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Saturday, October 31, 2015

A Reason to Stay (Texas Gold #3) by Kellie Coates Gilbert




As the host of her own television news show, Faith Marin works to expose the truth for her viewers. But in her personal life, she's anchored her world with firm boundaries in order to hide a family history she'd like to forget. Her pro bass fisherman husband Geary's life is an open book, and unfortunately his busybody family doesn't know the meaning of boundaries. Deception and crippling differences soon derail their tender relationship, leading Faith to believe her only option is to end the marriage. But while divorce papers sit on her desk waiting to be signed, tragedy strikes and her heartrending decision is interrupted. With her life in the balance, Faith finds that the one she has been shutting out may be the very one she cannot bear to lose.


About The Author








Kellie Coates Gilbert is a former legal investigator and trial paralegal, and the author of A Woman of Fortune and Where Rivers Part. Gilbert crafts her emotionally charged stories about women in life-changing circumstances in Dallas, Texas, where she lives with her husband.

Learn more at www.kelliecoatesgilbert.com.


My Review




From the first page of the book I could not stop turning, such a great story, and a reminder to all that that grass is not always green on the other side of the fence. We don’t all grow up in the perfect Christian home, and not all are loved as children. We also see how evil walks this world, and none are safe, except if we are saved and know where we are going.
We have a young woman, an over achiever, determined not to let anyone get beyond the façade that she has put in place. She is conquering the world with her bright personality and determination.
Girl meets boy in while doing one of her brilliant news reports she falls in the water and is rescued by a man of her dreams, Prince Charming. He is actually a professional bass and grew up completely different than our reporter Faith.
Prince Charming, Geary, is a family man first and foremost, ever though he is not married, his family comes first. What can these two entirely different people have in common, besides a physical attraction?
Have your tissues handy, there is a serious happening her that sure mimic’s real life in a tragic way. If we could all go back in time, none of these things would happen, but this is a fallen world we live in.
The characters presented here seemed so real, and they probably do exist somewhere. I hated to leave the story as it ended, and your mind will try to bring it to the future. Don’t miss this one!
I received this book through Revell’s Book Blogger Tour and was not required to give a positive review.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Streams of Mercy (Song of Blessing #3) by Lauraine Snelling







Anji Baard Moen, a recent widow, returns from Norway with her children. She quickly settles back into life in Blessing, teaching Norwegian history in the high school and writing articles for the Blessing Gazette. When tragedy strikes, Anji steps in to run the newspaper and soon finds a kindred spirit in the widower who owns the printing press. As they spend time together, Anji wonders if there's something more than friendship growing between them.

But Anji has also caught the eye of a recent arrival to Blessing. He has put his carpentry skills to good use on the town's building projects, including Anji's house. But Anji is torn between her feelings of loyalty to someone who needs her and the chance to build a new life with this intriguing newcomer.

Where will her choice take her?


About The Author




Lauraine Snelling is the award-winning author of over 70 books, fiction and nonfiction, for adults and young adults. Her books have sold nearly 5 million copies. Besides writing books and articles, she teaches at writers' conferences across the country. She and her husband make their home in Tehachapi, California

Learn more at www.laurainesnelling.com.


My Review 





I felt like I was home again, placing myself back in Blessing, ND, and with familiar family and friends. Mor makes everyone feel like they are her family, she takes us all under her wings.
Can you imagine looking out your window and seeing an elephant? That is the sight that greeted these residents one fateful day when the circus came to town. Things are never the same here after this visit, and we soon learn that other towns turned them away.
We also have Anji whom appears to be in love with Thomas, but is she willing to completely change her life? Also some of the other woman we have come to call family will have their lives changed forever, because of their love of God their fellow man.
I still am looking for some answers, what will happen to Clara, if that is really her name, and the baby? Come along for another wonderful visit, and hopefully we will be back real soon.
I received this book through Net Galley and Bethany House Publishers, and was not required to give a positive review.

Books I'm Grateful I Read Giveaway Hop






The theme of this hop is books I'm grateful I've read, and there sure are a lot of them. I could fill the page and more, which I'm sure you could do also. We all have some special books that linger a lot longer after that last page is turned. In that theme maybe there is a sequel to that book you want to read, or a new book by that author. So I'm offering a $10 Amazon Gift Card for you to choose a new book. Good Luck and please leave a comment with your contact information.



The Horse of My Heart: Stories of the Horses We Love Square in a Square Square in a Square REFERENCE book Days Of Future Past The Mariposa Hotel (A Tangerine Street Romance Book 3) Southern Peach Pie and a Dead Guy (Poppy Peters Mysteries) (Volume 1) A Chameleon, a Boy, and a Quest Christmas Bells: A Novel When Secrets Strike Where Secrets Sleep  

Just a few of my recent books....and there are so many more!

