Wednesday, June 1, 2011

How Huge the Night by Heather Munn and Lydia Munn

How Huge the Night
by: Heather Munn and Lydia Munn

Back of the Book:
For fifteen-year-old Julien Losier, life will never be the same. His family has relocated to souther France to outrun Hitler's menace. But Julien doesn't want to run. He doesn't want to huddle around the radio at night, waiting to hear news through buzzing static. Julien doesn't want to wait.

Angry, frustrated, and itching to do something, Julien finds a battle everywhere he turns.

Soon after his family opens their house to a Jewish boy needing refuge, Julien meets Nina, a young Austrian who has fled her home by her father's dying command. Nina's situation is grave and Julien suddenly realizes the enormity of having someone's life or death depend on . . . him.

Thrown together by a conflict that's too big for them to understand, each one struggles to know what to do, even if it is not enough. Is there a greater purpose in the shadows of this terrible war? Or will their choices put them in greater danger?

My Thoughts:
I think the authors did a great job showing us what a teenage boy might have been thinking during the war. I have always had a fascination with WWII and think reading historical fictions really gives us some insight into what people went through during that time - a living history. In one of the most horrible times in history we see what some teenagers truly may have faced. Julien's family flees to southern France hoping to avoid Hitler's army. Niko (aka Nina) flees her country looking for safety for her and her brother due to their Jewish heritage. Benjamin has to live with a family he does not know because of his Jewish heritage. In addition to the war going on all around them, they are also facing the troubles of a typical teenager: a new home, making new friends, losing family or being far from them. . . so many hardships. They do a great job with the characters in this novel - they truly come alive. This book is a page-turner and I highly recommend it!

Thanks for stopping by!

This book was sent to me by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review.
I was not influenced on how to write my review.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Lazarus Awakening by Joanna Weaver

Lazarus Awakening
by: Joanna Weaver

About the Book:

Getting God’s Love from Our Heads to Our Hearts

You believe that God loves the world…but sometimes you wonder if He truly loves you.

For many of us, moving the truth of God’s love from our heads to our hearts is a lifelong process. As we consider our inadequacies or grieve our shattered dreams, we find it difficult to believe that God cares for us personally.

In this life-giving book, Joanna Weaver shows you how to embrace the truth that Jesus loves you apart from anything you accomplish, apart from anything you bring. Just as He called Lazarus forth to new life, Jesus wants to free you to live fully in the light of His love, unbound from the graveclothes of fear, regret, and self-condemnation.

Love is calling your name.

Combining unforgettable real-life illustrations with unexpected biblical insights, Joanna Weaver invites you to experience a spiritual resurrection that will forever change your understanding of what it means to be the one Jesus loves. Bible study and Leader’s Guide available here.

My Thoughts:
Joanna Weaver is one of my favorite authors. Once again she has brought together inspiring truths from God's Word, her incredible imagination, and those convicting gray boxes. What an amazing concept that God would love a sinner like me! Me?! But He does and Joanna does such a great job of reminding us of that message that is written all over the pages of Scripture. Too often its the simplest concepts that we seem to know but have so much trouble getting it from our heads to our hearts. With the stories and wonderful word-pictures in Lazarus Awakening, Joanna is helping many women do just that. Living like God loves you takes change and in order to accomplish that you need a lot of prayer. This book is a great guide to help you in your spiritual journey and I highly recommend it!

About the Author:
Joanna Weaver is known the world over for her transparent and life-changing books, Having A Mary Heart in a Martha World and Having a Mary Spirit. These two books have sold over a million copies and have been translated into several languages including Spanish, French, Dutch, Chinese, German, Korean and more. Joanna has appeared on a wide variety of nationally syndicated radio and television broadcasts. Past appearances include: The Harvest Show, At Home Live With Chuck & Jenni, Midday Connection, HomeWord, and Janet Parschall’s America. She is also a highly sought after speaker and shares her message at intimate gatherings and several high profile events each year. But Joanna's greatest joy is found in being a wife and mother and her role as a pastor’s wife. For more information about Joanna, please visit her website.

