4.24.2017

The Hurry-Up Exit From Egypt by Gary Bower illustrated by Barbara Chotiner ~ Review

The Hurry-Up Exit from Egypt
My Review:

A rhyming and rhythmic telling of the Israelite's flight from Egypt and through the Red Sea.

This book was so much fun, and is even more fun to read aloud because of the tongue twister like rhythmic rhymes that flow into a syncopated beat. The unique flow of this adding and repeating poem, really is perfect for this book because it builds and adds urgency to the flight. I found myself reading it aloud faster and faster, getting delightfully tongue-tied on the tricky rhyming syllables.

The illustrations are creative and visually textured, the whimsical lettering and emphasized font makes the narrative really pop and hum with an added punch to the rhythm.

Overall, a fun, fasted paced, and almost musical read. An utter delight to share aloud with the young people in your life. I absolutely loved every minute of this fresh, upbeat read!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

4.20.2017

True to You by Becky Wade Author Chart Party


Raise your hand if you're ready for Becky Wade's new series! Celebrate the release of book one, True to You, with Becky and other readers on Facebook on May 4th during a fun author chat party at 8:00 PM EDT (that's 7:00 Central, 6:00 Mountain, & 5:00 Pacific)! Becky will be chatting about the book and answering your questions about the new series, and of course, there will be plenty of fun giveaways too!

Pre-order your copy of True to You so you're ready for a fun book discussion. Find out more about the book here.

Hope to see you on May 4 for Becky's True to You Facebook Party!

4.16.2017

A Lady in Disguise by Sandra Byrd ~ Review

A Lady in Disguise (Daughters of Hampshire, #3)
My Review: Gillian Young is a talented costumer, the daughter of a titled socialite-turned-actress and policeman, she becomes he heir to her maternal grandparent's estate, Winton Park, upon the death of her father. When she returns from her father's funeral she finds that her home has been searched, and that her father's name has been dishonored by accusations of inside deals, corruption, prostitutes, and conspiracy. Gillian wants to honor her parents memory and the charitable cause that her mother was a patron of, as well as help young women find respectable work.

But when she returns from her father's funeral she finds that her home has been searched, with uniformed men following her, Gillian finds herself at a loss for whom to turn to for help. Two men step forward, her neighbor, the dashing Thomas Lockwood, and the son of her late father's partner Collingsworth. But as both men express interest in courtship, she begins to question their motives, and what they have to do with her father's suspicious death.

Gillian is a young woman who walks the line between two worlds, with a titled mother and middle class father, she is talented and not afraid of hard work, her parents taught her to work for a living and to live modestly. She also shares her mother's concern for the Cause, a charity that helps former actors and actresses after there time is up on the stage. She suspects that her father's death was not an accident, and bravely sets out to discover the truth behind his demise. She is passionate about helping others, and enlists women from the Cause to help with her upcoming project of sewing for the production of Cinderella.

Well written, realistic for the time and setting, and taunt with suspense, this is was a page turner from beginning to end. I both didn't want to put it down, yet at the same time I didn't want it to be over! I loved the complexity of the characters, the multiple layers, and that not everyone is as they seem. Gillian finds it hard to know who to trust, or where to turn, as she finds that even those closest to her may be compromised. Thomas is ever the perfect gentleman, with a passion for theater and the arts, and a heart that rings true, he was one of my favorites. Ruby is vibrant and eager to help, precocious and naive, she brings a liveliness with her wherever she goes.

A terrific read, full of intrigue and mystery. I loved how Gillian is both brave, compassionate, strong, and hardworking, a self-made business woman who loves her craft. She could have been tempted to pursue a place in society, but appreciated a more modest existence, and I liked that about her. This is a well crafted read, gripping to the end. Highly recommend!!!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

4.15.2017

Guardian by Terri Reed ~ Review

Guardian (Mills & Boon Love Inspired Suspense) (Classified K-9 Unit, Book 1)
Lucie's Review:

When Alicia Duncan inadvertently witnesses a body being dumped in the river, her first thought is for her young son. So she and Charlie take off for the woods, and manage to stay ahead of the murderer enough to get into her car and get to the police station.

When the FBI hears about the situation, they send Leo Gallagher and his dog, True, who is trained in water search and rescue. As Alicia recounts what she saw to them, Leo and his team begin to fear that the victim was a witness in another ongoing crime, and that his friend Jake went missing in.

Will they be able to outsmart the killer, before something terrible happens?