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Horse of My Heart: Stories of the Horses We Love by Callie Smith Grant


 

 Shining coat flashing in the sun. Silky mane rippling in the wind. A toss of the head and the stamp of a hoof.
Few of God's creatures are as noble and soul-stirring as the horse. Even those of us who aren't lucky enough to have horses of our own seem to have an innate desire to connect with these beautiful, regal beasts. As children we read stories about them, collected models of them, and tacked posters of them up on our walls. Throughout history they have carried us and calmed us, pulled our loads and pulled at our heartstrings. They give us a taste of wildness and yet make us feel at home.

In this inspiring collection, you'll meet horses who show up at the right time, who help their humans learn important truths, and who rescue the very people who rescued them. These true stories of horses and the people who love them are sometimes touching, sometimes humorous, and sometimes miraculous. Always they are inspiring, like the horses themselves. They will touch your heart, renew your spirit, and show you that surely God had us in mind when he created these magnificent creatures.
Amazon
About The Author
Callie Smith Grant is the editor of A Prince among Dogs and A Dickens of a Cat. She is also the author of several nonfiction books for young readers and adults as well as many animal-themed stories and poems which can be seen in Guideposts anthologies and in magazines such as Small Farmers Journal.

My Review

Such beautiful and intelligent animals that I have always admired and so I chose to review this book.
As you begin each short story will touch your heart, and you might want to have the tissues handy. What a blessing in their lives these graceful animals are, well most are!
There is a magical connection between these animals and humans, and when these individual horses enter the human’s lives, it seems something wonderful is about to happen. Memories that follow them for the remainder of their lives, and they share them with us in such moving stories.
They seem to arrive and be there with these people when they need them the most, and have a calming and loving effect on them. This book is going to touch in special ways, and you will see God’s hand in this, he made these amazing animals. Once you open that first page and begin your journey, your going to want to keep reading on to the next and then the next.
I received this book through Revell Blogger Book Tours and was not required to give a positive review.

Then No One Can Have Her by Caitlin Rother






She thought she had married her soulmate. But when Carol Kennedy could no longer tolerate her husband's reckless womanizing and out-of-control spending, the artist, therapist and mother of two had to let him go. Just weeks after their divorce, Carol was found in her Arizona ranch home--bludgeoned to death with a golf club. Her ex, Steven DeMocker, was the prime suspect. Yet it took the authorities months to arrest him--and years to convict. . .

Packed with twists and turns, this powerful real-life account reveals every bizarre detail of this compelling case. Bestselling author and award-winning journalist Caitlin Rother presents an unforgettable story of love turned to obsession, and a family torn apart forever.






Includes dramatic photos


Amazon

Chapters


About The Author

About The Author:


New York Times bestselling author Caitlin Rother has written or co-authored nine books: Her latest, I'll Take Care of You, as well as Lost Girls, Poisoned Love, Dead Reckoning, Body Parts, Twisted Triangle, Deadly Devotion, Naked Addiction, and My Life, Deleted.

Rother, a Pulitzer Prize nominee, worked as an investigative reporter at daily newspapers for nineteen years before deciding to write books full-time. Her work has been published in Cosmopolitan, the Los Angeles Times, The San Diego Union-Tribune, the Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Huffington Post and The Daily Beast. She has appeared dozens of times as a crime expert on Nancy Grace, the Jay Thomas Show, Investigation Discovery, E!, HLN, the Oxygen Network, Greta Van Susteren’s On the Record, XM Radio, America at Night, CSPAN and various PBS radio and TV affiliates.

 Rother works as a book doctor/publishing and research consultant and teaches narrative non-fiction writing at UCSD Extension and San Diego Writers, Ink. Please visit her website at http://caitlinrother.com



My Review

I’ve just finished reading Then No One Can Have Her , and as I have read Caitlin Rother’s books before, and loved them, this one did not disappoint, except that Carol died.
What a long journey for justice in this case, and the author has documented so well, that you feel your living with these people on a daily basis. When you see pictures of this couple, you see what looks like a loving solid unit, and they called each other their soul mates. What you can’t see is Steven DeMocker sexual addiction and his multiple affairs, sometimes more than one woman at a time.
We look at this story through Caitlin’s eyes and all the research and hours of investigation she put to pull out all of the facts. We feel Steven’s daughter’s pain at what has happened to their mother, and then what their father asks of them. How do you deal with the fact that your father is accused of murdering your mother? Breaks my heart.
Wait until you see the lengths Steven goes to implicate another person, including putting his daughter in legal trouble, possible jail time. To say he is a “Me” person is putting it bluntly; he uses everyone, including his family, which included his parents. His retired father even had to go back to work to help pay his mounting legal fees.
Has justice been served, lets hope so, nothing will ever bring Carol back, and maybe he is satisfied with that, as the book title points out. We will never know what makes a person act like Steven does, but at least he is behind bars.
I received this book from the Author, and was not required to give a positive review. 
 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Days Of Future Past by Sally Smith O'Rourke






“It is by no means an irrational fancy that, in a future existence, we shall look upon what we think of as our present existence, as a dream." Edgar Allan Poe