To buy the book click HERE

Giveaway Time!!!

Joanna is celebrating the release of Lazarus Awakening with the Heart of God KINDLE Giveaway!

In Lazarus Awakening Joanna writes about getting God’s love from our heads to our hearts. We all know Jesus loved Mary – look how she worshiped. And we can understand why He loved Martha – after all, look how she served. But what about those of us who don’t know where we fit in the heart of God? Lazarus Awakening explores the tale of the third follower – Mary and Martha’s brother, Lazarus. We never hear him speak, we never see him serve. The only thing of any significance that Lazarus did was to die. And yet, the Bible is clear. Jesus loved Lazarus. And He loves you and me as well. Lazarus Awakening looks at different aspects of the story we find in John 11. We learn what it means to be a friend of God and begin recognizing the tombs we spend far too much time in. Find out more here.

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • * A Brand New KINDLE with Wi-Fi
  • * Having A Mary Heart in a Martha World
  • * Having A Mary Spirit
  • * Lazarus Awakening

Joanna will also select two additional contest entrants to receive copies of her trilogy. Enter soon by clicking the icons below and then tell your friends. Hurry the contest ends April 16th. The winner will be announced on Joanna's blog on April 18th.

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

To view other reviews in the blog tour click

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Mountains Bow Down by Sibella Giorello

The Mountains Bow Down
by: Sibella Giorello

My Thoughts:
It was refreshing to read another book where the love story was not the main emphasis. I personally love to watch Police/FBI dramas and this was no exception. With the complication of having to solve the murder in just 5 days, FBI Special Agent Raleigh Harmon has her work cut out for her. There are, of course, plenty of other complications such as convincing everyone else that there even was a murder and taking care of her mother who is in a very fragile state of mind. With plenty of plot twists to throw you off-course, Sibella definitely keeps your interest.

Again, a lot of great characters are introduced in this book. My favorite would have to be the head of security on the cruise ship, Geert. In the first couple of chapters you have a great mental picture of Geert: shiny, bald head, white handlebar mustache, and his Netherandish accent. Geert is doing everything he can to protect the cruise line, but even he can't ignore the obvious signs pointing to murder.

Raleigh learns many hard lessons on this cruise. She needs humility and patience to deal with the cruise ship security, fellow FBI agents, and the cast/crew of the movie. And most important she learns that she can't protect everyone all of the time through a situation with her mom. We are all tempted to lie to protect the ones we love, but does that make it right? Raleigh begins to struggle with this as it becomes harder and harder to keep her secret.

Overall this is a great book that I highly recommend.

About the Book:

Everything's going to work out. Time away always makes things better . . ..

That's what FBI Special Agent Raleigh Harmon believes as she boards a cruise to Alaska. A land of mountains and gems and minerals, The Last Frontier is a dream destination for this forensic geologist who's hoping to leave behind a hectic work schedule and an engagement drained of romance.

But when a passenger goes missing and winds up dead, Raleigh's vacation suddenly gets lost at sea. The ship's security chief tries to rule the death a suicide, but Raleigh's forensics background points to a much darker conclusion: Somewhere onboard, a ruthless murderer walks free.

Engulfed by one of her toughest cases yet, Raleigh requests assistance from the FBI and receives her nemesis-perpetual ladies man Special Agent Jack Stephanson. As the cruise ship sails through the Inside Passage, Raleigh has five days to solve a high-profile murder, provide consultation for a movie filming onboard, and figure out her increasingly complicated feelings for Jack-who might not be such a jerk after all.

And that's only her work life. Family offers even more challenges. Joined on the cruise by her mother and aunt, Raleigh watches helplessly as disturbing rifts splinter her family.

Like the scenery that surrounds the cruise ship, Raleigh discovers a situation so steep and so complex that even the mountains might bow down.

