Google+ Badge

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Wildflower Heart by Grace Greene - A Book Review

Wildflower Heart (The Wildflower House Book 1)     Grace Greene

Wildflower Heart is a poignant tale, a sentimental journey through the life of Kara Lange Hart. Kara's dad described her as resilient, a characteristic that stood her is good stead during her life's many lows with far too few highs. Kara was a survivor, and each time she got back up after being knocked down, she was better and stronger. Kara learned to see herself, other people, and circumstances for what they were, learning to accept each for the positive things they held, but not blinded to shortcomings, yet not controlled by them either. At first I thought that this story was best read by someone who was in a good place in their own life, someone who would not be depressed by the sadder parts of Kara's story, but then I realized that someone in not such a good place would benefit greatly from the hope Kara found as she moved through life, allowing herself to grow.

Grace Greene is an accomplished author; Wildflower Heart showcases her ability to use the beauty of language to capture her readers' hearts and to lead them to embrace her characters. I am sure others looking for a book with depth will gratefully spend time between the covers of this of Wildflower Heart. I anxiously await the next book in this series, and was privileged to be asked to read this book in exchange for an honest opinion. I was under no obligation to provide a positive review and received no monetary compensation.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

A Season of Grace by Lauraine Snelling - A Book Review

A Season of Grace (Under Northern Skies Book #3)    Lauraine Snelling

I jumped into the Under Northern Skies series with book three, A Season of Grace. While I could tell as I read that Snelling assumed her reader was familiar with the characters and their background, it did not keep me from understanding and enjoying this story set in 1910 Minnesota.
Nilda Carlson and members of her family had immigrated from Norway. Nilda may have hoped to escape the memories of being assaulted by her employer's son, but those memories engulfed her as her assailant, also an immigrant, began to attend social events sponsored by her new employer. Nilda, torn between sharing his history with her employer and allowing him to prove himself a changed man, was not prepared for the events to come.

I was especially drawn to the character of Tante Gerd in this story. An elderly aunt who had lived for decades under the negativity and controlling thumb of her husband, Tante Gerd's loving and cheerful personality was blossoming in her widowhood. She took full pleasure in all the blessings presented to her rather than allowing herself to be robbed of them by dwelling in the past.

To the best of my memory, this is the first book that I have read by Lauraine Snelling. I do have several more in my Kindle library, and now look forward to reading them. I thank NetGalley and Bethany House Publishing for providing me with a copy of A Season of Grace in exchange for my honest opinion. I was under no obligation to provide a positive review and received no monetary compensation.

In Too Deep by Lynn H. Blackburn - A Book Review

In Too Deep (Dive Team Investigations Book #2)  Lynn H. Blackburn

Blackburn has definitely done her research on underwater criminal investigation and cybersecurity. She uses this knowledge to enhance the mystery as she takes on the issue of human trafficking. We hear and read a lot about sex trafficking but less about labor trafficking which is the main topic of In Too Deep. The reader will be made aware of the types of jobs these people do among us as well as the types of things to notice as we encounter people from all walks of life.

Dr. Sabrina Fleming may not be good at reading people, but she is a master at mining data from a computer and from the internet. This skill makes her an invaluable resource in certain crime investigations. Her friends, however, believe that this time it has also made her a prime target for people with things to hide. Police investigator Adam Campbell doesn't know what to think when it is revealed that a dead woman pulled from a lake has written him a message in permanent marker on her abdomen. Most of the time he doesn't know what to think about how Sabrina reacts to him either. During this case it is essential to figure out both of these situations and to decide what is next to be done.

I believe Blackburn's readers will truly enjoy this story as many unexpected events arise and it becomes clear that not everything or everyone is what or who they are thought to be. I thank NetGalley and Revell Publishing for providing me with a copy of In Too Deep in exchange for my honest opinion. I was under no obligation to provide a positive review and received no monetary compensation.

Chosen People by Robert Whitlow - A Book Review

Chosen People   Robert Whitlow

Robert Whitlow's legal suspense stories never fail to intrigue. His knowledge of our country's legal system adds credibility to his novels. In Chosen People Whitlow demonstrates that his knowledge is not limited to our country's borders, as this book is set in both the U.S. and the Middle East. Whitlow confronts the need to hold those who fund terrorism accountable. He also gives his readers a glimpse into the complexity of being a Christian of Middle Eastern heritage.