Fate sometimes conspires to right a decades-old wrong. And the 6.8 earthquake that strikes Southern California one warm March night is the fateful event that brings family therapist Ann Hart and trauma specialist Ted McConaughy back together.
In search of her cell phone after the tremor, Ann picks up a shard of vintage cut glass from a collection she and her husband gathered during the four years of their marriage. For the millionth time she thinks about the day six years ago when he disappeared on a search and rescue mission in the Sierra foothills. Sitting atop the shattered crystal, a small silver cigar lighter glistens in the beam of her flashlight. Gently she returns the Victorian piece to the shelf. What does it mean that something she and Ted, her ex-fiancé, bought together survived when Alex’s beautiful glass is smashed to dust? Ann tells herself that it doesn’t mean anything more than glass breaks and silver doesn’t.


Sara Jane McConaughy has never experienced a strong earthquake, and as her father comforts his 16-year-old daughter, his mind is flooded with memories of the Northridge quake in 1994. He was living with his fiancée, his ex-fiancée, and even after all these years he doesn’t know what caused the split, but he always loved her. And he’d been sure she loved him.


Volunteering with the American Red Cross in the aftermath of the earthquake brings Ann and Ted face-to-face for the first time since their break-up, twenty years ago. Angry, flustered, excited, and bewildered by Ted’s sudden appearance and unusual behavior while she’s teaching a small group of people relaxing exercises, Ann demands he leave. Just as excited and bewildered, Ted rushes away. His exit leaves both of them wondering about … everything.


The earthquake (or is it seeing Ann?) ignites a series of recurring dreams peopled by total strangers in places Ted has never been. Accompanied by short lapses of time and sleepwalking, the dreams take a heavy toll on his waking hours. Sara Jane’s concern sends Ted on a quest to discover the cause and find a cure. When all medical possibilities are exhausted, he turns to a colleague, whose diagnosis leaves Ted more baffled than ever. Tom Alderman believes that the dreams are memories of past lives. The lives live in his subconscious, and the cure is hypnotherapy.


After several months of suffering with these increasingly emotional recurring dreams, Ted turns to Ann for help. One of Ann’s specialties is hypnotherapy and since he must be able to trust the hypnotist, Ann is his only salvation. Ann’s agreement to try and help (at the urging of a mutual friend) sends her carefully regimented and calm life into complete turmoil.
The garden gate they pass through together sends them on a journey that defies time and reason, forcing them to rethink their past, present, and future. Now, each must reconsider their capacity for love and forgiveness.


Things are not always what they seem.



About The Author





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Sally Smith O’Rourke, a native Californian, lives in a small Victorian village in southern California. She is the author of the much acclaimed Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen, her first solo novel. She is also co-author with her late husband Michael O’Rourke (aka F. M. O’Rourke) of The Man Who Loved Jane Austen (Kensington Books, 2006), The Maidenstone Lighthouse (Kensington Books, 2007), and Christmas at Sea Pines Cottage (Kensington Books, 2009).
Previously, Sally worked on network television, feature films, and documentaries in science, medicine, and aviation. She owned and operated a medical advertising company with her late husband where they produced and wrote teaching films for major medical and surgical manufacturing companies. Additionally, they collaborated on two feature films (direct to video).
In addition to writing every day, she works as a surgical scrub nurse and enjoys sewing, cooking, baking, candy making, cake decorating, and spending time with nieces, nephews, step-children, and grandchildren.



My Review




Ann Hart is so happy and so in love with her husband Alex as the book opens, and then the unthinkable and the world she has collapses. At the same time an old love Ted has been living a nightmare, literally almost every night, and having out of body experiences.
While I enjoyed this story and read it as rather a fairy tale, there are some who believe in reincarnation, which I do not. This story is based on multiple lives inhabiting Ted’s body, one is a sadist and the other is a heartbroken man who looses his wife on the voyage from Scotland to Antiqua.
This is what puts Ted back into Ann’s life, they are both Doctors she a family specialist and he a trauma specialist and they were previously engaged
I really loved Ted’s spunky and smart teenage daughter Sara Jane, she sure has a lot of insight and good advice. I liked this rather fantasy read, and brings to light a lot of what went on in the beginnings of this Country.
I received this book through I Am A Reader, Not A Writer Blog Tour, and was not required to give a positive review. 