About the Author:

Sibella Giorello grew up in Alaska and majored in geology at Mount Holyoke College. After riding a motorcycle across the country, she worked as a features writer for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Her stories have won state and national awards, including two nominations for the Pulitzer Prize. She now lives in Washington state with her husband and sons. Find out more about Sibella and her other books at her website.

Great Offer!
Start the series fresh with this great deal! Pick up a copy of Book 1 for your Kindle or Nook for only $2.99! The Stones Roll Away is the critically acclaimed award winner that kicked off the Raleigh Harmon series.

Giorellos Cruise Giveaway

Sibella’s celebrating the release of The Mountains
Bow Down
with a blog tour, a Cruise prize pack worth over $500 and a
Facebook Party! Don't miss a minute of the fun.

One Grand Prize winner will receive:

To enter click one of the icons below. Then tell your friends. And enter soon -
the giveaway ends on 4/1! The winner will be announced at Sibella’s
Raleigh Harmon Book Club
on FB April 5th, 2011! Don’t miss the fun – prizes, books and gab!

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

About the Facebook Party: Join Sibella and fans of the Raleigh Harmon series
on April 5th at 5:00 pm PST (6 MST, 7 CST & 8 EST) for a
Facebook Book Club
. Sibella will be giving away some fun prizes, testing your trivia skills and
hosting a book chat about the Raleigh Harmon books. Have questions you'd like
to chat about - leave them on the Event page.

To Purchase 'The Mountains Bow Down' click HERE.

To view the blog tour schedule click HERE.

Friday, March 11, 2011

A Trail of Ink by Mel Starr

A Trail of Ink
by: Mel Starr

My Thoughts:

I do have to start out by saying that I think I started the book 3 times before I could really get used to the language. Once I did, though, it was like getting lost in another time. I loved it! This was a great mystery. He keeps you guessing the whole time. While you have your suspicions he adds plenty of rabbit trails to throw you off. I really enjoyed the story of Hugh and Kate, as well. It wasn't mushy-gushy so I believe that man or woman would greatly enjoy this book.

The characters are very dynamic and he adds so much color to them. You can really picture the story taking place right before your eyes. I particularly enjoyed finding out more about the 'feud' between scholars and monks. That was such an interesting concept with them living in the same place, but disagreeing so heartily on issues.

He also includes some interesting historical facts at the end regarding the place he wrote about as well as the first chapter from his next book.

About the Book:

An excellent medieval whodunit by the author of The Unquiet Bones and A Corpse at St Andrew's Chapel

Some valuable books have been stolen from Master John Wyclif, the well known scholar and Bible translator. He calls upon his friend and former pupil, Hugh de Singleton, to investigate. Hugh's investigation leads him to Oxford where he again encounters Kate, the only woman who has tempted him to leave bachelor life behind, but Kate has another serious suitor. As Hugh's pursuit of Kate becomes more successful, mysterious accidents begin to occur. Are these accidents tied to the missing books, or to his pursuit of Kate?

One of the stolen books turns up alongside the drowned body of a poor Oxford scholar. Another accident? Hugh certainly doesn't think so, but it will take all of his surgeon s skills to prove.

So begins another delightful and intriguing tale from the life of Hugh de Singleton, surgeon in the medieval village of Bampton. Masterfully researched by medieval scholar Mel Starr, the setting of the novel can be visited and recognized in modern-day England. Enjoy more of Hugh s dry wit, romantic interests, evolving faith, and dogged determination as he pursues his third case as bailiff of Bampton.

About the Author:
Mel Starr was born and grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan. After graduating with a MA in history from Western Michigan University in 1970, he taught history in Michigan public schools for thirty-nine years, thirty-five of those in Portage, MI, where he retired in 2003 as chairman of the social studies department of Portage Northern High School. Mel and his wife, Susan, have two daughters and seven grandchildren.