Hana Abboud, a Christian Arab Israeli, practices law at a firm in Atlanta, Georgia. Because of her knowledge of the languages and cultures of the area, Hana is asked to represent the firm in a case involving the death of an American woman killed by terrorists in Jerusalem. Hana would be working with an attorney from a small firm, Jakob Brodsky, a secular Jew from a Russian background, who had approached a senior partner of the larger firm about being co-counsel in the case. Their first order of business would be to uncover connections between the terrorists and a funding entity who would then be sued. Little did Hana and Jakob know the impact this case would have on their own lives.

I would recommend Chosen People, and indeed any book by this author, to fans of mysteries and suspense. Whitlow's work appeals to both men and women. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Silent Days, Holy Night by Phyllis Clark Nichols - A Book Review

Silent Days, Holy NightPhyllis Clark Nichols

I am so happy to have discovered this new-to-me author. Silent Days, Holy Night is a poignant story told by Julia Russell as she remembers meeting Henry Lafferty as a ten-year-old girl and their growing relationship. Ever the inquisitive one, Julia was more than excited to meet the reclusive Mr. Lafferty, and was astonished to learn that he could neither walk, hear or speak, but after discovering their shared love of music, Julia was determined to learn to communicate with the man who would become her closest friend.

This story is reminiscent of the children's classic Pollyanna, made into a family favorite movie. It too has movie potential, but far beyond a predictable Hallmark Christmas movie. Silent Days, Holy Night deals with the messiness of growing up, reaching out to others and not giving up when it is difficult, and selflessness. Adults will enjoy this story, but it would also make a great family read-aloud during the holidays, providing great fodder for conversation.

I am grateful to NetGalley and Gilead Publishing for providing me with a copy of Silent Days, Holy Night in exchange for my honest opinion, which is that this is a wonderful holiday story. I was under no obligation to write a positive review and received no monetary compensation.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Stratagem by Robin Caroll - A Book Review

Stratagem by [Caroll, Robin]     

This novel is sort of a psychological thriller, but it is the psychologist who plays the mind games on others who is being framed for the murder of his ex-wife. Grayson Thibodeaux, encouraged by his then-wife, Anna Belle, left his consulting job with the New Orleans Police Department for a more lucrative partnership in Game's On You, a company that creates customized games that bring out an individual's strengths and weaknesses. His ex-wife is found murdered while participating with others competing for a promotion in a game that he created for the company for whom she worked. While there is no shortage of suspects, Grayson tops lead investigator Danielle Witz's list, and the evidence keeps piling up.

Readers will enjoy this fast paced suspense story that will keep them guessing until they reach the final chapters. There is encouragement to be found in both Grayson's faith and in the fact that there were those who stood by him, confident in his innocence in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Other than the physical features of the house in which the game took place, the story line and dialogue are quite believable, enough so that the reader is likely to allow for some leeway on the game's setting.

I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent reading Stratagem and believe other fans of suspense will as well. I thank NetGalley and Barbour Publishing for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not under any obligation to write a positive review and received no monetary compensation.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Christmas on a Mission by Hannah R. Conway - A Book Review

Christmas on a Mission by [Conway, Hannah R.]     An image posted by the author.

     Christmas is filled with joy for so many, but with grief and despair for so many others. After two years Audria was still grieving the Christmastime death of her fiance. She did her best to channel her emotions into relieving the holiday sadness for the homeless students of the community. While she was not wallowing in her grief, she was not yet prepared to move on.

     Quinton Nolan was deployed with Maddox, Audria's brother. While Maddox was Quinton's boss, he was also his friend, and he saw in Quinton the type of man his sister needed. Although he was not your typical matchmaker, Maddox worked hard to introduce them and give them the opportunity to get to know one another, so see if there was a spark.

     In Christmas on a Mission, Hannah Conway deals with the tough topics of grief and fear, tempered with faith, love and humor. She allows her character the space to learn just what it will take for her to be able to “open up” and “move on,” and the freedom to do so at her own pace. Readers will laugh and cry as they are touched by the active expressions of love in this story.

     I received an advanced reader copy of Christmas on a Mission as a beta reader and member of the launch team for this book. I was asked for an honest opinion and was under no obligation to write a positive review.