A Chameleon, a Boy, and a Quest by J.A. Myhre, Acacia Masso Illustrator



A Chameleon, a Boy, and a Quest (New Growth Press, October 2015)

A Boy Named Mu, an African Journey, and You
Mu, a ten-year-old orphan, has lived his entire life in the heart of Africa. For as long as he can remember he has served in the household of a great-uncle where he is unloved and ignored. In his drudgery-filled life, Mu has little hope of happiness, and little hope that anything will ever change.
But one day, everything does change. On his way to draw water one morning, Mu is astonished when a chameleon greets him by name and announces that they will embark on a quest together. And what a quest it turns out to be! Mu faces danger and finds unexpected allies as they journey through a fascinating and ever-changing landscape.
A Chameleon, a Boy, and a Quest blends magical realism with a compelling story. The exciting story line combines an orphan’s journey to find a home with the plight of child soldiers and the dangers of the Ebola virus and, along the way, highlights universal themes of integrity, loyalty, faith, and love. Written by long-time medical missionary J. A. Myrhe, the artful story is laced with subtle gospel themes and handles cross-cultural issues with grace and sensitivity. Kids will encounter good and evil and learn the truth about hope, happiness, and what it means to be human in this page-turning first book in a new series.
—A page-turning children’s action and adventure story set in a fictional African land
—Blends magical realism and compelling storytelling with gospel themes to draw kids gently into the truth
—Deals with real-life but (seemingly) faraway themes like the plight of orphans, the duties of child soldiers, and the reality of the Ebola virus
—Written by a long-time medical missionary to Africa who handles cross-cultural issues with grace, sensitivity, and love

Learn more and purchase a copy.


About The Author
 
J.A. Myhre

J. A. Myhre serves as a doctor with Serge in East Africa where she has worked for over two decades. She is passionate about health care for the poor, training local doctors and nurses, promoting childhood nutrition and development, and being the hands of Jesus in the hardest places. She is married to her best friend and colleague Scott, and together they have raised four children for whom many of her stories were written as Christmas presents.
Find out more about J.A. at http://paradoxuganda.blogspot.com.

https://youtu.be/a2EMxpcVERY


My Review





The author states that she wrote this wonderful story for her four children as a Christmas gift, and what a wonderful gift this was. Written from her heart and savored over the Christmas week.
Written so children can understand and enjoy with the talking creatures, they are drawn into this of Good vs. Evil, and how easy and innocently one can be drawn to the evil side.
The chameleon is such a wonderful creature, and who wouldn’t want to have one of their own? Tita as he is called by Mu, our little mistreated orphaned boy, who sure could use this fellow in his young life, and loved how he found him on the poinsettia plant
Since loosing his parents he has been living as a slave for his Uncle’s family, he finds Tita, and is offered a wonderful quest. Things are not always as they appear and things and perceptions changed in the blink of an eye. There is the vicious dog that ends up saving Mu’s life, and in the end he ends up saving his soul.
Once you start this story your children are not going to want you to stop, and your not going to want to either.
I received this book through Litfust Publicity Books Tours and was not required to give a positive review.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Christmas Bells by Jennifer Chiaverini






New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini celebrates Christmas, past and present, with a wondrous novel inspired by the classic poem “Christmas Bells,” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

I heard the bells on Christmas Day/ Their old familiar carols play/ And wild and sweet/ The words repeat/Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

In 1860, the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow family celebrated Christmas at Craigie House, their home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The publication of Longfellow’s classic Revolutionary War poem, “Paul Revere’s Ride,” was less than a month hence, and the country’s grave political unrest weighed heavily on his mind. Yet with his beloved wife, Fanny, and their five adored children at his side, the delights of the season prevailed.

In present-day Boston, a dedicated teacher in the Watertown public school system is stunned by somber holiday tidings. Sophia’s music program has been sacrificed to budget cuts, and she worries not only about her impending unemployment but also about the consequences to her underprivileged students. At the church where she volunteers as music director, Sophia tries to forget her cares as she leads the children’s choir in rehearsal for a Christmas Eve concert. Inspired to honor a local artist, Sophia has chosen a carol set to a poem by Longfellow, moved by the glorious words he penned one Christmas Day long ago, even as he suffered great loss.

Christmas Bells chronicles the events of 1863, when the peace and contentment of Longfellow’s family circle was suddenly, tragically broken, cutting even deeper than the privations of wartime. Through the pain of profound loss and hardship, Longfellow’s patriotism never failed, nor did the power of his language. “Christmas Bells,” the poem he wrote that holiday, lives on, spoken as verse and sung as a hymn.

Jennifer Chiaverini’s resonant and heartfelt novel for the season reminds us why we must continue to hear glad tidings, even as we are tested by strife. Reading Christmas Bells evokes the resplendent joy of a chorus of voices raised in reverent song.


Amazon




About The Author 




Jennifer Chiaverini is the New York Times bestselling author of several acclaimed historical novels and the beloved Elm Creek Quilts series, as well as six collections of quilt patterns inspired by her books. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Chicago, she lives with her husband and two sons in Madison, Wisconsin. About her historical fiction, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes, "In addition to simply being fascinating stories, these novels go a long way in capturing the texture of life for women, rich and poor, black and white, in those perilous years."