I like that Leo insists on following Alicia home, and after a frightening experience on the way, she invites him to stay on the ranch with her, Charlie, and her father. Leo is dedicated, determined and persistent, he knows he can't be everywhere, but he does everything he can to protect Alicia and Charlie. I like how he got to know Charlie, and let him play with True when he was off duty.

Both Leo and Alicia have things in their past that keep them from hoping for a future chance at love, but Alicia's father helps to set them straight. Their close quarters help Alicia and Leo get to know each other, and they talk about their shared faith, and trusting God to direct them.

This was a fast paced read, and I love every book in the series. This book had a quick hook, great interaction, and the intensity grew as the plot progressed. Fantastic read!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

4.13.2017

The Berenstain Bears Friendship Blessings Collection by Jan and Mike Berenstain ~ Review

The Berenstain Bears Friendship Blessings CollectionMy Review: A five-in-one collection of Berenstain Bear favorites that deal with the blessing of friendship, whether with peers, family, bosses, etc.

This is a great collection of five books from the Living Lights Series, great stories about working hard together, and getting along with friends. The first one in the book was a little different as it was in  rhyme form, which was different, but still plenty of fun.

A great collection, bound in a sturdy hardcover to last the years and many little hands. I really liked the references to scripture and nods to faith in this series of books. Great lessons of faith and friendship, would be a great book to share with the young ones in your life. I grew up with the Bears, and am thrilled that this younger generation will get to enjoy the adventures and lessons of Mama, Papa, Brother, Sister, and Honey.

Overall, a delightful read with classic illustrations, that would make a perfect gift for the youngster in your life. The titles included in this book are: Perfect Fishing Spot, Reap the Harvest, Faithful Friends, Kindness Counts, God Made You Special. 


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

4.12.2017

A Secret Courage by Tricia Goyer ~ Review

A Secret Courage (The London Chronicles #1)
Lucie's Review:

Emma is a WAAF photo investigator, gifted with an eye for detail, and her diligence earns her a special assignment. On her day off in London, she tells her friend Vera about one of her heroes, Grace Darling, the brave daugher of a lighthouse keeper who rowed out into a  storm to save someone from a wreck.

Will overhears Emma's story and is intrigued by the American WAAF, and plans to run into her at a bookstore, because he wants to meet her. Will is an artist who hasn't let the loss of his arm keep him from his craft, he is working undercover to find out what is happening at Dansfield House, to help with the war effort.

Will knows that he isn't being completely honest with Emma, but he tries his best to be as open as his job allows for him to be. Will is a strong Christian and encourages Emma to reclaim her faith. I liked his confidence and faith, he was a good friend and encourager to Emma.

Emma is my favorite character, she comes to work early and stays late, she is astute and has a compassionate heart. She is courageous and believes in what she is fighting for, bu she worries about the innocents in the crossfire.  She comes to realize that her work and the destruction around her has come between her and God, and she is inspired by her brother's faith.

There is some great interaction between Emma and Will, but I felt that much of their relationship was assumed. I liked how everything came together in the end, though it seemed a bit to short for my liking. There are some surprises along the way, though the readers find out who is behind everything before the characters do, which was a tad anti-climatic. Overall, an enjoyable read.



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

4.09.2017

The Rancher's Surprise Triplets by Linda Ford ~ Review

The Rancher's Surprise Triplets (Lone Star Cowboy League: Multiple Blessings #1)
Lucie's Review:

The League is putting on a fair to help raise money to help families in need. When three triplet infants are abandoned at the fairgrounds, Bo Stillwater turns to the new doctor and his pretty daughter for help.

Louisa Clark has just moved wot Little Horn, Texas with her father, who is the town's new doctor. When Bo shows up with the triplets, she knows without reading their nametags who they are, and volunteers to take care of them.

Taking care of three babies is a lot of hard work, so Bo and Lousia lean on each other and God for strength to find the boys a good home.

I like the way that Bo and Louisa get to know each other while taking care of the boys, Bo is touched by the care that Louisa take with the children, and he tries to come by and help when he can. Bo and his twin brother are close, but Bo is convinced that the only way for him to keep from becoming like their father is to never marry.

I like that The League is dedicated to keeping the siblings together, and they also help out bo's housekeeper with her matchmaking schemes.

Louisa and Bo both are committed to never marrying, and see in each other a person that they admire and respect, and would never want to hurt. Louisa's father is a good doctor and father, he depends a lot on Louisa, but would never want her to sacrifice her happiness for him.

