense of those doctors, they were not all Christians. I enjoyed this book and would recommend it with caution to readers. Know your ground and where you stand before you read this book as it could attempt to sway your convictions one way or another.

I received this book from Kregel Publications in return for my honest review, which you have received here.

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Thursday, June 16, 2016

COTT Featured Novel: Bitterroot Bride by Angela Breidenbach

A beautifully spun story about the power of second chances. ~ Amazon Reviewer
I loved The Bitterroot Bride! The part where she compares church 
to riding a trot made me laugh out loud.  ~A. Chatman

About the book:

No one knows the real Emmalee Warren, just what they want from the infamous prostitute. Men are coming out of the woodwork to stake a claim on the miner's widow. They wanted her body before. Now they want her money. Hiring a lawyer, Richard Lewis, to save her from financial ruin might let her start over where no one knows Miss Ellie. Becoming an unknown is the only way to freedom…or is it? Can she leave her past and build a new future?


Chat with Angela:

Ques: We heard there was something special that happened to you while writing your fourth book in the historical romance series, Montana Beginnings. What was special about the Bitterroot Bride heroine for you?
Angela: Writing Miss Emmie learning to read became an amazing experience. Though I’d learned to read at four, I didn’t understand how to connect and read people until well into my adulthood. So while Miss Emmie became proficient in reading, I became proficient in relationships. She’d eat up every book she could get her hands on and studied with intensity. I did the same thing, but about relational topics.

Ques: When did you realize the parallel character arc had so much in common with your real life?

Angela: About halfway through the first draft an epiphany happened. I stopped, took a day or so to really think about my personal experience, then began an intentional focus on writing the emotional parallel.

Ques: What do you hope Bitterroot Bride does for readers?

Angela: I hope this story is both entertaining and encouraging. I’d like readers to absorb the idea that like Miss Emmie and me, if you have the desire to learn something then you can. Age doesn’t matter.

Ques: Can you tell us the titles and a little about the Montana Beginnings series?

Angela: All four titles are set in Helena, MT from 1889 – 1895. It’s right when we became a state, but mining couldn’t support us forever. The Debutante Queen introduces us to Calista who steals an orphan off the street to protect her from a cruel master. Eleven Pipers Piping brings forward the newsies, newspaper boys and orphan train leftovers, into Mirielle’s classroom. Then in Taking the Plunge, Delphina takes us back to the iconic Broadwater Natatorium as a swim instructress. Then Emmalee enters the scene as we find out how Montana chose her state flower. Each of these lovely Victorian ladies finds her true love while carving out a meaningful life in Montana’s frontier. 


About Angela:
Angela Breidenbach is a bestselling author and host of Grace Under Pressure Radio on iTunes. Angela is the Christian Author Network's president. And yes, she's half of the comedy duo, Muse and Writer, on social media.
Connect Here:
Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest: @AngBreidenbach

Friday, June 10, 2016

COTT Featured Novel: The Babel Conspiracy by Sylvia Bambola

The Babel Conspiracy by Sylvia Bambola, was the first book I've read from this author. It will not be my last… it is very well written and at times, you won't want to put it down. Looking forward to reading more of this talented author! 

~P. McGuire

The Babel Conspiracy 
by Sylvia Bambola

About the Book:
The Babel Conspiracy is a tale of intrigue and love. Two women engineers struggle to develop the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft amid ever intensifying global terrorism and muddled personal lives. Trisha Callahan has an abiding faith in God, and “those roots of middy blouses and pleated skirts, prayer books and incense-filled churches went deep.” This faith is tested when she finds herself in love with a married man. Audra Shields sees herself as a modern Lady Chatterley, “liberated but not forsaking breeding, intellect, or femininity.” When she becomes involved with a dangerous stranger, she begins to question her lifestyle. 

Both women try sorting out their personal problems while racing the clock to finish a project fraught with sabotage and murder. And who’s behind it all? When the Department of Homeland Security and the Mossad finally figure it out, the answer surprises everyone.


What readers are saying:
“It has been quite a long time since I have read a book such as this one, one so pertinent to today's landscape of life. The author has written an excellent novel that could have been pulled from tomorrow's headlines - from both political and scientific advancement points of view. . . . I highly recommend this book for those who love intrigue, suspense, fiction, and a little bit of romance. The book is well paced, has plenty of action, and good character development.” Rachel Helms

“The Babel Conspiracy by Sylvia Bambola is a very thought provoking novel about the way that things could be in the U.S. in the near future. We need to humble ourselves before the Lord and pray for America in these perilous times. The characters were well developed and the story shows God's love and redemption.” Linda Rainey

About the Sylvia Bambola:

Sylvia Bambola is the award winning author of eight novels, including Rebekah’s Treasure (2015 CSPA Book of the Year/Christian Historical Fiction) and The Salt Covenants (2015 Reader’s Favorite

Bronze Medal Winner/Christian Historical Fiction). A resident of Florida, she teaches women’s Bible studies and has two grown children.

Where to find Sylvia:

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Her One and Only by Becky Wade

Her One and Only (Porter Family, #4)Her One and Only by Becky Wade
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In book 4 of the Porter family series, Dru Porter has been assigned as an executive protective agent for Gray Fowler, a NFL superstar tight end. Dru feels the importance of this task as she is trying to prove herself to Sutton Industries, especially after her last protective duty didn't end well. The personalities of Dru and Gray couldn't be further apart! Where Dru is all serious and business, Gray is all fun and play. At times I even wondered if Gray took the threats to his life as serious as he should have. Between threatening letters, an overly obsessed fan, and an interesting housekeeper, can Dru find the person behind all the drama with Gray before she falls in love with him?

This was a fun book to read and it keep me interested from start to finish. I didn't know until I had finished this book that it was part of a series. There were side stories on Dru's family members that had me shaking my head as to why they were included. It all became clear once I finished the book and saw the other books in this series in the back of the book (I don't like to look at the back of a book for any reason until I'm done reading). Now, I'm curious as to these other stories so I will be reading the other books!! The characters in this book seem very realistic and the stories are believable, as if they were your next door neighbors. I enjoyed the suspenseful twist in this book in regards to who Gray's stalker was. I had this person on my list but this person was not my top suspect. The way this book ended was perfect!

This is a christian fiction book but it's not overly heavy on religious issues. Each character does have a vice that they must overcome but it's written in a way that's not overly preachy. There are themes of trust, forgiveness, and of course, love!

Many thanks to Bethany House and Baker Publishers for providing a complimentary copy of this book for review. This is my honest review.

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