My Review

 

Oh how I love being back in Willow Ridge and being with and catching up with old friends, and don’t worry if this is your first book, as soon as a new person arrives they are introduced to the community and are told about these individuals, so you will not be lost, but do yourself and awesome favor and read the other books, you won’t be disappointed.
As I finished this book with most of my questions answered I had a feeling of loss, and I wanted more, not that I didn’t have a fair idea of what was happening, but because I felt the loss of some dear friends and didn’t want to let them go.
The book spans decades and with Longfellow’s beautiful I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day, and how this poem spans the decades touching lives. We are spanning yearss from when Henry conceived this beautiful verse to present day when it is still touching and influencing lives.
You will see the heart break in Longfellow’s life and how much he loved his family, from his time he marries, until with thoughts of his wife he creates these beautiful words. His church St Margaret’s is the setting for most of this book, and love how it touches the lives of so many people.
You won’t go wrong by picking this one up, as I previously stated I loved reading this one, and it will be with me for a long time.

I received this book through Edelweiss and the Publisher Dutton, and was not required to give a positive review.

 

When Secrets Strike by Marta Perry



In Laurel Ridge, Pennsylvania, a community once united must suspect one of their own

Amish quilter Sarah Bitler's dreams no longer feature a husband and family. Instead, she searches for success in the quilt shop within Blackburn House, a place once tarnished with deadly secrets. She refuses to let the past influence her future…until an ominous fire forces them to collide.

Firefighter Aaron King was the first to touch Sarah's heart—and the first to break it. Now a widower and father of two small girls, his return to Sarah's life brings her buried feelings to the surface. As a string of horrific incidents tears apart their community, an arsonist's wrath threatens to destroy them all. With Aaron as the only suspect, Sarah must follow her instincts to find the truth. But to protect an innocent man, she might risk her heart to Aaron again…and risk her life to an unknown killer.


Amazon 


About The Author


Marta Perry is a Pennsylvania-based author of over 35 novels, many of them inspirational romances. She uses her rural Pennsylvania life and her Pennsylvania Dutch heritage in writing her books, especially in her Pleasant Valley Amish series for Berkley Books and her new Amish-set suspense series for HQN Books.
Marta and her husband live in a centuries-old farmhouse in a quiet central Pennsylvania valley. They have three grown children and six beautiful grandchildren, and when she's not busy writing her next book, she's usually trying to keep up with her gardening, baking for church events, or visiting those beautiful grandkids.


My Review

We are back in Laurel Ridge and are reunited with Sarah Bitler and Allison Standish, and more of the characters we came to love in Where Secrets Sleep.
Love how Allison is so accepted by Sarah’s Amish family, and her Grandmother seems to adore her, but this story is really Sarah’s.
Sarah grew up with her Amish family and lots of friends nearby, particularly Aaron King, he was the one she had wanted to marry. Now she is considered an old maid in her community, she is in her thirties, and when now widower Aaron returns to his family with his two young daughters, she hopes.
This story includes horrific barn fires, there is a sever drought in the area, and someone is taking advantage of the situation, but why? Then who ever are doing this thinks Sarah knows who this person is, and her life becomes in danger.
There is a side story about missing quilts, and a mystery of where a very valuable one is. Yes, Sarah and Allison run a quilt shop, and another challenge is presented and they accept it head on.
What do barn fires and missing quilts have to do with each other, you are about to find out, and we hope it is in time to stop the fires and save Sarah’s life. We continue with Allison’s romance and hope for a new one with Sarah and Aaron, if only he will recognize what he is missing.
Don’t miss this one, although it is the second book, it can be read alone, a real page-turner.
I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher HQN Books, and was not required to give a positive review.

Spotlight I, Mary by Mike Hartner Book Tour









Mary Crofter's first trip on the water was just after her first birthday, when her parents came from her birthplace in Kilwa to Portsmouth. She's been on several trips from Portsmouth to London and other places since. She loves the water and the water seems to love her. Can she survive on the water? Will people ever take seriously a GIRL as a sailor? Will she ever come off the water? If she does, will the lure of the ocean draw her back?

About The Author



Mike HartnerMike Hartner was born in Miami in 1965. He’s traveled much of the continental United States. He has several years post secondary education, and experience teaching and tutoring young adults. Hartner has owned and run a computer firm for more than twenty-five years. He now lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with his wife and child. They share the neighborhood and their son with his maternal grandparents.