Contest Info:

Kregel Publishers is graciously donating a $50 gift card for the Litfuse Blog Tour Contest! Woo-hoo (thanks Kregel!) All you have to do to enter is either tweet (see TWEET THIS below) or share the book on Facebook using this link:

TWEET THIS: A Trail of Ink by Mel Star. An excellent medieval whodunit. RT for a chance to win a $50 GC to @amazon! #litfuse

  • (and be sure to use the hashtag #litfuse to be entered into gift certificate drawing and no need to email that you tweeted - we'll be able to track it via the hashtag.)

FACEBOOK THIS: A Trail of Ink by Mel Star. An excellent medieval whodunit. Share on your wall for a chance to win a $50 GC to @amazon!

To view other reviews on the Blog Tour click HERE.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Thorn

I accidentally read this one out of turn, so my next review will be of The Telling.

The Thorn
By: Beverly Lewis

Back of the Book:
Two Amish sisters divided by one sister's impulsive marriage to an outsider.

Hen longs for the Old Ways she left behind. . .

Rose is unsure of her own heart - devoted to the bishop's rebellious foster son, yet courted by another.

My Thoughts:
I really enjoyed this book. I hope I don't sound morbid in saying this, but I like reading books where everything doesn't work out into a perfect happy ending. Real life happens. That is this book.

The Thorn has an intriguing plot that keeps you reading - I couldn't put it down. One point that sticks out to me is that very rarely do you see anyone leaving the Amish community and then desiring to go back. It is a very interesting perspective on a sparsely traveled road. Kudos to Beverly for traveling it.

Another point that sticks out to me is the dynamics of Amish families. They fascinate me. The way they take care of each other, respect one another, and trust one another is amazing to those of us growing up in the 21st century. The most intriguing family in this book would be the bishops. You don't typically hear of the Amish 'fostering' Englishers. She presents a very realistic view of the bishop and very much humanizes him. So often in Amish literature the church leadership is condescending and harsh, but this book definitely shows a different angle.

I highly recommend the first book in The Rose Trilogy and can't wait to read the second, The Judgement.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Miracle of Mercy Land

The Miracle of Mercy Land
by: River Jordan

Back of the Book:
Mercy Land has made some unexpected choices for a young woman in the 1930s. The sheltered daughter of a traveling preacher, she chooses to leave her rural community to move to nearby Bay City on the warm, gulf-waters of southern Alabama. There she finds a job at the local paper and spends seven years making herself indispensable to old Doc Philips, the publisher and editor. Then she gets a frantic call at dawn -- it's the biggest news story of her life, and she can't print a word of it.

Doc has come into possession of a curious book that maps the lives of everyone in Bay City -- decisions they've made in the past, and how those choices affect the future. Mercy and Doc are consumed by the mystery locked between the pages -- Doc because he hopes to right a very old wrong, and Mercy because she wants to fulfill the book's strange purpose. but when a mystery from Mercy's past arrives by train, she begins to understand she will have to make choices that will deeply affect everyone she loves -- forever.

My Thoughts:
Overall this was a very entertaining book to read. Once I got past the first couple of chapters and adjusted to the way the book was laid out - very choppy transitions between characters - I was able to enjoy it. The premise of the book is very thought-provoking. What if you could see how every decision you've made has affected you and others? It would certainly change the way you thought about everything.

The characters in this book were very personable - people you could really picture seeing in real life. I've always had a fascination with small-town living and this book certainly fed into that. Doc is the character that stood out to me the most. I could just picture him in every scene as the 1930s newsman that he was.

As far as lessons to learn in reading this book the most obvious is definitely to live 'other's first'. Every decision we make not only affects us, but those around us, as well. Would they thank you for the decisions that you have made? Or carry regret and bitterness?

Thanks for stopping by!

This book was sent to me by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review.
I was not influenced on how to write my review.