Overall, a very enjoyable read, I'm looking forward to reading more about the triplets and the people that they bring together. There is a great dialog throughout, and I thought there was great character development and a great sense of community.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

4.08.2017

When God Made You by Matthew Paul Turner, illustrated by David Catrow ~ Review

When God Made YouMy Review:


Vibrant and brimming with fantastical illustrations that take flight with vivid and colorful beauty that compliment the uplifting poem perfectly. The encouraging verses follow a young girl as she shines, basking in knowing that God made her unique and talented to bring glory to Him.

This a great book to share with youngsters, and would make a fantastic, encouraging gift to celebrate an accomplishment, or simply to encourage someone. I loved the bright illustrations that matched perfectly with the uplifting rhymes that talk of how God made each person unique, not just on the outside, but the inside too.

I really liked how this book celebrated the talents, gifts, and dreams, that God gave us and not being afraid to let them shine.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

4.07.2017

A Rocky Mountain Romance by Misty M. Beller ~ Blog Tour & Sneak Peek!

ABOUT THE BOOK:
The Wyoming mountain country seems like the perfect place for Zeche Reid to find himself. When a blizzard sends him scrambling for cover, he stumbles upon a lady and her professor father holed up in a remote cabin. His protective instincts won't let him desert them to continue his travels, especially when the father’s haunting memories from the War of Succession put his daughter’s safety at risk. 

Fighting her own nightmares after the war, Greta Michelly is trying to settle into this rugged mountain land, but her bad memories are nothing compared to the demons that haunt her father. The haven they’ve found in these Rocky Mountains seems to be the solace he needs to find peace—until a mysterious sojourner appears on their cabin doorstep. She can’t help but be drawn to the wild aura that surrounds the man, but that strength seems to be that very thing that intensifies her father’s struggles. 

As Zeche is torn between his craving to protect Gretta and the awful realization that he’s the one putting her in more danger, he’s forced to make a difficult choice. But when a run-in with an elk changes his plans and Gretta is faced with a danger Zeche is powerless to control, Zeche has to find a way to protect her at any cost. Even at the cost of his heart. 


Book links:

About the Author:
Misty M. Beller writes Christian historical romance and is the author of the bestselling Mountain Dreams Series and the Texas Rancher Trilogy.
She was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Her husband and daughters now add another dimension to her life, keeping her both grounded and crazy.
God has placed a desire in Misty's heart to combine her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life, writing historical novels that display God's abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.
Writing is a dream come true for Misty. Her family--both immediate and extended--is the foundation that holds her secure in that dream.
Author contact links:
Learn more at www.MistyMBeller.com.Misty loves to connect at her website, FacebookGoodreadsTwitter, Bookbub, and Pinterest




Excerpt...