His latest book is the historical romance, I, Mary.
For More Information



Excerpt 

I looked upon the gray waters that surrounded me.  To the west it was dark and cloudy, the wind blustering.  But as I braced myself against the gale hitting full force against my peacoat, I smiled.
It was fitting that I was here, and nothing could ever convince me otherwise.  I’d been birthed on land but it wasn’t long afterward that I was on the water—and acquiring my sea legs.  From the time I could walk, I learned to balance myself on the uneven deck. And later to climb the gnarly spars and ultimately the sayles.  My parents taught me my numbers and to read and write as well.  Numbers, well, was my best subject, and I was good at that.  But my time at sea was what I loved the most.  In truth, the only fun I remember in my childhood was when they took me on our merchant ship from our home in Portsmouth to London or to Bristol.  It wasn’t the location that I liked or the end of the journey; no, for me it was the sayling, standing on the deck, listening to the wind, watching the ocean and the clouds and . . . late at night . . . the stars.  I wanted to be on the sea forever, and I knew this from my very first time aboard ship.
I remember very well every one of those trips, because during each voyage I would close my eyes and concentrate, and it was as if I were talking to the water.  And through a combination of waves and the ship’s motion, it felt as if the sea was in turn communicating with me.
I recall all of the journeys with my father and his good friend, Captain Jose.  The saylors on those ships were always good to me, and I came to respect all of them.  They taught me sayling while they went about their own jobs.  Even as a little kid I was taught how to tie knots.  And when I was eleven they instructed me on how to throw knives and swing a cutlass.  Soon afterward I was taught how to prime, load, and shoot a musket.  But I turned up my nose at the musket, even the smaller flintlock pistols.  To me, there was no honor in this sort of fight.  No great talent was needed to shoot somebody.  Any idiot could pull a trigger.  In my mind, it required real skill to defeat a man, or woman for that matter, with a cutlass.   And, yes, I will take up swords against a woman.  Because, you see, I am one also.
Captain Jose had been a friend of the family since before I was born.  He’d sayled with my father, James, and my mother, Rosalind.  I heard the stories of the trip from Kilwa, where I was born, and then to Portsmouth, where we now live.  I don’t know how they originally met because I haven’t been told that yet, but Captain Jose is so close to the family that I’ve always called him Uncle Jose or Uncle for short.
Currently, I am not quite twelve years old, thin as a rail, a little over eleven hands high, and maybe weighing four stone soaking wet.  My hair is long enough to wear tied behind so it looks like the tail on a pony, but many men wear their hair the same way, so no one would know I was a girl just by looking at me.
I was in the office of Crofter Shipping Yards one day when Uncle Jose called me to him said, “Come over here and sit down.”  He was always so nice to me that I never hesitated at any request of his, so I took a seat next to him.  He gave me a funny look, kind of sly but not really since he smiled right away.  “I’ve already talked to your parents, and both James and Rosalind agree with me.”
I looked at him and fidgeted, not having a clue what he was going to say next.
“You’ve sayled with your father and me all your life.  We brought you to Portsmouth on a carrack many years ago.  You’ve been on the caravel we sayled to Le Havre and on a special boat too, a cog—the one with just one sayle—when we sayled to London.”
I nodded at him, but I was confused.  Had I done something wrong?
“Mary, there is a caravel that will be leaving these shipping yards in a little over a week.  It’s headed to the north of Scotland.  Seldom do pirates sayle these waters, so other than weather it will be relatively safe and . . .” My eyes widened.  Was I getting the right message?  Was he really doing this?  Was he really going to make my dream come true?  “If you should be interested, I can schedule you to take your sayling tests in the next few days so you can be on that caravel and start out as part of the crew on this trip.  This way, you can see if sayling is really what you want to do.”
I threw myself at Uncle Jose. “Yes, yes.  Please, yes.”
He laughed.  “Then let’s go get you some sayling clothes and set you up to crew on your very first ship.  Then I’ll introduce you to the captain.”  I jumped up from my chair but Uncle Jose pointed to me so I’d  retake my seat.  His face turned solemn, almost to a frown.  “There’s something we need to discuss, and this won’t be easy to talk about.  I brought this up this with your parents, and they told me to go ahead and tell you.”
Uncle Jose’s change of attitude was so great that I was startled.  “I don’t understand.”
“I’ve already spoken to the captain, since I assumed you’d say yes.  And he assured me that his main crew will respect you as a girl and also as a Crofter.  But there are always new men brought on board.  And even though the regular crew is honorable as far as this captain knows, they are still men of the sea.  Mary, do you understand what I’m saying to you?”
“Your crew was always wonderful to me.”  As soon as I said this I started to think back to all the times the men had helped me.
“You were a young girl who was the daughter of the owner of the ship, and I was the captain who knew each man well.  If anyone had stepped out of line, he would have been run through or thrown overboard.  This will be different, and you must understand that you are older now, almost a woman if you aren’t already.  I don’t know how else to put it, but to say you will have to be on your guard at all times.  The captain will have a couple of his most trusted men watching over you, but even a caravel is a big enough boat that . . . well, no person can be looked after day and night.”
I hadn’t given what Uncle Jose was talking about a single thought, but I wasn’t scared.  “I’m not saying I can take down a saylor, but I know how to defend myself, and Mother has taught me how to hurt a man where it hurts the most.”
Uncle Jose let out a muffled laugh that might’ve been a groan.  “Always know who’s around you, and be aware that you’re going to constantly have to prove yourself.”
“Because I’m a girl?” I snapped, mad that I’d done so at Uncle Jose.
“Yes,” he came back just as fast, but then he smiled and showed his big teeth.  “Just be aware that nothing I have said was with the intent of trying to talk you off the boat.  I just don’t want you—”
“Uncle Jose, I’ve heard the men talk on the boats since I was first able to walk the decks.  Sometimes I’d hear things that I know I wasn’t supposed to, and as I got older many saylors didn’t even think I was not one of them, so I’m not unaware that men are going to be men at times.  I can handle myself, I promise.”
“Let us hope you don’t have to.”  He stared hard at me.  “At least with the crew.”