An Unlikely Blessing by Judy Baer

An Unlikely Blessing
by: Judy Baer

My Thoughts:
An Unlikely Blessing was a refreshing book aside from my usual genre of romance. This piece of Christian fiction follows a new pastor entering his new parish. With a new 'career' in a new town, quite different from what he is used to, Pastor Alex Armstrong is not quite sure what he got himself into, but is sure God has a plan for him here.

I love the colorful group of characters Judy has introduced in this book - All of them full of small town, country charm. My favorite would be the part-time church secretary, Gandy. I love characters that add flavor while contributing to the main story. The mixture of Gandy's hair and clothes along with her sweet spirit make for a very colorful character.

There are many lessons to be learned while reading this book, however, I believe the main theme would be trust. Learning to trust God no matter the circumstance and trusting one another.

I definitely recommend reading An Unlikely Blessing to see how Pastor Alex is used to solve some local problems, including uniting two parishes that have been at odds for years.

About the Book:

New pastor and lifelong city dweller Alex Armstrong is reluctant about his first assignment: a small parish in the wide plains of North Dakota. The farming community of Hilltop Township, his new home, blooms from the prairie like a wild pink rose -- lovely and prickly all at one, much like the people who live there.

As Alex settles in, he quickly finds that this place is in quiet peril. Jonas Owens, a faithful member of Hilltop parish, is on the brink of losing his farm. Ben and Nancy Jenkins are planning to raze their historic farmhouse and build a home that's easier to heat. The Packard children need more help than Alex can imagine. His two churches are divided over a feud that goes back decades. Alex believes that God called him to Hilltop to help turn things around, but how can he save this rural community?

Grace abounds in unexpected ways in Hilltop, and it's not long before Alex starts to see evidence of God's hand in his new home -- from the unending supply of casseroles delivered to his door to the miracle of a new litter of kittens. And when his faith is tested in ways he never expected, Alex starts to see that the people of Hilltop have as much to teach him as he does them about trust in God's mysterious ways.

About the Author:
Judy Baer is the author of over seventy-five books for adults and teens. She has won the Romance Writer of America Bronze Medallion and has been a RITA finalist twice. She lives in Elk River, Minnesota with her husband. Follow the Hilltop characters on Judy’s blog and find out more about Judy and her books at

To purchase this book click HERE.


Prolific author of over 75 novels, Judy Baer, is launching her new Guideposts
series, Forever Hilltop, with a KINDLE giveaway! The first book in the
series, An Unlikely Blessing is available now wherever fine books are sold.

Read the reviews here.

In celebration of the release of An Unlikely
, Judy is giving away a KINDLE prize package worth over $175.

One lucky winner will receive:

  • Brand New KINDLE with Wi-Fi

  • A $25 gift certificate to

To enter just click on one the icons below and then tell your friends! Winner will be announced on February 21st on Judy's blog,

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

For more information please visit the Litfuse website, and click {HERE}!

This book was sent to me by Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for an honest review.
I was not influenced on how to write my review.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Search by Suzanne Woods Fisher

The Search
by: Suzanne Woods Fisher

My Thoughts:
Never a disappointment with Suzanne's books. The Search is such a great mixture of humor and family drama with some romance woven through the pages, as well.

The Search has some very dynamic characters that certainly keep you on your toes. The one that stuck out the most to me is Bertha Reihl (a.k.a. Mammi). Bertha is a woman of few words, but definitely someone you listen to. She is a woman of simple faith who trusts that God will take care of everything. However there are times when she thinks it necessary to give her assistance to make something happen. To be perfectly honest, I kept thinking that this woman is the Amish version of Madea - for those of you who may be familiar with Tyler Perry's movies (definitely some differences, but similar). There were a few times I was literally laughing out loud while reading through her scenes.

There are also some great lessons to be learned while reading this book. Number one is forgiveness. Many secrets have been kept from people in this family for 15 years and as they are revealed some of the characters have to search deep into their heart and God's to find that forgiveness. Another lesson that stood out to me is the need to face reality and accept what God has for your life. We don't always know what is best, but God does and He uses people and circumstances to shape us into who He wants us to be. It is our responsibility to know Him and be willing to be changed. Romans 12:2 "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."