Chapter One




Near South Pass City, Wyoming Territory
October, 1866

This storm had the power to ruin his journey.
The ashen snow clouds hung thick in the sky, which meant Zeche Reid wouldn’t have much time before the blizzard hit. Icy dampness seemed to hover in the air as it captured his breath, and even his exhales hung like leaden clouds, harbingers of the coming threat. Chipmunks had been scurrying all morning, hopping from pine to spruce to cedar, searching for the last remaining acorns. All the signs bespoke snow. A lot of it.
He stared out across the rocky peaks of the Wyoming mountains. Snow blanketed most of the pinnacles, but others stored the white only in nooks and crags. In the valley beneath him, patches of brown grass peeked out from the frozen covering. The plants would be buried soon enough.
Which meant he needed to find a place to hole up.
He'd been hoping for a cave, but he may have to settle for that rock overhang just visible on the side of the mountain opposite him. Nudging Biscuit forward, he shifted with the gelding’s unsteady gait as they maneuvered the winding deer trail around the rocky cliff side. A lone flake almost the size of his thumbprint drifted down in front of them.
He’d covered a lot of ground these past weeks since leaving the icy chill of the Sweetwater River. But there was still so much to see and explore in these mountains. Now that his sister, Mara, and her husband had taken on most of the horses and training from their family ranch, he no longer bore that responsibility. And his youngest brother, Ezra, could handle the stage stop on his own, especially as things slowed down through the winter months.
There was almost nothing holding Zeche back. No one who needed him.
The chance he’d been waiting for had finally come. An opportunity to strike out on his own and explore as far into these Rocky Mountains as he and Biscuit could go before spring. Unfortunately, the going had proved slower than he’d expected, especially with several snowfalls making the trails slick. But slower travel gave him more time to take in the views. More time for the majesty of this mountain wilderness to sneak into his chest and take hold.
New snowflakes followed the first, falling in steady procession as he rounded the crest of the mountain and the trail descended more steeply. Something below caught his eye, and he reined in.
A cabin.
With smoke curling from a rock chimney attached to the side of the wooden structure, it looked as out of place in this desolate land as a glass storefront. Yet, the structure seemed to snuggle into the trees around it as if it had always been there.
The building sat several hundred feet away from him, near the bottom of the mountain where the ground leveled out.
You never knew what kind of people would be living this far out in the remote mountains. Should he avoid the place altogether? He could still head on to that rock overhang and wouldn’t have to worry about dealing with these folks.
But as a gust of wind found its way between his neck and the hood of his buckskin coat, he could almost feel himself nestled in that warm room near a crackling fire, his hands curled around a mug of hot coffee. The imagined smell of the savory brew crept into his senses and he nudged Biscuit forward.
The snow fell in earnest now, its icy drops pricking the exposed areas on his face. Maybe they’d even have a hot stew cooking. He’d not tasted stew since leaving the stage stop. Ezra’s cooking skills weren’t the best, but the boy could brew a pot of soup without burning it.
As he neared the spot where the ground leveled off—about thirty feet in front of the cabin—Zeche reined his horse to a stop. He should announce his presence before he moved close enough to knock on the door. Didn’t want to get shot.
“Halloo, in there. Anyone home?” They had to be home, with the smoke seeping from the chimney and mingling with the snowflakes as it rose.
A long moment passed, and he wet his lips to call again. “Halloo, in the cabin. I mean no harm.”
The door cracked open, as if those were the magic words. But then it didn’t move again. The six inches or so of darkness revealed nothing inside. But it was wide enough that a gun could be trained on him. And who knew if the ol’ coot with his finger on the trigger was sane or crazy.
“I mean no harm,” he called. “Just looking for a place to wait out the storm.” Another moment passed. This was fruitless. He should have bypassed the cabin altogether and headed on to the overhang he’d spotted on that other mountain. At least then his fate would be mostly his to control, not tucked in the hands of some half-crazed mountain hermit.
He was about to tell the person in the cabin to never mind and have a nice day, but the door opened wider, halting his throat from working up the words.
A soft glow of light cleared the shadows from the doorway, and a skinny form slipped through the opening onto the cabin’s small porch.
The person stood tall and lanky, wrapped in a fur coat with the hood pulled up around his face. And the man did, indeed, hold a rifle targeted at him. Loosely, anyway. The stock was tucked into his shoulder with the barrel pointed Zeche’s direction, but the man didn’t peer down the sights to take aim.
“I mean no harm,” he tried again. Maybe this situation could be resolved yet. Although the prospect of spending the next several hours—and possibly the night—with this suspicious, rifle-pointing recluse held less appeal by the minute. He shouldn’t have expected different.
“I was just looking for a place to ride out the storm.” He scanned the structure, his eyes locking on something in the rear. “If you have a lean-to in the back, I can stay there with my horse.”
The figure stood for another moment. Maybe studying him. Maybe the man couldn’t speak.
“Settle your horse in the back and come inside the cabin.”
Zeche’s gaze flew to the fellow’s face. That voice. It wasn’t the baritone of a man at all. That softness had to be…

He squinted, trying to make out the features tucked inside the hood of the coat. Dark eyes stared back at him, framed by a feathering of dark hair and a dainty, pointed chin. Even from this distance, how could he have missed the pretty, angular lines of a woman’s face?

This blog tour and sneak peek are powered by A Latte of Literature Blog Tour Services


4.02.2017

Love's Compass by Carla Gade ~ Review

Love's Compass: Also Includes Bonus Story of Pride's Fall by Darlene Franklin
Lucie's  Review:

Previously released as The Shadowcatcher's Daughter. 

This book starts with a bang, Yiska Wilcox saves Eliana Van Horn from being run over by a wagon, but witnesses assume that he is assaulting her, as he is a half-breed, and they haul him to jail despite her protests.

Eliana works with her father, who is a photographer, but she travels as a boy for safety. She sees Yiska as he is, and doesn't hold his heritage against him.

Yiska is a guide, and is going to lead the expedition with the US General Land Office, until Mr. Van Horn advises against it because he notices his interest in Eliana. But as their journeys bring them back together again, Yiska and Eliana develop a friendship and he is able to work to win the trust of her father.

I love how this book is full of action, interesting characters, and surprises. Great interaction between the characters, and does a great job of painting out the history of Colorado. A very enjoyable read, with a bonus story about silent movies!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."