Friday, October 23, 2015

A Killer Retreat (A Downward Dog Mystery, #2) by Tracy Weber

~LibriAmoriMiei
Killer Retreat



Yogi Kate must clear her name of murder in this charming yoga mystery
When Kate Davidson gets an offer to teach yoga classes to wedding guests at the Elysian Springs resort, she jumps at the opportunity, even though it means being forced to endure the wedding ceremony of the center’s two caretakers.
Avoiding the M-word turns out to be the least of Kate’s problems when a wedding guest is found floating face-down in the resort’s hot tub, shortly after a loud, public (and somewhat embarrassing) fight with Kate. The police pick Kate as their number-one suspect, so she’s forced to team up with boyfriend Michael, best friend Rene, and German shepherd sidekick Bella to find the real killer. But they’ll have to solve the murder before the police arrest Kate, or her next gig may last a lifetime–behind bars.

  • Series: Downward Dog Mysteries (Book 2)
  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Midnight Ink (January 8, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738742090
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738742090

About The Author

Tracy Weber Small Headshot

Tracy Weber is the author of the award-winning Downward Dog Mysteries series featuring yoga teacher Kate and her feisty German shepherd, Bella. Tracy loves sharing her passion for yoga and animals in any form possible. The second book in her series, A Killer Retreat, is available January 8, 2015, by Midnight Ink.
Tracy and her husband live in Seattle with their challenging yet amazing German shepherd Tasha. When she’s not writing, Tracy spends her time teaching yoga, walking Tasha, and sipping Blackthorn cider at her favorite ale house.
For more information, visit her online at TracyWeberAuthor.com and WholeLifeYoga.com.
  • Author Links
http://tracyweberauthor.com/
http://www.wholelifeyoga.com/blog/
https://www.facebook.com/tracywe
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7148442.Tracy_Weber
https://twitter.com/TracyWeberTypes
Purchase Links
Amazon    B&N    Book Depository


My Review





What could possibly go wrong, Kate Davidson and her boyfriend Michael, along with Bella her German Shepherd, have been invited to a 5 Star resort that is having an opening with the new owner’s wedding.
When they arrive the love the splendor of everything, until they go to their cottage, with has not been updated, and has one bed and a pull out couch. Thank goodness her friends René and Sam couldn’t make it. Ummm until they arrive and now we have a crowded and no privacy cabin, with no other accommodations available.
There is a lot of action here, and when we meet Monica, even before we arrive on the Island, there isn’t a lot to like. Even her Jack Russell is obnoxious, and she has made him not very likeable. She leaves trouble in her wake, and unfortunately this is a mystery and with Kate involved there has to be a murder.
When she tries to save the victim, she is arrested for murder, and then she starts her sleuthing, and a page-turner we have in hand. A very hard book to put down at any time, I had to get to the end to find all the answers. Pick this one up, you won’t be disappointed!

I received this book through Pump Up Your Book Blogger Tours, and was not required to give a positive review.


Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Splendor of Ordinary Days (Watervalley #3) by Jeff High







Readers of Jan Karon’s Mitford series and Patrick Taylor’s Irish Country series will fall in love with Jeff High’s funny, heartfelt Watervalley series.

The pastoral charm of small-town Watervalley, Tennesse, can be deceptive, as young Dr. Luke Bradford discovers when he’s caught in the fallout of a decades-old conflict…


After a rocky start as Watervalley’s only doctor, Luke Bradford has decided to stay in town, honoring the three-year commitment he made to pay off his medical school debts. But even as his friendships with the quirky townsfolk deepen, and he pursues a romance with lovely schoolteacher Christine Chambers, several military veterans’ emotional wounds trigger anger and unrest in Watervalley.

At the center of the clash is the curmudgeonly publisher of the local newspaper, Luther Whitmore. Luther grew up in Watervalley, but he returned from combat in Vietnam a changed man. He fenced in beautiful Moon Lake, posting “Keep Out” notices at the beloved spot, and provokes the townspeople with his incendiary newspaper. 

As Luke struggles to understand Luther’s past, and restore harmony in Watervalley, an unforeseen crisis shatters a relationship he values dearly. Suddenly Luke must answer life’s toughest questions about service, courage, love, and sacrifice.




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One grand prize winner will receive:
  • Signed copies of all three Watervalley books
  • A Kindle Fire HD 6
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 27th. The winner will be announced October 28th on Jeff’s blog.
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Learn more and purchase a copy.


About The Author
 
Jeff High


After growing up on a farm in rural Tennessee, Jeff High attained degrees in literature and nursing. He is the three-time winner, in fiction and poetry, of an annual writing contest held by Vanderbilt Medical Center. He lived in Nashville for many years, and throughout the country as a travel nurse, before returning to his original hometown, near where he now works as an operating room RN in open-heart surgery. He is the author of the Watervalley novels, including “More Things in Heaven and Earth” and “Each Shining Hour.”
Find out more about Jeff at http://www.watervalleybooks.com/.