About the book:

Fifteen years ago, Lainey O'Toole made a split-second decision. She couldn't have known that her choice would impact so many.

Now in her mid-twenties, she is poised to go to culinary school when her car breaks down in Stoney Ridge, the very Amish town in which her long-reaching decision was made, forcing her to face the shadowed past.

Bess Reihl is less than thrilled to be spending the summer at Rose Hill Farm with her large and intimidating grandmother, Bertha. It quickly becomes clear that she is there to work the farm--and work hard. The labor is made slightly more tolerable by the time it affords Bess to spend with the handsome hired hand, Billy Lapp. But he only has eyes for a flirty and curvaceous older girl.

Lainey's and Bess's worlds are about to collide and the secrets that come to light will shock them both.

"Beautifully written, 'The Search' is a skillfully woven story that takes readers through unexpected twists and turns on the long country road toward truth. Fans both old and new will find themselves immersed in this heartwarming--and surprising--tale of young love, forgiveness, and coming to grips with the past."

About Suzanne:

In no particular order, Suzanne Woods Fisher is a wife, mother, writer, lifelong student of the Bible, raiser of puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind, a gardener and a cook...the latter two with sporadic results.

Suzanne has loved to write since she was a young teen. After college, she started to write for magazines and became a contributing editor for Christian Parenting Today magazine. Her family moved to Hong Kong for four years, just as the internet was developing, and she continued to write articles in a 44-story high-rise apartment, sending manuscripts 7,000 miles away with a click of a key.

After returning from Hong Kong, Suzanne decide

d to give her first novel a try. For four and a half months, she worked on an antediluvian computer in a cramped laundry room. She didn't even tell her husband what she was up to. When the novel was completed, she told her family at dinner one night that she had written a book. "That's why there's no food in this house!" said her slightly insensitive sons.

Undaunted...Suzanne found a small royalty publisher for that book and wrote three more (all earned multiple awards). With help from an agent, she now has numerous books under contract with Revell. Also look for Suzanne's Amish non-fiction, Amis

h Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World, a non-fiction book of stories and examples about the Old Order Amish, as well as Amish Proverbs, and coming in Spring of 2011, look for Amish Values for Your Family. The Choice and The Waiting are the previous books in the Lancaster County Secrets Collection.

Writing, for Suzanne, is a way to express a love of God and His word. With every book or article, she hopes readers get a sense of what faith really looks like in the daily grind. She hopes they realize that life can be hard, but God is good, and never to confuse the two.

Suzanne can be found on-line at:

Click here to purchase your copy today!

Suzanne Woods Fisher's latest installment of the Lancaster
County Secrets, The Search, is just out and to celebrate Suzanne is hosting The Search iPad

One Grand Prize winner will receive an iPad Prize Package worth over $500 and

To enter, simply click on the icons below to fill out the entry form/s, then tell 5 or more
friends about the contest. Oh, and enter soon! Winner will be announced on February
3rd at Suzanne's Everything is Coming Up Roses Facebook Party. (Did you know The Search takes place on a rose farm?)

Enter via E-mail Enter via Facebook Enter via Twitter

Facebook Party:

Join Suzanne for the Everything is Coming Up Roses Facebook Party on February 3rd! She’ll be announcing the winner of the The Search iPad Giveaway, hosting a book club discussion of The Search, giving away copies of all three books and HEAPS of other readerly prizes! Including roses delivered to your door for three months for you AND
a friend!
Be sure to join us on Thursday, February 3rd at 5:00 PM PST (6:00 MST, 7:00 CST & 8 EST) at Suzanne’s Author Page.

To read some other great reviews of The Search click HERE.

Thanks for stopping by!

This book was sent to me by Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.
I was not influenced on how to write my review of this book.