My Review


I really enjoyed reading this novel; it kept me entertained from the beginning to the end. The author’s humor kept me giggling throughout the pages, and example, he attends a three hour Mennonite wedding and states, “ They aged right before my eyes.”
While we see hurts on the surface, there seems to be deeper meaning to all of them. While the book is full of surprises that you won’t see coming, and happenings that were impossible, or were they, there is deeper meaning, and they all seem to be connected, but how?
There are some characters here that the author has made me love, and would love in my life, and there are others that are even hard to like, but as we continue in the story, people are not always as they appear.
I love the setting for this story, and the major theme is dear to my heart, Veterans, and love how these town rallies. Come along for a really enjoyable time and good humor, you won’t want to leave.
I received this book through Litfuse Publicity Book Tours and was not required to give a positive review.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Midwife of Bethlehem by Shad Driggs



A beautifully illustrated telling of the Christmas nativity through the eyes of the women who may have come to help Mary give birth. She would have known of the prophesies about the Messiah to be born in her town. As a spiritually atuned women, would she have known Jesus when he was born? And what kind of experience might she have had?

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

About The Author 


Shad Driggs is a businessman who lives in Naperville, Illinois. He and his wife, Darla, and their six children dedicate many hours in service to their church and community. After very unexpected heart surgery in 2014, he was determined to share the beautiful Christmas story that had formed in his head. The Midwife of Bethlehem is his first book.







My Review



I’ve never thought about there being a Midwife at Jesus’s birth, but it makes sense when you think of it.
This is a sweet read that will bring the miracle of Jesus’s birth and the coming Christmas Season alive for you and your children. The book is beautifully illustrated and well written, you will feel like you are at the birth and in Bethlehem at the time of our Saviors arrival.
Everyone knows that there were shepherds and animals that came to rejoice at the birth, why wouldn’t there have been a midwife, or someone who was there to help? Whether it is true or not this book is a great reminder of what a gift we received.
The story is a different and yet the same perspective of the Kings birth, and we experience the peace that surrounds the area, and although the midwife might have wanted quiet for the new mom after the birth, all were welcomed in to rejoice His birth.
A new Christian Holiday read to add to your collection for your family.
I received this book from The Cadence Group, and was not required to give a positive review.

The Imposter (The Bishop's Family #1) by Suzanne Woods Fisher






Katrina Stoltzfus thought she had life and love all figured out: she was going to marry John and live happily ever after. Those plans started to crumble when her father moved the family to Stoney Ridge, then completely collapsed when John decided to marry someone else. Katrina is devastated. How could she have felt so loved, yet been so deceived?

As she struggles to face a future without him, a widow asks for her help to start a new business and Katrina quickly agrees. She needs time to heal her broken heart, to untangle her messy life, to find a purpose. What she doesn't need is attention from Andy Miller, a farm hand who arrives at the widow's farm just when help is most needed--and who always seems to say the right thing, and be in the right place, at the right time. Is Andy
for real, or too good to be true? Deceived once before, Katrina is determined to keep her feelings in check.

When a cascade of events is set in motion by some surprising information, the little Amish church is turned upside down. Soon, everyone has a stake in the outcome, and the community struggles to find the best response to an imposter in their midst. Can they forgive even the most deceitful deeds?


About The Author



Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of the Inn at Eagle Hill series, Lancaster County Secrets series, and the Stoney Ridge Seasons series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including "Amish Peace." She is also the coauthor of an Amish children's series, The Adventures of Lily Lapp. Her interest in the Anabaptist cultures can be directly traced to her grandfather, who was raised in the Old Order German Baptist Brethren Church in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne is a Carol Award winner and a Christy Award finalist. She is a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazines. She lives in California.

For more information, please visit suzannewoodsfisher.com and connect with her on Twitter @suzannewfisher.


My Review





The Imposter is the title of this book and so through out the story I’m looking for who the imposter is, and my thoughts kept changing, first I was sure it was one, and then my thoughts shifted to another, you will be really surprised as to whom it is.
After loosing his wife, Preacher David Stolzfus has moved his family to Stoney Ridge, and is gradually putting his life back together, with the pain of her passing always in the background. We follow his family, in fact all of them in their daily lives, and focus and several stories at once. You will come to know them quite well by the end of the book!
There are some really sweet happenings here, and also a real surprise a lot of deceit going on in this Amish Community. I was pleased with the surprises that went on here, and disappointed with the gossiping Glick woman, such joy they get out of others hurts. They sure end up getting their comeuppance in a startling way, and in the end we are still waiting for a lot of answers. At least until next spring when the next book is due out, and I for one cannot wait!
You will not regret picking this entertaining, page-turner, book up, and will be with me in wanting more!
I received this book through Revells Book Blogger Program, and was not required to give a positive review.